Casey Palmer x Quaker Canada Present — “Goodness Starts Today” Part Two: So Long, and Thanks for the Sandbanks

Growing up, the most my family dealt with the outdoors was around our Mississauga neighbourhood with bike rides by the Credit River, or horsing around with our friends at the nearby park when we weren’t too busy with cartoons or video games. Some reasons for this were obvious — even as a Black family without a huge Black community surrounding us, it still wasn’t “something we did”, spending what vacation time my parents could cobble together on other local attractions, like Niagara Falls’ Marineland or Vaughan’s Canada’s Wonderland.

I mean, sure we changed it up sometimes — we spent time at Myrtle Beach with our aunt and took a family trek down to Jamaica to appreciate better where our parents came from, but we were city kids. We knew bus stops and suburb blocks, shopping malls and streetcars… we grew up with the frenetic pace of The Big Smoke, thinking that’s just how life was.

Sarah, however, sees different.

GIVEAWAY POST: “Goodness Starts Today” — How Quaker Canada Got Me Thinking About Family Life in a City That Never Sleeps

Here in The Big Smoke, we too often wear our busy lives on our sleeves like badges of honour, losing sight of what’s real and important in the endless pursuit of material wealth. I know this — I’ve been there; I spent much of my 20s in an endless haze with my banker buddies as we filled our lives with lavish meals, top-shelf liquor, and parties at hot spots well outside my pay scale. I was busy living life, yes… but with all these fleeting things I couldn’t hold , making me no greater a man than I’d started before emptying my wallet time and again.

It took me entirely too long to appreciate that life is about the time we spend with the people we love, and we need to spend more time living for these moments while they’re still here. Not tomorrow, not next week — today, whether it’s a phone call, a visit, or anything that you can all look back on years from now with a smile on your face and warmth in your heart!

Since becoming a Dad, I’ve only appreciated this more, I’m lucky compared to many parents I know in the GTA — with a 20-minute commute to work and daycare a hop, skip and a jump away from home, I spent at least a few hours a day with my wife and son as we play, read and eat together… something many of my peers don’t really have the luxury to do. Though we definitely spend more time kickin’ it in our neighbourhood than we do doing anything extravagant, we take each day as it comes and make the most of them, because why live a life filled with regret?