Finding what you’re good at…

We’ve all heard that expression “Do what you love” and the one that your work shouldn’t feel like work. Easier said than done, right?

do what you love

I’ve been struggling a lot with this lately.  I’ve become more aware of time, energy, and my happiness (and my husband’s).  I’ve been more aware of the importance of goal setting.  Which makes me think –  What do I really like to do? What passions me?  What would I love to do every day? Do I see myself doing what I’m currently doing for the rest of my life?  I’ve been teaching for 7 years.  It’s time for a change.

So what I’ve come up with after months of reflection and asking those who know me very well is that I’m an excellent planner.  It seems so natural and innate in me that I have glossed over this skill many times.  Sometimes it’s difficult to answer questions about yourself without seeing yourself from our outsider’s perspective.  It’s difficult to take a step back from yourself.

I love planning trips for my husband and myself.  I love planning our relatives and friends visits from abroad.  And parties – New Year’s Eve parties have become a tradition at our house until we decided spending Christmas in Mexico City and Acapulco may be a tad bit better than dealing with a Canadian winter.

I planned our wedding in Mexico while in Canada.  No, not your typical destination wedding, but a real Mexico City traditional Mexican wedding, and we brought 17 people with me from Canada (on two separate flights) and Norway.  I planned a week of tourist activities for my guests along with transportation, hotel, and food.  The ultimate compliment I heard was “This was a once in a life time experience”.  One day I should blog about our week long festivities.

I’m definitely a logistics person.  I know this has something to do with my personality too. I took a Myer’s-Briggs type assessment  once and the results showed that yes, indeed I am a planner.  So much so that if you give me an idea I’ve already see the end result and the different possible ways it could unravel.  Let me tell you, it’s a curse and a blessing.  Ask my husband, the dreamer.

This year I’m planning the following fun excursions:

a cottage weekend

2nd visit to NYC!

trip to Italy, Spain, and Austria

my Norwegian friends 1st visit to Canada

and I’ve been asked by a friend to plan her annual client appreciation conference. This will be mega cool.  Can’t wait to share more details about this here.

but the biggest thing I need to plan and sort is my life goals.  I think about this daily, but I haven’t put my thoughts on paper or onto a vision board.  It’s always more fun to plan a trip, a party or help someone is their problem, forever forgetting my own life needs some direction.  My discovery of the joy of pursuing planning whether it be logistics or event planning has set the wheels in motion. What’s the next step?






Twenty’s moving day is upon us!

Tomorrow is finally moving day for Twenty.

She’s apparently created spreadsheets of what will be in each car load, what she needs to buy, and her packing and unpacking timeline.  The truth is she has two car loads of stuff plus a bed frame and mattress to transport.

She’s been packed up for a few weeks, even moving half of her belongings into my basement.  I’ve been eyeing her curling iron every time I do my laundry with the hopes of testing it out.  Sadly, I never got the chance.  It’s probably for the best as my hair is too thick to hold a curl, and I’d just get frustrated. I digress . . .

Our parents were originally against her moving out. I guess few parents really want their children to suffer in the real world when they haven’t landed their first adult, post-university job.  They tend not to be too supportive; I suppose that’s why we both ended up so stubborn because we just have to keep bulldozing forward if we really want something.  They think we both should have stayed at home to save money to probably go straight into buying a house instead of throwing money away at rent.  I blame their unsupportiveness on their eastern European immigrant background and difficulties they faced when they moved to Canada.  They want us to live the best life and when they think our decisions aren’t in line with what they’d do – they freak out.  The truth is – there are many roads to Rome. They do end up helping an supporting, but its not easy for them or for us to get there.

With that said, I have stood by my sisters decision and argued for her to my parents.  Now I hope she doesn’t let me down. I hope she leads of responsible life, and  I hope her new found independence will, as it does for everyone, help her value her parents more, value money more, and begin to search how to make the most of her university degree and make something amazing out of her new life.  Time to amaze and surprise us. She’s got it in her.

To mark this momentous step in her life, I gifted her with a Kate Spade (remember the big Kate Spade haul I made a few weeks ago?) whistle key chain. Since she’ll be living downtown and walking home at night, this will be her secret weapon (and my peace of mind; I get anxious when she doesn’t respond to my texts fast enough).

whistle key chainI expect many peaks into her new apartment, decorating, thrifting, and entertaining life here on the blog.  Let’s hope she gets settled quickly.

