life’s good

Mission Accomplished

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We’re a few days back from vacation – and it was quite the success! Mission accomplished (well, nearly) all around. Let’s review…

Read books – I read 3.5 books – two of which were pretty hefty for fiction (Tom Clancy is not an easy beach type read!). William read two – a John Grisham and a Lee Childs Jack Reacher novel…

Relaxed – that’s most of what we did. We relaxed by the pool, on our balcony, in the room and on two beaches. We had long leisurely, delicious dinners. We napped, played cribbage, had drinks and watched a couple of movies. It was the most ‘relaxing’ we’ve ever done on vacation.

Snorkeled – Well this was a bit of a fail, as the snorkeling was not good at the port we choose, but the beach was fabulous in Roatan.

Bought a snorkel shirt – Yay! Now I can snorkel on future vacations for more than 20 minutes without either freezing or getting sunburned.

Slept – again, another slight fail… The vibrations of the ship created a ticking noise that was very much like Chinese water torture.

Disconnect – I was even less connected than I expected as free wifi in the ports was not easily found – while I had my business ‘covered’, it would have been advantageous to know the weather in advance.

All in all it was a fantastic trip. Very relaxing. Great memories and I look forward to our next cruise!

Note to self: Book an excursion (weather permitting!) in Belize. The port area is not very nice or safe feeling. Luckily it was a beautiful day, so we spent much of it on a nearly deserted ship hanging by the pool.

Life is good. 🙂

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Secret

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Okay, here’s my secret, and if you know me as a blogger, you should find this particularly humorous…

I’m actually somewhat of an ‘expert’ blogger.

I can hear your laughter from here!

Perhaps a bit of a self proclaimed expert, I’ll give you that… but in reality I train people and companies to blog and teach them why it’s important (improves organic search results, Google indexing, the best place to share company culture, excellent content for social media sharing… etc. etc. etc.).

Again, I can hear you laughing.

I teach them all about best practices for search engine optimization, (customized URLs, keyword placement, categories, tags, exYay mecerpts, meta data, focus keyword, images, alt text, descriptions…. etc. etc. etc.) good readability and style (bullet points, H2 headings, length, reading level… etc. etc. etc.) and content (what to write about, when, call to actions, modes and methods… etc. etc. etc.).

Surprised? Yeah, me too, lol.

Just today, after more than a month, I’ve finally finished the ‘system’ that I created which can be used for new clients as it’s general and not industry specific. I’m pretty freaking happy about this. It’s a awesome to have done.

I feel accomplished and like there’s a load off. Yay. However, now I’m starting on a new system for social media…

Life is good.

This week in review

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Kind of a weird week.

Last week-end I felt super productive and accomplished… taking care of a lot of little things like preparing my HST, compiling all our 2015 house bills, getting the dining room table set up and more.

This week I felt like I was drowning in work… one thing would come in, then another, then another… (Especially from one client) I’d think ‘okay, I’m almost done for the day’ then an odd request or six would appear in my inbox. I think I had a total of 5 meetings (one not working out due to a poor internet connect), and one I skipped because it can wait.

Frustrating to say the least. Annoying.

So now I’m having to work a bit today, but hopefully not tomorrow. Next week is already looking busy with the end of the month quickly approaching.

I’ve got to find a better balance!

Good things

  • Played in the indoor golf league – couldn’t hit my driver further than 160 (UGH!), but I played okay otherwise.
  • Got together with some girls for Rachie-Roo’s birthday – pretty fun
  • Had a relaxing couch night last night.
  • Tonight we’re having a couple of friends over for a nice steak dinner and likely some pinball and hot tub.
  • Tomorrow is all about football. We invited a couple of couples over, but neither are able to make it… all good.

Here’s the dining room table and chairs from the TN house…

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Life is good.

Here’s the thing about expectations…

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So, as posted, I really had low expectations for Thursday morning. As it turned out – I was in and out of the oil change place (oil change, tire rotation and break check = $40 THANK YOU!) in 30 minutes.

I popped in the upholstery place to pay for the dining room chairs and our ‘occasional’ chair and asked about delivery… free delivery – even though we’re way out in the county… THANK YOU! Sometime next week? Sounds good to me – way easier than trying to work their hours (open until only 5pm during the week and closed on Saturdays) with William’s, on a day that’s not raining or snowing (no cap on his truck), and he’s in that part of the city.

Next off to the dreaded passport office. I was concerned, as the parking meter only allowed for a maximum of 2 hours… However… No one in line 1. Only 3 other groups waiting in front of me in line 2… I was in and out of there in 20 minutes. No lie. Plus the security guard was serious eye candy. THANK YOU!

Essentially I left home at 8, dropped the pooches off and had a chat with MomG, and was home by 10:30… I even got the upstairs of our house cleaned, did some work and relaxed for an hour before heading to a ‘shop’ party in the city. (Which was a fun time.) Yay!

I guess when you keep your expectations at a worse case scenario, it has to go better!

Along with this idea… I don’t consider myself a demanding person with high expectations in general. For the most part (but not work wise or being late!), I like to go with the flow.

As example…

We learned that the dining room table and leaves could be picked up (and paid for) yesterday – but William was on call. Although getting the table and chairs to Canada, to the restoration place and to the upholstery place has been literally a 5 month process, I really didn’t care if William could get it yesterday. We’re going to have this furniture forever, so what’s one more day/week/month.

