My father, “Pops” as he is known to my children, has recently completed a transformation of sorts that has some people a bit unnerved. It may appear to be a classic reinvention due to his newly acquired retirement lifestyle (a nice way of saying mid-life crisis)…those who know him better will say they saw this coming a long ways off and it was only a matter of time before he stumbled upon his tinkering, elf-like persona (complete with pony tail and soul patch).
After 30 years working in informatics with the Federal Government, Correctional Services (loosely translated to running the computer systems for Canada’s prison systems) my father is happily pursuing his other interests…the part that is amazing is we didn’t know he was interested and I don’t even know if HE knew. If he had taken up fish farming people would not have blinked (he had actually graduated with a degree in Marine Biology – how he got from there to informatics and corrections is actually a funny story, too). They would have probably giggled, but not been surprised, if he had put on a yellow rain slicker and headed far out to sea (he did actually purchase a 30 foot sail boat however, and does own a full yellow rain suit and a Tilley hat, so this may be an adventure yet unlived).
But my father, in true Lazenby-fashion (which you will doubtless begin recognizing in my writing), took the “path less travelled” and has turned his garage into a woodworking studio. Actually, I take that back. Lazenby’s do not take the path less travelled, they jump off the path and walk backwards to create a new path, without ever turning to look where they are going! That way the path is ever-winding, may end up crossing back over itself at some points, and may hit a few large bumps along the way. They drag their heels, so that they will always be able to see where they have been, and so others can follow. It can’t really be considered meandering, because they walk with purpose and conviction, nor do they stroll because at some points Lazenbys will stop and linger, and other times the momentum of the landscape (the hills and valleys if you will, and cliffs for that matter) will have them caterwauling through life.
So is it really that surprising that Pops now builds cedar-stripped canoes, hubcap banjos and ‘strum sticks’ in his garage? (no, not surprising…a bit comical because he doesn’t know how to play the guitar, but how is that relevant to a Lazenby?)
To approach life walking backwards a Lazenby must be resilient and prepared. What is lurking around the next corner is just as unknown as where the next corner might be lurking! But if he had been walking forwards, with his eyes distracted by so many choices, his body constrained by so many barriers, his ears assaulted by so many opinions…would Pops have ever made it to where he is today? A Lazenby is more than a self-made man…he is self-directed.