Tag Archives: Lifestyle

Using Love to Weave a Good Life Together

Whether the smell of fresh cool lake water on a hot breeze or sun-warmed pine needles, there is something powerful in my mind that drags me back to another place, another time.

Last night Linda and the family were doing a memory-lane visit, on the family chat, to our home on Indian Road in Sudbury; Linda tells me that today marks the 10th anniversary of our family’s permanent move.  And for all the grand memories, for all the laughs, for all the warmth of our family of six, there is no turning back from the urban journey we’ve been on since.  We’re a bigger family.  One son-in-law.  Two beautiful grandsons, one and three.  One sig-other for both oldest daughter and youngest son.  For all our good memories together, we continue to create new ones.

The tapestry of Linda and my life together isn’t some monochrome, loosely woven, tread worn, ready to be discarded rag.  Rather, it is a richly colored work in progress.  The pattern has changed over time.  The introduction of others, whether the young Irish who fled the Great Recession at the end of the last decade, or the bar staff who liked us because we weren’t pretentious and accorded them the respect that was their due, people who’ve worked with us or for us, or our children’s friends as they grew into adulthood, all have changed the pattern and color of the weave.

Linda and I are the same age.  We met when she was a student of mine.  And lest you make some bawdy connection, we fell into dating when she finished university and I was no longer a lecturer.

I’m not sure how I would characterize being in love with Linda.  It wasn’t some mad, headlong clutching and grabbing rutting behavior.  Instead, it started on Lake Ramsay, sitting on a granite outcrop at 3 in the morning, talking, and not talking, listening to the gentle lapping of the lake on the shore.  Coming to love with each other that way provided us with the warp that gave us the strength to weave a life well together.

Things developed rapidly.  Not only did we come together six weeks later as a blended family, and bought a house soon after, our four children were just as adept at coming together as brother and sister.  It was, well, just right.

Others’ expectations created problems for us from the beginning, trying to cut our threads.  Many of Linda’s friends and confidents challenged her, suggesting that she was rushing things.  My best friend claimed that she had ruined his life.  My work relationships were threatened, ultimately leading to my termination.  My clients, who in retrospect were taking advantage of me in the guise of friendship, treated her as a handmaiden.  Neither of our families approved.

And we often heard people calling us the Brady Bunch or commenting on how hard it must be – but it was neither some uptight mid-American view of how blended families were supposed to work, or some conflict filled approaching Armageddon.

It was fun.  It was ordering ten pizzas or barbecuing hamburgers at midnight because we learned the benefits of party-ending carb comas that rapidly reduced the house party from 60 to 10.  It was getting impatient and lighting a fire in the pit with gasoline only to have the fire department arrive because apparently 60-foot flames were not acceptable.  It was laughing at a daughter doing a “grass angel” on the side lawn telling Linda how much she loved her after her first experience getting drunk.  It was travelling from city to city watching rep basketball.  It was keeping a skid steer for a whole summer because all the kids and their friends loved tooling around the property “landscaping”.  It was ditching a truck that had broken down on the side of the road so that we could rush off to a Leaf’s game.

If I give pause, as I am tempted to do this weekend, it is not because I am tried of weaving.  It is because I want to allow some of the color that is important to me back in; you know, the coolness of the water on a warm breeze or the smell of sun on the pines.  But most importantly, I want some time with Linda in the space between to listen to the water lapping on the shore.

David Chellew and Linda Odnokon have been life partners and in business together for almost 19 years. During that time, they have mellowed into their respective roles and enjoy working with individual investment clients. Dave is a Portfolio Manager and Linda is an Investment Advisor with iAS and work out of the co-work space CSI (Centre for Social Innovation) in downtown Toronto.

 

Industrial Alliance Securities Inc. (IAS) is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF) and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC). iA Securities is a trademark and business name under which Industrial Alliance Securities Inc. operates.

 

This information has been prepared by David Chellew, Portfolio Manager for Industrial Alliance Securities Inc. (IAS) and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of IAS. The opinions expressed are based on an analysis and interpretation dating from the type of publication and are subject to change. Furthermore, they do not constitute an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any the securities mentioned. For more information about IAS, please consult the official website at www.iasecurities.ca. David Chellew can open accounts only in the provinces where he is registered.

Yoga: love the idea, but not sure it’s for me.

Yoga:   love the idea, but not sure it’s for me.

Tonight, is the night.  I’ve decided to break the seal and attend my first yoga class.

I don’t have to tell you that every bit of my acquired masculine identity is screaming “no, no, no.”  As much as I want to suck it up and get on with it, the gulf between the first step and where I am now has been as wide as the Grand Canyon.  Failing sprouting wings and being able to soar across, that divide has been far too wide.

So, what’s changed my attitude?  Well, I’ve decided that since I’ve survived putting flax seed in everything (what I jokingly call Chia Pet to Linda; there’s a story in that) I can risk alfalfa sprouts and Thai pants.

On the road to where I want to be

I’m fitter than I was but I still sport a rather robust girth.  The image I have of myself does not match the reflection in the mirror and quite frankly I am ashamed.  On the other hand, if I can wear compression wear doing aerobics in the gym, I can suck it up and roll around with all the grace of a python than has swallowed a pig.  That, like the pig, shall pass.

I’m ready to swallow my shame and get on with it.

Go big or go home

I go for the gusto.

Everything that I do, if I cater to both my competitive nature and need to succeed, I do to the extreme.  I find it hard to break down an entirely new activity into manageable, progressively more challenging parts.  Instead I go overboard.

