Even MLAs have rough days and need a wellness check-in: Jordan Sturdy looks back on his week as our instagrammer-in-chief
I approached our MLA, Jordan Sturdy, on Canada Day, to invite him to be one of the guestagrammers for our account, thinking it was a long-shot. I mean, at a certain point, one has to be so careful about one’s persona that certain things are just easier to refuse. Or maybe his handlers wouldn’t allow it. But he jumped on board, and I’m grateful to know that this community is represented by someone who is continually willing to put himself out there and who thinks wellness is a worthy topic to consider for a week.
Here’s Jordan’s recap from his week at the helm of instagram.com/thewellnessalmanac
by Jordan Sturdy
Really, it was retrospectively that the value proposition for a week of posting on Instagram for the Wellness Alamanc became more clear.
The need to focus on wellness and what it means to me, an issue that I have perhaps taken for granted lately, is a valuable reminder that times have not always been balanced and that my life has felt it teetered in a tenuous equilibrium. People and pressure and the burden of concern swirled persistently, threatening to undermine my footing.
At times it was a lack of perspective, even to the point worrying about things that are clearly outside of the realistic realm of human intervention. Other times anxiety was a reflection of habits or perceptions that I can control but am not managing particularly well. Or it can just be the challenge of maneuvering through the circumstances of family and friends as we try so hard to find a path through difficulties neither asked for nor deserved.
A sense of control of my circumstances I see as a chief determinate of my wellness. If I feel buffeted and uncertain, seemingly out of options and having trouble sleeping through the night then as physical health cascades so follows my mental.
Even if circumstances are complex and solutions illusive, a recognition of, and an attempt to define the problem, I find can really help. My mom always advised that, “If you wake up at night and can’t sleep for anxiety, turn on your light, pick up some paper and write it down.” I have found it to be true that once I have transcribed the troubles they begin to settle. Not that the issues have evaporated, but the concerns have begun to be formalized, broken down into their essential pieces and options emerge. Bit by bit, step by step a path can appear.
Lewis Carol, author of Alice and Wonderland is said to have commented, “If you don’t know where you are going, any path will do.” While clearly that is true, my experience also tells me that the path can be winding with many forks and no guaranteed results even while poor options can become more obvious.
My particular path was short on foresight, the horizon was always fairly close by. Fortunately for me, a philosophy advocated by my parents, to which I too ascribe is that “It matters not as much what you do, as it does that you are doing something.” So I have kept busy and tried my hand at many things; as a logger, a butcher, a blaster, a tree planter, a scholar, a salesman, a production manager, a ski patroller, a paramedic, a mayor, an MLA and a farmer. Some things for longer, others for shorter but the latter seems to have stuck.
I see my path as an evolution. Not hyper-focused, but as I worked at yet another job, I gained skills and insights into what I liked or didn’t like about the role. A pivotal conclusion that I did come to embrace in my 20’s was that I wanted the outdoors to be part of my work life and this decision influenced the options I had to choose from and the subsequent paths that I took.
From this experience, I think my best advice to my kids has been to work at what you like, for if you like something there is a better chance that you will be good at it, which can increase the chances of success, and in turn the odds of happiness which to me is the desired outcome. Without happiness, all the rest doesn’t amount that much.
It should be obvious, but isn’t always, that little in life is perfect, despite what all the media screens tell us. I must continue to remind myself that life is complex and there is good and bad, accept what you must but not too much, push your own boundaries and don’t be too afraid to try, know virtually everything is worth at least one attempt and with some luck, it will move you a little in your right direction, whatever that is.
The slings and arrows of the public life that I now have can be difficult at times, the expectations heavy, and the progress slow but I know that there is progress. I have had to spend time understanding “Why I think what I think”, which has been time well spent and resulted in a confidence of experience.
I also know that all things pass and then all things pass again. Tomorrow is another day but today I am glad of this blog and that it reminds me to take the time to ensure that I see the forest and the trees. I have made progress over time. And for today that means a woodshed that will get me through the winter.