As it turns out – it wasn’t raining or snowing, and he didn’t have any calls – so he took Mr. Shank to get the table yesterday. (Then they popped in to see our friends and Mr. Shank’s BF for a little play date – YAY – exhausted dog!)

While they were gone, the owner of the upholstery place called – he was meeting a friend in Essex for lunch (they did the upholstery at Billy’s Taphouse – our best local restaurant IMHO) so he offered to deliver the dining room chairs (the occasional chair is not finished yet). THANK YOU!

The chairs were here before William arrived home with the table.

He was going to set up the table (attaching the pedestal bases which we’ve had back from the restoration place for about a month now), but realized a little shim needs to be replaced and he would prefer to use all the same screws… He could have ran up to the hardware store last night, but who cares? He can do it today, or tomorrow, or whenever – like I said, we’re going to have this furniture forever – and with him on call I don’t like to bug him about things (being on call bugs him enough!).

Don’t get me wrong – I can’t wait to see the table and chairs set up! They look amazing – better than I hoped – but I think (and finally, here’s my point) if I have a lot of expectations, it would result in me being fairly demanding – and that doesn’t make for a very happy life. I think it’s more important to consider the big picture and not sweat the small stuff – in the end, everything seems to work about even better than I would have expected!

Not my most profound words of wisdom… but still, I think it’s an important part of a happy life.

Life is good.

Pics to come!

It Only Took Me 8 Days…

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8 days to start one of my new year’s resolutions… to blog more of course?

So how is this going to be different? How am I actually going to recommit to blogging?

Well, let’s start with a little backstory…

Although a couple of my clients ‘were on a break’ in the late summer, I was still feeling overwhelmed work-wise, which was obviously affecting me social-wise and energy-wise.

Because I started off slowly with only one client, then added another, then another… until now I have 6 plus occasional ‘sub-clients’ and/or temporary contracts, I always felt the need to ‘get everything done’ in one day.

Not possible! My notebook where I kept track of my to-dos was an ugly reminder of that I couldn’t possibly do it all in one day. So I started keeping track on a document – the things I had to do (colour coded of course!) and for each client. I also kept track of how many hours I was working in a week.

For years I really believed that I worked part-time… not so much I soon discovered! My hours varied from 35 a week up to more than 50! Indeed! Certainly not the ‘jobbie’ I thought I had!

Just by keeping a better record of what I actually did for any given client (well, except my main contract, as that is a weird, bigger job) made me better able to organize my time better. I also noted that I was fully engaged in ‘scope creep’ – doing way more than what was outlined in my original contract proposals.

After a few months I realized that I was really, and I mean really working way too much for one particular client compared to the others (except my main contract of course), so I documented what I did for them in comparison to a) what I do for my other clients and b) what I originally agreed to do. So I asked for a raise effective in 2016. (I also gave them other options, such as simply handing over all the passwords, training someone within the company to take over, etc.) A big raise – nearly double, which was better aligned with how much I make per hour for my other contracts (except my main contract… need I say that again?).

So… the point… I think if I add my own personal goals and to-dos for the week into my schedule I might actually accomplish them. On today’s list ‘Blog’ and ‘French’ and ‘Exercise’ – but more about that later. We’ll see how this goes…

Why do I want to get back to blogging you may wonder? Well, it’s really now tor ‘you’ (whoever you might be! I only know for sure of 3 people that might read this, and I may have lost them over time!), it’s for me.

While I do like Facebook – I can’t stand the ‘hey, look at me’ aspect of it. It seems I only post when I’m doing something fun, and I’ve always felt that a blog is a more authentic way to record my happenings or thoughts. So there.

Thanks for reading this… more soon!

Just because I’m up early

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Speaking with a friend yesterday, I was able to clarify some goals… funny how that helped me. Just saying them aloud really made them seem more real – and not just real – more attainable.

I’m working towards a better work – life balance. I have great works and a great life – and am certainly not overworked nor underpaid (well, for the most part…). What I’m seeking is to be more organized, more willing to establish boundaries (say no more often) and turn off the ‘work brain’ when the work day is done.

I know that’s tough for a lot of people to do… work is an important part of life – but I think it’s particularly tough when you (or in this case, I) work from home. It’s entirely too easy to ‘check in on something’ or ‘fill in the blank’ say for instance when Billy is taking a shower, cutting grass (etc. ie: not in the room with me).

So I’m trying to put work into a new perspective and I’m thinking it will result in a happier, more fulfilling more leisurely life (and it’s pretty darned good right now as it is…).

Thanks for listening.

Life’s good.

I Can Almost Taste It

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Only 3 short days until (partial) work freedom! So close, I can almost taste it!

I’ll be down to only 3 contracts for 1 month. Yay!

Although two of the three are my busiest contracts… and the last one is a new, challenging contract… still! It’ll be great. Summer of LG 2015.

During this time, I’m going to:

  • Redo MomG’s front garden bed
  • Go to Port Stanley with the girls for a week-end
  • Go to TN with William for more than a week (yay!)
  • Work around the yard, lounge in the sun, READ BOOKS (haven’t read a book in 2 months – a sad record for me!)
  • Golf and work on my golf game (took a lesson last week… first time since I was 12!)

Yes!

Last night William and I saw the new Jurassic Park movie and had a nice dinner out… today golf and steak night date night in… tomorrow, my mom’s b-day pool party… Tuesday my nephew graduates from college (he’s valedictorian of his small class)… busy, fun times. Life’s good.

 

Random pic time… the back of our house from 2006… I’ll post an updated pic soon…

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