Nothing ever stays the same, and that’s just fine with me

Vacations are times of relaxation, refreshment and enjoyment. Having no ‘set’ schedule is a novelty we look forward to when we’re lucky enough to have a break, and that’s what I had a couple of weeks back during a trek to Vancouver and Victoria.

Each day on the coast was hot, sunny with clear blue skies – it was almost unbelievable how perfect the weather was.

For me, visiting Vancouver is a trip down memory lane. I lived in Burnaby, about five blocks from the City of Vancouver boundary, for a year back in the early 1990s. (Yes, I’m that old). I had decided to attend a Bible College for a year to see if I was pastor material. (I decided I wasn’t).

Still, it was a tremendous year of personal and spiritual growth. It was also something of a dream as I had always wanted to live in Vancouver.

But it wasn’t necessarily an easy year. It was the first time I was away from home. I was ridiculously insecure and unsure of myself. I also wasn’t prepared for a west coast winter (rain, rain and more rain). I couldn’t believe how much moisture there was and it seemed endless. I remember weeks without so much of a hint of sunlight.

Nonetheless, the greenery and beauty of Vancouver – rain or shine — was a magical sight to this prairie-raised guy.

I have returned to Vancouver over the years, and always had a fondness for it. It’s great to reconnect with friends from that time, and I enjoy visiting familiar places.

On this recent trip, I noticed a strong sense of nostalgia. One day I ventured out for a walk around my old neighbourhood and was struck by how much it had changed. How disappointing! The house I lived in has been torn down and replaced by a mansion. It felt strange to look at the yard and see this on the site of the modest bungalow I called home for a year.

Time marches on I suppose. But other changes popped up all around me. Other houses I remembered were gone and in their places there were either bare parcels of property or new condos.

I walked down Kingsway, a thoroughfare connecting Vancouver with Burnaby and beyond and I found myself looking for traces of the familiar. Many buildings remain the same, but most of the businesses from that time were gone. Yikes! Where was ‘my’ Burnaby? But even more troubling, why was I looking so hard for traces of the past? It was like I was trying to reconnect with the past in a way I hadn’t before.

Could be my age, I surmised. I’m 42 now – twice as old as I was then when time seemed to go slowly and life seemed like a great big adventure just waiting to be dived into.

Mid-life crisis? I guess it could be. But the lesson I learned is that there is a fine line between having a pleasant collection of memories and dwelling a bit too much on portions of our past.

Sometimes you have to make peace with your past, and by that I mean you have to simply be thankful for it and let it go. Yes, the world looks a whole lot different, and a whole lot more complicated at 42 then it did at 21 – in Burnaby and in general.

I looked around and smiled inwardly with a newfound sense of peace. The key lies in being grateful for the chapters in our lives. They are complete. They are over. But they are blessings in that they are part of who we are today.

When the trip ended, I regained a healthy sense of appreciating the past while looking firmly ahead. Ultimately, in a world where things change so rapidly, there’s no other option. And that’s something to be thankful for.

Just Posted

Red Deer’s newest outdoor ice facility opens to the public this week

The speed skating oval at Setters Place at Great Chief Park will be open Dec. 17th

Yellow Vests protestors take to Red Deer streets

Trudeau government’s immigration and oil industry policies denounced at rally

Rebels lose to Medicine Hat Tigers, 4-1

Tigers break Rebels’ three-game winning streak

Exhibition explores the rich history and culture of Métis people

The exhibition is on display from Dec. 15th to March 10th at the Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery

2019 Hockey Alberta Provincial Championship host sites announced

A total of 39 Provincial Championships will be hosted across the province

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

Of the 105 current senators, 54 are now independents who have banded together in Independent Senators’ Group

World Sikh Organization demands Canada prove Sikh extremism is a threat

Sikh community says this is first time such extremism has been mentioned in federal terror-threat assessment

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Supreme Court affirms privacy rights for Canadians who share a computer

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians against unreasonable search and seizure

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in at the 34th induction ceremony

‘I practically begged’: B.C. woman with breast cancer denied referral to Calgary

Breast cancer patient left to fight disease alone after being denied referral to Calgary

Facebook reveals bug gave apps unauthorized access to 6.8 million users’ photos

It’s believed up to 1,500 apps built by 876 developers had access to Facebook Stories, private photos

21 detained before Paris protests as police deploy in force

There was a strong police presence outside the central Saint Lazare train station, where police in riot gear checked bags

New home for Calgary Flames estimated to cost up to $600 million

The city and the Flames are not yet talking on who will pay how much for a building to replace the Saddledome

Most Read