The Epistle of Q — Chapter 182 (Part E)

Reflections on LentThe Eureka Moment(s)

As Lent was drawing to a close I was reflecting on the book I was about to start – actually, in many ways it is more a book I have been thinking about re-writing, or revising or re-conceptualizing, since I released what in essence was a penultimate draft (Getting to Better…). In conversations about this book a comment was raised that stopped me in my tracks – you say you are an existentialist at heart, so if that is true, why are you continually focusing on looking back at your life and trying to address questions of why certain roads were taken instead of simply celebrating the now, moving forward?

At the same time I was given a Asian Fortune Cookie which told me: Try to resolve contradictory issues with reason!

Lent is indeed a time for contemplation and reflection and as it was drawing to a close I thought it might be a good time to address the contradictions of an existentialist trying to mine the past as opposed to simply accepting it. Perhaps not surprisingly, the challenge did not take long to work through. Even though the concept of the book is targeted to my grandkids, it seems more appropriate to allow each of them to reach adulthood and then, if they really are interested in trying to make sense of their heritage and even legacy as it relates to me I can, in a very focused sense, perhaps write a useful book that is more forward thinking than rearview mirror.


As I thought about it, I was spending an inordinate amount of time trying to make sense of a life that really doesn’t have a great deal of sense to it. Undiagnosed ADHD, doesn’t mean that ADHD wasn’t a major impact; it does mean that since it was unknown, there really wasn’t anything that I could have done. I thought I was just forgetful, overly energetic and bright enough to get through educational challenges. Thus the principle issue should be – I made it, each step of the way, my way (with no apologies to Frank Sinatra or Paul Anka) and I’m still standing. Coming to this realization had an immediate impact – no more research with people seriously connected to my world years ago, no more second-guessing the journey, no more trying to do reverse time-travels to former work places trying to gain insights by osmosis. There may yet be time to celebrate the journey but for now there needs to be some adjustments to the going forward activities.

Firstly, I can write about the immediate past on my Editorialog and try to be more regular in that regard. At least then if you are interested, by continuing to read (or signing on to be notified of postings) you can at least discern a bit about what I am doing and where I am doing it.

Secondly, I can continue to teach, even if clients want me to set aside my innovative approaches, and work within more traditional settings. Again, if I have any creativity left that should not be that difficult – all I really have to do is invent better ways of inspiring innovative learning within those traditional formats and incorporate some creative moments that unexpectedly challenge students to get beyond their own boxes re the academy and/or their own learning paradigms. After all, whether the client is right or not, it is the client that is paying the freight…

Thirdly, I can continue to make myself available to my colleagues, especially in professional circles, to assist any up-and-coming students who wish to do research utilizing the data I have amassed this century. Again, as I am willing to have my immediate teaching efforts evaluated annually by my students, I shouldn’t be reluctant to have some other students examine the longer-term impacts of my courses and my learning/teaching moments on those who went on to professional lives.

Fourthly, I need to rethink the extent to which I try to keep connected with the various individuals and communities that have been part of my life on and off over the decades of my consulting firm and/or professional corporation. There are some very special people who wish to be part of my world and I their’s; there are others who have specific interests that mirror mine (skiing being the one I think of most often; attending CFL games is another) that make me glad to be in their midst in such moments. There may even be the occasional person that wishes me to mentor or at least provide advice and so reaches out to me – I ought not to be so rude as to refuse to respond to the best of my abilities. But no more trying to maintain tenuous strings to people who were only tangentially interested in, let alone involved in my world; no more trying to build apologetic bridges over past rudeness or misdemeanors or miscreant thinking.

And so this Lenten period has had a salutary impact in a way that Lent seldom does: the convoluted deck has been cleared. I will continue to travel (especially to see my grandkids in their worlds even when it is only for a few hours over a couple of days due to them having their own busy lives). I will continue to attend the Stratford Festival (even if I can’t get to see everything live every season and I have to see the occasional production on my computer screen). I will continue to try to keep myself fit (even it that means getting up at 4:00 a.m. so I can get through workout before my day is supposed to start). And I will keep you very special (with occasional meals hopefully with good wine &/or scotch &/or mineral water, or phone/ZOOM conversations when chatting can’t be live/in-person, or through the exchange of a card or email). In all of this, the focus is on now and going forward

Sometimes in the midst of an ADHD day, a eureka moment comes to stay!!

All in all this was a very good time to live and reflect through Lent