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What’s next?

It was a year ago today. I sat at my desk and wondered what the hell I would do now. For two years I had chased after a dream and that had ended in failure. I lost out and wasn’t picked for a board position I’d coveted for a very long time.

Sitting at my desk and writing my goals for 2018 left me with only one thought….

What now? Or more to the point, what’s next?

Little did I know what 2018 would bring?

I’m not one into platitudes and the old “when one door closes…” doesn’t sit well with me. I take more of the stance that if something goes wrong you’re allowed to feel like crap. You are allowed to crumble. I’ve been there and was certainly feeling that way a year ago.

My trick is to sit with the loss and wait. You don’t have to be still. You don’t have to give up. But you might need to be very patient.

Wait and listen. Contemplate. Sometimes when you are still the best ideas appear.

And you all know what happened next…

It only took two months for the idea to be handed to me. It was a very big idea. Something I had never dreamed of. It was daunting, but I gave it all my heart, followed the best advice, worked my ass off with the help of a ton of people and won.

What a difference a year makes.

So how did your 2018 pan out? Hoping for something better in 2019? Trust me when I say you have no idea what the future will hold.

Whatever you do, stick with what makes you happy. If something inspires you; stretch out. But don’t ever compromise your best side. Make sure that you always carry your integrity with you. And don’t sell yourself short.

You never know what will happen. You never know what’s next.

And that leads me to my most impactful part of 2018.

I met some pretty incredible people during that eight month campaign. Smart, funny, powerful, humble and with hearts bigger than you could ever imagine. New friends that I would never had crossed paths with if not for that crushing defeat a year ago. New friends that have my back and helped push me forward. New friends that picked me.

These people have been the best reward.

What’s next? I can only imagine.

 

Dad’s Birthday

Dad would be turning 90 today, so it seemed like a good time to get back to writing my blog.

We would have had lunch together. I would tell him all about my running in the civic election and he would be proud.

Dad had a strong sense of right and wrong and wasn’t afraid to voice his opinion. He also had a deep appreciation for the obligation to “give back.” He would have loved that I am stepping up for Vancouver. I can almost hear him say that it will be time well spent no matter what the outcome.

Dad and I would go for walks around his old neighbourhood in the shadow of Queen Elizabeth Park. He loved it there and it pleased him that I lived close by. He had moved to the North Shore but enjoyed coming to visit. I will always remember him crossing his arms behind his back as we strolled along the paths in the park. To this day I mimic the same posture and feel like he’s here with me.

I miss him.

I still carry around this picture taken during one of our lunches. I’ve re-taped it onto the front page of my day-timer for the last ten years. I see it every day.

 

Dad liked that my work focused on seniors and people in need. He encouraged me to help older adults and when required, to be their voice. He had always stepped up for his elderly patients and taught me to do the same. Sometimes the task was difficult and his response to me was to “suck it up and do your job.” I can still hear his voice.

I think he would have loved this political chapter of my life.

I wish he was here.

Happy Birthday Dad!

 

 

Yes to David Sedaris

The trick is to say yes.

When given an opportunity, even if it scares the crap out of you, say yes.

So, on Sunday night, when David Sedaris asked if I would join him on stage to say a few words during his event at the Vogue Theatre, I said yes.

Then I panicked.

Stepping into David’s quirky world was going to explode my brain. Of course he would invite a complete stranger because she happened to mention she was running in the next civic election. Doesn’t every casual conversation at the pre-show book signing lead to such suggestions? And why not, we both care about parks, seniors and litter. Well if you know David, he cares more about litter than almost anyone. But, it’s also on my agenda for my candidacy so made sense. Who doesn’t want a clean park?

As David led me backstage, he explained that he’d introduce me before he started his reading, I could say a few words, and then he would continue with his show. He even asked where my seat was to make sure I could easily get back to it.

Yes, simple… but I was still panicking.

I was pretty sure I could come up with something to say, but my bigger concern wasn’t that it was scaring the crap out of me, but that I thought there might still be crap on me.

You see, as I was waiting outside the venue, before the doors opened, a bird did a flyby and let loose. My friend and I got spattered. It was disgusting but made me laugh. How crazy and random. We were the only ones in the line that got hit. Luckily we made a dash into a nearby pub and cleaned ourselves off. But I was still worried that I’d missed a glob.

And now I might be on the stage at the Vogue Theatre, talking about my political candidacy, and the audience would only notice some unpleasant stain.

Lovely.

Luck was on my side. Just before the event was about to start the sponsor nixed the idea. No way was some woman that David just met going to be allowed on stage to speak. This was not going to happen.

Instead, I got to just enjoy the show and David’s hilarious story telling. I saw the irony that this was also going to make a funny blog. Bird crap and all.

And it all started because I said yes. Of course I did, it was David Sedaris. Wouldn’t you?

 

My Political Life

A gut feeling about Rona Ambrose

I walked across Library Square and a dark skinned man called out to me, “Jesus loves you!” I smiled and replied, “Thanks… Buddha loves you.”  He waved and hollered, “Cool!!!”

How simple it would be if life were always like that.

Two people with different religions just spreading a little love. No agenda. No criteria.

These days it’s rarely safe to state your religious and/or political preferences if you are “out of the norm.”

I know because I’m usually “out of the norm.”

My religion is easy because once you share your side with the Dalai Lama you’re usually OK. Sure, a few weeks ago I ran into a problem but those are very rare. Practicing Tibetan Buddhism usually gives me a pass.

On politics I get no pass. But in my defense, I take great care with choosing the people I support and have a mandate to have a conversation with them before I vote. This can be tough at times and a little time consuming. During the last federal election I spoke with each of the candidates in my riding.

That’s when I met Blair Lockhart.

You see, I believe you get a “gut feeling” about someone when you meet them.

My gut told me Blair was a woman with substance and great values. (OK, my research into her background also helped confirm my “feeling”; I’m not oblivious to facts.)

Many might think it’s a crazy way to decide something so important… I think not.

A little side note. When I met John Furlong I immediately liked him. When the accusations against him surfaced I was lucky to know people I could talk with about their dealings with John. They concurred that John was a good man. Again, I went with my gut but not blindly.

There have been others. Good and bad. My gut sometimes tells me to run away.

I’ve been blessed to meet many incredible and inspiring people in the political world. I’m always stunned that they put themselves forward to serve. Brave souls.

Last week I got to meet Rona Ambrose. It was a small, intimate gathering and there was time to talk.

I’m a bit of a political junkie and have watched Rona rise to be the interim leader for the Conservatives. I’ve liked how she handles herself.

Now that I’ve met her I’m even more impressed.

Articulate, smart, funny. Self-effacing and poised.

And guess what?  When we met there was seemingly no agenda or criteria.

Just two people spreading a little love.

How simple it would be if life were always like that.