Monday, June 30, 2014

Locations to work

As a small business co-owner we find various locations where we can get some of our work done. Yes we have a small executive office and we go to client sites. We do need to have other locations where we can get work done.
Other locations where we can get work done is at home, coffee shops, restaurants, hotels, conferences and even sitting outside. For us as long as we have our computers we are able to get work done. For me there are times I don’t even need my computer because when I am writing I can also write in my small paper notebook that I keep with me all the time.
Yes we have spots that are easier to work in but knowing that we can work in various locations makes it easier to adjust when something comes up. I know that since we got a small ultrabook that I have with me it means that I can even get some writing done in the car when we are out. No I do not drive and write, I am the passenger and I can write when I get ideas.
Sometimes we need the internet to send emails or research something but there are times when just getting the ideas down really does help when there is no internet available. OK, we both have our mobile devices so it means we can send emails and answer questions even when we are not connected to the internet.
I love having the ability to work in different locations because just the change of location can really assist me in my writing. It is now time for me to try and get a bit more writing done for work before we have to change locations again for today.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Commuting in the city

I live in a big city and a lot of the general conveniences are within a pretty close distance. Ok they are not within a minute walk but a lot of things can be easily accessible within a 15-30 minute walk.
In our neighbourhood there are three schools within a 20 minute walk and that 20 minute walk is for the middle and high school. Our public school for junior kindergarten to grade 5 is within a 5-10 minute walk from most of the apartment buildings.

In our neighbourhood we are also lucky to have a small mall available within a 10 minute walk with basic groceries, banking and pharmacy facilities. It is very amazing to see the number of people that will drive over to the mall instead of walking when they have to go to the bank or pick up something small. For me it is a nice break when I can simply walk over to the mall and take that necessary break that I sometimes need from work.

Now what is very interesting is the number of parents that will drive their public school children to school instead of walking with them to the school. I think in some cases it probably takes longer to walk to the car then it is to walk to the school. People are also wondering why children of today are lazy and that is an example of it. If children don’t get into the habit of walking sometimes they won’t walk when they are older.

When I was growing up it was expected that you walk to school as a family quite often only had one vehicle and that vehicle was for the parent that had to drive to get to work. When it was very cold out I would take transit to my high school as it was a longer walk but when the weather was nice I would do the walk normally home from school.

I am one of those that enjoys going for walks and gets very frustrate when I can’t get the walks in that I want. Our last winter was very hard on me because it was so cold and icy that going outside for walks was something you didn’t do very often. I know that I did walk over to the mall a couple of times just to get a bit of a walk in.

Having the ability to walk to some of the basic things is great because so often we need to commute for work. I am not one of those that has to commute 1.5 hours each way to work each day and I am very glad. Commuting in a city is something that we all do but knowing that you can walk to a few spots is nice.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Using Twitter

If your Twitter account is for you as a professional, remember it should be used for just that.

So often I see people that set up a professional Twitter account and then end up using it more for their personal comments than for their profession. If you want to use Twitter for your personal comments, then that is the type of Twitter account you should get up.

I know one store that set up a Twitter account, and it was supposed to be used to promote the store. Now it is being used to show pictures of the owners’ backyard, their trips and even what they are watching on TV.

The other thing people do is set up with Twitter account, so it feeds into their Facebook account, so everyone that is a Facebook friend gets to see their Twitter feed. Of course, these people also can’t figure out why no one follows them on Twitter, why should I when I already get to see what you are posting on Twitter through Facebook.

A professional Twitter account should be used for professional posts, and then have another Twitter account where you can post those other comments. Please don’t ask me why I don’t follow you on Twitter when we are already friends, and you are posting all your Twitter feed onto your Facebook account. Also, I don’t have to follow you to see what you are posting if you don’t make your posts private.

I don’t live on Twitter, so if you post sometime, you expect me to see good luck because I will probably miss it anyway.

Sunday, June 8, 2014


What does solitude mean to you? Is it the quiet of nature, or is it just doing something different from the ordinary.

