Bottle It Up

Bottle It up.png

I’ve recently been on the road for work for what feels like weeks and weeks. When in fact, its only been two weeks of travel. The travelling life is not as glamourous as Instagram makes it out to be. The airport shots of our luggage, the Starbucks coffees, the perfectly manicured nails…. yea, it is far from that. I don’t take for granted the opportunities I’m being afforded with my business and how travelling makes me feel (when there are no snow storms and flight delays/cancellations which has been my travelling life as of late). I really do love travelling. Just the right amount of it.

I get some of my best ideas when I’m travelling. I’m not sure if its because the time on the plane without a phone allows my brain to fully relax. Or because when I travel, I’m taking in new sights and experiences so my brain is on creative overdrive.

In my recent trip to Ottawa, during a snow storm around dinner time, I put on my winter parka and went for a walk and man, despite the blowing snow in my face and the crazy looks I was getting by drivers passing slowly by me, were the ideas ever a swirling around in my head.

I find this too whenever I’m travelling with Andrew down the 401 in our hauls from Guelph to the farm. The long stretch of highway, knowing how far we’re going and how much time I have to just ‘be’ makes me feel at ease. The ideas come rolling out of me when I have time to process my thoughts.

I (finally) have time to read all those open tabs on my laptop, read 100+ pages of a book in one sitting or take in hours of a podcast that I’ve been dying to listen too.

I wish I could bottle up this energy I seem to harness when I’m travelling. I wish I could also bottle up all of these ideas I have floating around in my head since I started my business late last summer. The notes pages I’ve ended up scribbling down are far too many and its not the ideas I come up with that I’m in love with – it’s the action I want to take out of them. I want to actually DO something with all of these ideas I’ve seem to have bottled up.

Anyone else with me?! #BottleUpmyBrain

Side note: this highway photo above is one I snapped from a recent trip to Mont Tremblant with Andrew. MT is one of our most favourite places and this was one of the BEST trips we’ve taken in years. There is just something about those Laurentian mountains that sets our souls on fire and makes us feel at ease. 💕

Living in a Calculated World

Stories From a Country Girl

Its hard to believe it was 10+ years ago I first entered the world of blogging.

I look back on those days fondly.

{Now I know how most seniors feel when they talk the good ol’ days.. you know, those days before smartphones, technology and all this craziness}

But in all seriousness, even 10 years ago, the digital sphere was a different time.

(OK, now I definitely sound like a senior).  This may be the first blog post that ‘dates me’ as a human. Sigh.

Yes, it’s been that long since my ‘Stories From a Country Girl’ days for those blog readers who have so loyally followed me here all the way from then, to my Passionate Voice blog and now to my new home. Thank you to those readers for your continual support and readership throughout all these years 🙏 Even if there are only 6 of you 😉

I’ve been doing a ton of listening, conversing and reflecting throughout the month of January for work. It has me thinking of how we’re living in such different times than even a short 10 years ago from so many standpoints – in life, in work, with social media, technology, consumer behavior, disruption, the list goes on.

I’ve been thinking long and hard lately about the role of social media and the impact it has on our lives and our mental health. Its something that bombards us and inundates us both personally and professionally every day. We’ve never been properly trained in it and the research isn’t quite there yet to show the long-term lasting effects, yet we continue to use it at such rapid rates. I see firsthand and realize its benefits but I also see the cautions we need to talk about more, to engage productively and healthily with our social media feeds.

And this comes from someone who does social media for a living!

Even blogging 10 years ago was a completely different landscape. It wasn’t so ‘calculated’ as the entire world now is with blogging and social media. When we were blogging back in ‘those days’, we didn’t have to have well-curated graphics that had consistent branding with the ‘right’ fonts. We didn’t care about likes/followers, we just blogged about what we thought about and cared for and if the likes followed, then great but that wasn’t the end goal. We didn’t care about promoting our messages beyond our followers, trying to make our content ‘salesy’ for people to eat up and then buy from us. Hell, we didn’t even give the proper credit for graphics/photos when we searched on Google and used them for our blog posts.

Side note: If you previously read my SFACG blog when I first started, yes, the image above is my old header and no, I didn’t end up purchasing the image for $20 but I am at least giving image credit below 😉

I sometimes wish we had that type of freedom again.

To read blogs written in the ‘old school way’ of blogging. Or think in that easygoing way #FreeThinking. Or blog in the carefree way, whenever we wanted too, without the branding, the content calendar and the perfectly placed hashtags. Blogging in a world where we didn’t have to worry that if you said something that not everyone agreed with, you didn’t have to face the social media wrath you probably would today. I wish we all had that freedom to only care about ourselves and what we thought. And not in a selfish, narcissistic way, but a way that was healthy for us. A time where if you had something to say and wanted to passionately say it, you just said it (HECK YES!)

I really do wish some days we were living in a less calculated world. I miss those days of off-the-cuff randomness. Whose with me?

[Image Source]

Our Someday List - part I

Someday List

We all have a ‘someday’ list.

Whether that is a physical list we keep on our smartphone, a list we write down on a notepad, or a mental list we have stored in our heads.

A list of things we want to do.

Jobs we’d like to pursue or try [one day].  

Places we’d like to visit and discover.

New things we want to learn.

Books we want to read.

The goals we want to accomplish… someday.

Blog posts we want to write… and do.. and then they sit in the draft folder for a very long time (this is a huge problem for me!)

I clearly have a ‘someday’ list. I am the master of all list makers so of course I made a ‘someday’ list.

