To resolve or not to resolve? That’s a question that Jon would probably answer with a coin toss.
The cameraman and I first spotted Jon near Chinatown carrying a big canvas and wearing what one normally wears in the summer. He told us he was visiting Victoria from Calgary where he dresses in shorts and flip flops all year round – until the temperature drops to minus 30.
He then revealed his vacation planning was just as unconventional. He and his wife ended up here because of the flip of a coin. She wanted to go to the Okanagan. He wanted to see Vancouver Island. They agreed to best of three. Jon won by picking tails every time.
When the cameraman tried to get a close-up of the coin, Jon declined. “I don’t want to show you because it’s a double-tailed coin. My wife hasn’t figured it out after 30 years.”
He may have been joking about the coin, but he was serious about leaving everything to fate. “If you want to be stressed, plan your life out. (But if you live your life randomly) it’s a lot more relaxing.”
Jon says he choose to start living effortlessly after enduring a time when everything was an effort. A time when his wife and his mom were both diagnosed with cancer during the same month. “Up until then I worked hard, so it was a rude awakening and reinforced how short life is.”
Now he and his wife relish life’s random and simple moments. Which is why he bought the painting he’s carrying back to where he’s staying.
It depicts two people sitting outside on deck chairs, bundled up in big blankets. Jon says it’s exactly what he and his wife do on weekends in the winter. Despite the bitter cold, his perennial shorts and her health, they both knew there was no point planning to wait for warmer weather.
While the cameraman gets pictures of the painting, Jon mentions they found it because of fate. They spotted it in a store near Jam Café – a restaurant they decided to have breakfast at after flipping a coin.
This brings us back to that original question about New Year’s resolutions. Jon suggests we live in the moment. “Just enjoy life. Take it one day at a time. Just flip a coin and see how it goes.”
Adam Sawatsky is co-host of CTV News Vancouver Island at Five. On weekends, he hosts ‘Eye on the Arts’ on CFAX 1070.