What I Learned on Vacation

I’m on vacation with my 18 year old daughter, Mattea, and we came to a
picturesque mountainside mini-golf course in Virginia. Its hardly worth
writing about, except that we played, I did exceptionally well, and Mattea
laughingly said, “Are you going to blog about your talent?” Since I
absolutely never learned any sport, am not athletic, and have only lately
begun to think about being fit, I realized several things about life while
playing miniature golf.

Firstly, I had fun, secondly, I  greatly enjoyed being out of doors, and
thirdly, I chose to play for no other reason than we passed by the course
as we were walking.  How wonderful to be  outside on a beautiful
afternoon, and how wonderful to be relaxed enough to choose a playful, fun
activity requiring no serious effort. It was most amazing to find I had
enough eye-hand coordination to play well.

So, here is what miniature golf with my daughter taught me today.

Take time to have fun. Play with your kids, even if they are already 18.
Take a stroll outside-there may be a pleasant, engaging surprise on your
path. Don’t pass up the opportunity to test your skills, whether at
something simple, new or challenging.  Laugh when you miss the hole, it
makes you feel better and the game goes on.

The last lesson,( as I scored well,) is that we are all good at something.
Mattea figures my sport is mini-golf. Well, it might be, but I realized
(again) today, that walking, playing, moving in any way is  an imperative.
Our bodies are machines with moving parts that need lubrication,
alignment, adjusting, revving up, and cooling down. Being fit isn’t about
mastering a sport, or massive exertion, competition, or perfection. Its
caring for one’s body by using it, tuning it up, and moving!

I wish everyone a healthy, fun-loving season. Get outdoors. Play. Move. Be


About modcpresident
I grew up in Calgary, where I completed a BA at the University of Calgary, then travelled and taught in Kenya and the Canadian Arctic during the heyday of Trudeaumania, hippie travel and social experimentation. I settled in Vancouver to complete a Master of Social Work degree at the University of British Columbia, and stayed another 8 years. After graduating I was a Social Planner and eventually became the Executive Director of the Social Planning and Research Council of BC. Ontario March of Dimes recruited me in 1981, the International Year of Disabled Persons and the 30th anniversary of the agency. It has grown from a budget of $5m in '81 to $100m in 2010. Services have expanded drafmatically. We incorporated a non profit housing corporation in 1992 and a national charity in 2001, and since 2006 the latter has operated as March of Dimes Canada. We own and operate several properties that provide accommodation and independent living services to 77 people in 4 municipalities and will add another property this year. Two other exciting non profit entities have been incorporated in my 30 years (yes, it has been 30 years!) and we expect to hold our first fundraiser in the US this year and to initiate our first service south of the border also. My role as President and CEO continues to be that of creating a vision, fulfilling the mission and developing strategic plans to meet an increasing demand for services from people with disabilities and their caregivers. This is achieved through direct service, advocacy and peer programs. On a personal note, I live with my 17 year old daughter and two cats, and enjoy their company a lot. My two adult sons are doing interesting exploration in their own lives and I am intrigued with how they are progressing. In my spare time, I have various volunteer roles on several non profit boards and committees, and enjoy creating programs for building awareness of diversity and disability. I think it has become true for me that youth is, while not "wasted on the young," something that I appreciate more with age. Adventures are physically more challenging for me now, so they have to occur in new dimensions.

5 Responses to What I Learned on Vacation

  1. Pamela Read says:

    Excellent words to live by! There is more to being alive than just breathing . . . we need to live!

  2. Hi Andrea, I couldn’t agree more! I dance every day, well, zumba actually. It makes me so happy to feel ‘young and free’ as the song says. And taking time to do something physical with family and friends is the path to personal fulfilment. I’m glad you had a great holiday!

  3. Glad to hear that you have caught “the bug”! Nothing better than a clear blue ski, a fresh breeze and good company! Simply divine!!
    Kind regards,
    Cathy Smart

  4. John McLarnon says:

    I to am glad to here that you “caught the bug”! What a wonderful story, with my children being grown up (22 adn 25 years of age), I can remember when I used to go out golfing with my children in the fresh spring air. What a great memory you and your children have made, shared, and allowed me to remember.

    Thank you Andrea for the wonderful story and memory.

    Take care and have fun,
    John McLarnon

  5. ldsword says:

    Please tell Mattea I recall you were pretty good at ping-pong as a child, so it isn’t completely true that you have no athletic skills. There’s another lesson; something triggered a memory because everything and everyone is somehow connected. Memories such as these are precious and more so when they’re shared.
    Your sister

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