A Parenting Hack: How One Hour has Changed my Week

cartoon-1296854_960_720Mondays are hectic, no?  I always find Monday to be a bit of a whirlwind, especially if the weekend has been full of blissful, unstructured downtime.  I just had one of those weekends- a weekend of yard work and flag football, pop-over guests and walks downtown.  Those are the weekends that fill me up and remind me yet again that it’s the simple things that mean the most (The Disease of Being Busy, remember?).  So when the routines of a Monday come back into play, it takes my sensitive side a bit of time to catch up.

I’ve been lucky to have a career with flexibility, and the benefit of fitting in my work around my life, instead of the reverse.  My practice has changed and evolved as my family’s needs have changed and evolved, and it’s only been in the last couple of years that I’ve gone back to working more of a full-time schedule.  For me, that means that for the past two years, Mondays look like this:

For a time, I didn’t do school pickup on Mondays.  I worked straight through, 11am-7pm, and would come home just in time to tuck in my young children.  With only a short time together before they went to school in the morning, I felt like I was missing out on way too much of their day; my heart always felt heavy on Monday nights.  Soon into that school year, after a few tears and a lot of soul-searching, my husband suggested that I modify my hours slightly to accommodate more family time.  Namely, making the school pickup and 10-minute walk home a part of my day.  Brilliant.  Such a simple solution, and yet it was a modification I couldn’t see when looking from the inside out.  It was the forest and the trees and all of the other cliche wisdom.

So I began blocking off an hour in the middle of my Monday (and was once again oh-so-thankful for the logistics of our neighbourhood), so that I could pick up my kids from school and walk them home before heading back for an afternoon at the clinic.  Our walks to and from school are without a doubt my most favourite parts of the day.  In those ten minutes, I rarely get a word in edgewise; they spill their guts, share their dreams, tell their stories.  We walk, we laugh, we talk, interrupted and carefree.  And this has completely changed my Monday, and therefore, my whole week.

A one-hour change.

That’s all it took.

Sometimes the simplest changes produce the biggest results.

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Do one thing every day that scares you

You know those things in life that scare you?  Those times when it would be far easier to play it safe and stick with what you know, rather than venturing out into the uncertainty of the unknown?  Well, I’ve got a few of those times going on in my life right now.  I love a challenge, and I’ve thrown myself into some exciting potential career opportunities and I’ve also set my sights on a lofty personal athletic goal.  Both of these things scare me.  To death.  But I’m sure that you know, as well as I, that those are precisely the times when we grow.

Luck is where opportunity meets preparation, right?

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Aug/2002; at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC) in Toronto.

One of the scariest things I’ve ever done was to move across the country to get my Chiropractic degree in Toronto.  That was 2002, and my twenty-two year-old self knew exactly no one in Southern Ontario.  But I took the plunge, and that spring-boarded me to meeting my husband, many of my best friends, and a career that I love. It was a defining moment in my life, and one that changed my trajectory completely.

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Nov/2007; signing the lease at my new clinic space.

Another pivotal, yet terrifying decision, was selling my clinic in 2010.  I simply couldn’t be everything to everyone; and although the choice to sell the clinic I’d built from nothing and focus on my young son and my family’s priorities was the right one, it was both intimidating and life-changing.  Ultimately, that’s what brought me here, to Burlington Sports & Spine Clinic, where I’ve found the perfect fit.

So, what’s ambition?

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What’s courage?

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May you have both.  Do one thing every day that scares you, they say?  I say you should also do one thing every so often that terrifies you.

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Everyone’s got a Hip story

I always write about what’s going on in my life, and today is a big day in the world of me.  Today, my friends, is Hip day. I’ve got tickets to the Tragically Hip show in Hamilton tonight, and August 16th has been looming large on my calendar for many, many weeks.

If you’re reading this blog and live in Canada, chances are that you know the backstory here: The Tragically Hip have been a staple in Canadian music for many decades.  Their lead singer, Gord Downie, announced in May that he has terminal brain cancer and The Hip quickly released final tour dates Canada-wide.  A victory lap, a final farewell, and a chance for Hip fans to say goodbye and celebrate the Hip soundtrack running through their memories of days gone by.

Music has a way of doing that, doesn’t it?  Sometimes a few notes, a simple lyric, a quick guitar chord can transport me back to the 90s, back into my prime Tragically Hip time.  The Tragically Hip is road trips and lake swims, best friends and music festivals, Summertime and Canadiana.  You see, everyone’s got a Hip story.  This happens to be mine:

I was about 17 when I was first introduced to The Hip’s music.  I had a boyfriend who was a couple of years older, and his group of friends were slightly older still; they were cool, I was impressionable, and I pretended to know about all things Hip.  “Day for Night” became a staple in my life and “Fully Completely” played everywhere from his car to his apartment to my volleyball practices to house parties.  Fast forward a year or two, different boyfriend, this time a drummer, and my weekend nights were often spent dancing to his Tragically Hip covers at a University bar.  The albums were “Trouble at the Henhouse” and “Phantom Power” and the background noise was school and friends and Varsity track.  But despite how this paragraph might read, my Tragically Hip story is not all about boyfriends and beer, but rather a time in my life when the future stretched unknowingly before me.

The life I live today is far more fulfilling, far more complete, far more incredible than anything I could’ve dreamed; but back then, back in my Hip days, this life was not one I knew awaited me.  For me, the Tragically Hip represents an entirely different chapter, one where my roots were grown, my identity was formed, and my goals were set.  It was a happy chapter, a fun chapter, but a chapter of uncertainty, as it is for many in that early-adult demographic.  So, I’ll be at the show tonight with my husband and some great friends, and I’ll be thinking of that girl, that version of me, who didn’t know that she’d end up driving by Bobcaygeon on cottage weekends and saying goodbye to the Tragically Hip on a Tuesday night in August, with a babysitter and two sleeping kids waiting at home.

That girl is happy she ended up here.  And so is this one.

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