You’re Not Atlas!

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“I tried holding the weight of the world. But I only have two hands.”

Things have felt heavy lately – you know, the heavy that weighs on your shoulders.

What’s been weighing me down?

Well, seven fucking months of a pandemic that will never go away (or so it feels), finances, stress at work – trying to find the balance of getting things done, being a good manager, dealing with staff issues (the list goes on there), finding some balance at home to do all I want to do, worrying about friends and trying to be there for them in the best way I can… I’m sure there’s a lot more I could add.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I know that no one but me has put that weight there.  There is so much on that list that I CAN NOT control.

So really, it is all on me to let roll off…

Recently, I read an article while scrolling on social media. As the universe would have it, it caught my eye.  There’s one line I keep repeating from that article: “You’re not Atlas, you don’t need to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders.”

For those of you who don’t know Greek Mythology, Atlas was given the task of holding up the heavens as punishment from Zeus for leading the Titans in their battle with the Olympian Gods for control of the heavens.

WHOA! What a HUGE punishment huh!

Why would I put that on myself? 

So, time to put the world down.  It’s not for me to hold it up.  What is for me is to remember that I am one human being, responsible for me.  I can only control how I show up and how I filter through the worries and uncontrollables. 

The rest is just simply not for me…

Until next time, may you find love, joy, let the shit that doesn’t serve you go and of course, a chance to discover YOUR 2.0!

The Art Of Doing Nothing…

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I dated a guy a million years ago that once told me “Even if you’re doing nothing, you’re still doing something.”  I used to roll my eyes at this and tell him he was nuts.  Was he though?  Not really with this particular statement.

Today, I gifted myself some time to do nothing!

No projects. No shoulds.  No have tos. No to do lists. It’s a glorious feeling!

I’m working myself up to a full day.  See, I get the guilty feeling – totally “shoulding” on myself! I have a “to do” list of projects and so little time to complete them.

M rolls his eyes at me and “begs” me to have days off with nothing to do.  I constantly “argue” that I have all these projects I want to do and only two days off work! The thing is, he’s right (don’t tell him though), none of the “to do” lists are really that important.  They are not going anywhere.  The projects, the really important ones, they really do get done.

I rarely give myself time to do nothing. Perhaps it stems from the days of being an event planner and always having to do something or be somewhere. Or perhaps it comes from my mother’s thought that if you’re doing nothing, you’re being lazy. I always feel that we need to keep busy.  Hubs tells me different – a lot!

The thought of doing nothing often scares me.  My brain begins the list of tasks, or tells me it’s something I’ve wanted to do. It gives me all the reasons why I should do that errand or project.  I often end up guilting myself into doing something – that project, that errand, or cleaning that needs doing.  I have to work really hard to tell my brain to “STOP!”  It’s totally okay to slow down, do nothing and totally replenish.

It’s like a restart, reset and a restore.  It’s a way for the body just to relax and hopefully the brain follows.

If you hear yourself say, “I just want a day to do nothing.”  Stop.  Listen.  You probably need it.  I know I  sure do.

One of my favorite cartoons from The Akward Yeti!

Until next time, my you find love, peace, joy, may you make time for nothing and of course, may you discover YOUR 2.0!

The Forty-Eighth Edition

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As I come to the end of my forty-seventh and get ready to begin my forty-eighth trip around the sun, it’s got me thinking about the seniors I work with.  See, a few of them are centurions and I am IN AWE of them.

All the seniors I work with inspire me daily to enjoy life and despite whatever is going on in the world, life is pretty darn good!

I wonder what it’s like being a hundred plus years young.  The things they’ve seen, experienced and done is amazing.  Two world wars, as well as the invention of the automobile, the first flights, and for one of the centurions, they have now seen two pandemics.  SO. MUCH. HISTORY!!!

As I start my approach to half a century, I too realize, I’ve been witness to many amazing historical events such as the fall of the Berlin Wall, the end of the Cold War, Dessert Storm, a new century, Barak Obama for president just to name a few (if I listed everything, we’d be here all day lol).  I’m old enough to remember the first television remote control, a dial phone (attached to and detached from the wall), a dial payphone that cost ten cents and the birth of the internet! 

I’m blessed to have lived a darn good life so far.  It hasn’t always been rainbows, coffee and unicorns but I really have no right to complain.  I don’t have to go hungry and I have roof over my head.  The love of a guy that’s amazing, a dog that’s super awesome and some pretty great friends.  So, yeah, life is pretty sweet.

It’s funny though how sometimes you forget this and you need a little reminder to stop and enjoy the flowers, the sunset, the sun rise, quality time with those you love and express gratitude for all of it!

