Living Life by Mattering, not Measuring

Living Life by Mattering, not Measuring

Living Life by Mattering, not Measuring

I’m just giving this a try dictating from the treadmill. I had an idea for treadmill talks so that I could work towards my goal of walking or running 2018 km in 2018.

I’m giving myself a couple bonus days at the end of December to get myself kick started and I can tell you it’s kicking my butt and I’m pretty much just walking today.

I started reading present over perfect last night and others then some differences in our stories, of how we grew up, I’m pretty sure I could’ve written the book myself. Not that I am a skilled writer or New York Times bestseller writer but her words are speaking so clearly to my heart it’s almost scary.

Have you ever had a book like that? A book that you read and wonder if they were reading your mind when they wrote it?

So far that is this book for me.

I’ve been reading Laura Casey’s 2018 goalsetting series and it’s strange because I actually have no idea what this year holds for me.

Normally I at least have an inkling an idea whether it’s a year for healing or growth or striving for growing my business or focussing on one thing or another. But the word that keeps ringing in my mind is simply “peace”

It’s not even that exciting of a word. Like shine or glory. Or bazzingga. That actually sounds like a fun word.


But I feel this pressing in my spirit to seek after peace. And the crazy thing is that peace doesn’t seem to be so much strived for; it seems to be found settling in, sitting back relaxing and being patient. All qualities that I lack.

I’m not saying it’s not work… on the contrary. For me finding peace in my heart and daily life is a much bigger ask than say meeting goals of bookings, quotas etc.

So here’s the deal, I already knew that I didn’t feel like striving for big goals this year. Not that I didn’t WANT to, the part of my story that tells me that success is based in numbers pushes hard for these goals always. But as I have been preparing to set goals for 2018, I started writing down things that I have worked for in the past, and they all felt wrong.

Not BAD, not improper, just wrong for me right now.

And that is scary for me. Like big time scary. Because if I don’t measure myself against my big list of goals. How do I know if I’m good enough? How do I know if I am a success? How do I know if I matter?


My amazing physicshiatrist Dr. Wilson often does this mean trick (it’s actually quite smart) of putting things in perspective… by using my love for my children to teach me a lesson.

If your daughter learns her letters faster, do you love her more? If she tries a new dance move and has to try a few times to get there, do you get angry with her? Does her worth get tied up with her size, hair style or what clothes she is wearing!???

Nope! Or gosh I hope not!! Cuz then we can’t be friends…

So do we feel like because we have lived longer our worth is lower? That because we’re not children we don’t matter as much? How does that math work?

This year my biggest goal is living like I matter. Like I’m valuable and important regardless of the to do list.

I’m still going to set goals.

I’m style going to make to do lists.

I’m not sure how I would function without them, but they aren’t going to be my measurement of the value of my life.

How do you want to measure 2018? Or have you thought about it?

Just a thought!

It’s My Birthday and I’ll Cry if I Want To

It’s my birthday and I’ll cry if I want to.

I often do.
Cry on my birthday that is.
It’s silly.
But it’s true.
So this year I thought that I would try to avoid the disappointment and loneliness that I often feel when no one is available to do anything because it’s such a crazy busy time of year, or people or sick, or I actually just smell really bad and no one is bold enough to tell me…
(I’m not sure it’s actually the best plan to just avoid it…but it’s the plan that I went with…)
I normally am the one that plans my own thing, and that usually feels a little silly once you hit your 30’s… (am I the only one who plans their own birthday thing? Or is that a Misconception that I have? I am learning that sometimes what it seems like isn’t really the way it is, so maybe I ask??)
So anyway my dad and Alex had a commitment on the night of my birthday (tonight) so I planned to have a nice afternoon to myself. Go out for lunch with a good book then head to the spa, come home for a Keto meal at home and do dinner with my family tomorrow night.

Last night Finn got all kinds of sick, 16 times that I counted, and probably about 3 hours of sleep when it was all said and done. So my plan to start the day off with a quiet moment, a run and a shower went out the window with that sleep. Instead the morning consisted of doing laundry and re-doing laundry (high efficiency and hecka vomit apparently don’t mix that well) and bathing a boy, and bathing him some more. More laundry, a quick shower… no hair or makeup because really what’s the point if you’re getting a facial…

Alex was running late, and things got mixed up, and when it came time I rushed out the door in my flip flops and fell. Hard. I don’t know how my left leg went behind me and scraped it’s way down the stairs, but it did. And I screamed. LOUD. And no one came. I would think that my fall would have shaken the house enough to make someone come running. I mean Keto is working well, but I’m not exactly a feather or anything!
So I crawled my way up the front stairs (yes, I see now where my daughter gets her dramatic flair… see below for her video letting us know she was sick when we were out the other night) and opened the door and just stood there and cried.
Alex had been vacuuming the kitchen with the shop vac, so he didn’t hear me.

And I just stood there stunned waiting for him to notice me standing there…. probably 10 seconds that felt like forever…but when he did look at me I broke down and reverted to a 4 year old. “I fell down the staiiiirrrrsssssssssss”
Oh the drama.

