9.41 Win Some, Lose Some

Last weekend, I met up with a friend to have a beer. The bouncer at the front door of the bar asked for ID. Now, I’m pretty sure that he was more concerned about my younger friend and just asked me to be nice. Still, that doesn’t matter because I hadn’t been ID’ed in years.

The following day, I went to the liquor store to pick up some beers for our Stories We Don’t Tell event. At the checkout, the cashier said with gusto, “Oh, that’s my dad’s favourite beer!”

So, you win some and you lose some.

Sure, I have noticed that I’m slowing down. Yeah, I’m having a hard time sleeping past seven in the morning, as though someone is warning me: Hey, you’re running out of time. I used to be a night person, which is sometimes still the case. None of this stuff really bothers me that much.

One of the things that hasn’t really changed as I’ve gotten older is the need and desire to try new things. Instead of narrowing my options and measuring things on whether they make me more comfortable, I keep figuring out new things. This doesn’t mean I don’t fail in spectacular ways or feel any less anxiety about stuff. On the contrary, I screw up all the time and no matter how much experience I gain in a certain area, I’ll still be freaking out right before doing it.


Last week I was a part of three events in four days. The first was the launch for my second book. I worked very hard and was about as prepared as I possibly could be. The second was a storytelling event during National Housing Week. Working behind-the-scenes, I was more on the producing end and was very happy to be a part of this incredible event.

Things were going well so far.

The third event was the November edition of Stories We Don’t Tell. My story kinda sucked. I’m not saying that to be hard on myself. I simply wasn’t as prepared as I usually am for these events. It’s happened before where as I’m performing the story, I start editing in my head and see all the errors. Definitely takes you out of the moment. Look, it probably wasn’t as bad as I’m making it out to be, but I know what I’m capable of.

You win some, you lose some.

I think we have to fail sometimes. That night when I got home from Stories We Don’t Tell, I started working on a new story. One that might even involve some piano playing and if I completely want to swallow my pride, some singing. Both, especially the singing, are new things.

The good thing about all this, even the failing part, is that it motivates me to want to bring the house down at the next event. I mean, just try something different - sure it stings a bit when it doesn’t work out. That’s the thing about time, it passes by.

The other good thing about getting older is understanding where your energy should be focused. I did a storytelling event a couple of years ago and the organizer kept pushing me to do funny voices during the performance. I did them and felt like an idiot. There’s a difference between getting out of your comfort zone and just understanding your limits. Apparently, one of my limits is doing funny voices.

I have an enormous amount of anxiety over many things, but that doesn’t stop me from putting myself out there in weird and different ways. And I say this because, if I can do it, so can you. What’s the worst that could happen? Some you’ll win, others you’ll lose.

All I know is that I’ll be going to that bar more often with the bouncer who ID’ed me.

Paul Dore