I am thankful.
Yes, thankful. In retrospect, not just about the everyday things for which we are conditioned to be thankful; but for something perhaps a little less obvious, yet certainly no less essential to living a fuller and more invigorating life.
Of course, a day does not pass when I do not consider my good fortune to be blessed with a loving and healthy family, caring friends, and an interesting career that affords me the opportunity to interact with people from all walks of life. On the surface of things, this would appear to be the recipe for a happy and well-adjusted life.
And yet, for me, there is one more critical ingredient that I have introduced into the mix, without which it would all somehow still ring hollow: a passion for a cause.
If I were given no choice but to divide my vocational life into two parts—Chapter 1 and Chapter 2—I would surely draw that line right about age 27, between my job as a Dental Assistant and my position, clerical though it was, at a West End synagogue. Though both jobs on either side of this dividing line in time involved a series of mundane and technical tasks, the latter actually possessed the clear distinction of being part of an organization which served a greater community, and did so by embracing a deep spiritual mission and a unique intellectual vision.
Suddenly, I felt somehow more engaged and relevant; as though my every minute task and errand was in fact imbued with a kind of greater importance that belied its more trivial nature.
There was a kind of awakening within.
In the years that followed, even as I grew emotionally as a new wife and mother, I continued to find myself yearning for the sort of personal fulfilment that might only really derive from involvement in meaningful causes. Specifically, from hands-on labour within organizations that served such causes. Whether it was as an employee with Israel Bonds or as a Museum Coordinator at the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre; or as an Event Planner with the women’s advocacy body, Na’amat Canada; or as the Director of a community centre (the West Island JCC); the one common denominator that informed all of my professional positions was the need to contribute in some significant way to a cause that was meaningful to many others, both within my immediate community and beyond. And the engine that has driven my endeavours throughout this second period of my professional life has been my intense passion to push the agenda just a little bit further with every effort given. Quite frankly, it’s uplifting. And I couldn’t imagine working any other way.
Which brings me to my current calling, and one which I could say truly touches an even wider circle of individuals than anything I have dealt with to date: fundraising for cancer research, treatment, education and outreach.
Specifically, for lymphoma– a disease which affects 100,000 Canadians and the fifth most common cancer in Canada. It seems that, with every passing year, we are learning exponentially more about the interplay between genetics, environment and lifestyle choices, as they relate to the occurrence of lymphoma within the general population. In this sense, nothing gives me more satisfaction than knowing that there is a direct link between my efforts as Lymphoma Canada-Quebec’s, Director of Fund Development and Signature Events, and the battle to prevent, effectively treat, and hopefully conquer this dreadful illness.
Although lymphoma is the number one diagnosed cancer in adolescents and young adults, and is the third most common cancer in children, I find it troubling that many Canadians are still unaware of lymphoma and that it is a life-threatening form of cancer.
That being said, I feel a tremendous amount of excitement and pride about the event I am organizing to raise awareness regarding lymphoma; take it to the mat – The Great Yoga & Wellness Revolution.
As I take stock of my personal accomplishments, I am truly appreciative of the opportunity to play a part in a very worthy cause. And more to the point, I am sincerely thankful to have discovered that very passion that brings greater meaning and inspiration into my life.
For those interested in more details about the take it to the mat event please visit www.takeittothematmontreal.ca