While extended absences from blogging are “normal” for me… this last one was rather exceptional.
I was busy.
Like, really busy (I guess busy-ness is relative… anyways…).
My Brazilian co-workers were in town for a month, and the one brought his sister. The Brazilians are here to work, plan and meet with local clients, but I happily helped out entertaining the sister.
They stayed in downtown Windsor, and I don’t think I’ve ever driven into the city so much since I sold real estate more than a decade ago. There were dinners (the last one being here, a “Christmas” party on Friday night, which was also our 16th wedding anniversary), lunches, day outings and afternoon drinks. It was fun, the sister is a very special person, but it kept me really moving!
In addition to that, we also had some other things going on…
- SuperBowl Party (fun, but it was pretty mellow)
- We had a guy stay for a night from Nova Scotia – great guy – he bought 2 of our pinball machines, and they were picked up last week.
- I fell a little bit down the genealogy rabbit hole, as I’ve recently been in contact with my first cousin, once removed, whom I met briefly with last week.
- Us ladies went out to celebrate a friend who just published a book.
- Our Cleveland friends came up for a couple of hours, we met for drinks and apps on the Windsor Riverfront.
- Hung out with friends on Family Day.
- We had a plumbing issue in the basement.
- Plus of course, normal work and fun stuff; date nights with the husband, indoor golf, meeting up with girlfriends, etc.
It doesn’t look like a lot, but it seemed like every day I had at least three places to be!
So no, a little bit back to normal. We’re having a few people here on Saturday to celebrate (early) William’s birthday (and his co-worker, Zack), and because I was able to work a bit on the weekend, I hope to dedicate some time this week to working on a change in my business.
Life is good.
First I’ll start by saying that today is one of my girlfriend’s birthdays. We’re trying to make a plan to get together, and I hope something fun happens. She’s one of the most amazing people I know, and I’ll write about her more soon. Happy Birthday, WhiskeyQueenn!
So, it’s an “easy” work week. It happens once a month… between the first (which is the worst…), regular postings and mid-month eNewsletters (I create and send 10 in total each month) it works out that this is my easy week.
So this week’s fun includes:
- Indoor golf this afternoon and dinner out
- I’m bringing the car in for an oil change, meeting up with Billy’s boss for “old man cans” and then maybe a few girlfriends over tomorrow night
- Either Thursday lunch with girls or dinner out with the girls
- Dinner and trivia night on Friday (that should be fun, but I’m an add-on and only know one of the ladies going… I’m pretty good at trivia, but a little shy in groups…)
- Date night Saturday night – maybe bowling in the afternoon
- A couple friends are coming over for dinner on Sunday.
What a busy and fun week. I’m trying to ignore the fact that I occasionally have social anxiety… just feeling grateful for the fantastic people in my life.
Life is good.
It seems that I’m using this blog as only a place to bitch about things… but I promise, there will be a happy balance.
Yesterday afternoon I was lucky enough to meet two girlfriends for appetizers and a couple of drinks just after 4pm. We met at the most expensive “chain” restaurant in the area, The Keg. (It’s not as high end as a Morton’s or Ruth’s Chris, but it’s pretty darned good and aside from the steakhouse at the Casino, it’s just one of the few places in our city like it.)
Between my these two friends, they have 5 kids, and getting out for a couple of hours is a nice little luxury for us all. When we arrived, the place was empty. The one girl was a little late, blaming her ass-hole kids, her rant was pretty funny.
So we’re not completely white trash, but in conversation, there might be some colourful words here and there. I think that’s pretty normal for women in general, and my friends for certain.
We sat on the bar side, which might encompass about 1/4 of the entire restaurant and is completely separate from the dining area… and who at 4:30 walks in and sits at the table directly beside us? A family. A family with a newborn, a 3-year-old and a 5-year-old.
Great. Now we not only have to hear intermittent crying, but we also have to watch our language… you know, because we at least try to be respectful.
Do families have the right to have a nice dinner and drinks? Absolutely! But they chose to sit on the BAR SIDE. It’s a bar. It’s not the Legion, there will be bad language and perhaps a little too much imbibing (albeit not as likely at 4:30 in the afternoon). They could have had their pick of any table in the dining room, it wasn’t like the bar was their only option. So this was annoying. (Not to mention that the tiny 5 year old was standing and pacing, rocking the newborn who she could barely manage to hold. She had to keep hiking the baby up… it was stressful to watch and just annoying in general.