When it comes to fitness, I’ve been there, done that.  I have paid exorbitant sums in the past for a personal trainer, struggling with the limitations he placed on me rather than letting me beat the machines, or hit yet again another personal best.  And the same PT was determined to follow his own agenda and despite my concerns and objections I found myself in a situation where I got hurt.

I’m going to work overtime to take a measured approach.

Attitude

I grew up straddling more than one socioeconomic class and the great generational divide between Hippy and Disco.  Yoga practitioners were the alfalfa-sprout-eating long-hairs that I was too young to be but wished I was.

Too, generationally as a late-boomer, I’m not as open to alternative lifestyles, as much as it is acceptable to those younger than me.  I struggle with my sons’ embracing not only chest thumping, grunting weight training and exercise but their determination to live a healthier lifestyle through diet and, yes, yoga.

James, the youngest, taught me something about personal care.  It isn’t that he is flamboyant, but that he is willing to embrace metrosexual.  He taught me it was okay to feel comfortable wearing flip flops.

Rob, the oldest, is more direct in his approach, and unapologetically pursues a healthier alternative way of life.  He taught me that it was okay to be in your face about what works for him.  For Rob, more than any else, I owe him to give yoga a shot.

And I owe it to myself to be open.

Need

I am starting to push up against limits both in physiotherapy and in aerobics.  I need an answer to the surprising tightness and soreness of muscles increasingly liberated.  I want to continue to step up my efforts because frankly I enjoy my twice-daily 40-minute workouts.  And I’m ready to begin challenging myself with cable and free weights.

To do that though, I must start to address a decades-long aversion to disciplined stretching coupled with a pathology of over and under-developed muscle groupings after 39 years coping with a leg injury.

I find it interesting that that one thing, need, overcomes the weight of inertia, closing that chasm and making the step across manageable.  Not easy mind you.  But manageable.

Investing

Managing your finances is little different than any other endeavor in life.  It is only when need overcomes the baggage you carry that you can actively deal with it.  And the older you are, the tighter your attitudes.

I’m not suggesting that Linda or I have the answers you need to be more successful as an investor; that comes from within.  But we’re both good at being a coach to help you sort out what barriers have stood in your way to past financial success.  And we both can help you break things down into manageable bites.

To find out more, give me (437 266 1125) or Linda a call (437 266 1126).

David Chellew and Linda Odnokon have been life partners and in business together for almost 19 years.  During that time, they have mellowed into their respective roles and enjoy working with individual investment clients. Dave is a Portfolio Manager and Linda is an Investment Advisor with iAS and work out of the co-work space Brightlane on King West in downtown Toronto.

Industrial Alliance Securities Inc. (IAS) is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF) and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC). iA Securities is a trademark and business name under which Industrial Alliance Securities Inc. operates.

This information has been prepared by David Chellew, Portfolio Manager for Industrial Alliance Securities Inc. (IAS) and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of IAS. The opinions expressed are based on an analysis and interpretation dating from the type of publication and are subject to change. Furthermore, they do not constitute an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any the securities mentioned. For more information about IAS, please consult the official website at www.iasecurities.ca. David Chellew can open accounts only in the provinces where he is registered.

“Hi. My name is David. I’m a type 2 diabetic.”: My struggle to accept my reality.

I’d rather be anything else in fact.  I associate type 2 with overweight individuals, and on King West in Toronto it’s just not acceptable to be overweight.

I have been avoiding getting my blood tested for six months now; while I do aerobics for 30 minutes twice a day and have drastically altered my diet, I have a lingering suspicion that that isn’t enough.  I’m still overweight.  I’m just 37 pounds less overweight.

My diabetes is much like my hypertension.  While both undoubtedly are the partial result of genetic predisposition, the larger issue has been my yo-yoing weight coupled with an often-sedentary lifestyle highlighted with too much alcohol.  While 10,000 steps may cut it for some people, as a downtowner I navigate that daily just going about my business.  I had to make a conscious decision to lose weight.

I can also tell you that I was tempted to find a one-pill solution and stay angry at my incompetent genes.

Living in denial did nothing for me but allow my weight to balloon.  I didn’t have some epiphany, some religious moment when I saw with sudden clarity what I needed to do.  I had a slow dawning realization that I had a fair amount of control over the progression of both diseases and that the responsibility lay with me first.

I have also not recruited people to my efforts.  After all, publishing what I’m attempting to do is just short of becoming a dogmatic preacher of health.  I don’t know that giving up alcohol coupled with a regime of regular exercise and radically changed diet is for everyone.  It just works for me.

But the greatest power in changing my circumstances starts with one admission.  “Hi, I’m David and I’m a type 2 diabetic.”

David Chellew and Linda Odnokon have been life partners and in business together for almost 19 years.  During that time, they have mellowed into their respective roles and enjoy working with individual investment clients.  Dave is a Portfolio Manager and Linda is an Investment Advisor with iAS and work out of the co-work space Brightlane on King West in downtown Toronto.

Industrial Alliance Securities Inc. (IAS) is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF) and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC). iA Securities is a trademark and business name under which Industrial Alliance Securities Inc. operates.

This information has been prepared by David Chellew, Portfolio Manager for Industrial Alliance Securities Inc. (IAS) and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of IAS. The opinions expressed are based on an analysis and interpretation dating from the type of publication and are subject to change. Furthermore, they do not constitute an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any the securities mentioned. For more information about IAS, please consult the official website at www.iasecurities.ca. David Chellew can open accounts only in the provinces where he is registered.