What I learned about Myself this Week

I just had a very busy week. Okay, a very busy few weeks. Maybe I should expand that to a very busy few months. But somehow this past week I craved for a quiet moment to just write, here at Kinetic Motions. It gnawed at me. The busier I was, the more I wanted to go back to my blog, where I can be myself and where I can speak my mind. That’s the first thing I learned about myself this week.

I met a new colleague this week at a post-work evening get together. It’s at small, more intimate settings like this that we can develop professional and personal friendships with the people we work with. As I spoke with this person, we both shared some nuggets about our lives, and when I mentioned my blog, her face lit up. She asked me a question so many of us get all the time – is there anything you are passionate about outside of work? I didn’t hesitate to answer her: writing.

But then I felt embarrassed, as I have this blog, which I established back in 2017, and my last post was from July 12th, 2022 – four months ago. How can I love writing, how can I have a real passion that I ignore?

So here I am, back at my computer, in a quiet corner in my house on a Saturday morning, doing what I love: writing. And as this busy week has drawn to a close, I started to reflect that I learned a lot about myself this week. I had many moments that made me pause, and I’d like to share some of them with you here.

I can’t do it all

While it is very kind that many of my friends, family and definitely my peers, have described me as Superwoman, it’s really not accurate. For sure I am very capable, but I can’t do it all. No one can. If something in my life – work or personal – starts to take much of my time, it must come at the expense of something else.

This was particularly the case this week, when one very urgent and important item took over about 80% of my attention at work. I had to prioritize it, as it affected hundreds, if not thousands of people. But it meant that I had to disappoint many individuals, for whom I am a trusted partner, and for whom without me their work may have been stalled this week. I had to remind myself that sometimes that’s just how it is. Sometimes I can’t do it all.

I need to surround myself with great people

I was invited to participate in a virtual Women in Leadership conference this week through my employer. I wasn’t a speaker or panelist, just a viewer through an online portal. And my luck, this full-day event was also on what was probably my busiest day this week. I knew I couldn’t attend the full day, so I did my best to listen in when I had the chance. And I’m so glad I did.

I took so much away from the sessions I did have a chance to attend, but one in particular will stay with me. The keynote speaker talked about the power of people. Well, she actually spoke about much more than that, but I listened intently to her advice about making sure that we lean on specific people in our lives, to help us grow and succeed.

Each person, she said, was represented by a finger on our hand: the cheerleader (who gives us a thumbs up!), the mentor (who points us in the right direction), the coach, the peer and the friend. This wasn’t earth shattering information, and this speaker is widely known for sharing this. But it was the first time I heard it. And I realized that for me, I am lucky that these different relationships are often connected. Some of my best friends have coached me. My greatest cheerleaders have often been my peers. Mentors throughout my career became my friends.

For me, it’s not about having these five relationships, it’s about surrounding myself with great people, who may, on any given day be my cheerleader, my mentor, my coach, my peer and in many cases, my friend.

I’ve done some cool stuff in my life

Back to that evening when I met my new colleague, I started to think about where I am today and where I’ve been. What I’m doing today, in 2022, is very different from the life I led 10, 20 or 30 years ago. And I’m really happy about that. It helped me realize that when I have a really busy, or tiring, or frustrating day or week, that I have shown myself that my life has been full of twists and turns, often very exciting ones, and that next week will be better.

Thirty years ago – November 1992 – I was in high school (oh my gosh I’m that old!). The Blue Jays had just won the World Series, and it was around this time of year that I had my aha moment In my chemistry class that my true dream was to be a sports journalist. It was also the time I created my crazy cartoon character, Kinetic Man. He was – and is – my “man of action.”

Twenty years ago – November 2002 – I had recently joined Rogers Sportsnet and was quickly promoted to be a member of the Assignment desk. I had also just bought and moved into my first house. And in those ten years since I was in high school, I received an undergraduate degree, a graduate degree in Journalism, and I got married and lived around the world (France, Israel and New York).

Ten years ago – November 2012 – I was working at Sears Canada and had just been promoted to be Director of Corporate Communications and Executive Director of the Sears Canada Charitable Foundation. And in those ten years in between, I had changed jobs twice, I had two children and traveled around the world with my family.

Today is November 12th, 2022, and I am leading Communications at ADP Canada, surrounded by skilled, professional colleagues who have my back. And while the past ten years may not jump out as the most exciting, they have been fulfilling. My third child was born, I continued to travel with my family, I (okay all of us) have lived through a global pandemic, and I started my blog.

So, as I sit here, on a quiet Saturday morning, I can smile as I think about what I learned about myself this week. I have so much I can be proud of, and I am grateful to the people who have cheered, mentored and coached me, and have been my peers and friends. There will be many more busy days and weeks, which I know may bring me down and frustrate me. But as the mother says, in one of my favourite childhood books, there will be “no good, terrible, very bad days…some days are like that. Even in Australia.”

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