{FAMILY} Why You Should Make Every Day Your New Year’s Eve

It’s no secret that I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. Regardless of the highs and lows that I may have experienced over the past year, I refuse to look back at the choices I’ve made (or didn’t make) and compile a list of self-deprecating ‘should have’s and ‘wish I could’s for the New Year.

Everything is a learning experience contributing to my personal growth, and I enter each year without a list of regrets. Instead, I like to take a moment to quietly reflect on my accomplishments, milestones, and laughable moments of the past year, and then push forward with a clean slate.

New Year

For me, the start of each year is the first (blank) page of a brand new notebook, not the next chapter of a book whose ending has already been written.

Only I can determine what comes next, and my interests and intentions are ever-evolving. Goals are set and achieved continually throughout the year, regardless of the flip of a calendar page. Instead, each new day is an opportunity to make new goals – to aspire to be a better me.

Can you imagine if every day were New Year’s Eve? 

What if each night, you took some time to reflect on the past, celebrate the present, and resolve for an even better tomorrow? If you planned to do better – be better, each and every day instead of once a year?

I’m not just excited for a new year, I’m excited for a new tomorrow.

New Year

Cheers to a new year, and to 365 brand new tomorrows!

The Irony Of Bees

I’m known by many as ‘Bee’. My blog is called ‘Bits of Bee’, and my business is called ‘Bee Communications‘. It’s no secret that  bees have become a big part of my personal and professional brand, and in many ways it’s quite suiting. But to be honest, amongst all of the bee references, I have a confession to make:

I’m actually terribly afraid of bees.

Like – screech and run with my arms flailing and my head spinning when I see a bee – kind of afraid.

But I think where the irony really comes in, is that while that little flying insect terrifies  the buzz out of me, it also serves as a great symbolic representation of two things that I am truly passionate about – my blog, and my business. Because sharing my personal stories on this publicly-accessible, un-erasable platform terrifies me. And starting my own business – forfeiting the comforts of a full-time, financially-secure career to follow my dreams – is one of the most terrifying things that I’ve ever done.

So to become more comfortable around my little personal branding sidekick, I thought I would make a list for myself of the things that I have in common with the fuzzy little buzzers that get my heart racing, in hopes of calming my nerves.

Here are 5 things that I have discovered that I have in common with bees:

1) Bees have 5 eyes. Ok well technically I only have 2, Beesbut I’ve been known to also have eyes on the back of my head. Just ask my kids!

2) Queen bees lay around 1,500 eggs per day. While I only have 3 kids, it can sometimes feel like I have 1,500, so I feel ya sistas.

3) Bees communicate through special bee dances. While their main form of communication is through chemical scents called pheromones, I love that they also have their own dance. Dance has always been a huge part of my life, and I think one of the most effective forms of communication!

4) Bees are visual learners. Bees are not born with the knowledge of how to make honey. Studies have shown that they learn from watching the  older, more experienced bees. I too am definitely a visual learner – having someone show me how to do something new is much more effective than having someone explain it to me without visual support.

5) Bees get very little to no sleep. Samesies. While some scientists have declared that bees do not sleep at all, researchers have found that bees sleep in short bursts – for only 30 seconds at a time on average. But because bees are known to be such hard workers, after only 3-6 weeks after they first take flight, bees literally die of exhaustion, working themselves to death. Sounds like the life of a mom if you ask me!

So there it is. I have no reason to fear my fellow flower-loving friends. We have more in common than I may have thought, and like the bee, I love what I do.

Bees

I Just Blogged A Little In My Mouth

I’ve been thinking about my journey as a writer a lot lately. Where my journey began, why I love it, what motivates me to write, and where I want my writing to take me.

Before The Blog

When I was six years old, I wrote my first book. I remember stapling together a stack of lined paper, and wrapping it securely in a folded piece of cardboard. I had found a piece of burgundy velvet, and had glued it to the cardboard cover. I remember thinking it made the book look mysterious and exotic. I filled the book with stories and colourful drawings of a character named Garbanzo, each page neatly numbered, and each chapter cleverly titled. I cherished that book and was proud of its contents.

Throughout my childhood I journaled daily. I filled diaries with my thoughts, fears, dreams, secrets and desires. Writing was how I coped with teen angst, secret crushes, quarrels with friends, insecurities, and frustrations with parents. It was my outlet – a way to clear my head.

I remember writing my grade 12 final exam. While my grades had been average throughout my final year of high school, I had received such a high grade on my final exam essay that my English teacher had double-checked my paper. He was convinced that an error had been made.

When I went to University, I was convinced that I wanted to be a Child Psychologist, so my first two years of study were focused on Psychology and Sociology. But what I soon realized was that I was only excited about what I was learning when I had the opportunity to put my thoughts down on paper. I received the highest grades and more thoroughly enjoyed assignments that required essay writing. In my third year, I switched my focus to English Literature and obtained my BA Degree.