But slowly I’ve started realizing that while this list is a great idea, it sets expectations for a life I haven’t lived yet.

And so, I told myself this year; instead of continually adding to the list, why don’t I start DOING things off the list.

It’s what forced me, in a good way, to take the leap and step out on my own and start my own business. Because I’d always had that on my ‘someday list.

Its what motivated me to finally travel to Quebec City this fall with Andrew, after always wanting to travel to la belle province.

If there is anything parenthood has taught me, it’s that I want to start crossing things off my ‘someday’ list and actually start living the list rather than continually add to it.

Because I knew I would regret it if I didn’t start living life this way.

I realize there are restrictions and limitations to what we can do with our lists. Our dream jobs just don’t pop up. We can’t just all quit our jobs and go travelling. We would all love to spend money on experiences, yet we have to save money for our future.

So yes, we have to be realistic with what we put on our lists in the first place.

But the other lesson in all of this that I’ve tried to remember, is that we have a lifetime (hopefully!) to do all of the things on our someday list. So there is no point in rushing to get all the items done. We have a lifetime,  if we’re lucky to do them all. Of course, there are some things I am glad I got done sans children 😉

The point is, what are you doing now to cross that next item off of your ‘someday’ list if you have one?

Seize the day, friends!

… (and I’ll be back soon with part 2 as to WHY our someday list keeps growing instead of crossing items off).

Daydreaming and Boredom

Daydreaming and Boredom

These are two words you won’t hear a busy person say together very often. Or a parent.

I read these two words recently in an article and it hit me – just how much I wish I could pair these two words together in my life after a very busy fall.

I have never been a fan of ‘boredom.’ I was never that child that was ‘bored.’ I always found something to do.

And that translated into the rest of my life. I have never been bored and I never want to be bored. Period.

But it’s something that motherhood has made me wish for now. Those days as DINKS (double income, no kids) where we could get up at whatever time we wanted and do with the rest of our day how we wanted. Not on anyone else’s schedule but ours.

I miss those days of freedom pre-kid when we could let our brains ‘wander’ and daydream. Where if you got groceries and watched a movie, it was a ‘big Saturday.’ I never really appreciated parents saying this to me before kids. Now I completely get it.

The new mother in me craves these days. Especially recently. I wish I could let my brain have days where I was bored so I could only daydream. On days like Sunday’s before children, where I would get the best ideas because there was no expectation for my brain to ‘be on.’

If anything, becoming a mother and now an entrepreneur, I’m trying to train myself to daydream but in a more regimented/routine way. (Does this even make sense when you’re trying to daydream?!)

Isn’t the whole point of daydreaming to let your brain wander when IT wants too, not when YOU want it too?

Its hard to ask yourself to show up on Monday morning at your desk and ask your brain to ‘daydream’ as if its like a scheduled meeting.

But in this content-driven, communications world I’m living, now as a profession, I have to ask myself to do daydream in a more scheduled way.

Can other parents and entrepreneurs relate?

[Image Source]

Tuesday Thoughts

Well hello, there!

I've wanted to blog for a few weeks' now but never knew where to start. Isn't that something we all struggle with? Where to begin? What to do first? What to stick with? What to love the most? What to get rid of and leave behind? So much has been going on as of late, its hard to know where to start and what to share.

Springtime

There is something about this spring that has awaken me to so many new things. New things about the world around me, about people, but most importantly, about myself. The new greenery and flowers blooming, even the fresh smell of spring has awoken me in a different way than the last few years. I've happily welcomed this.

Motherhood/Back to Work #onthecampaigntrail

Its an overwhelming bittersweet time for me personally right now. I'm transitioning from my year off on maternity leave, entering back into not only the workforce, but the campaign trail. Ontario's provincial election is 23 days away on June 7th. When I began working 4 years ago in politics at Queen's Park, I knew this election time would come eventually, I just didn't think it would come this fast. Much like my time with Blake. Where did this past year really go?

Because of the transition heading back to work, it has meant closing the book on being a stay-at home mom for the past year. It has meant starting a new chapter of watching Blake transition to day care. I'm also preparing to move back home to Peterborough for a few week's while I work #onthecampaigntrail. I promise to blog about this exciting adventure in a separate post.

What the last few weeks has taught me is about sacrifice. Loving what you do for a living, while you have to watch what you've did for the past year fade into the sunset. Knowing that while it is hard to watch your child grow up, this is what life is all about.

I've been trying to soak up as many friend hangouts, family catch up's, sunsets on the dock and coffee shop visits before reality sets in next week when I officially go back to work.

I love me some routine

I've enjoyed setting up a productive routine for the past little while, knowing full-well that, that routine is going straight out the window now that the campaign has started. If there is something I have learned about myself, its that while I love new things and discovering the unknown, I thrive on routine. Don't we all as human beings? I've learned this the most from watching Blake. He loves meeting new people, taking in new things, not going to bed on time once and a while, but he pays for it a few days later. He sleeps better, eats better and you can tell he's just an overall more happier baby when he's in his routine. This is us as adults too, we just don't like to admit it.

Learning Overload 

I've been the type of person that has 100 tabs open in my browser; articles saved to read; and so many random notes about motivational TED talks written down in my notebook but it hasn't been until recently that I've wondered... is it too much? I'm not saying I want to stop learning but at some point, is it too much? If I want to speed up in the areas of my life I want to succeed it, does it mean I have to slow down in other areas of my life that don't allow me to grow? If anything, Blake has been the greatest reminder for me to slow down.

[Photo Source]