I find there is always an element of terror involved when you attempt to pull off a large event. This weekend, the bridal party held the Stag and Doe for my sister and her financé.We made it through the evening without too many casualties and we even made them some money. So a success over all.
We spent Friday night at the farm house of one of the bridesmaids, prepping the pulled pork and making vats of potato salad.
Saturday was spent setting up and pulling off the event!
The Bridemaids all had hot pink shirts with “Team Bride” and the Groomsmen had the tacky suit tees.
Raised money to make them sing – it was a bit awkward when they were actually good at it…
Other than that, I did quite a bit of running. There was Saturday morning with Angela.
Followed by a couple spin classes.
And then tonight.
Today was supposed to be a rest day. I tried. Really I did. I watched almost an ENTIRE season of a show, had a 2 hour nap, ate a ridiculous amount of food and celebrated my father.
But then this happened…
It was a perfect night and without thinking, I threw on my running shoes and went out for a glorious 15 km run. Decent time, I felt fabulous and there was a lightening storm to watch.
I want to sum up the weekend by saying a wee bit about my dad. If I could describe my father, it would have to be by reaching back to my undergrad days, studying Greek mythology and the epic novel with the Latin phrase In Medias Res, which means In the Middle of things.
Teaching me how to belay a number of years ago
My dad exemplifies that for me. He is a force of action and represents wisdom, strength and humour to me. I am just a bit of a daddy’s girl and I could not be more proud of his accomplishments as a successful business owner, first rate husband and strong father. When I think of someone I want to be like when I “grow up”, I think of him.
Thanks dad. For not letting anything stop you and living life with your ears back.
I like to view Fridays as an opportunity to go a bit off topic.
I want to talk about something that everyone need to go through at some point in their life, especially the newly graduated.
The Job Interview.
Instead of compiling a list of DOs and DON’Ts, I thought I would sum everything up in a tidy package that I like to call: The Worst Job Interview Ever.
It was my final year of university and I saw a listing that a national journal with a locally based office was hiring interns. It was environmentally based. I knew nothing about the environment. I shrugged and figured – why not?
Don’t #1 – You should probably have a strong reason for applying for a job.
I applied and miraculously GOT the interview. I spent a few minutes before the interview on the computers in the student lounge reading about the organization.
Don’t #2 – Always arrive at the job interview well researched.
I was early (DO) and waited to meet the managers. A lovely man and woman met me and sat me down in the environmental student lounge and informed me I was interviewing for a completely different offshoot of the organization.
The woman began describing the organization, paused, and requested I proceed instead.
I had NOTHING. I knew absolutely nothing about what she was talking about. I had two options:
1. Tell her I didn’t know.
2. Make something up.
Now, a normal, level headed, respectable human being would go with option 1, but I, being a well versed English major (learned in the art of BS), launched into a spiralling manifesto of what I THOUGHT the organization was.
She looked at me.
“That’s not what we are at all.”
I quickly tried to recover my footing, but the rest of the interview was by and large a disaster.
And it gets worse.
I got the job. (Which isn’t the bad part).
I didn’t hear about a starting date and didn’t inquire further. One day, I got a politely hostile email asking where in the name of Mary WAS I?
So, not only did I bomb the job interview, but then I got the job and then didn’t check in further for a start date.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the foundation of my full-time career.
I have since become friends with the man and woman who interviewed me that day – they are still my bosses, but I can speak up at business meetings and cat sit and go out to eat with them and laugh about that day. Sort of.
This past week, my manager told me that it was the fact that I tried to bore through an impossible situation was the reason I was hired. So the thing that would have gotten me chucked to the very bottom of the consideration pile was the thing that helped me be where I am, which is selling advertising and creating partnerships at a Journal that I love, with people I respect and have a lot of fun with.
May your future job interviews be more polished and professional than mine.
It has been a long time coming, but I have finally taken a leap into a bigger, better site and I am so excited to have you all along for the ride. Not to worry, nothing changes other than the design and branding.
Meet the new Laces and Lattes!
A huge thank you to my graphic designer and web guy because I am the furthest thing from tech savvy! If you don’t see the changes yet, hold tight – it can take up to 24 hours.
As I am busily getting ready for the Earth Day Gala while the site switches over, I will leave you with some fabulous reading material for your Wednesday morning:
Angela is reviewing the best gadget to come to David’s Tea. Ever. She has an awesome film crew (me) and also gifted me one for my birthday so I will be sipping iced mint tea with lemon all summer long!
I hope you all had a wonderful, relaxing weekend and are recharged and ready to take on the world this week!
My weekend started on a bad note.
On Friday, I picked up our Creative Director and headed to Toronto for a morning conference. I have been logging a lot of hours this week and was feeling a bit under the weather and was planning on taking the rest of the afternoon off to relax and recharge.
Emphasis on planning.
