Luck: Lessons learned from a man named Frank

luck - patient shaking handsWe all like to think we’re in control of our lives. But as I learned from a fellow cancer patient, luck is still very much part of the equation.

“I’ll see you when you get out,” I said, shaking Frank’s hand.

Part of me knew I was lying. I’m no doctor, but I had a strong hunch that I was shaking the hand of a dead man. I had lost a lot of weight following my bone marrow transplant. But Frank? Frank was positively skeletal. Continue reading

Handing over the reins: Lessons learned from banshee babies and buttered butts

running with babyAs I learned from being a terrible babysitter, the best bosses don’t freak out when mistakes are made and give their employees time to get better at their job.

I don’t have kids. But I’ve got to think that trusting your children with a babysitter can be a nerve-wracking experience. Particularly if that babysitter is someone like me or my brother Nicholas. Continue reading

10 Ways to Seize the Day and Achieve Greater Work-Life Balance

bullWhen an angry man in Alberta chastised my definition of work-life balance, I stared at him like a doofus with nothing to say in response. And as I discuss in my latest guest post on Tiny Buddha, it wasn’t until I was half-way to Regina that I figured out what I should have said…

Click here to read my article 10 Ways to Seize the Day and Achieve Greater Work-Life Balance. Continue reading

The Importance of Community: Lessons learned from chasing a Killer at 2 a.m.

chasing catIt’s 2 A.M., there’s a killer on the loose, and it’s up to me to catch him…

No, that’s not the opening line to my new thriller novel. That exact situation literally happened to me recently. Now, I really wish I could leave it at that and have you believe I’m some badass secret agent. But I feel obliged to reveal a couple other minor details about that night. Continue reading

How to cope and keep going when times get tough (my guest blog on Tiny Buddha)

hikeLife is full of difficult moments. Sometimes we can find ways around them. A lot of times though, we just need to power through them. I’ve had the good fortune once again to guest blog for the uber-awesome advice website Tiny Buddha, where I share five ways to help you weather the storms life throws your way.

Check out the article here.

(You may also be interested in the other post I did for Tiny Buddha, Lessons from Almost Dying: Appreciate the Everyday Awesome.)

Owning Up to Our Mistakes: Lessons learned from getting shot in the eye with a pellet gun

bb gun“Kids these days.” It’s a familiar expression used to express disapproval of how far today’s youth have drifted from the virtuous and well-behaved ways of their elders. But you only need to hear a few stories from my dad about his ridiculous childhood shenanigans to see what a crock that is.

Case in point: the fateful Christmas he got a BB gun. Continue reading

Thinking Things Through: Lessons learned from nearly swallowing a severed human toe

toeThere are 3 items on my ultimate bucket list. Joining Captain Dick’s World Famous Sour Toe Cocktail Club is one of them. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this… unusual… drinking tradition, Sour Toe cocktails are found exclusively at the Downtown Hotel bar in Dawson City, Yukon, Canada. Entry into the prestigious club is easy enough: you simply have to drink a shot of whiskey… Oh yeah, and your class has a severed human toe in it, which must touch your lips as you take your drink. Continue reading

Life’s Shortcuts: Lessons learned from a Sunday stroll through stinging nettle

nettleCutting corners in life can have painful results.

Whoever said two heads are better than one clearly weren’t thinking of me and my brother Nicholas. Individually, we could make sensible—even smart—choices. Together? Yeah, not so much.  As teenagers, we’d often hatch plans that seldom went smoothly, like the time we decided to embark on a two day hike up the Nine Mile River near our home in rural Southwestern Ontario. Continue reading

Getting Out of Debt: Lessons learned from my sister getting stuck in a pit of clay

clayA lot of words come to mind when thinking about debt. Stuck. Mired. Drowning. Buried. The images these words conjure up remind me of a story from my childhood.

As a kid, my youngest sister Meghan would often join my brother Nicholas and me on our adventures to the “Death Cliffs”. Admittedly, a bit of an exaggerated moniker. The Death Cliffs were in fact a section of high muddy banks along the Nine Mile River near our hometown of Port Albert, Ontario. Continue reading

Life’s Curveballs: Lessons learned from the ugliest pie in the land

pieBefore we somehow managed to find ourselves girlfriends, my roommate Shane and I were typical bachelors in many ways. I had a Superman poster in my bedroom. Shane had a bunch of Star Wars toys in his. The furniture in our place was a mishmash of used pieces, chosen for utility and convenience over what’s stylish or “in”. You’d find a stack of comic books behind the toilet in our bathroom. Continue reading

Knowledge and Responsibility: Lessons learned from a wolf in the woods

wolf“With great power comes great responsibility.” – Voltaire (and Uncle Ben from Spiderman, of course)

My eyes snapped open as I heard the low and menacing growl nearby. Even with my eyes as wide as they were, I couldn’t see much. It was late and our campfire was out. Though engulfed in darkness I could still tell that my brother Nicholas and cousin Adam, wrapped in their sleeping bags next to me, were awake now too. Continue reading