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He Had Me at Goodbye

He Had Me at Goodbye

My dad’s best friend bugged me for 4 years to meet his son. Each time we’d meet or talk on the phone, Bob would tell me all about his son’s prowess, which impressed Bob much more than it impressed me. You see, Rob (yes, that’s Bob’s son) lived in the United States. Having lived all my life in a small French suburb of Montreal and now being a bank manager in the same area, I pretty much knew everybody around town. I had no intention of leaving my life behind, much less move to a different country. So why would I voluntarily put my future in a precarious position by agreeing to meet Rob?

But Bob wouldn’t take no for an answer. The more I resisted, the more he insisted. Finally I said “OK fine! I’ll meet your son once, but then I’d like you to get off my case. Deal?” Bob shook on it. A date was arranged a few weeks later, while Rob was visiting his family in Montreal.

I got ready for that date with the same enthusiasm I usually have for cleaning the garage. Despite (or maybe thanks to?) my low expectations, we had quite a nice evening together. I still thought that things wouldn’t work out, but I wanted more proof, just to be sure. You see, just like when I clean the garage, I wondered if I really hit all the corners. I felt a little curious.

Rob and MJ’s wedding by Daniel Vadim Photography

I accepted a second date, and then just to be really completely 100% sure that I had checked out every possible angle, I accepted a third. When Rob waved goodbye to me just before getting into his car to drive back to the United States, my heart started to race, my knees got weak, and the angels started to sing in my ears! Too bad, so sad for my little French suburb. I was hooked.

Seven years later, Rob and I have spoken every single day without fail. It doesn’t matter if one of us is traveling to France, England, Italy, or Australia, we have to touch base at least briefly. Today, I don’t want to imagine what my life would be like if Bob hadn’t been so annoyingly confident – something he never misses a chance to remind me by the way!

This is a story I often share in my wellness workshops because for many of us, the road to better health is very similar. Left, right, and center, we hear what we should and shouldn’t do to get healthier. The more we hear about it, the more we resent and resist it. Then one day we finally decide to give something a go, more out of defeat than conviction.

If you feel lukewarm about that initial effort, don’t give up right away. Give it at least 3 good dates and check out all the corners before you decide whether it is for you or not. Your new healthy habit may not seem like the best fit at first try, but it may very well sweep you off your feet before you say goodbye! 😉

  • Cheryl Lagunilla

    As always MJ, I really enjoy yours stories and insight. You are so right about our commitment to health. I am passing this on to all my friends and network.

  • Thanks, Cheryl! Very glad to read your enthusiasm. Thanks for spreading the good vibes!

MJ Shaar – in 20 seconds

MJ is one of the most sought-after experts blending positive psychology and health promotion. She spent over 15 years coaching, teaching, speaking, researching and testing smart health habits. Marie-Josée Shaar received her undergrad at McGill University in Organizational Behavior, followed by a Master of Applied Positive Psychology at University of Pennsylvania. She's certified as a Wellness Culture Coach, a Personal Trainer, and a Nutrition and Wellness Consultant.

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