fall days

A few weekends ago I went around the Cabot Trail with my friend Jacquie. This is taken in Red River.

A few weekends ago I went around the Cabot Trail with my friend Jacquie. This is taken in Red River.

It's Saturday. It's 11 am. It's late Autumn, and outside the air is cool. In the sky, there are patches of blue sky, and patches of clouds. The leaves on the trees I can see outside my office window are half orange, half green. And swaying slightly, rustling, in a lazy little wind. 

Adam, my boyfriend, is hanging out on the couch in the living room. He's watching Sports Centre. It's his happy place. He's got a blanket over him, and likely he'll doze off. The cat, Mittens, was outside earlier, so there is a good chance she'll curl up on top of Adam and sleep too. And me, well, I'm in my office, carving out some time for my business. 

What that looks like today is: first, tidying up my space. Emptying the recycle bin of paper into a blue bag. Piling up the library books that I'm ready to return. Moving the pile of newspapers I'm saving to use in the garden, from the middle of the desk over to the far corner. Creating a spot on the shelf for magazines I want to use in making collages. 

Same Cabot Trail trip from a few weeks ago, this is from the top of Smokey Mountain.

Same Cabot Trail trip from a few weeks ago, this is from the top of Smokey Mountain.

Then, I open up my planner. I take care of a few quick things: emailing my Mom and brother about tomorrow, when I'll drive up to Baddeck to hang out with them. We needed to confirm the time. I send an email to my friend Leah Wechsler, who came through the It's Business Time program with me, and who is now my "biz buddy" - we will be Skyping next weekend for a monthly check-in with each other. (We call each other Wechsler and Noble, since we are both Leah.) And I send one to my mom and Adam's mom Mary Jane, to confirm a date in November when we three will meet for lunch. 

This is at Groves Point, collecting seaweed for my garden, a few weeks ago.

This is at Groves Point, collecting seaweed for my garden, a few weeks ago.

Now we get to the hard part. The part where Resistance gets to come out and tap dance all over my face. It's like when I'm at the gym, and I'm on the exercise bike, intending to be there for 30 minutes, but the pedals start to feel heavy. The machine is pushing back at me. It's on purpose: it's to make me work. It's to make me use my thigh muscles to push back, to raise my heart rate, to get healthy. It feels good, and it will feel good, once it's done. But in the moment, I'm incredibly tempted to get off the bike and say "Well that was just too hard, maybe I go better read a book about exercising, instead." You know? LOL. 

It's the same with doing the work of my business. The work of my business takes a number of forms: doing design work, but also writing my blog posts, coming up with ideas for things to create, things to share. Showing up day after day after day is actually how things get done. And Resistance looooves to tell scary stories about failure, about how they're all gonna laugh at me, about not having what it takes. 

From a mid-week walk, a cloud selfie in the field near my house.

From a mid-week walk, a cloud selfie in the field near my house.

Funny how easy it is for me to forget I've been blogging since 2002. That's thirteen years I've been typing into a white box on a web browser and hitting Publish. I forget even now, thirteen years later, that we figure it out as we go along. As we show up. That content plans are great, and goals for what we want to communicate to our audience are great, but that Showing Up and Doing Work (and maybe changing the plan as the work happens and we realize new things) is what trumps ALL. 

I so want to be able to plan plan plan, and then have creative inspiration show up when I schedule it to. "Wednesday at 9 am, OK inspiration? Show up then if you can." 

But Inspiration is like, "Leah, you show up, and I'll meet you there. Sometimes. Sometimes you'll be all by yourself. But do the work anyway. I'll be there again soon."

West Mabou Beach, last weekend.

West Mabou Beach, last weekend.

As I'm writing this, Mittens came and sat next to me, right next to my computer.

Adam is getting up, I can hear him moving about the house. I think he's going to do some sort of home-reno-something-or-other. He's the handy one in this relationship, for sure. He does things like tile the laundry room, or put a new screen door and trim on the front door. 

So is there a moral in this blog post? Ha! Likely not. Likely it's just me rambling. But it's also me showing up. Showing you pictures of life lately. Sharing thoughts from life lately. Putting into practice my belief that 60% is a passing grade. That you do the work, and put it out there. Before you're ready. Right? Right.

So now I'm going to use the remaining hour or so of the time I've blocked out for myself today to work on upcoming blog posts. I'm thinking of doing a "Day In The Life" post this week or next. I'd also like to share some actual designs I've done, but I imagine those posts will take a bit more to get together: sketches, my thoughts on the process, the finished designs. I'd also love to know in what ways I can be useful to you, my readers. What bits of expertise or thoughts can I share, that would make your day better? Do let me know. 

That's all for now! I hope you're having a lovely day, that you get to get outside and feel the fresh and delicious Fall air on your face and in your hair. 

xo Leah


Catching ideas

I took a walk on my lunch break today, in the Baille Ard park that's five minutes by car from work.

My hair was loose and as I walked through the fragrant, chirpy, buggy woods at a relaxed pace, my hair swayed a little with my movements.

As I walked I thought about some different projects I'm working on these days. My body in motion helps me come up with new ideas, come up with the next step. Something that's been feeling stuck, if I contemplate it on a walk, and turn it around in my head like a puzzle, suddenly clicks into place. The next thing to do becomes clear. "Oh, of course!" I think, "That's the solution."

It occurred to me that it's like my hair is catching the ideas. Like all the fronds and leaves and needles, green and lush in the woods around me, my hair is alive, sensitive, catching particles in the air, and turning them into ideas for me.

It may or may not be true, but as ideas go, I like it.

love where you live, but still want to leave sometimes

wrigleyfield You can love where you live, and still get super excited to leave. #truth That's me these days. We have a trip planned that starts August 3rd. It's a week and a half in Chicago and Wisconsin. We're going to see Phish play twice. We're going to eat deep-dish pizza. We're going to take a boat ride on the river to see architecture. We're going to hug lots of friends. We're going to get away from our smartphones. We're going to laugh a lot. I'm going to hear Adam tell a lot of stories about high school days with his friends. I'm SO PUMPED, you guys. I cannot WAIT.

Meanwhile, it's summer in Cape Breton. It's my favorite goddamn time of year in my favorite goddamn place in the world. (Remember when I went to ten beaches in one summer?) And life is super great right now! For so many years, summer in Cape Breton meant working all the hours I could. Now, I work 8:30 to 4:30, and have my evenings and weekends free. I have a garden. I have a kitten. I have a man I adore and who adores me. I have a car, and money to put gas in it, so I can get out to my favorite beaches and hikes. I have meaningful work to do. This is pretty much the flipping dream.

But I'm still really excited to get out of dodge! I'm excited to be on planes. To be in a big city that's totally not my usual haunt. To soak up the moment and hardly be online at all, and pack super light and see how that changes the travel experience. I'm excited to fill up my journal with ideas. I'm excited to be beholden only to myself and to Adam. And to see where that takes us.

Anyway, there are still a few weeks til then! Right now the weekend is about to start. It's chock full. Tonight we're going to check out Sydney RibFest (I'm bringing dental floss!). Tomorrow I'm working out at the gym with my rad trainer Steph, then selling tickets for a raffle at work. Then I'm going to treat myself to a movie: Magic Mike XXL. I've heard great things.  And then Sunday I'm checking out the Granville Green concert series in Port Hawkesbury: Sarah Harmer is playing! Woot: it's summer! Let's get outside and enjoy it.