On the way down, I noticed that the low tire pressure light was on and after parking at the hotel, noticed that my rear tire was deflating.
So I went to the conference and called Toyota and they came and put on my spare and directed me to the nearest mechanic. As the hours slipped by, thoughts of grabbing a few hours of extra sleep at home in my bed ended and I was left stormily waiting for my car.
I ventured outside and this was the first thing I saw on the sidewalk:
Challenge accepted! I was going to have an adventure!
I decided to seek out a cafe by wandering the streets until I ran into something perfect.
I came across WISH, an adorable, breezy cafe, parked myself on one of the patio couches and read a book after ordering their most popular and indulgent meal. (I love to do that at new places instead of tackling the menu.)
So even though it was cushioned with a flat tire, auto work and then 3 hours of rush hour traffic, it was a perfect little reminder to stay grounded, check my attitude about a situation and just relax when life goes differently than I was hoping.
I needed to work on Saturday, manning a booth for Windfall Ecology Festival, but I used my break to go on a glorious 20 km run in a new area in York Region. I tackled some trails and found a road that fulfilled my hill training quota for the month. I even found these little guys:
This seems to be a stressful time of year for people. Whether you are searching for a job, working overtime so your coworkers can have their vacation, or just going through a stressful time, remember to stop and do things that you love. For me, running is a perfect deal with life when things go wrong – it forces me to slow down, breathe deeply and focus on just putting one foot in front of the other.
Here’s to slowing down, taking a breather and staying grounded.
When I saw that there was free shipping for the months of May and June, I knew my time had come. I carefully picked out the size, chose my style of embossing and hit the purchase button with a flourish.
Within days, it had arrived at my doorstep in all of it’s deep leather glory and I was rocking it at the MagNet conference all week.
Let’s not tie a bow on it. This was me after a 14 hour day at the Conference. Let’s just say I was lucky I had the bag to shine for me…
I even had Lyndsey call out “Bye, Jessica’s bag!” as she was leaving the office today. (Yes, I somehow managed to work with one of my best friends of all time.)
So, rather than keep this awesomeness to myself, I think you should buy one too. But not yellow. I have dibs.
Regardless, this is my new bag and I am proud of it.
I sold my old Matt & Nat handbag to a coworker and will be proudly showcasing the bright yellow against my hopelessly boring outfits in a valiant effort to perk up my style.
One of the best things about running is the people you meet along the way. I find that long distance running collects a certain breed of human – one who is able to hang tight with pain over a long period of time, slightly addicted to endorphins and in general, optimistic.
One of the most incredible runners that I have had the pleasure to meet this year has been Jane Davis. Although she has been running her entire life, she has only been running ultras since 2010 (coincidently, the same year that I tried my hand at one as well), but she has taught me something completely vital about running.
That there has to be a reason for it.
Jane lost her husband to prostate cancer three years ago and in response to his passing, started running. I don’t think this is an unusual reaction to tragedy, but Jane has taken it a step further and has joined Team Winter, a not-for-profit organization founded in 2009 by Winter Vinecki, now thirteen, who is running a marathon on every continent in memory of her father who also passed away from prostate cancer.
Considering what Jane has been through, she is one of the most alive and eternally optimistic people I know. She was the only other female on the 100 Miles of Wild trek I participated in at the end of April, so I got to know her quite well over the week we spent in the Badlands. The day we ran together on the trek was full of conversation that shifted from heartfelt to hilarity within the same sentence.
I was so inspired by her ability to push hard through knee deep mud, steep river beds and stretching flat lands and her deep understanding of needing to know when to stop. To take care of you. It was her who told me to stop at a beautiful hotel on my way home instead of driving straight though. “Sometimes you need to just do things for yourself.” she told me.
She was so incredibly right.
To her, running is time to be with her husband Quincy. Every race she runs, is for him and with him. We were discussing our post race routines and for her, the first thing she does is gather her daughter into her arms, look up to the sky and say thank you to Quincy.
Jane trains and races in the beautiful Washingtonwhere she is an active leader for Girls on the Run on top of her efforts with Team Winter. I have viewed running as something selfish – a time that I take for myself to breathe, think, pray, and run out frusterations. Jane has turned it into something beautiful and selfless that is used to make a difference in the lives of others, to share her love of running and to inspire change in education for girls. She is moving to Africa this coming to year to pour herself into female health education and to run the Maasai ultra marathon (for the second time) which raises funds for the cause.
As I search for my own purpose behind the many miles that I log on the trails beyond just the sheer passion for running, I am so blessed to have such an incredible friend to model my running career after.
For those of you who have just started following my blog, I make new goals for each month to try and be intentional about my yearly goals. The only thing missing is a spreadsheet.
I hope this doesn’t sound as sad, nerdy and Type A as it is.
So back tracking.
