Back to It

After months off due to COVID-19, kids rugby at James Bay was finally re-opened. It was off for so long that I wasn’t sure if my kids were ever going to play rugby again. I took the kids and Mom to the MacDonald Park in the morning. Kids were in their cleats ready to go. Mom was also ready with her MP3 player loaded with songs she could dance to. The Mini Rugby Group did a great job assigning kids into their perspective groups and spacing them out. Serena had a hard time starting, but got over it quickly and found herself again in the field. Griffin looked like a big kid as he was able to focus and listen to his coach’s instructions. I was chilling at the sideline with Cole in the sun talking about kids, parents and summer plans.

A great day!

Family Gem

It was family jamming session after dinner tonight. We started out singing Lost Boy in the closet, which was kind of strange but fun. I shared with the kids some tunes I’ve been enjoying lately: G Em Am D. I shared it with the kids, and they liked it too. I proposed we write a song together using this tune. Serena went to work immediately. I was surprised by how quickly she was able to come up with meaningful and lovely lyrics. Griffin helped by making sure the lyrics sounded good and climbing all over me and the guitar while I was playing. Here is the four lines we came up with tonight. Needless to say, I was beyond proud of my little munchkins.

Family Gem

G Em Am D

We are a family, in perfect harmony.

Our love is like a fire, that burns until the end.

Many things we can do, but only when together.

Tomorrow will be brighter, with the sun above the seas.

More to come.

System and Organizational Levels

Today at work, our discussion led to me digging out an old information framework I put together back when I first started with CIHI. The framework consisted of three views: System, Organizational and Technical. Each view consisted of categories, and each category contained information elements. For example, the Structure category was under the System view and contained information elements such as Health System Configuration and Government. Question was raised from my colleagues on the difference between System and Organization Views. It’s been so long since I touched the framework and I didn’t have any good answers to the question. I felt bad for not coming up an answer, so I started to search the literature I reviewed back in 2018 when I worked on the framework. I didn’t come up anything successfully; however, I found an article from Implementation Science on This article talked about the different characteristics from organizational and system levels that influenced implementation of shared decision-making. I thought the content was worthwhile to share.

System and Organizational Characteristics (2018)

According to the authors (Scholl, LaRussa, Hahlweg, Kobrin and Elwyn), organizational-level characteristics influencing the implementation of SDM (shared decision-making) has six main categories: organizational leadership, culture, teamwork, resources, priorities and workflows. Five of the six categories also included some subcategories of characteristics. Besides the six main categories of organizational-level characteristics, there were four system-level characteristics that could influence implementation: incentives, policies and guidelines, culture of health care delivery, and healthcare provider education and licensing.

This information is helpful to shift some of the categories and elements identified in my framework and realign them in both system and organizational views.

Reference: Scholl, LaRussa, Hahlweg, Kobrin and Elwyn (2018). Organizational- and system-level characteristics that influence implementation of shared decision-making and strategies to address them – a scoping review. Accessed from:

Second Tooth!

Griffin was having his Chinese class with Nai Nai today. I was making dinner. Then I heard this scream and out came Griffin holding his tooth. He was telling me how he was eating a chip and the chip bumped his tooth off. He showed me his new tooth hole right next to the one that was empty from a couple of days ago. Three days, two teeth! Way to go, Griff!

Also, I cooked dinner on my own tonight. Normally, I cook with Mom. Since Mom’s with Griffin at Chinese class, I cooked without her help. It tasted pretty good actually. I’m getting a handle of this whole culinary thing 🙂

My Little Red Violin

Griffin has asked to learn how to play violin. I was delighted because I used to play violin when I was younger. I brought up my old violin that my Dad brought with him last time he visited. Although it was too big for Griffin, Anya had it fixed so that I could pick it up again one day. I told the kids if they ate all their dinner, I’d play the violin for them. They ate all their dinner, so I played.

It felt like a trip down the memory lane when I opened the case. Tuning the strings and tightening the bow brought me right back to when I was 9 and attending violin lessons. I found “do re mi fa so la ti do” on the violin and that was about all I could do for the kids. They liked it, and we followed up with some guitar strumming (me) and flute playing (Serena). It was fun.

I hope Griffin continues with violin and we could all play our musical instruments after dinner one day. It seems like a fun family activity together.

Hike and Tooth

Today is the last day of February.