Happy moving day, Twenty!

Love letter to my sister

Dear sister,

There are times when we agree to disagree- about a lot of things, actually. Your love of Harry Potter. My love of karaoke.  It’s funny and cute when we realize that our differences about make-up, fashion, or clothing are caused by our age difference, and it’s interesting when we realize we like some of the same things even though a big age difference exists between us.

Differences between us come to light when I see you’re not making the most of your education, jobs, or relationships.  I don’t expect you to make the same choices I made when I was your age.  My twenty something self was very different from the current you.  We are very different.  I know I should keep quiet and let you figure things out on your own.  But, it’s difficult for me to sit back to watch you worry and not live to your fullest potential and not be able to come to your rescue.   Sometimes you may not like what I have to say or how I go about helping you.  Those are the times you shut me out.  That hurts me a lot because I really only want the best for you.  On the other hand, there have been times you have come to me for advice; I loved knowing that you can rely on me.

I know I can come off sometimes as nagging or too pushy – there’s a simple reason for that.  I didn’t have a bigger sister when I was your age to show me the way.  I guessed my way through everything.  I realize that’s the beauty of the twenties  –  taking charge, trying new things, and getting out there. It’s just that, I guess, I don’t see you doing that.  I see all the potential you have.  Sometimes I think you don’t see the potential or the big picture.  When I was your age I also probably didn’t see the big picture or cared the same way about life decisions.  So when I ask you for the millionth time about whether you’ve sent that resume, contacted that person, or  written a blog post it’s because you have more choices than I ever had when I was your age and I’m fearful you don’t realize all the opportunities right in front of you.  You are young, smart, and beautiful, and you may not ever say it, but I worry that you don’t see how great you are.

Consider this as me being your life cheerleader.

You made an excellent choice of finishing (finally! Yay!) a degree that can actually help you – engineering.  Yes, school was challenging, but you got through it.  Not many people can say that they have a professional degree.   Remember how long and hard you suffered during exams because now you should put that suffering and accomplishment into good use and make it all worth your while by reaching high by slaying the job world laid out in front of you.

Finding a job has never been easy for anyone.  However, most people can attest that finding a job means you need to know lots of people.  You need to network, make your existence and desires known to anyone and everyone who works where you want to work.  Put your goals and desires out into the universe.  If you don’t know what you want to do, that’s fine too, but don’t be idle – work toward something, set a goal, don’t let your twenties runaway from you.

You’re beautiful, tall, stylish, have great hair, and a great sense of humor. Millions of girls would give anything to look like you.  Any room you walk into people turn to look at you. Don’t be shy.  Don’t hide behind shabby clothes.  Be the best you!

You have all the support from your parents, your brother-in-law, and myself.

You have a part-time job. But don’t let it limit you .  You can be anyone.  You can do anything.  You’re pretty amazing.

You have choices.  You have opportunities.  You have the world in front of you.

Your twenties should be a wonderful time. Everyone close to you wants you to take life by the horns and improve yourself, prove yourself to the world, and most importantly grow into the person you want to be.  When I was in my twenties I definitely didn’t know who I wanted to be, and I still don’t know, but I’m getting closer.  It’s a tall order asking you to play adult when you really want to enjoy life.  I get it.  You can enjoy life, but show us that you’re enjoying it!  There’s a great deal to enjoy, the more you see of the world, the more your ideas will grow of what you want for your own life.

Your family has raised you and shown you examples of working hard and making smart choices.  You have more “tools” in your toolbox and more worldly experiences than your parents ever had opportunity to get themselves.  Their goal has always been to give you more than they have ever had. They have always put you first. Make them proud by reaching further and higher and not succumbing to the ordinary. We have done everything we can to help you come to this point, and now it’s your turn to show us what you’re capable of accomplishing yourself.

You are my sister.  I expect greatness from you.  I plan to be proud of you no matter what. Never ever resign to be ordinary.  Think outside the box.  Set goals. Make a name for yourself. Don’t have regrets.  Be proud of who you are.  Don’t let anything or anyone put you down or scare you into believing you get attain that goal.  Everyone started somewhere and you’re lucky to have a head start.

As you start your 23th year I wish you the following:

Study more. Travel more.  Meet people.  Enjoy this year like no other before. Never limit yourself. Be awesome. Be my sister.

Happy birthday!


Your sister