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A Bit of Burgos by Dale Burgos

A spring break

by Dale Burgos

   golf cart
In Nanaimo, you have to watch out for wild animals crossing the road. In Phoenix, this is a more common sighting.

I turned 40 a couple years ago. Since then, the idea of my mortality has invaded my cerebral cortex, the part of the brain that plays an important role in consciousness. I’m quickly realizing that my reflexes are not as swift and that my kids can now outplay me on the basketball court and on video games. I’m also not the tallest one in the household anymore. Dale Jr. will continue to grow much taller than me as he is only 15 and is due for another growth spurt. He may not be alone; the other Burgos kids have the potential to surpass me.

On the bright side, I will never be the shortest, as my wife Izzy stopped growing a looooong time ago…haha. Love you baby.

Is it just me, or do we all think this way? Does the idea of our time on this Earth affect us all? I’m pretty sure the answer is yes – for most of us anyway.

Over the past year, my doctor ordered me to get some scans to check on my inner organs –as a precaution. I’ve been getting regular blood checks and getting these weird moles looked at. Oh, and how can I forget about my first prostate exam! Oh, the dreaded exam that young guys laugh about and dread at the same time. Is there no easier way to get that checked? I mean seriously. This is how it played out for me:

Doc: “What are you in for today?”
Me: “Got a sore throat, otherwise feeling fine.”
Doc checks on my glands. Turns to his computer and types. Then exclaims that I am now over 40. I think to myself, “What does that have to do with having a sore throat?”
Doc: “Have you had your prostate checked recently?”
Me: “Nope, never have.”

Then it hit me, my throat isn’t the only part of my body that will be probed today.

Doc: “Sit up on the table and pull your pants down.”

There was a moment I thought about running before assuming the position. I decided to stick around and comply with the dude with a PhD. I won’t bore you with details, and before you ask, no, I didn’t take pictures.

As for my time on this Earth, I’m finding more and more that I need to make time for the family and myself. I’m no different than many of you; I have the regular full time gig. I work to pay bills and hopefully one day, take a vacation.

I have been blessed with a long and storied career that started out in broadcasting and journalism. In fact, my first ‘”real job” was as an announcer at CKJS, where I met Pilipino Express editors, Ate Emmie Joaquin and Kuya Paul Morrow over 20 years ago!

Now, I spend long days working as a senior manager in a school district in BC. The job is satisfying, but I’m already looking toward retirement!

At the end of the last school year, I had an epiphany, an awakening of the cerebral cortex, if you will. July came and I was told I had a bunch of vacation left over. I realized that I worked the majority of the year when I should have used up these days. This was not good! I was entitled to those days!

I promised that things would change. And it did! I decided that I needed to fully unplug from work, and the best way to do that was to get far away from home – otherwise I would still work. Those who know me, know that one of my happy places is Arizona. I love the heat, especially since we get stuck with months of cloud and rain on the West Coast.

This past spring break, we spent two glorious, fun-filled and relaxing weeks in and around Phoenix. Some days the temps cracked 30 degrees. Some days we toured around, others we stayed by the pool. This marked the third time in less than a year that the Burgos bunch visited the sunny state and I don’t think we’ll stop any time soon.

My mortality will always weigh heavily on me, but I’ve made a promise to myself that I will live my days to the fullest with no regrets. I hope you do too.

Most days will be great – that is until I have to go see my doctor with another sore throat.

Dale manages the communications department for a school district in BC.

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