Today we went on our only hike of the month. It was at Francis/King Regional Park. We went with the Kwasnicas and Griffin’s little buddy, Cater.


Also, Griffin lost his first tooth today.

First tooth out.
Up and coming.

Kind of a big day to wrap up February. Hope March will be a good one too.

The Ride of a Lifetime

Today I finished Bob Iger’s book: The Ride of a Lifetime – Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company. I enjoyed it very much. Now I can’t look at another Disney movie without thinking about Iger’s journey. Similar to how I shared Bob’s 10 principles to true leadership when I first started reading this book, I’m going to share some highlights from his Appendix on Lessons to Lead by:

  • Now more than ever: innovate or die. There can be no innovation if you operate out of fear of the new.
  • Excellence and fairness don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Strive for perfection but always be aware of the pitfalls of caring only about the product and never the people.
  • True integrity – a sense of knowing who you are and being guided by your own clear sense of right and wrong – is a kind of secret leadership weapon.
  • Value ability more than experience, and put people in roles that require more of them than they know they have in them.
  • Don’t be in the business of playing it safe. Be in the business of creating possibilities for greatness.
  • Don’t let ambition get ahead of opportunity. …… It’s important to know how to find the balance – do the job you have well; be patient; look for opportunities to pitch in and expand and grow; and make yourself one of the people, through attitude and energy and focus, whom your bosses feel they have to turn to when an opportunity arises.
  • Pessimism leads to paranoia, which leads to defensiveness, which leads to risk aversion.
  • Treating others with respect is an undervalued currency when it comes to negotiating. A little respect goes a long way, and the absence of it can be very costly.
  • What people think of you is what they’ll think of your company.
  • When hiring, try to surround yourself with people who are good in addition to being good at what they do. Genuine decency – an instinct for fairness and openness and mutual respect – is a rarer commodity in business than it should be, and you should look for it in the people you hire and nurture it in the people who work for you.
  • If you’re in the business of making something, be in the business of making something great.
  • Hold on to your awareness of yourself, even as the world tells you how important and powerful you are.

I look forward to introducing my kids to read this book. There are so many lessons in this book for everyone.

A Talk about Light Years

Today was Serena’s turn to be the Special Helper of her class. The theme of this third round of Special Helpers is We Are Scientists! Students are encouraged to bring in something Science-related to share with the class. Serena chose to do a presentation on space. Since the topic of space is too broad, we landed on something specific and explainable within the allowed time: light years.

I criticized Serena for leaving this to the last minute to prepare last night. Hope she’ll learn the lesson and start the prep work much earlier for future projects. For a last minute project, I thought she did a fantastic job. I might have been a little bit hands-on in this project, but she could use the help. Here is the PowerPoint slides Anya and I helped her put together.

Ms. Mcintyre said she did an astounding job and shared the video of her presentation on FreshGrade. Seeing Serena gives a presentation in front of her classmates gave me so many feels!

So proud of her.


Today was Day 15 of our quarantine. I was planning on running over to my in-laws to surprise the kids. The plan was still valid until we got about 25cm of snow overnight. Since I haven’t left the house in the last 14 days, I couldn’t wait any longer to get out. It took about an hour to walk to my in-laws, and it was incredible to see and hug my love ones. Serena and Griffin were super happy to see me. Their excitement made me teary eyed. It was so nice to hug and kiss Anya again. I’ve missed her touches. My eternal gratefulness to my in-laws, who supported us tremendously through this weird and difficult time.

Loved and blessed.

My walk to see family
Hugging the kids for the first time after quarantine
Shoveling my in-laws’ driveway

Quarantine Day 12

I came across the same image as yesterday’s What Makes a Good Data Visualization from the Information is Beautiful website. This one is used to display Ikigai:


According to the Wikipedia, Ikigai is a Japanese concept that means “a reason for being”. The word refers to having a direction or purpose in life, that which makes one’s life worthwhile, and towards which an individual takes spontaneous and willing actions giving them satisfaction and a sense of meaning to life.

Here are other views of Ikigai in the more traditional look of Venn diagram:


Ikigai is a great concept in finding purpose and happiness in life. It is what gets us up every morning and keeps us going. It was said that if we can find pleasure and satisfaction in what we do and we are good at it, we have found our Ikigai. Having an awareness of Ikigai, I hope to find mine one day.