Unapologetically Canadian
Unapologetically Canadian

Episode 28 · 2 years ago

2019 and the decade in Review


I reviewed 2019 and the entire decade it ended based on 10 themes:

financial (self-investment, business investment, revenue)

health (Celiac disease, diet, exercise, spirituality, capacities)

writing (craft, process, learning)

business (partnership, professionalism, coaches)

relationship (love, growth, challenges)

friends (appreciation of one another, time spent)

family (adventure, change, growth)

French (bilingualism, learning)

photography (technology, skill, art)

self-defense (karate)

I finish with a collective challenge to take on climate change.

My name is TRACI AEO and I am unapologetically Canadian. This is my year and review episode. It's now Monday, December thirty two thousand and nineteen, and since it's two thousand and nineteen, this is also going to be a decade review. I am going to go back to the eight point outline that I made when I first moved to Montreal and set up a business as a writer. That outline has eight goals financial, health, writing, relationships, friends, family, French, photography and self defense. That's because the photography and self defense with two things that I wanted to get to know at that point. So on the financial thought, in the last year my business has suffered a little bit because I've spent a lot of time creating things and I still have investments tied up in in cause we have a little shed that we built and they it. That company hasn't been able to pay me back yet on those things. So from a financial point I think my business is still in the start up phase. I'm still spending more time and and money setting up the projects and making them function that I am pulling out personal money. Also, this year I started a new business, notable nonfiction. I put that, the publishing side of my business, into its own company so that I can be a little bit more strategic about publishing and making sure that the problem that my published works have clear contracts between me and the company. That's partly because in nine years I'll be retiring and I want to make sure that, regardless of what happens, the copyright is very clearly assigned and licensed to other organizations and that my children will be holding on to my personal copyright until seven years after my death. And so part of professionalizing the my copyright is I've made a list of all of my assets. I norm aloon fiction assets and I've been varied and I now I'm setting up very clear licenses between me and the new company about what's licensed within that copyright and I think that that will be also very helpful in terms of making sure that my goals are very clean and limited to what I actually want to or calledlish in each one of those. At the moment I have copyright. I own copyright on one, two, three, four, five of my ten twelve publications ulysses, my publisher. They have copyright on all of my ulysses, travel guides to hiking cross country skiing and snow showing and all of the guides to western Canada and to Ontario that they've probably they've produced. So I don't know own copybright any of those in actually I'll talk about that in my other one. But so, but I do own copyright in my in the I volunteered Canadian Vietnam vets, remember, because my publisher in that case exp licensed unexclusive rights to publish that work, and so that particular contract still allows me to publish my own... if I want to. So that's a really important part. On the financial side as well, I have learned how to handle my own investments. I now have my own trading account and that's been a really important step in financial freedom. I'm working very, very hard to to understand what's going on there and to make sure that I create that I continue to create my own financial independence in the last decade. That's a big change from in the last decade because when I went into this decade with a hired money manager, with an RSP from when I work for the Ontario government and not much else. And so now I've come up with very strong financial independence goals and part of that is making sure that I earn not only dividends on my investments, but that I limit my management fees and that I also hold stocks that I believe in. So that's that's been a big change on the financial side. So on the health side, I will I went into this decade actually not knowing. We're just learning that I had CELIAC disease and now I have limited many of my actually, no, I didn't even know that I had CELIAC disease at the bes this decade. So that's a big change. CELIAC disease is something I've had my entire life. I now know because I I've always been borderline and emich and there's all there's been all sorts of signs that something was wrong. I just didn't know what it was, and now I know that I have CELIAC, which means that I can't eat gluten and since eliminating gluten from my life, I have fewer menopuzzle symptoms. I have, my teeth are no longer falling apart. There's all sorts of I'm in the middle of the range for Annia and and I'm feeling very healthy. On the other side, I actually know game. We really easily. I never gave weight before, I didn't realize know that it was because my buddy wasn't taking it all the nutrients that I was eating. So now I actually have to watch what I eat and and exercise more. And so on the health side, that's a little bit challenging. Let mean, that's challenging like everybody. So I can't get play. I'm very, very healthy. So then the third element that I like to look at is writing, and the last ten years I've grown as a writer enormously. I've this is the time when I put into my courses. If you followed any of my courses, I've been put into get into process, a four step I like to call it at four step process, which is story, a story strung story, structure, sound, a story structure, style, sound. And by dividing things up that much, I've actually been able to write faster because I'm focusing on the story first and then the structure and then style. This is just I mean, anybody who's edited their own work knows that as soon as you get too worried about style in a story, you're really in the weeds and you it's been very, very helpful and it's been a great way to teach other people how to produce work non friction as well. And so on the writing side, I'm very happy with the progress that I've made as a writer. On the writing side as well, though, there's the business side, and this is the...

