A lil’ weekend inspiration.

Last weekend I met up with a friend I have not spent time with for far too long. I think we said it had been over a year? And we live in the same city. How does that happen? She is someone who has been an inspiration over the years and is always a treat to get together with.

Life can get a bit nuts. Schedules don’t always jive or plans made now need to be canceled. It happens, and I’m cool with that (unless you cancel every time. Then a girl can take a hint.) Now that she and I were finally visiting we had some serious catching up to do, which led to us chatting for almost three hours. It was such a good evening!

Especially when I discovered something new about her after 10 years of friendship.

She has granted me permission to share the story as I thought it might resonate with my readers too. I hope you enjoy learning about her experience as much as I did!

She moved to Canada from Europe at age 19, looking for new adventures and experiences. She had a thick accent and while she spoke English it was not her first language, so her job options weren’t overwhelming…yet.

She found work on an assembly line where she handled saplings — itty bitty trees that she had to quickly review for the quality standards and either keep it or move on. She and her colleagues were not allowed to make small talk while working: Head down, review, keep or toss, repeat.

Quality Control would come by and instead of giving any positive feedback for her speed and ability, they would pull the occasional sapling from her discard bin, saying it met the one millimetre requirement.

One millimetre. Because that’s an easy measurement to be exact on under pressure. Ah, Management. Try doing the job and then get back to us, eh? seedling-887713_960_720.jpg It was not fulfilling. Frustrated, she didn’t want to continue hating her daily bike ride to work to do the same thankless monotony. But what were her options?

One day on her way in to her shift, she saw someone else on the property who was spraying the trees. “What!? He gets a job with fresh air? And sunshine!Cool breezes with the mist from the hose?” She wanted a piece of that gig and she wanted it now.

The next time she spoke with her coworkers she asked about the job with the hose. She was told he was an Irrigationist. “Well how did he get that?” she inquired. The rest of them only shrugged. No one knew. They had never thought to ask.

Further irritated by her cirumstances, she took a detour from her usual route the next day — off to the building where management could be found. She propped her bike against the wall and went right in:

She:“Hi. I’d like to speak to the boss, please.” Secretary:“He’s not here right now. Can I help you?” She: “I want the other job. The irrigation. I hate the assembly line and I want that one.”

Confused, the secretary didn’t know what to tell her. Another fellow piped up and asked her if he could help. To him she repeated her desire to try the new job, simply saying “I really want to water the trees . It looks like so much fun.” Unfortunately, he too didn’t have an immediate answer but graciously took her name and she left.

The next day she was visited at her current position and told to gather her things. Shit. She thought. Had she somehow overstepped?

Nope. She was taken to her new job…watering the plants and learning the irrigation duties! As it would turn out, the fellow she gave her name to  was the OWNER. He respected her tenacity and recognized she was worth a shot.

She asked and they delivered.

Some of her colleagues were not as stoked on the situation. There was animosity — “why her and not me? I’ve been here way longer!”

Strange looks and questions about how she moved up so fast happened the next while. Some of her pseudo-friends from the sorting plant held resentment. Or maybe it was jealousy? Because they were not as brave as she to take the chance that she took. And that didn’t matter — she kept on working and loved watering the trees.

She’s not in the horticulture business anymore but taking those first step years ago, and continuing to climb and pursue what she wanted, led her to now being a very successful and thriving Community Service Manager. She has aspirations of being promoted to Director.

“Moral” of the story? She persisted and showed what she was capable of. She had no experience doing the job she was asking for, but she did have the determination to TRY.

That’s all we can ask of ourselves. Know your worth. Seize the opportunity, or create your own.

We may not always succeed… But what if we do?

I don’t know about you but I think the possibility is pretty exciting. I’d love to hear about your “She believed she could so she did” story too, whether you’ve done as she did or are dreaming of trying. Time to rise and glow, friends.

Time to Rise and Glow. 

 Xx, Stace. 

DINKs. SINKs. And kids.

Allow me to define.

Let’s dispel any worry that opening this post will lead you to reading about sex toys integrated with home renovations. Although that could be a very entertaining episode on HGTV.

DINKS = Double Income No Kids. SINKS = Single Income No Kids.

You don’t need more clarification about the third –gay/straight/married/partnered/stepparents/single Moms and Dads.

I’m a SINK, but I’m also dating a single Dad of 2 small children. There is a LOT to cover on this topic but tonight’s focus is this:

Being a SINK does not designate me, or females like me, as a Crazy Cat Lady or Spinster. Who even came up with that? Dudes without kids who live alone into their 40s are ‘elusive’ and ‘sexy’. Women, on the other hand? You be cray-cray. I’ll take that with a giant side of Nope.

