Look up

Look up
Photo by Aziz Acharki / Unsplash

Hi everybody.

Things are going great on the houseboat. It is such a wonderful place to live, and we are enjoying every second of it. Well, most seconds, sometimes the rocking is a bit much but we are starting to get used to it. Every now and then it's like 'woah, I need to lie down for a bit which I guess is not too bad - who doesn't like a lie-down!

I heard an amazing story this week that I can't help but share, all from my good friend Roger. Roger is one incredible guy, every time I talk to him I find out something more and more amazing. Like the other day, we were with some friends talking about skydiving, and Roger happens to mention he is a trained skydiving instructor.  Nothing seems to surprise me now. I stopped being shocked after I went to the restaurant he owns (A Thai fusion mixed with Dim Sum, it's incredible); and I asked a simple question: 'Is this your first restaurant or have you opened others before?'. To which he smiled and said, 'This is the 156th I have opened'.

This is why on my phone, I have saved his last name as Rontour. I will give you a moment to get the joke. His first name is Roger if you forgot and couldn't be bothered to scroll back.

There we go; not the greatest joke, but it does meet the minimum requirement to be a joke, and that is my speciality.

Armed with this information, let's launch into the story he told me. In the USA, he opened a series of pizza restaurants and started a program in partnership with the local prison to offer jobs to those who had served their sentence and were being rehabilitated into society. Often it's very difficult for the previously incarcerated to get jobs, there are not many who will give them a second chance. But Roger did.

He told me of an employee who worked for him for 6 years, and every day without fail, on his break, he would walk outside, stand there and look up. He would do nothing else but just look up. One day Roger asked him why he did this, and he said, 'when I was in prison, the entire time I was surrounded by the walls and ceiling. There was no reason to look anywhere but down.  I was separated from the outside world and now I am free, I remind myself how blessed I am to be able to look up.

It's stories like this that knock the breath out of you. I can't comprehend what that would be like not being able to see the sky for so long, but on the other hand, I don't think I ever take the time to appreciate it because it's always there.

My life is filled with things that seem like they will always be there, but actually, they won't. I won't always have the job I have, and I won't always have my children live with me, and I won't always have my wife (eventually, but not for at least 82 years, death will do us part). But I don't want to have to spend extended time away from them to realise how much I should appreciate them. I am going to take this lesson from the wise pizza shop employee to look up at what I have and celebrate them every day.

That is it. A quick one today because I wanted to give you an early mark to go outside, look up and be truly thankful for everything and everyone in your life.