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Paul MacCormack: The Mindful Superintendent

Embracing Your Expiry Date...

Posted 08 December 2017 · 1,708 views

Every now and again we all have moments that force us to tune in. It can be an achingly beautiful sunrise, that profound stillness that accompanies watching a child sleep, or the moments of reflection that come with the death of a loved one. Such events are so poignant and so groundless that we have no choice but to pause and pay attention.

 

For all of us in the TurfNet family these past few weeks have placed us square in the midst of one of these moments. The sudden passing of long time TurfNet member Jerry Coldiron (at age 60) forced us to pause and take time to remember the man he was. By all accounts Jerry was one of those guys who people just loved being around. His passion for life, his ability to embrace the simple joys, and his love for his family and friends made his untimely passing that much harder to process.

 

It can be an achingly beautiful sunrise, that profound stillness that accompanies watching a child sleep, or the moments of reflection that come with the death of a loved one...

 

When we lose those close to us, life gives us an incredible opportunity for deep reflection. Not only on the life and times of the loved one who is no longer with us, but also for ourselves. As we process our grief and sadness, we are given a window into our own mortality. How we choose to look through this window can have an immense impact on how we move forward. Do you quickly draw the curtains? Sneak a fearful peak? Or do you throw back the sash and meet whatever you see without hesitation?

 

My youngest brother, filmmaker Andrew MacCormack (he helped the AGSA create this short film last year, Deep Roots) had the incredible opportunity last year to meet and work with a young man named Jeremie Saunders. Andrew spent the better part of a year with Jeremie, recording his life and shooting a documentary for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). Working on this project changed Andrew's entire outlook and has had a profound impact on how he views his own life.

 

Jeremie has been living with cystic fibrosis for his entire 29 years. But even though he has lived with the burden of this fatal disease (life expectancy is roughly 30), he has made the simple yet profound choice to live his life to the fullest. Jeremie has known his expiry date for a long time. Many of us don't have that burden, nor that luxury.

 

He and his closest friends have spent the last couple of years creating a podcast called Sickboy. This podcast aims to remove the stigma of disease by bringing it out into the open and talking about it. They use the power of open dialogue to turn the idea that disease and death need to be hidden away on its head. They have helped thousands of people living with various ailments adopt a new outlook that focuses on living, rather than just simply waiting to die.

 

 

Jeremie was recently in Toronto, ON to give a Ted Talk. He spoke about his experience and pushed the audience to fully examine their own mortality. He challenged them to re-imagine their version of living, all the while knowing that we all end up in the same place when our journey is complete. I would encourage you to watch the full talk, Embracing Your Expiry Date.

 

So as the holiday season approaches, take a moment to reflect on your own mortality. Not in a fatalistic, morbid way, but from a completely different angle. Look around you and offer deep gratitude for all the blessings that surround you. Have compassion for your loved ones, those in your broader community, and most importantly, yourself. Embrace your vulnerability and forgive yourself for anything at all. Changing your outlook in this way will have a profound impact on your life.

 

And when its all said and done, sit back and enjoy a beverage for @CaribeTurfman, Jerry Coldiron.

 

Thanks so much for reading.  


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Paul MacCormack
Dec 08 2017

You are most welcome Roger. Thanks so much for reading. 

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