What do I want to do when I grow up?

Courtesy of  hin255/freedigitalphotos.net

Courtesy of hin255/freedigitalphotos.net

One of my good friends from high school gave me a book awhile back called “Finding Your Own North Star”, which is essentially a book about figuring out what you really want to do when you grow up.

Most of us muddle through, one job leads to another, and then you find yourself trapped by “the golden handcuffs”. You know, that thing where it’s uninspiring and you struggle in every day, it isn’t something you actively enjoy, but it pays well, has good benefits, etc etc.

So what to do? You need the financial security, but the notion of this being the next twenty years makes you feel slightly panicky.

Start looking at what you actually enjoy doing, what you like to do in your spare time and what would be the most amazing thing to be able to be paid to do. And then think of some way that you could be paid to do it. Think it’s impossible? It isn’t.

Let’s say you love to read. What could you do that pays you to read? Hmmm. Researcher. Fact checker. Editor. Compiler of news stories for a headline website. There are a WHOLE lot of possibilities out there.


What if your interests seem a little less business-feasible? I have a friend who prefers animals to people, and has started a dog walking business in the downtown area, and is wildly successful. Urban professionals want a pet but can’t manage some of the associated tasks. She’s smart – she kept her day job until the pet business took off enough that she could lose the day to day grind in favour of Stanley Park and puppies.

I have a friend (several, actually) whose interest lies in all things sci-fi and comic. He’s started buying and selling comic figures on EBay. While this may not make him a mint to start with, it’s a step in the right direction to his (eventual) dream of running comic cons all around the world.

Lego Hulk

So where will I be? Reading books such as “Finding Your Own North Star” to figure out what I want to do and how to make it real. Care to join me?

Summer summer summer!

summer drinks

Somehow summer feels like a different place…even though the surroundings are the same, the mood and feel is completely different.

Things I love about Vancouver in the summer:

1) Theatre Under the Stars

Every summer, I go to Theatre Under The Stars in Stanley Park and watch a musical under the starry skies…you start out incredibly hot in the sun and then as the sun sets and you’re focussed on the performance, you find yourself chilly. The performances are always high quality, the tickets are reasonable and the whole experience is magical. This year’s performances are Legally Blonde and How To Succeed in Business.

Get tickets at www.tuts.ca and come with me!

2) PNE

Mini donuts. Fantastic concerts free with admission, under the blue Vancouver summer skies (going to see Great Big Sea this year – SO excited!). I love wandering around the Marketplace and seeing the new (and sometimes weird) gadgets and gizmos, and sometimes can get my Christmas shopping started early. It’s a huge, huge summer fair and it’s brilliant. They also have the famous prize home lottery, where for $25, you get a chance to win one of a bunch of brand new cars, or the grand prize of a professionally designed and built house (an ACTUAL house), fully furnished, on a lot in one of a variety of BC locations. You have to be a BC resident to win, so the odds are fairly good. And we all know how I feel about winning, so it’s one of the few lotteries that I actually enter and pay for. The whole experience is quintinessentially Vancouver and one of my favourite things every year.

More about the PNE at www.pne.ca .

3) Long lazy walks around Burnaby Lake.

Burnaby Lake is my go-to spot for needing to think out my thoughts. ‘Think a deep think’, as I believe Winnie-the Pooh once said. Now that I have a toddler, it tends to involve a lot more sidelines to the edge of the path to investigate whichever random twig or leaf caught her attention. But once she’s gotten some running out of her system, I can pop her in her stroller for awhile and meander through the paths, with just the sounds of birds chirping and the odd jogger running by for company.

4) My annual birthday BBQ

The birthday BBQ has become a tradition and keeps getting larger…it’s both the start of summer and (as mentioned previously) my own personal new year’s celebration. As the years have gone by, there are more small people and more catching up to be done – it’s funny how much harder it is to connect for a coffee these days than it used to be!

5) Longer nights

I love just sitting out in the yard once Kate’s asleep and reading a book or a magazine or chatting about the day with Jon…we’re both so much more relaxed and things flow so much better. And this is the first time we’ve had our own yard, so it adds another dimension of mellow.

6) Fresh raspberries. And strawberries. And blueberries.


LOVE berries. And now that I have garden space, I can actually grow them in the yard, which is magic.  Raspberries taste like tiny bites of summer, and now I can wander outside and get them whenever I want! And Kate is learning the joys of eating berries straight off the bush (hopefully with the bugs blown off).

7) Relaxing laid back summer days.

baby pool

Even workdays are easier (though I’d much rather be outside playing!). Clothes are less formal, lunches can be eaten outside on the grass, and everyone is in a better mood. Ah, summer.

What do you love about summer (in Vancouver, or in general)?