Friday Two Cents: Youth Has No Age

You know that day once a year you get to sleep in late, eat cake and people cheer and say, “Happy Birthday!”  Well this year I don’t have that, well sort of.  You see my birthday comes once every four years.  I am a leap year baby. Mind you in my family we celebrate my birthday on another day, because the government changed my dates to make it easier.  Bureaucrats. So in reality I am as old as the students I work with.  Many of my colleagues would say that would explain a lot.  

Yet one thing many people kept asking me was how old am I really?  I would tell them my leap year age but everyone said, “No what is your real age?”  I found this very interesting.  You see growing up I never really cared about my age. Maybe its because in my family we don’t talk about how old you are, some European superstitions I think.  I found that the number never truly mattered but how old you feel.  In truth I feel younger than I am and to be honest I thing that many people use their age to hold themselves back from doing things.

However, I still have people insisting on asking me for a number, a label.  I refuse to be labeled.  From people looking at me as a “male” teacher working with students to moments when people say, “You’re an artist? But you play and love sports?”  How many of you have heard, “Oh act your age.”  What does that mean and why should I?  I have seen people who were in their 20s acting like they were seniors and seniors acting like they were in their 20s.  So who is right?  Is it perhaps our society’s obsession with “youth” that is at heart here? Or is it all a state of mind?

 Youth: definitions; (1) the period between childhood and adult age; (2) the state or quality of being young, especially as associated with vigour, freshness, or immaturity.

I like that, ‘the state or quality of being’.  It is so true.  I have read many papers about how powerful the mind is when it comes to our state of being. We can literally think ourselves sick or tired if we think or say that we are sick or tired.  Perhaps that is a big reason why I never say my age. When people ask I usually say, “I feel like I’m such and such”. I don’t want to limit myself to a number or a perception of what that age represents.  Pablo Picasso once said …

‘Youth has no age.’ Pablo Picasso

Wondrous Possibilites

Therefore, on February 28that 23:59:59, when it was about to turn into March 1stat 00:00:00, I took that moment to celebrate.  For in that moment, the world stood still and my thoughts explored the wondrous possibilities and endless joys, in that which I call; My Life.

Take your own moment, be amazed and keep this quote in the back of your mind …

‘Age does not matter, unless you are a bottle of wine’.  Paul Gauchi

Friday Two Cents: The Present Truly Is A Gift


‘In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.’ Abraham Lincoln 

‘Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.’ Buddha

‘Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.’ Steve Jobs


This week has been a reflective one. From Remembrance Day to today I have been thinking of where my life journey is leading me. Yes there are still difficult times in finding a job and trying to fulfill my calling as a teacher, and yes this is not what I envisioned my life to be like. Yet I put up my outdoor lights in preparation for Christmas and in doing so it cheered me up a bit. I remember the happiness of Christmas and the experiences I have lived and they made me smile.
Those memories reminded me that life is not worrying about what might or has happened. But to live the moment for each moment is different and precious.
Therefore I decided to take on a few art projects that make me happy.   I plan to share those final results and the moments but in doing them I will feel alive and I will try to concentrate on the present. For just as the name suggests; the present, truly is a gift.


Life is Journey of endless possibilities.

Life is Journey of endless possibilities.

‘The purpose of our lives is to be happy.’ Dalai Lama


‘God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.’ Voltaire


‘Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.’ Confucius

Friday Two Cents: A Week Of Great Difficulty And Inspiration


I have not posted anything for the past week because of a series of events that have been a bit overwhelming to say the least. This week has been one of surprises, renewal and confirmation of a lot of things in my life.

To begin with, my family has been surprised by a great trial that would challenge anyone’s soul. My father suffered a mini stroke. We took him straight away to the hospital and after a week of surgery, two more mini strokes, CT & MRI scans and working on getting the right medication for him, he is feeling a lot better. He is not home yet but he is on the road to recovery with no diminished cognitive function, Thank God. To say that this week has been a trial for my family would be understating it.

On top of that I am in the middle of my final block practicum at teachers college. I was within 10 days of finishing when this all happened. Mind you I must say that everyone has been supportive and I welcome the distraction of working with the students to help keep my mind busy. And even though the students know nothing about what is happening within my life I want to be the best teacher I can for them. You see I truly believe that they deserve that much and I received a couple of reminders this week on how life is so precious and special. Without even asking or expecting it, two students came up to me and said, “Mr. Gauchi, You are an Amazing teacher.” I was surprised and a bit silenced by their honesty.

These students are in the early primary grades and they always speak from a place of honesty and innocence that you cannot ignore. I said thank you to them and their smiles were so wonderful to see. But it does not stop there, another student the following day came up to me out of the blue and said, “Mr. Gauchi, you are a great artist. I want to be an artist like you when I grow up.” Wow, this time I was really shocked into silence. This little girl said it so genuinely and with such a big smile I could not help but feel moved by her. I said thank you and she showed me some of her drawings. You should have seen the look of pride in her face when I looked through them and said that they were all very good, which they were.

Cute girl twirling her dress

Then to top it all off, today the school finished off their spirit week with a dance for all grades and a dress down day or should I say dress up day. The theme of the dance was to wear your Sunday best and many students wore dresses and dress clothes. I for one wore a dress shirt and tie too.   We being one of the younger grades went first to the dance but once dancing, a few of the little girls wanted to dance with me. They were so cute they all reminded me of my niece. They all wanted me to spin them to show off their dress while they twirled. It was all so cute.

With all that was happening in my life these students /children reminded me of the gift that is life. This all renewed my interest in teaching the younger grades. I thought that I would want to teach the older grades but this experience has firmly made me think of teaching primary or even kindergarten. And it has also confirmed my belief that we are here to help and inspire people to be all that they can be. These students say that I have inspired them but really they have inspired me.

I guess that William Morris was right.

“The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.”  William Morris

Even with my father in the hospital, I took an interest in all the details of daily life and it ended up inspiring me.

Ailish Sinclair

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