It’s been a month of intense work…the reward I think is heaven…

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It’s been a month of intense work…the reward I think is heaven…

It’s been quite the month in my house, no “wasted” days…

My youngest son returned from University and graduates – today actually. Proud Mama today!

My daughter moved into her own place – so proud and yet miss her ray of sunshine every morning.

My oldest son (turned 27 Dear God!!!!)  has grown his own enterprise to a point where he needs a team and one of the first people to help him is my youngest son!!!! Again so proud and in love.

I returned to writing for the Globe and Mail Leadership Lab with an Article on Ageism. At 52, I am struggling for the respect I thought/think I should have. “Respect” and being “respectful” has changed so much in the past few decades. As a result I did some research and ended up writing the Ageism article and with over 200,000 reads it seems I struck a chord – so more to come in the days ahead on this.

I attended a combined business and personal architecture course – 3 days – very very intensive with life changing impact. I then headed to the cottage where I literally dug deep into the grounds as I mulled through the intense learnings of the course. My blistered hands and achy back were calmed by the natural beauty of the clearing I created and the hoped for cucumbers that will grow and the ensuing pickles we will make – a renewed family tradition! As I cleared the overgrown weeds it actually felt like the stone upon which our cottage was built was thanking me for the fresh air. If rocks could speak or posture, these ones were stretching limbs restricted by overgrown weeds and vines. There is something unexplainable restorative about working on land and toiling in the earth.

On the work front things are continuously changing as we focus on aggressive business development, new ways of working, new identities and ongoing challenges that are truly a reflection of the business we are in and being an entrepreneur. I am thankful for the benefits and stressed by the magnitude of responsibility and continuous challenges – tough scale to balance.

I participated in the 220 km Ride to Conquer Cancer without doing any training (dumb!) and on a bike I rented and picked up 3 days earlier to help me survive the ride. I learned that I do need to better respect my body as I pretty much just told it to deliver. I also learned I am physically stronger and healthier than I give myself credit for – physical strength does give us a confidence very unique to mental strength. It makes much more sense now why super successful people are healthy physically and mentally (and of course spiritually). I have committed to take much better care of my body moving forward.

Yesterday I was selected to be a finalist in the BMW X2, NOTABLE #DareTo Challenge so on Saturday I will compete in 3 challenges and if I am successful I will win an X2 lease for 1 year – my boys are stoked and I have butterflies!!! Cross your fingers and toes for me!

And then I will rush to the cottage for time with my family before my youngest leaves for 5 weeks in Europe (again proud, but with butterflies) and I leave for Northern California where I will go on a “Vision Quest” – a guided 1 day workshop then a trek into the wilderness where I will find a spot big enough for my tent. I will fast, tech free, in silence for 3 days before returning to basecamp for a day of review of our learnings. My daughter will then pick me up and we will drive and explore the California coast for 1 week before retuning home.

And then July will begin. (So far the only thing on the books is sailing lessons with a girlfriend – I am more excited that this person asked me to take the lessons with her than I am about the lessons!)

Why am I sharing…because I am exhilarated, happy, struggling, tired, nervous, excited,…and countless other emotions. More than anything – I am living!

In my effort to be a role model to my children and to be a good, hard working person and leader, I leave no stone unturned – I try, I learn, I dig deep, I do the work. In recent weeks I have had quite a few stones thrown in my direction from people in all segments of my life. The pain was crippling. To love what you do, to love your family and many of the people you work with and friends and to still fall short of “expectations” or to have “stones” thrown in your direction when you are all in is painful. Truthfully a very very good friend walked me off a ledge that was far steeper than I think she even realized (I love you Debbie). As a result I saw the positives and learnings in what felt like nothing but negatives. Her perspective and that of my 3 children (who have raised me as much as I have raised them) has been enlightening and fundamental to my resilience.

Today, after the days behind I have a renewed sense of self. I think I may finally be putting my stake in the ground and saying here I am – take it or leave it! I have never been that bold and even typing the words feels new to me. This shift will likely continue to evolve as I head into the “challenge” this weekend and the “Vision Quest” next week.

My point in this very vulnerable sharing is that in all honesty I want to ask people to stop being so hard on each other. Tone, criticism, judgement,…impacts each of us so differently. If we walked in each others shoes imagine how different our perspectives would be. Some gentleness can go such a long way. Life can be hell or heaven – we make the choice everyday for ourselves and those we impact.

I choose heaven. I choose to live everyday. I choose to try. I choose to be me.

Have a GREAT day.

XO

Nicole

 

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