Work Life Balance

The summer of 2015 is half over. At least for my children. They are already sad about what has passed, in regards to what little is left. Time is really flying for them. They have had so much fun and excitement, they are so emotionally charged, you can almost feel it in the air. A whole month away from home, staying with family, but running pretty independent lives. What a wonderful time! And then the parental units arrive on the scene.

While I’ve been visiting my family in Alberta, I’ve been catching up. Running some very familiar patterns. Routines which are well worn over the years. Food preparation in the kitchen, dishes to be washed, recipes to be practiced. Games. Real outside swimming pools. Roasting marshmallows over the campfire. Small children staying up past their bedtime. Card games, both new and old favourites. Sleeping in tents because there were too many people to fit the number of bedrooms. Family.

Then, Sunday morning, I started to worry. I have a big week coming up. Will I get everything done? What do I have to accomplish anyway? What happens if I don’t get finished what I set out to do, according to my standards? What then? That was when I stopped myself. What brand of silly is it when you worry about your work life this much? On vacation? So I rolled over and went back to sleep.

But it haunted me all afternoon. I voiced my concerns about this topic to my Aunt. She disappered for a time. Then she returned with a book for me to read, easily accomplished in an afternoon. Anne Morrow Lindbergh wrote, “Gift from the Sea”. A delight. As the pages started to fall away, I was amazed that something written so long ago was still so relevant. I immediately ordered my own copy. I was also taken by the fact that my Aunt could so easily put her finger on the pulse of my problem. She had answers at the ready. 

It is a gift to be able to help others. Especially when the “others” are me and feeling down or otherwise uninspired. My mini Alberta vacation ended on such a high note, I almost floated home today. I guess the only trick is, how to make this feeling last and apply these kind of lessons when life gets tough and stressful again. 

On the bright side, I am getting closer to finding a way to serve others. If I could harness the power of women around me, the wise women, the brave women and bring it forth for others to share. Help solve the daily mysteries for one person with insights from another. Restore a balance of working and living that makes sense to each and is not a prescribed formula. Fill up our cups with inspiration. Help us continue to serve and help others. 

It sure seems as if what we need to learn most, comes to us at the perfect moment. Just when we are ready to receive, ready to become teachers. At least for me, that is how my Sunday unfolded.

“I shall ask into my shell only those friends with whom I can be completely honest. I find I am shedding hypocrisy in human relationships. What a rest that will be! The most exhausting thing in life, I have discovered, is being insincere. That is why so much of social life is exhausting; one is wearing a mask. I have shed my mask.” 

― Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea

Service, Community, Adventure – act#2

This is a re-post of the review I did for #WDS2014 last July. Wednesday, March 18, 2015 starting at 9am PST, the final round of tickets go on sale for #WDS2015. This is the 5th time ’round and if you have never been, or for some reason have not secured your spot in Portland for that weekend – get ready to speed type at the designated time on March 18th.

Theatre WDS_web

As we approached the US border control post on Friday morning, I hoped it would be an easy crossing. Standard questions and answers and we would be on our way.

  1. Where are you going? We would like to attend a conference in Portland.
  2. What is it called? (long pause) The World Domination Summit (another long pause).
  3. How long have you been with Amway? Huge relief, roaring laughter from all of us.
  4. BEST border crossing ever.

Skycats WDS_web

It was our first time attending WDS, (as it came to be known). We had no expectations, but hopes, both for the conference and our free time in Portland. As we drove down, after our enjoyable border crossing, we chatted about the usual stuff. We had no idea.

When we arrived at the hotel, we let the car go for the weekend, time to walk and experience the city. Sitting on the patio, we enjoyed the great surroundings, just like any other day. My mind kept wandering back to like experiences. People having a drink getting ready for a load of information compressed into a couple of days. However, we would come to find out, this was no ordinary meeting.

When people don’t know each other they tend to need some nudging to open up and introduce themselves. Particularly to share their stories. There was a bustle of conversation on the patio among people wearing their name badges. We assumed they knew each other previously. We were not included in the group yet, (maybe they thought we were with the Mormons, the other large group staying in our hotel for the weekend).

Over to registration, we got a whole load of goodies and were asked to create a short video of what we imagined to be doing in 2020. I’m not great at knowing what I’ll be doing next week and I didn’t think that stating my big year of 50 was a significant enough declaration. This was the first sign to me, the WDS folks want you to start thinking.


At the opening party we realized with every stranger who approached us, this was a friendly crowd. Genuinely interested in your story and ready to share theirs. Many of these exchanges involved other first timers. I was not prepared for this level of engagement. It was thrilling.

Over the next 3 days, we learned so many things. The guiding question: “How do we live a remarkable life in a conventional world?” That is a biggie. Then throw in the core values of community, adventure and service. I think this sets the stage for people to think differently, open their minds to new ideas, be creative. These kinds of events are lacking in our modern, busy and stressed world.

Meeting people at every turn, hearing their stories, amazing keynote speakers, fantastic venues, Portland glowed in the spotlight. When the offer went out to pre-register for next year, I accepted. I am going back, and I’m going to enjoy the whole wonderful experience even more. (I now have a year to figure out some of the answers to the questions people kept asking me.)

On another funny note, my husbands co-workers thought I was attending the world dominatrix summit.