Hormones, birthday expectations, lack of sleep, and the tears came flowing down.
Alex called to cancel the spa, because it looked like an X-ray may not be a bad idea, and because I would have slapped someone for touching my foot (so no pedicure!!)

So yah… my plans fell apart, and so did I.

But I ended up being right where I needed to be, finding rest and snuggling my sick boy.

My natural thought process told me that I’ll have to lower my expectations so I’m not disappointed next year.


I’m going to make bigger plans, be better at asking for what I want, not getting stuck in my head, or making other peoples busy lives say anything about who I am. Because aim for the moon and land among the stars and all that jazz…

Oh and not fall down the stairs.

Today we’re hobbling off to the nutcracker and having a family dinner at my parents house. This weekend I’m heading to New York with my sweet friend. So even if my Birthday DAY was a bust, my actual life is amazing, and blessed, and I will enjoy it.

Bring on 34!

and note: I ended up with the flu on the next day so my birthday dinner had to be postponed, then Alex had it the next day. We had to keep going slow…and that’s ok!

Now im in NYC and I can’t get the video to load so I’ll have to share when I get home!

Merry Getting Ready for Christmas Ya’ll

Merry Getting Ready for Christmas Ya’ll

Hey Ya’ll
Yes, I say ya’ll and I live on the East Coast of Canada.
It’s definitely not the ya’ll capital of the world, but it works for me.

I know some of you will hate me for this, but Christmas is just over two months away. 
Yup, I LOVE Christmas.

I love the baking and the greenery and the love and warmth. I enjoy so much about the season; but what I love the most is how people connect. It’s the time of the year where people make more of an effort to show and tell people how they feel. The merriment, oh the merriment!
But here’s the thing friends…

I know some of you don’t look forward to Christmas with the same joy that I do.

And to be honest, I went through a phase where Christmas wasn’t all merriment to me. The season was filled with to-do’s and obligations and tiptoeing around wanting to make everyone happy. Focused on stuff. Things.

Through circumstances beyond my control (a car accident and pretty ugly concussion) I was forced to only do what mattered most. And then I realized, I can choose. Without accidents or concussions, I get to choose what my holiday season looks like…oh and you can too!!!
So now I plan ahead, I pick my priorities, and I prepare myself for the things that I can’t control.

I want to help you to do the same!
I know it seems a bit preemptive to be looking at this now, but the season will come before you know it.

Join me on October 29th for a fun evening of planning, brainstorming and preparing for your best Christmas. 4pm-7pm at the Many Hats Workspace – 397 Bedford Highway – 3rd Floor.

Cost is $30 taxes in (use the coupon: merryandbright before Friday for $5 off) and includes a light dinner, planning materials and tactical talks with yours truly!

Register here:

Having an Awesome Holiday Season [Workshop]

Keep Calm + Float On!

Keep Calm + Float On!

The kids call it a swirlpool. Do you remember doing that when you were a kid? Going round and round in a pool until you created a current then trying to swim against it or letting it pull you around the pool.

That’s our life these days. Literally (Grammy & Grampy created a “hillbilly hottub” which works perfectly for creating “swirlpools” so the kids rock that almost daily) but also figuratively…

I am trying my best to not say “my anxiety” because I don’t want to claim it. It is the anxiety that I feel, in this swirlpool of life…it has created a current of swirling anxious feelings that seem to be pretty tough to fight against at the moment.

A few years ago when we were away in Mexico I remember seeing the signs clearly telling you to not fight the current. When you get caught, you’re supposed to swim sideways out of the current or when its just too much or you get too tired, just let it take you, THEN swim sideways out of the current.

Don’t try to fight what is happening. It’s a crappy situation. You’re getting pulled away from shore, into the deep. You’ve lost your footing. Lost control. But the harder you fight the more tired you get. That’s when you drown.

It might seem like letting go is giving up. But sometimes, just realizing where you are, and letting that just be, is the safest thing that you can do.

Finn’s surgery, a last minute home sale with mere days to pack and move in with our in laws, stress related to lawyerly and financial things, building our new home, starting homeschooling and running a business… these are all actual stressful things, and trying to pretend that they aren’t or fight that they are happening is a big time waste of time. So I am going to ride it, knowing that soon these situations will let go and I can swim my way to shore.
I’ll see you on the other side. I’m going to try to keep calm and float on.
Ask for What You Want. What Could Really Happen?

Ask for What You Want. What Could Really Happen?

prospect, Nova Scotia

I have a client on the way to the studio right now and she texted me to say “what would you like from Second Cup?”

It really left me feeling like I would almost be being rude saying “nothing thank you” (like I am too good for you and your second cup!)

But how often do we ask questions the wrong way, or worse… we do not ask at all.

My Finn is gifted at asking questions. He asks me about a million a day (and isn’t always as gifted at listening to the answer!!!) But he will look at a situation and say… “those guys over there (at Disney) have cookies, I am going to ask if I can have one. If it’s yes it’s yes and if it’s no, its no. And that’s ok, I’m just going to ask.”


The answer might be no…

The answer MIGHT be no, but the answer MIGHT be yes!

