It's a roller coaster ride!
After the accolades and success of the scientific session in DC, the personal note from Canada's Prime Minister, knowing that all was running smoothly and full steam ahead, I knew the shoe would have to drop.
Now I find myself the subject of my very own personal country and western song, as our beloved pet Shih Tzu succumbed to cancer. It is so hard to let go of someone or something we love! The painful emptiness one feels is only something that will dull over time until we can find comfort in the fond memories we hold so close to our hearts.
We're reminded that our lives are multifaceted. Although we have an incredible passion for the Academy, it is really about the relationships we have, the good things we do to make things better for others, and that we must maintain a balance between work, the Academy, other interests, and of course family and friends.
Being President of this Academy is like any other position....you get out of it what you put into it. Those who know me understand I don't do anything that isn't all out and full on, so the issue is not how much I will put into this position, but how I will maintain that life balance that can so easily be lost.
It seems most of my time is spent working on Academy business, phone calls to members, committee conference calls and planning for the future. But the life balance needs to return. Feeling safe knowing that everything was humming along and there was not much more I could do this weekend until I received some survey results from the board, I decided to heed my own advice and take time to create some life balance.
I donned my pack of camera gear and headed out for a couple of days of solitude into the wilds of Algonquin Park in quest of moose and newborn calves to photograph. Mommy moose was very accommodating as I was able to spend 5 hours one day getting to know her and her 2-week-old calf. They put on quite a show for me. It was touching to see the way this big mama moose was so tender with the newborn. The time away was wonderful for putting things back in perspective. I even got home early enough to spend time with my wife, Ricki, and our son Ryan who had just returned from his first year at law school in London, England.
Just like that mama moose and her newborn calf in the wilderness, we are only here for a short time, to do our best to make things better for those who will take our place oh so quickly. Remembering that it is about the relationships we build, the good things we do for others, and living every day as if there will be no tomorrow will help me keep my perspective as we work hard this year to keep this Academy so great well into the future.