So as I prepare to venture into year forty-eight – during a pandemic – I promise myself one thing this year…

Enjoy EVERY SINGLE MOMENT!!!!!

Until next time, may you find joy, love and peace. May you find gratitude in all things and enjoy life. And, above all, take time to discover YOUR 2.0!

The Meltdown

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Last week I had a meltdown.  A real doozie!  Every self defense mechanism, saboteur, and gremlin you can think of joined my pity party!  It was brutal! 

After a weekend of listening to them say what they said, I decided it was time to take control of the bus once more and start driving again and move the gang to the back of the bus!

Life lately has been overwhelming between work (yes, I know I’m lucky to be working), worrying about finances (yes, again, I know we’ve got it better than others), lack of connection and toss in one hundred forty-two days of a pandemic and voila, you’ve got one hell of a cocktail!

Did you read that number right? Yup, one hundred forty-two days since we’ve really been living in a pandemic world.  I had a moment there – I had to let that number soak in.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m super grateful that both M and I have continued working throughout this.  We’ve continued to remain healthy, we can pay the bills, feed us and the dog. Is there anything left over after the essentials?  Nope, not much, and that weighs on me too.  AND, breathe! 

I think I speak for many of us that by now we have pandemic fatigue!  It’s a real life thing. Search it and you’ll find a series of articles and links to back the phrase up.   (Please note that the link is to one of many and I am not paid to link it. I found it an interesting read).

That’s totally the back bone, in my opinion, to this meltdown.  I’m just freaking tired!  I’ve got pandemic fatigue. I long for life to find normality again.  I long to be mask free at work so the seniors I work with know who they’re talking to.  I long to just have a larger group of friends over.  I long to go to a concert again or a play or see some sort of festival. Better still, I long to travel again!

I know I will enjoy all those activities again – one day.  One day our new normal will feel normal.  Masks may be the way of the future for many things and maybe we ditch handshaking (personally, I’m good with a “Namaste”).  Who knows, I certainly don’t.  My crystal ball is a little cloudy right now lol.  One day life won’t feel as restricted as it does right now.

So what does one do to re-energize themselves?  Well, I had some of my bubble peeps over. Those I trust, knowing they too have been doing everything they can to stay safe.  We shared a meal together, laughed, played games, drank and really enjoyed the connection of being together. 

And that, my friends is one sure way to battle this damn fatigue!

Until next time, my you find joy, peace, love, connection and of course, a chance to discover YOUR 2.0!

A Little Fluff

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I stare at the blank page in front of me wondering what the hell to write these days?

My mind has got the worst case of writer’s block EVER!  I have been struggling with what to put on this page next?

Last week, I had a video call with my counselor – a LONG, very overdue session.  While I know I could have booked sessions with her over the last few months, I was holding off to wait for my new benefits to kick in – but I really couldn’t wait another second longer to let off steam, say everything that I have been struggling with from work issues to personal struggles and a whole lot of other stuff in between!

One of the many items on the list to fit in our hour together was talking about my writing.  My question to her was, “With everything going on in the world, who wants to read a fluff piece or if I address the world’s stage right now – what the frick do I even say?”

Her answer was so simple and yet very on point.  “Maybe we all need to stop and read a little fluff right now to help us work through the heavy stuff.”

So, maybe, I do have something to write about after all or maybe not however, what I do know is sometimes, just sometimes, we need a little fluff!

The world, to me, is feeling really heavy right now.  There is so much to address to make the present and the future a whole lot better in all facets of this vast planet we call home.  I may not know where to start, what to say or how I can make the world safer, happier, or healthier but I do know this – I have a part to play.

For now, that just may be by writing about nothing – no insight, no big “ah-ha” moment, no grand quote, talk about anything – just a bit of fluff – enough to take a small break to pause, reflect, reset and then restart again.

Until next time, I wish you love, peace, health, a bit of fluff and of course, an opportunity to discover YOUR 2.0.

Things I’ve Learned During A Pandemic

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Prior to the pandemic being classified as an actual pandemic, I brushed off what was happening on the other side of the world. For me, what was going on miles and miles away was tragic and sad yet it didn’t seem quite real because it was so far away – until it was not. The reality of what is happening today hit me like a ton of bricks!

Like everyone, life changed over night. Our international students were sent home. Hubs, a food service delivery driver was being deemed an essential worker. I was hired for a new position, also as an essential worker, starting a week after I would have been laid off from my previous job. Life around me became surreal to put it mildly. I watched the world litterally shut down!