If you don’t ask at all, you have already told yourself no. That for whatever reason, conscious or subconscious, you don’t deserve the answer to be yes, or the world isn’t fair and things don’t usually go your way…

Kids don’t see that.

They just see what they want and they ask for it.

Alex and I sometimes cringe, but I rarely stop them, because it’s my own stories telling me that it’s not ok to ask for what we want. I want them to keep on asking through their lives. Asking for what they need and want, believing that they are worth it! And you know what? The mamma at Disney happily shared her cookies, the lady shared crackers so Addy could feed the birds and more often than not, the answer of a reasonably asked question is yes…

IF you KNOW that you want something. you can ask the right questions, the right way.

Make it so someone would be silly to say no. Be confident in your question. Believe that the answer should be yes, and it will come across that way. Or at least believe you are strong enough to handle a no, but you are brave enough to hope for a yes!

What will you ask for today?






The Adventure of Looking Back

The Adventure of Looking Back

Well it is way too early to be up on vacation in Banff  but I am WIDE awake. And this story needed to come out of my heart. I have said it before and I will say it again, I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. I don’t always know the reason at the time, but it’s not something that I take lightly. It’s a perspective that helps me through the tough circumstances of life. I’m not saying I ALWAYS remember in the moment, but it’s pretty amazing when I look back.

Today we hiked a mountain (a blog post will be coming soon) but then in the evening we went into the town of Banff and I was hit with nostalgia like a tonne of bricks.

I moved to Banff when I was nineteen. My cousin Dave worked at the Banff Springs Hotel and I was in a relationship that was making it difficult for me to live my values. Problem was I was head over heals and no matter how much I tried, when I was close, I kept going back to it…so I moved across the country to live with my best friend. (The story of how we became so close with ten years between us is one for the books as well, but not the focus of this post, rabbit trails are something I always have to work against lol!) We lived in a basement apartment just off otter street. It was my first time living away from home and I learned SO much about myself.

Banff is where I learned that my faith had to be completely my own. That I had to be able to hear and feel what was right for me (all things are permissible but not all things are beneficial). I wasn’t perfect (who ever is) but I grew in a huge way. I had to read, and pray and decide things on my own without asking my friends who had grown up in church about their opinions. I had to hear and feel for myself.

I LEARNED TO LAUGH AT MYSELF. To not take things so seriously or be offended by everything. I could joke and take jokes. Let me tell you, this would become a VERY VERY valuable tool in my life when I met Alex. Actually it is helpful pretty much all of the time…. But I am fairly certain we never would have made it this far if I didn’t learn this! (If you have met Alex you will know that his teasing and “humour” can be unrelenting!)

I learned to stand up for myself and what it meant like to have a true friend, one that you could trust with your heart, and what it looked like to be in a friendship where both people looked at the others as equals and put the other person first. I couldn’t have asked for a better friend or roommate than my amazing cousin. I still want to grow to be more like him. I don’t know if I have ever met someone more caring and giving. The seed of confidence and what it is like to be truly cared for is something that changed the way that I looked at friendships, and helped me guard my heart as the years went on. Gosh I miss you Dave!!!!

Banff is where I got my first job in hospitality. I started hostessing at the Rundle Lounge, and moved into portering, serving, bartending, working banquets and being a little “cook” making appetizers and Fondues at the Grapes Wine Bar. I learned so many skills working at the Banff Springs hotel and met the most amazing people. The Rundle Lounge staff was small (unlike some restaurants where there were probably ten times as many people) and so we were pretty close. Even some who had been there a long time were amazing at welcoming those of us who were joining in or transient. Tosha – I am amazed at how you could love so well knowing so many would leave. That is a lesson that I need to constantly remember! Margarita – you taught me to take risks. Jer – well you are the one that taught me to laugh at myself. And realize how good it was to laugh so much in general!

It’s crazy how such a short time can make such an impact in your life!

I just remembered this thing that my friend Jer said to me in passing one day. “People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.” It’s amazing to look back and see what impact people have had in your life!

But outside of the nostalgia, here’s a couple of quick everything happens for a reason WOW remembrances.

When I got to Banff the start date for my job was pushed back, and I wanted to find some work in the meantime that would maybe let me continue part time when I started my job at the Banff Springs. Through the church I was going to I met Evie, who helped me to get connected with the Banff Camera Shop. Because I worked there I was able to get staff deals and switched to a newer camera, and got better lenses. Because I worked there, I was able to pursue my passion for photography, it was a step that pushed me closer to the end result of me becoming a photographer.

I (re) met Alex just weeks after I got home from Banff. After living in an outdoor adventure town his desire to be outside, working at an outdoor store and his interest in photography meant that I was drawn to him quickly.

It’s not for me to guess what would have happened if I didn’t live here, if I didn’t meet the people that I did. But I can look back and say that so many parts of being here have made me who I am today and I am so thankful to have been here, to be back here and to have the memories that I do (and to be making more now!)

So if you are wondering why things are happening in your life right now, I don’t have the answer, but in my own life I have come to learn there is a purpose in so much that we can’t always see at the time!