Archives for category: Goals

Growing up as a sort of “christian for the sake of cultural literacy,” I had never heard of giving anything up for Lent. I suppose it was my husband, who grew up very Catholic, who explained it to me while we were dating.

I think we tried it that first year we dated. He gave up fast food and I gave up chocolate. Another year, I think I gave up meat. One year I vowed 8 glasses of water every day.

See a theme?

I’ve come to adopt Lent as my very own 6 week bootcamp. Now stripped of any religious significance for me, it’s just a really nice time frame to focus on my health and fitness for almost exclusively vain reasons. It’s perfect. Six weeks and a half weeks, Sundays off. Plus you finish just as you emerge from oversized sweaters and puffy coats. Sacrifice for vain and selfish reasons. Heathen Lent.

Plus, if you say “oh, I’ve given up chocolate/meat/chips/candy/pop/booze for Lent” no one questions it. That’s weird, right? Somehow making a dietary gesture to a guy who supposedly spent 40 days in the desert is a perfectly legitimate excuse for not eating Ruffles all-dressed chips.

In any case, it starts tomorrow. In addition to giving up chips and chocolate, I’ve also got an aggressive little workout schedule planned. Come April, I’m totally going to be hot for Jesus.

June has been proclaimed “Next Gen Month” in Edmonton. As I look at the various organizations under that umbrella, I often find myself asking “where are the women?” or more specifically “where are the women like me?”

From my (probably biased) perspective, those who are most involved fall into three categories:

  • single men
  • single women
  • married men with supportive wives (with or without children)

It got me thinking – where are all the women with young families? If the ultimate goal of those organizations is to make Edmonton a more vibrant, livable city for my generation and the next, where are the voices of the women working to make the city better while trying to balance challenging careers and kids.  Certainly I’m not the only one who’s TOTALLY FINE with drive-through banks as part of a denser city?

As a marketer, I understand the power of mothers – we make most of the consumer decisions in the household and therefore hold a lot of power. Many many many organizations want to hear what moms have to say. But does anyone care what those same women have to say outside of their roles as moms and household managers?

Am I splitting hairs here? Perhaps.

But I know there are women like me out there. I work with them, I work for them, and they’re in my book club and my twitter feed. A while ago, one of them whom I greatly admire told me (in her kind and supportive, yet no nonsense way) that if I wanted that voice heard, perhaps I should stop bitching and start talking (I paraphrase).

It took me a while, but I finally took her advice, and I’ve decided to run for a position on the Board of Directors of a local industry organization.

I’m hoping to find plenty of women with young families (and super supportive husbands) who are already out there, being part of the conversation. I know that since I’ve been thinking about this issue, I’ve found more and more of them and it makes me happy. I hope I’m joining a chorus.

There are many things in this world that I am not good at. I’m a terrible bowler. I have no idea about mechanics, I can’t cook without a recipe, I avoid confrontation, I take terrible notes and I couldn’t whistle my way out of a wet paper bag.

Most of those things, I don’t really care about.

But I wish I could design – graphic, fashion, interior, industrial, whatever. But alas, while I have the appreciation and the desire, I’m woefully lacking in the talent department. Can’t draw a circle to save my life.

What I do have is “a good eye” which means I can’t actually DO anything, but I’m pretty good at discerning what’s good and what’s crap. And I’ve spent most of my career surrounding myself with people who ARE talented and CAN design. If I can’t do it myself, at least I can be nearby when it happens.

But I haven’t let go of my dream of finding that creative outlet and that’s what has spurred my recent flirtations with photography. My hope is that my “good eye” will translate into a good eye for composition and perhaps my photos will end up matching what I see in my head.

Tonight I had my first of four photography classes at Vivid Print. We spent tonight learning the basics of shutter speed, aperture, white balance and ISO settings. Then we had a go at playing with the settings and seeing how they affected the images we got.

I must say, that it has left me quite discouraged. Once again, what I envision in my head is miles away from what I’m actually able to create.  However, thanks to my “good eye,” I can tell you, that my photos are indeed, crap:

Sigh.

It’s all a bit humbling. I suppose that’s why I’m taking these lessons, right? Learn how to draw that circle. Maybe, just maybe, there’s a tiny seed of talent inside me that just needs some time, practice and encouragement so I can get closer to creating something cool.

Besides finally starting to blog, I do have other resolutions for 2011:

1) Run a half marathon

Training has informally started with my trusty running partner, J.

2) Work less, volunteer more

This is still somewhat nebulous, but I want to do more than just show up at events.

3) Plant a vegetable garden

New house, new backyard with a vegetable plot just waiting for me (and my mum) to attack. Swiss chard, beets, tomatoes, carrots, beans, herbs, tomatoes… what else?

4) Take the kids on a great vacation

It might very well be the year of the mouse.

5) Make that public presentation

I’ve had a great idea rolling around in my head for a few months. Time to knuckle down and make it something workable.

6) Learn my new camera, and take more photos

Hoping this new blog will help.