Before my current relationship I CHOSE to be single for the five years prior. I had seen my fair share of shite with short and long term dating. Being alone was a whole lot easier than dealing with a man-child or baby-momma-drama.

Here’s why I gave up my life being “just” single.

My current partner gets it. I am a solo creature yet still capable of seeing him and his mini-hims as fantastic additions to my life and he understands that.

Now to the scenarios I am very familiar with. *Can we please stop asking these two rather offensive questions?

When are you having kids?” and “Why aren’t you having children?

REALLY? Um, how about maybe there are fertility issues? Or potential health risks to Mom or baby? Maybe the Mom instinct doesn’t overfloweth, so you’re not going to half-ass it just to follow social or religious expectations. Or, how about it just isn’t any of your business.

Why are we not, instead, asking what we might do to help? Not necessarily regarding procreation; I’m not suggesting you tell your husband to visit the lonely neighbor. Heh. I’m just saying instead of being nosey, how about just being supportive, of whatever decision each woman makes?

I’m not the first to cover such topics and won’t be the last. I’m writing this because it is still happening and it’s not okay. I’ve had this asked of me so many times that I actually considered Ye Olde Sperm Shoppe on my 32nd birthday. Truth. Raising one (or with my genetics, multiples) by myself because society said I would be a better person if I was a Mum. Whoa.

Next: Being told that my parenting actions/opinions do not apply because I don’t have kids.

Fun Fact! We were all children once and some of us remember how we were parented, disciplined, and appreciated by the grownups as we grew. I don’t need to be labeled as “Mum” to have aptitude on the topic. Y’all who birthed or adopted babies weren’t given a training manual either.

Support each other! We’re all learning here.

I am a not a Mother. But I am a Traveller, a Writer, a Live’r, a Do-er, so I have a whole lot to share with the babes of friends and partners without raising any.

If you are a woman still being asked about having kids? I happily lend you my ammunition: Don’t answer. Instead, simply respond with “How about we discuss your ___ first?” Feel free to fill in the blank with however you see fit. “Sex life” is always a fun one to see a bit of shock and awe, seeing as they indirectly asked about yours first.

Adulting is hard.  Share your GLOW, instead of putting a damper on others.

Xx, Stace.

glow lotus

You’re darn right she was there.

You gotta read what I just finished.

I am a fairly consistent devourer of books. Don’t leave me unattended at charity fundraisers that are bookcentric. Or at used and new bookshops. Or even the random discount bins of books that are in the middle of my grocery store… what evil doer even thought of that? Jerk! *Sorry. That was my bank account talking. 

glow lotus
Sigh…I love words.

Okay! This book. It came to me recently as a gift from a friend who, I’m fairly certain, knows me better than I know myself sometimes. She and I don’t live in the same city so we text about our current and past reads. *Hi, A. I miss you!*

Britt-Marie Was Here was sweetly well-timed for what I am doing now, or rather, some of what I will no longer tolerate/have given up doing in the last year.

I won’t get too specific about the contents because spoilers are the WORST.

Why do people do that in their reviews?! Not cool, guys. Not cool.

Okay so here’s what I WILL say and why it resonated with me. Now obviously I’m not a 63-year-old, socially awkward woman who has recently separated from her husband of 40 years. What you’ll find is the fun part of how this is written; you watch her engage with new people, places, and experiences. That! That’s the stuff where I am cheering her on while gently giving myself a pat on the back for the relateable bits.

As an introvert — yes I am one and that may be spoken of in detail another day — I appreciate that she still maintains some of her obsessive tendencies while learning a lot about herself in the process.

glow lotus

This book is from the same author of the acclaimed Beartown and A Man Called Ove, so if you’ve read one or both of those, which are two on my top 100 favorite books, you know you’re getting another read you won’t want to put down until you get to the last page.

Fredrik Backman creates beautiful novels around realistic fiction. I read all three of these in public, crying and laughing out loud at different points of each. Taking me through a gamut of feels is always the sign of a good book!

I’m not getting paid to promote what I’ve read (yet. Hey there, Amazon. Let’s be friends?) I’m sharing this particular book review because while our heroine Britt-Marie may be in her 60’s, that doesn’t stop her from discovering her strengths and dreams. Maybe this sweet little character’s glow will inspire you, too.

Xx, Stace.

Here are the other two books – click each for a free preview: 


Even famous people are speaking out.

Do you love your job?

Hot damn! Jackpot. But this is for those of you reading this who don’t. If there are people (internally, like colleagues, or externally, like miserable clients) of your job that are taking a toll on your health… please stop and think.

Your job will not be sitting beside your hospital bed should you fall seriously ill.

Genuine humans, however – they will cheer on your decisions and encourage your personal, mental, and physical growth. They lend an ear, a hug. Anything to see you whole again.

