Thursday, January 13, 2011

Part II: More random facts about me...

I hope this isn't too boring!!!....I do think I need to look at where I've come from in order to figure out where I'm going.  This weekend, I'll spice it up a bit....I promise!

•    I was raised in an extremely stable, normal household. No stories of abuse, addictions, mental illness, discord, emotional instability or conflict here!

•    My parents have been married for 53 years and have lived in the same house for 51 years.

•    Our family background is Scandinavian.  As in all immigrant families, hard work, frugality and the value of education was drummed into us at an early age.  All those lesson really “took hold” with me.

•    My parents were a fairly strict and a bit critical. The only way I could tell that I met with their approval was by the absence of criticism; we were never praised or complimented for anything!

•    This was not a big deal. This was very much the 50s and 60s style of parenting experienced by most of my friends as well,  particularly within our ethnic group.

•    Overall, they were excellent parents and we all turned out to be hardworking, well-respected, responsible people.

•    My Canadian citizenship is one of my proudest possessions. It is the best country in the world regarding its treatment of its citizens, rights and freedoms enjoyed, tolerance, moderation, free universal health care, an excellent social safety net and rights and freedoms enshrined in the constitution.  These rights  include the provision that redefined marriage as being between one "person" and another "person." Gender is completely out of the picture!

•    I was a "perfect" child and teenager: did what I was told, performed well academically and got into no trouble at all for my entire growing up time. I never had a teenage rebellion, ever.

•    I was very much "under the radar" at home throughout my childhood because my older sibling was the exact opposite of me with regard to all the points listed above.  Although I was the youngest kid in the house, I’ve always been very much “the responsible one.”

•    My parents' entire lives have revolved around my older sibling for all of my life, right up to the present time. At times I resent this, but mainly I think that this has made me a stronger person.

•    It does sometimes bother me that my parents' focus on my sibling has now moved onto to the next generation, now that my sibling and I have children of our own.

•    It was the biggest eye-opener for me, to observe the differences in the way each set of grandchildren is treated. That was the way I was raised but I was too young to know; only now I'm figuring it out, 30 - 40 years later.

•    At 19, I became gravely ill with cancer (some felt it was terminal) and had several recurrences with a "massive involvement" of a malignant melanoma, many surgeries and months of radiation treatments for nearly a year.

•    Even after 28 years, I think about my cancer experience every day, but in a positive way. Faced with some unreasonable or aggressive person at work, I ground myself instantly by thinking, "Would I have been worried about this in 1982, when I thought I was dying of cancer?" The answer is always "NO!"

•    When I was ill, I wished I had been less of a "goody-goody", had more fun and studied less. I thought, "All that clean living didn't do me a bit of good!!"

•    Now I think that having cancer was the best thing that ever happened to me, especially at such a formative age. I get to benefit hugely from the life lessons learned for the rest of my life.


  1. I absolutely love your philosophy regarding your cancer experience and being able to look at bad things in a good way by just thinking back your cancer crisis.

  2. It's nice to get to know you better. I agree that we have to look back in order to move forward. As you looker deeper and deeper into your past, I suspect that you will learn alot about yourself. I found that to be true in my situation.

  3. Boring? Not in the least. I like your self revelatory style of writing. You delve deeply into your past to understand where you are today. You and I have a lot in common because this is exactly the way I write, think and live. As I commented earlier, I had a similar life changing event when I was young (17) that changed my view on life forever for the better. We do have some significant differences though. I am the oldest of three sons. Our family had the typical sibling treatment. I, as the oldest had all the responsibility (leadership) on my shoulders. My second brother was basically overlooked and my third brother was the spoiled pet, my parents making up for whatever mistakes they made raising me and my next younger brother. I too was never abused in my childhood or had any traumatic events other than a distant father and a mother who I was very close too (typical scenario for a gay son.)
    I am looking forward to learing more about you Alan.

  4. This is not boring in any way. I appreciate you laying groundwork for where you came from as it helps me to know you better and appreciate who you are as a person when I'm drooling over the half nekkid pics you will eventually post. *snicker*

    Seriously, we of the blog community appreciate people willing to reveal themselves to us. Your story is no more boring than any of ours...we are just happy to get to know you better. Keep it up.

  5. Thanks for the suggestion, Sean!!... there are plenty of half nekkid pics of me to choose from, that's for sure. Maybe I'll post some one day to boost the readership of my blog. ;>)

  6. I have seen a lot of people 'grow up' and push through maturity normally done over decades, simply because a life threatening illness makes them fun down Life's journey faster. After the illness passes, they are wise and still young - fortunate indeed.

  7. Hello, I'm Tai. Nice to meet you on this blog world.

  8. Even though it was an unremarkable childhood, the account is interesting. And, as others have said, you certainly learned some good lessons from your illness.


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