I know for me, solitude can be sitting somewhere quiet and enjoying the surroundings. I love being able to sit on a patio and watch my surroundings while having a meal. The best patio is somewhere where there is water close by, and you can watch the activity on the water. For some people, it is a walk along a nature trail and being able to escape all the sounds that we hear all the time now.

Have you ever sat on a dock and listened to the sounds of loons, especially on a misty morning? The sound of loons can be such a calming sound, even when it isn’t misty out. Just hearing them communicate can be very enjoyable and give you the chance to appreciate nature. Another sound that is very nice is a rippling brook as the water simply flows its way over the different rocks. Sometimes it can be as simple as putting on my headphones and escaping all the different sounds that are around me. Having a chance to escape from everything can really hope you regain a focus that you lose.

The most amazing time is when I can simply just lose myself into what I am doing, and it really doesn’t matter what is going on around it. I can be sitting in a very busy environment, but when I am happy doing my own thing, I can lose myself into it and not really hear all the noises that are going on around me.

So solitude can really vary for the person and even a given situation. A simple little thing like being happy where you are and your company can help make the biggest different.

Friday, June 6, 2014


Have you ever watching people standing in a line for something?

It is fun to watch other people as they stand in line for something. Some people can stand so patiently waiting while others will continually look at their watch or phone checking the time. In some cases, the more you check what time it is, the longer the wait seems to be. I know that I don’t like standing in a long line, but I really try to avoid checking the time too often so that I don’t get impatient.

The other people are those in the line that complain how long it is taking to get through the line-up. Sometimes people complain even when there is only one person in front of them because they figure that when they show up somewhere there shouldn’t be anyone else doing the same thing at the same time. In society today, we seem to have to stand in more lines than before, but we need to remember that most lines do more quickly.

Today I stood in a line for almost 45 minutes, and it was fun watching others in line. Some of them didn’t seem to mind the wait, while others looked very frustrated. We ended up in a conversation with a couple of people close to us in line. Maybe that made the wait not seem as long but knowing that we might have to wait before we even got there probably helped us.

Next time you are in a line waiting for something, watch the people around you and see how they are handling the wait, you might be entertained.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


I have had the pleasure to be a volunteer for several years and for a number of different charities and non-profit organizations. Some of my volunteering has been donating some of my craft items to the organization so that they can either raffle the item off, give them to people who need them or in some cases even sell the items to help with programs for the children.

One thing I have seen is that different organizations treat their volunteers so differently. In some cases you hear nothing from the organization when you give them things that they have asked for and other ones either give you a call or an email or note to acknowledge what you have done.

I have also volunteered my time to some organizations, and again have been some extreme differences between how one volunteer is treated and another volunteer. If an organization wants to keep their volunteers, they need to ensure that they are treating all of their volunteers with respect and ensure that their effort is acknowledged. In one case that I can think of, three volunteers organized the same type of event and two heard the words thanks and the other one received a public thank you as well as a floral arrangement. No, the volunteers don't know that they were treated differently, but the organization sees how some leaders favour one volunteer over another volunteer.

The one situation that really got to me was the latest call that I got from an organization that I helped a couple of years ago. For this organization I donated a number of knit hats for children, and then I spent 5 Friday afternoons for one hour teaching kids from grade 1-5 to knit. It was a great time as I got to help kids learn something new for them. A couple of weeks ago, I received a call asking me if I would teach kids to knit during their summer camp. Each group goes for three weeks, so I would have 3 – 1-hour sessions with each group, this sounded not too bad. Now the only thing that really got me was this was the entire summer, and the organization would set the day and time that I would be teaching the knitting. I wouldn't have any input on the day or time, and considering this was for the entire summer, that doesn't work for me. When I said no, they just didn't seem to understand that committing one hour a week during the day is difficult for someone that works.

So, what I am really getting at is if you want someone to volunteer for your organization, you have to be willing to accept their schedule as part of it. In my case, if I had been given some input on the number of times, I taught the knitting and the day that worked best for me, I might have considered it.

Volunteers are people that are willing to give an organization some of their personal time for free, so remember you need to respect the volunteer and consider their schedule.