As I watched the WHO, leaders around the world and chief medical officers report on what was happening abroad and locally, I became facinated by the world’s response and quite frankly, often found myself saying “WTF?” Honestly, I still drop a WTF while watching the news around the pandemic. I try really, really hard not to judge and yet, I have to stop myself from doing just that.

However, through this, I’ve realized that, it’s how I chose to respond to the situation and the world around me as it changes. I can’t stop this virus however, I can do my part to keep those I love and care for safe and healthy.

So here’s what I’ve learned from this pandemic some very serious and some really humourous:

  • Perspective is everything
  • I’ve never been “stuck” at home, I’ve been safe at home
  • I don’t have to be socially distanced as long as I remain physically distanced
  • I have to stand in line to go grocery shopping – at least there is food to buy (could you imagine waiting and there would be NO food?)
  • There is always something to be grateful for
  • If I didn’t already have it, I probably didn’t really need it
  • How others choose to respond is out of my control
  • My freedoms have never been taken away from me, I have been provided options to stay safe and healthy (and well, quite frankly the opportunity to keep living)
  • One way isles at the grocery store is the smartest thing ever
  • I can help those I care about remain healthy, simply by staying home
  • I should have invested in Zoom stocks lol
  • I will strive to never take my life for granted again
  • Online shopping is addicting
  • Wine and coffee memes really make me laugh
  • Virus memes also make me laugh and I’m not apologising for that either
  • Self care is super important – especially when your usual self care tools are unavailable
  • Ocean therapy and playing in the dirt make you feel alive
  • Connection is equally important – don’t put it off – even an emoji text works
  • I miss hosting dinner parties
  • I didn’t need a pandemic to remind me to wash my hands – although now I wash them a hundred times more
  • If you need support, ask for it. Your mental health is SO important
  • Everyone has different coping mechanisms
  • I can’t wait to hug friends again
  • I long to have a coffee date with a friend
  • Hair stylists should be considered an essential service
  • I miss massages, chiropratic adjustments, and pedicures
  • Wine is not fruit juice (okay, well, maybe it is)
  • Coffee is key to my (and others) survival
  • I long to go out on a date night again
  • “Normal” will happen again, it may look different and we’ll adapt
  • Someone still stacked the intention cards
  • Maybe my mum was right, I was in the loo when God handed out patience
  • I need more sage

Whatever it is that you’ve learned from this time, I hope you’ll take it with you moving forward through post pandemic life. May you stop to find love, peace, understanding, patience, and of course, an opportunity to find your 2.0!

Pandemic Gratitude

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Pandemic gratitude – doesn’t that sound strange??!!

At the beginning of 2020, like most of you, I had a very different plan for the year. It certainly did not include crazy wildfires, a pandemic or crazy ass huge hornets!

I’ve been feeling a lot like this:

Yet, here we are and I’m still trying to figure out a way to keep going with my intentions and plans for this year – they just look a little (okay, a lot) different than I imagined. Now, to navigate through it.

This year I started the gratitude project. I had done similar in the past but this year, I wanted it to be truly genuine, not just the usual stuff. I really vowed to put some thought into this.

I usually end each of my GROOVE classes asking everyone to find three things to be grateful for on that particular day. It doesn’t need to be profound; I suggest, it can be as simple as “I got up this morning.” While I believe that to be very true, personally, I was looking for more.

Every night, M and I share our three things to be grateful for each day. When I asked him to join me in this practice (with no pressure), I didn’t think he would do it. Generally this isn’t his kind of thing. However, he’s usually the one that starts the conversation! Which, if you knew him, is pretty awesome!

I always wanted there to be that “one big thing” to be grateful for – not just a “cop out” kind of thing such as I am grateful to have had a good day at work – not that there is anything wrong with that. I wanted the kind of stuff I’d write down in our thrive life jar or part of my top five things to be grateful for posts. You know, the stuff such as spa days, weekends away or whatever else I’d think of as “big.”

However, the last little while, those “big” things have not been available AND I’ve realized that they were not really that important (don’t get me wrong though, I can not wait to get a massage or finally get my hair cut)! It’s really the things that, in the past, I can now admit I took for granted. It’s the fresh realizatiion that truly, there is always something to be grateful for!

So, right here, right now, here’s what I’m truly grateful for in no particular order:

  •  I woke up this morning
  • I’m breathing
  • I’m healthy
  • My job
  • M and R
  • Friends I can still connect with on technology
  • A fridge and freezer filled with food
  • Our home
  • Coffee until it’s time for wine
  • Chocolate
  • Flour and yeast
  • Toilet paper
  • I’m safe at home
  • This blog
  • A heart that knows deep down, I’m truly blessed

Until next time, may you find love, joy, peace, happiness, gratitude and as always, an opportunity to discovery YOUR 2.0!

