In my hometown, you have two choices with winter weather.

Either it is warm with a lot of snow and no sun, or freeze your ass off cold, no snow and sunny.

This year has been the picture postcard white winter. Even at the bus stops. Especially at the bus stops because you are going to wait forever for a bus. Might as well take pictures to pass the time.

You don’t need to know what the bus sign says. You just go out and wait. Maybe pray.

I love snow storms, I just don’t like being out in them.

Waiting for a bus.

Look Outward

Recently I was pressed by a well meaning person to check out a ‘must read’, best selling self help book.


I wasted decades of my life (and a considerable amount of my pay cheques) on self help books and gurus and I have said it many times before, they did not help me one iota.

Looking inward is constrictive. It is like curling up in the fetal position. It’s being a frightened porcupine, an armadillo, or even one of those woolly caterpillars curled up in itself. With your head tucked between your knees you aren’t going to see anything, save maybe, lint on your trousers.

The problem, and the answer, is not inside of you.

Look outward first, and then try some introspection on what you have seen and heard and experienced. Reflect on experiences. Learn from them.

Looking outward is expansive. It is eye opening. It is mind blowing.

Be worldly.

Spend your money and time on experiences. Do things. Ask questions about things and people. Listen to and think about the answers. Take your nose out of self help books and your navel, get out of your living room and comfort zone and go outside!

And when you are inside, go to the learning capital of the world. The LIBRARY.

No, not the internet. The LIBRARY. A brick and mortar building. Introduce yourself to hold in your hands books, real paper and cardboard, things that make your wrists ache and your head spin. Nothing beats a book in your hands – not a self help book, but a book that is going to make you see the world.

Read about things you know nothing about. Read biographies. History. Science.

Try these on for size: The Lost Pianos of Siberia. Bono’s biography Surrender. Michelle Obama’s Becoming. Bob Stanley’s Let’s Do It. There are great fiction stories too, check out Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See, The Day of the Jackal, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

And please, don’t insist I read any more self help books – especially if you think I need it.


It seems that the older I get, the more regrets I have.

A friend of mine, many years ago told me something that I never forgot.

His mother had just died. He was in his late fifties at the time and it hit him very hard. But he told me that the shock made him realize life was finite in a way he never considered before and that he would be the next one to die. He was not being morbid, he had an extreme epiphany and he wanted me to know that I would too at some point. Someday I would realize it is all over. He hoped I would have that awakening soon enough to make changes in my life. But I didn’t. He did, but he had money. That does help things quite a bit.

At the time, I did not understand what he felt. My own Mother died many years later, but I did not have that emotional realization he talked about.

It came much later when I had to return to work after two years of being retired. Doing that made me lose hope, and that tweaked something in my soul.

It was a slow realization that this is it. There is not much future left, and there is nothing I can do to make a life now. As they say, too soon old, too late smart. I just wasn’t paying attention I guess.

Now I have a lot of regrets.