Shifting Gears: Feel Like I Have To

It seems to me that every time I’ve been on a plane in the past 4 years I have written a group email… so today as I fly to Toronto I definitely “feel like I have to”, I also feel like I want to, so I am.

This trip is for pleasure, not work related or hospital related, pure pleasure. A very short stop on Toronto to see a Mr. Springsteen in concert tonight!! If I don’t expire tonight I’ll be sure to let you know how it was. Then I’ll head to Halifax for the weekend to see some friends and generally relax.

My past few months have been a super busy time, and that has begun to settle, which is a welcomed change. Love being back in the schools, just feel like my organized way got away from me, and I seemed to be running from one step to the next without down-time.

My past experiences have taught me the importance of down-time for my health and energy, but I also feel down-time is so very essential for another important reason… to look back on the road you have travelled, see where you are at present, and look down the roads you want to travel.

I had a chat with an Aunt of mine last week and she reminded me that “you can’t work IN the business and ON the business” at the same time. I really believe that, and the past several months have seen me spend a little too much time IN RealTime Cancer, time to step outside of it for a short period and have a look down upON it. The alone time I have in the next few days will be directed to that at some level, as will the coming weeks.

About 5 years ago, for my 22 birthday I was having dinner with my Dad, step-Mom, and girlfriend at the time, we toasted me and I said “this will be a defining year in my life”. Over that next year, I graduated from Business school, continued the growth of my little enterprise, moved out with a couple of buddies to increase my independence, and was diagnosed with Leukemia. Pretty defining year. Of course I believe that every year is a defining year at some level.

I have made a habit, it seems, in the past 5-7 years, of “calling my shot” so to speak. I usually do it by saying “the next many months are going to be really interesting”, and you know I’ve never been wrong!!

So today, Thursday December 5th, 2002, I’m writing to all of you to say that I really feel the next 6-8 months are going to be really interesting.

To predict what will happen, I would never try that, but there are a few things I’m pretty confident will happen. One of which relates to RealTime Cancer… at present RTC is the only Cancer charity in Canada focused on educating young adults about preventing and dealing with Cancer. There is no organization focused on educating or supporting my generation, except us. As a young Patient I know the support system is needed, in Newfoundland, and recent research has supported my findings that it’s needed all across Canada (and North America). And as someone who is interested in the health of our country I know that there is a real need for health related education, especially to young people. The next several months will be an evaluation time for me, as I really want to look at the possibility of bringing this little organization and my Positive Attitude message to other places, where I know it is needed. The old me wouldn’t have questioned “whether” or not I’d go there, it would just be “how”, and I suspect that that may still be the case, but I do want to ask the “whether or not” question and see where that leads.

I’ve started saying to my generation “we’re not your parents Cancer charity”, and we aren’t. RealTime Cancer is a separate organization, very different than charities like the Canadian Cancer Society, similar goals for sure, but very different ways of getting there. And if we are going to grow, strengthening our brand and communicating our mission is something that I’ll really have to focus on. Lots of questions, and I’m really looking forward to playing with them.

I do love working IN the business, being with students in assemblies and classrooms are some of my favourite things to do, however I will really feel good about those efforts when I am able to balance them with increased focus on why I’m there in the long-term, and where I’m guiding the RealTime Cancer ship for the future.

The thought has occurred to me to keep things small, master this domain of Newfoundland and Labrador and keep our focus here, as I do not believe that bigger is always better. The question of “whether” we grow or not is something that will get more attention in the coming weeks and months. You can be sure I’ll share my discoveries and thoughts as they happen.

Hope you have a good one, and I’ll be back again soon.
Always…
Live life. Love life.

Geoff

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