I Cried Today…

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I cried today
For the life I never thought I took for granted
For the friends I long to see & hug

I cried today
For the businesses I frequented
For the class I can not teach

I cried today
For the celebrations that have to be celebrated at a later date
For the house filled with friends that feel more like family

I cried today
For the routine I never knew I’d miss
For the students we hosted

I cried today

Then, somehow I found a way to smile
For the friends I am able to connect with thanks to technology
For the gift of bread from a neighbour

I smiled today
For the gifted plant that brings me joy
For the distance visit with friends I hold dear

I smiled today
For the food I cooked and could share
For the time in the garden with my hands in the dirt

I smiled today
For the quality time with my two favourite guys
For the knowledge I truly am safe at home

I smiled today
For the jobs we still have
For the ability to still pay our bills

I smiled today amid the tears and the heartache I feel
I smiled today in hopes that one day I’ll see the life I want to appreciate more than I ever thought possible.

Until next time, may you find joy, love, peace, time to cry, time to smile and of course, a chance to discover your 2.0!

So You’ve Been Told To Work At Home… Now What?

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I used to think working at home was a piece of cake… until I started a business and worked out of my home office.  It was a whole new set of rules. I had to learn real quick how to be efficient and motivated. Some days were a breeze, others, not so much.

I remember my mom helping me out while I was away at a conference. Upon my return she said to me, “Geez, I had no idea how hard you worked.”  I laughed and asked if she thought I watched T.V. and ate candy waiting for the phone to ring.  She quickly said, “No, but still, how do you do it?”  I often asked myself that same question!

Fast forward to 2020, suddenly, your world, my world, our world changed.  You’ve been sent home… to work during this pandemic.  Now what?

I don’t know about you, but, it sure feels really easy to get into holiday or weekend mode right now.  Wearing pajamas all day, sleep in and maybe eat extra treats and not get enough water. Not that there’s anything wrong those – except maybe the water – we need to stay hydrated!

How do you navigate through kids, pets and perhaps a significant other working at home as well as you?  Carefully, very carefully lol!

Working at home brings challenges at the best of times, never mind during a pandemic with anyone else at home and wanting your attention even more than usual. For those who have never worked from home until now, it may feel difficult navigating through this new experience. 

In hopes to assist with balancing this new world for you, I came up with a few tips, tricks and thoughts on how to stay motivated and focused when you still need life to be, well, life.

No matter what type of work you do, there’s an expectation of getting things done within a time frame.  I hope these suggestions inspire you to find a way to keep on working!

Set up a designated work space or office – personally, I believe this is key to working at home successfully.  You’ll need to have a space dedicated to your work needs.  Somewhere you can spread out and hopefully not worry that your work papers get coloured on, subject to juice spills or get mixed up with someone else’s work. It doesn’t have to be perfect.  It can be an actual desk, a table and chair or a spot on the dining room table.  It’s even better if you can have this space set up so you can walk away from it at the end of your day without having to pack it all up.

Image by William Iven from Pixabay

Keep your regular hours – if you have set working times, try to stick to that.  It makes it feel more like you’re really working rather than just doing tasks randomly. If you usually log on to your computer at 8:30, then try to continue that. Be sure to “leave” at the end of your work day.  You still need to live and not feel like work is impeding on your home life.

Set and stick to your usual routine – Setting and sticking to your usual morning routine is going to help keep some sort of normal feeling in your life.  If you get up at a certain time, go to bed at a certain time – keep doing that.  With the exception of maybe the school run, try to keep the schedule as per usual. In our house for example, we’re up at 4:30 in the morning – yes, I know an ungodly hour for most!  This allows for M to walk the pooch while I do a yoga practice, journal and just set my tone for the day.  Then we have a coffee together before we head off to work (currently we both work in jobs classified as essential, so we are able to get out of the house which definitely feels more “normal” right now). We did keep this routine when I worked at home.

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

To list or not to list – I am totally a “to do” list kinda gal.  I always feel motivated to cross off items on that list AND I am be especially excited if I don’t ADD anything to that list or if I actually cross off every single item – no pressure though!  It’s like a little reward for all the hard work! Having said this, cut yourself a little slack, you may not get it all do and that’s A-OK!