What did I say I would do in April, and why did I not do all of it considering I had 2 months to do it?
1. Take some continuing education in Fitness Instruction classes.
Another reason why I do this little exercise: I was going to take a triumphant photo with my stack of 5 certificates for certification in Body Sculpt, Aqua, Kickboxing, Step and something else that I forget, and realized I have lost them. So I know what I will spend the rest of my afternoon doing.
It’s called making work.
Regardless – I get an A + for this one. Not for losing them all. I get an F for that.
2. Read another book in April. A+
Another perfect score, people. I have been reading like it is my job. I am currently tearing up this book:
I met Luis at the Festival of Faith and Writing last year and scooped this book up after hearing him speak. This book makes me cringe but I literally cannot put it down. I will have it done in less than a week, and considering how long books normally take me, this is a minor miracle.
3. Learn how to use Photoshop to it’s full potential. F
After two months and I don’t even have it loaded on my computer. To be fair, I was given the wrong program so I am playing the waiting game. On the other hand, I am just pawning off my graphic jobs to people who are more competent than me, so almost everyone wins. (Except for my graphic design coworkers)
4. Get my taxes done. A+
O yeah! Tax return in my bank and helping to foot some of the awesome changes pending for Laces and Lattes in the next month!
5. Begin a regular massage and athletic therapy program for my race season. B
I am being pretty generous with myself on this one. I have had one appointment… But I have been stretching, rolling and sticking (it’s a thing…) like it’s my job. But I have gone to KMTS and had a fascial stretch appointment, as well as attending a Yoga for Runners workshop. So well equipped.
Which leads me to JUNE.
1. Keep the ball rolling with therapy and make yoga regular part of my workout routine. Queen Street Yoga is right around the corner from my office, so I am hoping to pop round over the lunch hour to break up some of my 12 hour days. I am buying the pass on Monday. Goodness knows they have their work cut out for them…
2. Get some sleep.
I have tried this goal before and failed miserably. I mean it this month. I have had enough athletes who I admire and sports therapists giving me grief about my short nights and my mother telling me “I look tired” that I will give it another serious go. Fingers crossed that this will be me in June:
I am hoping to commit to getting 5 done a week so that should be 20 by the end of June. I already have some filming sessions set up with other team members, so I am well on my way.
4. Increase my trail training and start running with more local trail runners.
I have made the connections and now it is time to make use of them. I am also debating signing up for a half marathon in August because I am training every weekend with Angela who is doing Sea Wheeze in August. This has nothing to do with anything, but if you say it on the internet, it will happen.
You would be surprised. I get random people approaching me and asking if I completed X or Y. For some reason, people actually care that my stuff gets done. Next time you see me, say half-marathon. If I pale and run towards my computer with my VISA, you know why. So thank you.
5. Keep the reading happening. I want to read a lot of books this summer. I need to order this book, but I am hoping to get a good start on it in June.
Even though the year of being 23 was the fastest year so far of my life.
I blinked and I am at another birthday.
But yesterday was a beautiful day, I had the afternoon off and I did something I never have done before: I celebrated my “day before my birthday.”
I got a gourmet cupcake from a local bakery and went to Starbucks to write.
Proof to those doubters in my life that I do, indeed, eat sugar sometimes.
One of the most important things I have learned about life so far is that it is to be lived with intention. Life throws curveballs that we can never plan for, but while we are living, I think it is important to think about WHY we are living. So I may not expect everything that comes my way, but reflecting on where I have come from, where I want to go and asking for advice from those who are wiser and more accomplished than me are a part of my foundation.
I try to make a point of enjoying being young. I think that is why I enjoy running so much, because I sometimes get a taste of what it is like to have bad knees, hips or chronic pain. The days following a big race, I cannot jump out of my chair or bend down to the ground as fast as normal and it gives me an appreciation and a delight that I can return to my youthful pace in a couple of days. I can push my body to it’s limits and still feel unstoppable.
I feel like I need to throw in a disclaimer that being young is not better than being old. It is all stages. I just want to enjoy this one as deeply as possible.
I couldn’t find any photographic evidence of me on the board, but here is a picture of me standing close to it. Which counts.
I went to concerts and music festivals.
Brand New Concert
Spent time with loved ones.
Said good bye to loved ones.
Watched my closest cousin marry the love of her life.
Helped prepare for my sister’s wedding this summer.
And a thousand other things that make up 365 days.
I was saying recently to a close friend that many people I know glide gracefully into adulthood. That is NOT me.
If anything, 23 was the year of the belly flop. I graduated university and began a brand new stage and I didn’t necessarily do it with grace or style. But I did it with passion, so I am hoping that counts for something.
One of my favourite quotes is by Henry David Thoreau:
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately,
to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear;
nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life,
to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.”
Here’s to 24. And to sucking all the sweetness and marrow that the year has to offer.