Publisher's note

Overlooking Jones Falls Lock in Ontario Canada

Gliding through the scenic waterways of Canada, sights of Adirondack chairs dotted the shoreline. Every cottage had a pair, and larger vacation homes may have had half a dozen. All of them were strategically placed for optimum views of the water, the wilderness, sunsets or sunrises and perhaps a view of a marquee site such as a tiny island.

We were traveling as a group of seven through the Rideau Canal connecting Ontario’s many lakes via Le Boat, a rental company with crafts up to 50 feet long and up to five bedrooms and five bathrooms. Vacation for our group included sightseeing, communal meals, relaxation, laughter, card games, wine, coffee and countless dialogues among friends. I imagined these strategically placed Adirondack chairs were placed with hopes of similar times.

Being the end of the season, and midweek at that, most of these chairs sat silent and empty, awaiting their next opportunity to participate in lively banter, or solemn coffee sipping. Reflecting on life, these are my happiest moments, my go-to place in my mind. I am most content gliding through wilderness waters and do it as often as I can, dreaming of a retirement filled with these moments becoming the norm instead of a gift a few times a year. At home, we also have our Adirondack chairs facing the bay. They have been a part of cool fireside chats with friends as the sun sets over the bay, often on weekends or holidays. I do have my coffee each day, although instead of on the bay it’s too often at my desk preparing for the upcoming day. It’s just not the same.

I look at my memories of the past decade or two and they are filled with grand, happy times — quite often on the water, quite often on vacation, quite often with friends and family. I really never think of poor cups of coffee at my desk or doing chores. These were staples of survival, but not really living life. I guess one way to take a barometer reading on how well you managed your time in life is to look at that Adirondack chair and ponder how many times that chair got used, and how many times they sat empty, not by design, but by choice. Did you choose to finish up a report (destined to be a long since forgotten item of diminishing value) or did you choose to say, “Enough is enough, time to relax and live life?”

The saying goes, “Nobody has ever sat on their deathbed lamenting they didn’t spend enough time at the office.” I understand not everyone has a bay view and this may take a bit of planning, but everyone of us has some level of control over our time and access to parks, nature trails, museums or worthy sights. Are you being a judicious allocator of time or are you on the pathway to regret? None of us really hit the bullseye on this target, but perhaps we can each make little changes and get a little closer to the mark than we were. Think about it.

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