Day 4 - Addition Through Subtraction (#reverb11)

Addition through subtraction - What have you let go of this year and how has it affected you?

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I had to make the very difficult decision to let go of Losing it in Ottawa. In fact, this prompt title is perfectly suited to the reasons I let it go. 

It’s been good in many ways because I wasn’t giving it the attention it needed. I’d lost my passion to continue my own journey. It’s been good because it’s led to other opportunities, like joining Kids in the Capital.

It’s been bad because my focus has wavered completely and I’m digressing worse than ever. 

I didn’t think I would stop so completely, but I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. I was feeling burnt out, frustrated and discouraged. Not a good combination for success.

I know it doesn’t have to stay this way. I think about what I want to do all the time. I need to get back to business again.

And I have a plan in mind to get back on track. Stay tuned.

Day 3 - A Moment in Time (#reverb11)

A Moment in Time - Tell us about one moment that you lived in 2011 that you will never forget.

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On July 23rd I had the awesome pleasure of attending the very first conference I’d ever organized. Despite some blips during the day, it was truly a success. There was excellent content, great community and it sold out, a feat we dreamed about, but weren’t sure we could actually achieve.

At the end of the day, Lara, the chair of the organizing committee, called us to the front of the room to thank us for our help.

I stood there feeling relief that things had gone well. I felt unbelievable happiness at the overwhelmingly positive response from the people who gave up their Saturday to attend. I felt part of something that was truly great and lasting. Something I wanted to continue.

Social Capital Conference was truly a great moment in this year and I think it will be even better in 2012.

Day 2 - My Children Will Do It Differently

My Children Will Do it Differently - If you could choose one thing that your children will do or experience in a different way than you have, what would it be and why?

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I’ve thought about this a lot over the years. I have so many things that I would do differently if I had my life to live over again. Yet…would I be the person I am today if I changed those things? Was I (or my parents in many cases) wrong to take the approach that I/we did? 

The answer to those to questions are not necessarily and no, respectively.

I want to encourage my son’s interests regardless of how I feel about them. I am hoping he has no interest in hockey, but if he decides he wants to play, I’m going to let him try it out. You never know where someone will find their passion in life. If he decides his interests lie in more geeky endeavors, I will mentally jump for joy and then encourage him just as much.

Some of the things I’d do differently revolve around money - or the lack thereof. I paid for large chunks of my university fees. I knew my parents couldn’t foot the bill entirely and I was okay with that. I worked very hard for the two years I attended university, working nearly full-time for most of my second year. It was hard, but I was young and full of the kind of energy that can handle the load.

I hope my son doesn’t have to work as hard as I did, but I don’t want it to be at the cost of him knowing the value of what he’s getting. That’s a delicate balance to achieve.

The greatest thing I want to be different for my son is an openness to the possibilities in life. I have a personality that has always been so focused on steps. This first, then that. I hope to teach Brandon that there’s more than one way to do things. College/university don’t have to come right after high school. (Who’s idea was it to make 18-year-olds decide what they want to do for life anyway?) A career doesn’t have to be an office job or a profession and it definitely doesn’t have to be about money - though paying the bills is important.

I think we’re in an age of raising a generation that has no choice but to be different. They’re learning and experiencing things at very young ages that we couldn’t even fathom when we were that age. Nor could our parents. I think the best thing that parents can do is keep an open mind to what’s going on. Look for the advantages to every new situation. Find the adventure and go for it with your child(ren).

Day 1 - One Word (#reverb11)

One Word - Encapsulate the year 2011 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2012 for you? If you did Reverb10 then bonus points for also re-posting your 2011 word from last year along with how you feel about that in retrospect.

2011 - Full.

As I look back on this year, it’s been full. Hope, family, work, activities, opportunities, challenges. Full. It’s been a good full most of the time. When I take a step back and look at what I’ve done, I can hardly believe it. I feel really and truly blessed.

2012 - Adventurous.

Much of what I’ve done in 2011 has been setting the stage for 2012 and beyond. I feel like I’m about to do a very high tight rope walk in a metaphorical sense. It’s exhilerating and scary, but I’ve got my safety harness strapped on tight and even if I slip, I won’t fall. I just need to have the courage to take the next steps.

The word I chose last year for 2011 was “Evolving”. If I had the opportunity to choose a different word, I wouldn’t change it. I think this year was a constant evolution. My work evolved professionally in many ways - even outside of my formal job responsibilities. I think I’ve evolved personally into a stronger, more confident person. Someone who knows what I want, even if I don’t quite know exactly how to get it yet. That will come. I like the changes in me and in my life this year. I like the relationships that have grown and evolved this year.

2011 has been a good year - full of positive evolution.