I Just Blogged A Little In My Mouth

As I moved through various careers (editing for a teen magazine, teaching English as a second language, and more recently, marketing and business development roles), I felt as though something was missing. I had stopped journaling and missed writing. I realized that I was frequently sharing stories (whether people wanted to hear them or not). I was thinking about writing ALL THE TIME – in the shower, as I fell asleep, any waking moment when I had a few moments alone with my thoughts.

I wanted to write again – to document my thoughts and let my creative juices flow – but I didn’t know where to begin. After a few popular Facebook posts and conversations with friends, I was convinced: I needed to start a blog.

The name came to me quickly, and after a few Google searches, I had my platform set up and ready to go. And then…I wrote. Words spewed out of my fingertips and across my computer screen. I wrote until my fingers hurt. I didn’t edit, I didn’t proof read, I just wrote. I was quickly transformed into a blogaholic, and it felt good.

Blog Quote

 What’s Next?

I want to step outside the blog world and expand my writing to other platforms. I want to continue to write freelance articles on topics that require research and creativity – that challenge me to write beyond the confines of my own thoughts. I dream of one day writing and publishing a novel – of hiding away in a bungalow in a small town in Greece like Leonard Cohen, and writing until my book is complete. I aspire to write a column for a newspaper or magazine, and to make a living through my passion. I want to continue to write, until I become a kick-ass writer. For as long as the passion flows through my veins, I will write.

 

Thirty Five.

For some of you, it’s a distant memory.

For some, it’s a dreaded reality soon approaching.

For me, it’s a (half) milestone, a new beginning, a fresh start. As I’ve mentioned in previous birthday posts, I don’t “do” New Year’s resolutions, however I do like to set goals/aspirations for myself each time I add another notch to my belt of years lived.

So in honour of the start of my thirty fifth year, here are 10 things I’d like to do before I’m 36:

1) Read a book. A real one made of paper. For some reason over the last few months, my love for reading has fallen to the wayside. I have 2 brand new books sitting on my night stand, and I plan to finish them both by my next birthday.

2) DIY something. Anything. I might try to make an advent calendar so I can save some coin on those ridiculous chocolate-filled cardboard boxes I’ve been investing in for so many years.

3) Have another baby. Last year brought some sad times for our family in the baby department. I’m all healed up now and ready to make it a party of five  in our little hive.

4) Keep dancing. I’ve recently reconnected with my love for ballet, and hope to continue with my adult ballet classes right through the year.

5) Go somewhere. Anywhere. I’m itching to get away (as I’m sure we all are). I’ll go local. I’ll stay in a hotel downtown if that’s all I get this year. But mama needs a vacay.

6) Get Sporty. I used to snowboard and I haven’t since I’ve had kids. I’d love to make it up to the slopes after a long hiatus!

7) Swim in a lake. Last Summer came and went and I didn’t get one day of blissful lake dipping. This year I hope to have at least one full day of sun and swim lakeside.

8) The write recipe. I love writing and hope to construct the perfect post that stays true to my personality and goes viral (because I love knowing that people are actually reading what I write!).

9) Add a new dinner recipe to my repertoire. I love to cook (okay, I like to cook, and love to eat). I have a tendency to stick to the same old recipes and would love to discover a new and delicious recipe that my whole family enjoys.

10) Do something that scares me. Take on a new challenge, sing karaoke, jump off a high diving board – something that takes me outside of my comfort zone.

Can you think of anything that I should add to my bucket list for 35? 

Thirty Five

35 and feelin’ alive

Emma Says: When I Grow Up, I Want To Be…

My daughter Emma may only be five, but she is full of aspirations.

When I was her age, all I wanted to do was to become a dancer. It was all I thought about, and I danced to my heart’s content all throughout my childhood. However life took me on a different path, leading me to a long career in marketing. And while I love what I do, I sometimes wonder, what would my life have been like had I followed my dreams of becoming a professional dancer?

 
Emma has told me that she won’t settle for just one career, she has ten things she’d like to do. For her, the sky’s the limit! Once, when she was three, she said to me, “Mommy, when I grow up, I want to be a mommy AND I want to work.” That’s my girl.
 
So today, I’ve done a little interview with Emma. Here’s what she had to say to my question: “What are ten things you’d like to do when you grow up?” (in her own words):
1) I would like to be a singer like Taylor Swift.
2) I would like to rescue animals like cheetahs and horses.
3) I would like to be a Kindergarten teacher, because I would get to teach all the kids really nice things.
4) I would like to be a horse rider like my auntie Jillian does. A brown horse.
5) I would like to be a doctor, because I would get to help people.
6) I would like to make games like Angry Birds.
7) I would to be an owner of a movie theatre because then I would get to make sure that everyone would be safe in the movie theatre, and I would get to see all of the movies.
8) I would like to make toys, like Polly Pockets.
9) I would like to write books so that I can make a good story.
10) I would like to own a store, like Save-On-Foods, because it’s a very nice place with lots of food.
 
So there you have it, my girl’s going to be a singer/animal rescuer/teacher/horse rider/doctor/graphic designer/theatre owner/toy maker/author/store owner. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for her, and I will encourage her to follow her dreams no matter where her life takes her.
 


 

What do your children want to do when they grow up?