Fast forward to leaving, I texted my husband to see if he picked up the dog and he invited me to him and some of his co-workers at another restaurant chain nearby, so I thought I would pop in there for a couple of drinks before heading home to get Mr. Shank.
The guys were seated in the bar at high, narrow and long tables, and the place was packed. There were a few families on the “bar side”, which I understand, as sometimes it’s easier to snag a table there rather than wait for a table in the dining room. After a few minutes of me being there (the guys had been there for a few hours, including a late lunch and apps…) the manager came over and informed us that the table behind us was complaining about the bad language, actually “offended”, and could we please be more mindful of ourselves as they had kids (probably about 7, 9 and 14 years old).
Well, I was offended by the father. When I sat down I had a clear view of 5 inches of his ass crack and sloppy and exposed fat spilling out of his jeans. It was beyond gross… could I complain about that? Would the manager have approached the father and asked him to pull up his pants as other patrons were “offended”? Could you imagine?
And here’s the thing… they chose to sit there. They chose to sit on the BAR side. They chose to sit their family next to a group of men, IN A BAR, who clearly just finished work and were having a few drinks after work.
I asked the manager, “Then why are they sitting ON THE BAR SIDE?”
I really don’t care if you’re in a dive, a chain or in a family-style restaurant, bars and bad language go together like bars and booze. It’s gonna happen. If you have the option, then choose the area of the restaurant best suited for your family, rather than attempt to shame a group of guys for being guys in a place where it’s acceptable to BE a guy… in a BAR.
In the end, we toned down our language and were happy that this group left not long after.
On the happy side (I promised balance and there will be balance damnit!), it was great seeing these ladies for a little while. They are both smart and funny and I’m again reminded that I’m very lucky to have so many awesome friends in my life. I hope to meet with them and other “elevator” wives soon.
Life is good.
It’s been about 3 months since I began to take action on changing my business, but yesterday was a big leap forward, as I received, at last, the final and most important “green light” to move forward.
So now I’m scared. It’s hard to put yourself out there! Especially since I’ve been doing what I’ve been doing for the same clients for so long – there is a significant level of comfort there!
I’m trying to approach this in the most efficient method, and if all goes well, my goal is to send out my resume before Super Bowl weekend.
A good winter weekend to me includes the following elements:
Being somewhat productive
If I don’t “do something”, I feel guilty and undeserving of relaxation time. This weekend’s “do something” included:
- A little bit of online work (not much, maybe 3 hours).
- De-Christmassing the house (thank gawd that stuff is down – nice when it goes up, then it feels like the house is ‘junked-up’).
- A quick clean of the house.
- A little bit of closet organization (maybe more today, maybe not).
- Need to do some laundry today.
Doing something fun
- Yesterday we went bowling… yes, I think bowling is great fun! I’ve actually ordered a ball and a bag. Very exciting stuff.
- Made home-made pizza – okay, William made the pizza, but I cooked the bacon and shredded the cheese. It was super yum.
- Played pinball and had a few drinky-drinks. Fun!
- Watched the Canadian Juniors win IIHC Gold (although I went to bed early and missed the second half of the third period, I caught the highlights, and it was still awesome)!
- Watched wild-card NFL action – pretty happy that the Titans won, although I don’t think they’ll go any further.
- Relaxing is often related to doing something fun, but today I hope to get cosy and finish reading “Origin” by Dan Brown.
- We’re probably going to have golf on (It’s the first event of the season, and they’re playing Kapalua – way more fun to watch as we’ve actually played there!), and then football.
If I’m super ambitious, I might go to the mall, I have a gift card and I really need shoes.
Just trying to appreciate the moments as they happen.
Life is good.
I don’t know how anyone could start a new year without at least “thinking” about change.
I certainly do.
However, after a few years on this planet, living in this body and with this brain, I understand that change doesn’t just happen.
For change to be successful, (for me) it has to be incremental and purpose driven.
So again, I’m going to try to change.
- In some way, be better than I was yesterday, and acknowledge the improvement.
- Do something each day that makes me happy, and acknowledge those moments.
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. 🙂
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, excerpts, 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.
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!
- 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…
Life is good.
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.
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!