What time of day do you excel – I work best and most efficiently in the morning. Always have been a morning person (yup, I was the kid who would wake their parents up at 6am on a Saturday morning)! However, once three pm comes, I’m usually spent.  I often have to find a little extra motivation for myself to keep going and hope that I would keep any errors to a minimum. I often wondered how my past clients would have reacted when I asked them to sing their contracts rather than sign them!!  I was always grateful I caught that error before hitting send!!  You know what time of day you’re at your best – that’s when you schedule in the important stuff.

Set a timer and take breaks – I did this recently while reading new policies and procedures for my new job.  Set a time for an hour then get up (even if I was not quite done the page), move around, stretch, replenish my water and/or get a snack.  It’s a good way not to get bogged down and allow for opportunity to share your time with others – like the kiddos needing your attention, the dog wanting a pet or time to scroll through social media. I really wished I had thought this one years ago!

Take time to connect – working at home can be lonely and feel isolating.  It’s important to find others to connect with – they don’t necessarily have to be in your field, they can be fellow business owners, a mastermind group, or connect with others on your team.  Remember, they’re in the same boat you are.  If the dog starts barking or the kids start screaming, be patient and understanding – if nothing else, you’ll get a good laugh!

Be realistic with your expectations – these really are strange and unprecedented times.  Navigating through this requires a whole new set of skills if you ask me!  Don’t pressure yourself into feeling as though you have to be super human (honestly, we don’t need to put that on ourselves at any time).  Be gentle with yourself, be understanding of others, and above all, make time to take care of yourself!  If it doesn’t all get done today, tomorrow will be fine.  If you need to spend some extra time with the kiddos, the pets or take an hour to scroll through social media, then do it.  Right now, we all need to do the best we can and that’s just perfect.

To All The Yous…

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“A friend. A friend is someone we turn to when our spirits need a lift. A friend is someone we treasure, for friendship is a gift. A friend is someone who fills our lives with beauty, joy and grace. A friend makes the world we live in a better and happier place. Thank you for being my friend.” —Anonymous

Today marks the fourth anniversary of my mumma’s death.  It’s a day that conjurs up a whole lotta feelings, thoughts and memories.

This year, it’s the memories of the friends that feel more like family that supported me during that time.  Those that kept me going when I didn’t think I could go any further, those that reminded me to breathe when for a moment I forgot.  I’m not sure I ever truly thanked each of you for your part in my mere survival at that time.

I want to express how grateful I am for each of the YOUs that supported (and continue to) me!

  • You supported me even when your anxiety got the better of you
  • You sent me a video while I was sitting at her bedside in the hospital telling us how much you loved us
  • You cleaned the mess in her apartment before I arrived so I wouldn’t have see what really happened
  • You did her laundry when I couldn’t
  • You sent me love texts when you were going through your own family crisis
  • You brought her dinner in the hospital when I had to go back home to Victoria
  • You called to make sure I was doing the best I could
  • You blessed me with your unconditional love
  • You offered comfort when I thought there was none
  • You paused your family vacation to come to her celebration of life
  • You helped me keep the vultures at bay
  • You gifted her teas and treatments
  • You picked up her meds
  • You brought me flowers – just because
  • You helped me pay for endless ferry rides
  • You cleaned up the sugar
  • You drove me to and from the ferry multiple times
  • You told your boss a friend needed you and drove me to her on that day
  • You let me crash as your house
  • You made me go out for a night to be distracted
  • You helped me clean out her appartment
  • You helped me celebrate her life
  • You made sure I remembered to laugh
  • You bought her furniture so it could have a second life
  • You helped me sell some of her belongings
  • You helped me make some choices when I just could not
  • You encouraged me to sell some of her stuff
  • You came with me to close all her accounts
  • You accompanied me on ferry trips
  • You graciously accepted a token memory of hers
  • You hugged me, cried AND laughed with me
  • You let me call you in tears
  • You offered me a whiskey when I needed it most
  • You brought me food and made me eat when that was the last thing I wanted to do
  • You came to appointments in Vancouver with me
  • You supported me through all the firsts (even the seconds, thirds and now fourths)
  • You see me, you hear me, you love me

“The best kind of people are the ones that come into your life and make you see the sun where you once saw clouds. The people that believe in you so much, you start to believe in you too. The people that love you, simply for being you. The once in a lifetime kind of people.” —Anonymous

To the YOUs that have been there for me through the before, during and after, and are a constant support now, I thank you.  You mean more to me than I can put into words.

So during this time of contemplation, tears, memories and yes, even laughter, know that YOU made an impact on my life more than you may ever know. I am forever and always grateful to you!

Until next time, may you find love, joy, peace, find comfort from the yous in your life and as always, an opportunity to discover your 2.0.