September 1, 2014 § Leave a comment
It’s Labour Day and I just achieved an epic feat of following an incredibly long line of traffic through dark, foggy, rainy mountain roads. I was in Vancouver finishing off a road trip through BC. I had planned to stay until mid-week. But there’s something about the Labour Day long weekend that sets my wheels in motion, it’s the marker to the end of summer and feels like the right time to dive into new ideas–after a summer of fun and dreaming, there’s now just so much to DO.
That transition from thought to action is an important step for me. I don’t come by it naturally.
I spent a few days with my aunt and uncle on their boat on Vancouver Island this last week. They were teaching me about the tides and the waves and sailing their 45 ft sailboat across various types of waters. They talked about how much planning and work goes into manoeuvring their dream home through peaks and troughs of various wave cycles. They’ve got to watch the height of the water to ensure there’s enough for the 7 ft of the hull to pass safely over any rocks or other objects in the water.
All of that work and care they take to plan their journey through the depths, that’s the kind of strategy I take with moving myself from thought to action. If I left my mind to its own devices it would quite happily float up there in the clouds dreams are made of, bouncing from rosy dream to rosy dream.
Thankfully there are days like Labour Day. Ones that remind me to pause for a moment, come back down to earth and do some work in this realm.
And so, this day marks for me the first day of transition. The one where I rally my energy and my focus, carefully align my stubborn nature with my dreams and set sail towards creating what’s been simmering on my back burner for the last few months.
What am I up to? Well, a few things, but my main focus will be on exploring some pieces of history closer to home (think Prohibition and Canada’s role in smuggling alcohol across the border) tied in with a 4 week bar tending course I’ll be taking in Amsterdam in October mixed with my talent and love of the online social sphere. You can only begin to imagine what will come out of that, right? Me too! But I’m jumping in feet first!
I’m so very excited for the “doing” half of this year!
On that note… what do you know about Canadian locations where alcohol smuggling may have taken place? I’m going to need all the help I can get on this one!
May 13, 2013 § 3 Comments
Scanning my timeline on Twitter, recently, I saw my friend Stephanie in Vancouver had made a rather profound statement related to things happening in her life.
I remarked that her description of what had occurred shows that everything happens for a reason. More on Stephanie below.
Even this blog results from me meeting Wendy four years ago this month at a Website Strategy Conference in Calgary. We kept in contact and began discussing how to create an inspirational/motivational book and, voila, The Muse and Views.
It all started with a question about Twitter!
Often in the moment, especially if we’re in strife, we search for reasons of why life is unfolding as it is.
Sometimes it’s immediately obvious. On other occasions, it takes a while. Sometimes we may never know the reason. It may not be a good reason.
My career is a continuum of successive opportunities from weekly reporter to my current position as Manager of Marketing and Communications with the City of Grande Prairie.
It was a chance thing I even learned about this position being available back in the fall of 2006. I did occasionally check out the Daily Herald-Tribune online from Sault Ste. Marie to check back on the community I’d lived in for 3.5 years back in the 1980s.
But I was meant to have a second stint in Grande Prairie.
During one of my interviews for the position, I was asked why I would want to return to Alberta. I responded, “You can take the boy out of the west, but you can’t take the west out of the boy.”
Now I wasn’t yearning to return to my western roots. In fact, big changes weren’t on my radar at all. I had just been in a school board communications job full time 1.5 years, a position I had always imagined myself in.
However, I am always ready for change and opportunities. I know now that I was meant to grow in my management capabilities on a bigger stage.
Later this year, it will be 30 years since I met my wife-to-be by interviewing her for a newspaper feature. Clearly my going through the Town Directory in St. Paul and deciding to do a feature on the daycare administrator was designed to connect me to Joyce.
The statement about everything happening for a reason resonated with Stephanie: “Maybe that is why that person I was good friends with 10 years ago has all of a sudden entered my life again,” she says.
Stephanie has reflected on her own circumstances and relationships and has found herself making sense of things by putting them in perspective.
“I’m making the best of each and every day because we aren’t in godly positions to control what comes next. Letting go is the key to happiness.”
Stephanie remarked that we don’t have all the answers, especially when it comes to relationships.
That is true. There is the saying that people come into your life for a season, a reason or a lifetime and once you figure out which it is you will know what to do.
Another friend, Mandy, who lives in Quebec, found that an unsuccessful marriage has actually paved the way for the person she realizes she was meant to be.
“I wouldn’t have had the kind of work opportunities I have now. I likely would not have done much out in the community such as volunteering and serving on committees.”
Mandy recalls an incident in her childhood that has her convinced there is reason behind actions.
When she was five, her family was travelling through New York State. After hitting an icy patch, their van slid off the road and toppled over. The portion of the roof over which her infant brother had been located in his car seat was severely dented in. Luckily, her mother had removed the child to nurse him and he emerged unscathed.
All of these circumstances, either personally or stories of others make sense to me. Where I struggle with this concept of things happening for a reason, is when I cannot fathom why something has happened when everything seems so right.
A friend recently lost a child at birth. There was no sign the baby was not healthy, the umbilical cord simply strangled the baby.
I always ask myself why things like this happen to people who so richly deserve to have more children when there are so many kids born into families of abuse, poverty or to teenaged parents who can sometimes seem to get pregnant through a snow suit.
Where is the justice? My friend was so looking forward to this second child. She and her husband deserve to have as many children as they want.
Will we get the answers later on? Could the baby have had some undetected serious disease? Will it make this couple focus more on their one child? Will it make them appreciate what they have to a greater degree?
And then there were the recent bombings at the Boston Marathon. What is the reason for two brothers to carry out such heinous acts?
Their actions apparently are not linked to any higher level world issues. We do know that the spirits of Boston residents were galvanized during this ordeal. There was tragedy but also heroes. Lives were forever changed.
I attended a riveting keynote address by Amanda Lindhout, a former Canadian journalist, while at an International Association for Public Participation conference earlier this month. She told her story of being kidnapped in Somalia, tortured and released 15 months later.
Her message is one of forgiveness and she plans to find ways of improving conditions in that country.
In the bigger scheme of things, why did Amanda have to endure all of that to want to make a difference in the world?
It’s good if we can find relationships between events to make life make more sense, but we can be left scratching our heads until we have no hair if we get too wrapped up in wondering reasons behind things.
Often, we are looking for good reasons for events when there are more complex issues at stake.
The best we can do is be adaptable to situations and be ready for what life throws at us. Whatever that is may not make sense at the time, but chances are, it will in time.
It’s also a reminder to take charge of as much as we can in our lives.
The late Peter Drucker, a renowned management consultant, educator and author Peter once said, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”