THAT. Good people. Not the desk, the paycheque, the procedures. 

glow lotus
Energy vampires, indeed. Ugh.

Many of us already know this but are afraid to express it. But standing up for what you need is not wrong. You’re right to put yourself first! Put on your best sneakers and run with those feelings!

You’ll hear this often on my page, guys: Get glowing. Eliminate toxic people. Stop it with the toxic lifestyles, or toxic employment. Or all three is even better. Whatever it is that’s putting a hinderance to your shine.

You are you. Respect that. Listen to yourself.

Xx, Stace

Starting Over.

I quit my job on January 3rd, 2018.

Part of me is still amazed I did, so it bears repeating. Five weeks after my 41st birthday, I quit my safe Monday-to-Friday job. For a few reasons. I didn’t feel fulfilled anymore. My mental and physical health were taking a hit, and as a result I was directed by my phyisician to be on stress leave. More than once.

Let’s be clear; I didn’t hate my job. However, I didn’t want to move to another position or department. I couldn’t see myself doing the same tasks for another 20 years. I’m good at my job (great, actually *toot-tooting own horn*) but it was no longer enough.

And you know what? That’s okay.

This was not a hasty decision. Some who know me are probably rolling their eyes and picking their jaws off the ground. The reactions have been mixed, but after the initial shock wore off I was pleased to hear the majority leaned to commenting “You’re so brave! I wish I could quit my job, too.”

Note: I’m not a fool. This is not my first resignation. I have had all sorts of jobs and I stayed at this one for nine years. Nine! That is a staggering number for this gal. I even demoted myself a year ago to the previous role I had at this employer as an alternative to resigning back then. See? Not done in haste. But when the environment and tasks were still a detriment to my mental and physical wellbeing, it was time to shake things up.

Glow Lotus

We only get one shot at this life thing.

We get into this familiarity with our lives. When we aren’t at our 40+ hours per week gig, what are we doing? Usually all the necessary grownup stuff like laundry, groceries, keeping small humans alive and happy. You know what else we’re doing? When all those chores are rounded up, and before we get to start doing them all over again the next day? A whole lot of us are surfing Instagram, and Pinterest, and Facebook… whatever social-media-rabbit-hole we can fall down, looking at the lives of people who are doing real, exciting, scary, and awesome stuff. Traveling, becoming entrepreneurs, expanding horizons.

I see you there. I do it, too. The difference is I finally had my “a-ha moment”. I asked myself two questions:

  • “When did the size of my income determine I’d ‘made’ it?”
  • “I sold my house a year ago to DO more, BE more, LIVE more. Uh…when am I going to actually get busy with that?”

Heads up, people.

You can make more money. You cannot make more time.

Sure I’m well aware I’m giving up the familiar — The Safety Net. There will be no more vacation weeks, the understanding supervisors when I’m unwell, the pension years from now when I permanently leave the cubicle life.

Fear not — I’m not going to live in a tent down by the river. I know I still need a job to pay my bills. I just want a different one; ideally working face to face with people in some ‘helping’ capacity. Maybe I’ll even end up creating a job myself.

This is what I want you to consider. There  is no more January 2018 when February 2018 arrives. No more “I’ll do that in my 30’s, when my other stuff is sorted” on your 41st birthday.

Last year was full of bad news and loss and our world, let’s be real,  is a pretty sketchy place nowadays. (Like WTF, Mother Nature. Add to that the world “leaders” bullying each other in the proverbial sandbox.) 

Lots of people won’t get their Someday.

For health reasons, or family obligation, or, the most likely culprit — because of FEAR. Wanting a life of fulfillment is not greedy, silly, stupid, or radical. We each deserve to have a heart of happiness! For me, leaving the “safe” job to seek new adventures, new opportunities, and new ways to find that fulfillment felt pretty darn fabulous.

Do you follow the show This Is Us? The episode where Randall finally has a breakdown? Yeah. THATHe quits after taking stress leave. Exactly what I did! I was on yet another stress leave in December *my fourth in two years* and then I came back and worked 2 shifts. You know what went down on shift number three? I quit. HELL TO THE YES, I QUIT.

*Insert rad ‘kerplooey’ image here.* Randall becomes happier, healthier, more involved with his wife, his daughters, his other family members. He seeks out new opportunities. Randall found his GLOW, ladies and gentlemen. Sign me up for that shiz.

Sure, this might be considered brave. And hell yes, some would call it terrifying. I don’t have a live-in partner supplementing any lost wages. But here’s the thing — I’m very aware of my emotions, finally. I’m checking in with me. And if I don’t take the leap? I’ll never know what could have been. That’s much more terrifying than staying the same.

Xx, Stace.

Glow Lotus
Preach, Ayn. Spark. Glow. Let’s do this.