A Leaky Roof, A Brand New Year, and a Healthy Perspective

The Back Story

Leaky HouseThe roof on my house leaks. Ironically, it doesn’t leak when it rains — it only leaks when it snows, or should I say, when the snow that is on it begins to melt. Repairing this “problem” is going to be pretty costly, so for the moment I am forced to deal with this the old fashioned way: I have to remove the snow by hand before the temperature nears zero. Not the biggest problem a person can face in life, I know, but it can be a real pain.

Taking Stock

While raking off my roof and shovelling like a maniac recently, I had time to think about things – to take stock and reflect on the year that has been, and to dream about the year ahead. In many ways 2013 was a successful year for me – personally, financially, in my career, and so on – but there were a few challenges too. And as I was shovelling off my roof, 2014 was starting to look challenging as well — at least from a financial standpoint. But it was at this point in my thinking that I caught myself headed towards the slippery slope of focusing on what I don’t have, or what I wished I had, or even worse, thinking about what I “deserve” to have. But when I am honest about it, I understand that I am already extremely blessed in life, and that I have just been really damn lucky to have been born in this country, at this particular point in time, to a caring, supportive family. And further to that, I have been damn lucky to have so many great opportunities for education and employment, to have a network of great friends and co-workers, and a spouse who supports my choices and dreams. When I remember all of those things, the leaky roof doesn’t seem quite so important to me anymore.

Moving Forward

So now on to 2014. I don’t want to be the guy stressing out about his leaky roof, so I need to ask some different questions heading into the New Year. Like, how can I live a life that is less concerned with “stuff” and instead be more concerned about people? How can I live out my life from a sense of gratitude instead of greed? How can I keep from losing sight of how lucky I am and maybe “pay it forward” to those who haven’t had the same opportunities as me?

My “Healthy” Idea for 2014

In the past I have gone on several trips to Tijuana, Mexico and built houses for people who live each day in poverty. My brother-in-law roped me into doing this for the first time in 2008; his church in Calgary was taking a group of youth to build houses and he asked me to come along. It turned out to be a life-changing experience for me and I came home with “new eyes”, so to speak. I had never experienced poverty like we encountered in Mexico, and I returned home feeling grateful for and blessed by my life in Canada! Each time I’ve gone on one of these trips, I return home with a “healthy” perspective on things, and in addition, it is just plain awesome to get my hands dirty and do some serious physical work for a week!

sid tying roof

Sid “tying in” the roof on a new wood-frame house

“Typical” housing in a Tijuana neighborhood

“Typical” housing in a Tijuana neighborhood

 

Whenever I have shared my experiences with people about these trips, I hear the same thing time and again: “I would love to do something like that!”, so my “healthy idea for 2014” is to put a call out to my friends, family and the Blitz community to see who would like to join me on a trip to Tijuana to build a few houses. So how about it? Are you interested in taking part in a week long trip to Tijuana to build a home for a family living in poverty? If so, contact me by filling out this form:

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