...two thousand nineteen, the year when I really became a creative entrepreneur and I started looking at projects as money making ventures instead of just personal craft improvement ventures. I've now improved my level of craft to the point where I'm definitely still learning, never going to stop learning, and I just discovered story grid this year, so I'm learning a lot more about structure thanks to the people who there, who are incredibly talented when it comes to structuring fiction work, and they're just working on structuring non fiction, which has been fabulous. I've been listening to their podcast and taking in and some of their free content and I'm planning on buying the book this year and I'll probably we're working a lot more on on structure as they as they revise how they look at story grid for fiction non fiction based on what they've already done it for the fiction world, and that's been really, really exciting. So two thousand and nineteen with a good year in terms of discovering a new tool that I didn't know existed before, which was the story grid. And, like I said, I've been working on teaching other people how to write non fiction as well. So been one. I should be publishing our behavior way to successful projects this year, which I'm very excited to get that out. And other writing projects include beads in a necklace, which the genealogy project, which is also going which is also directly leading into my own Canadian history, which I'm going to be releasing in two thousand and twenty because I'm putting together some of the stories that have I'm working on for genealogy on some in order so that they tell history of Canada in short story form, which is really exciting. So on the writing side, I've moved out of technical writing the and I've still doing some consulting, but I'm doing less this year. I'm going to be doing I'm going to be doing a lot less of that over time as I improve my nonfiction. So what can you learn from all that? That's really important for me, in this overview, to make clear, and one of the things that I really want to make clear is that I think improving you always have to be work. When it comes to writing or any art, I guess you always have to be looking at things from two points of view. One is the business side and the other one is the craft side, and I think making sure that I the other thing that I've learned a lot in the last year is making sure that I basically schedule absolutely everything in my calendar, and that means putting in the craft improvement training opportunities as well as the training opportunities on the business side, and I'm going to be working on that a lot more in the future. Basically, time management has been crucial for me pretty much for the whole previous decade up until they'll people are always telling me I do too much, and that's true. But, as I say, if you want something gone, give it to a busy person, because they're the ones who are going to fit more in just because they're trying to fit more in. If you're not trying to fit in, if you're not trying to fit in more than obviously, but I just think life is really short and I want to make sure that I'm able to do everything that I've always wanted to do in this life. And who knows, how long it's going to be, and so I can say, looking at the last ten years,...

...for sure I really I'm really proud of myself for taking on some of the projects that I didn't think would be possible. I now have a seasonal life as a CO founder. We came up with Grand Potaje, which is the Urban Agriculture Resource Center, which now has three employees. Unfortunately, I wasn't one of them. That was one something that failed in two thousand and nineteen. I applied for a job that I wanted there and didn't get it, but I'm really happy to see that it's moving forward and I will continue helping develop it as a member of cause and causes a member of Gram potage. So that's going to be exciting in the future. And cause also this year was a really exciting year with cause because we did our farmers markets and the farmers markets this is the fifth year that we've been running farmers markets, and so they're losing a little bit there cat out of their cache locally, and so this year we really had to renew them, and one of the ways we did that was by bringing in fresh fruit that is not organic, which means that it's a little bit cheaper than the organic farmers that participated in our farmers markets and they bring in as much organic fruit as they can, but they can never bring in as much as people actually want. So they're the ones who suggested that I branch out a little bit and try to bring in more fruit and I found a wonderful farmer and actually on the podcast you'll be hearing from her in in two weeks. She there are wonderful farmers in Quebec who have been working on they've been growing strawberries for more than a decade now and their strawberries are extraordinary. They are not fully organic because they when things get rough, they do use pesticide, but they really avoid it and you can tell because the strawberries taste amazing and they're really wonderful farmers and I'm so happy to have created a relationship with them and I'm looking bringing in more fruit over the next few years with the farmers market. So that's really exciting. And the other thing that happened in two thousand and nineteen is that my daughter and I launched digital while. We launched a campaign to create a digital application and we've been working. Actually it's really really an interesting how that project grew, because we started off promoting it and and fundraising and now we're into the development of the application itself, and so I expect that as well to bring a lot of information in the next year. It was really positive to get people together cooking, but we didn't get the kind of attention that we wanted. I reget you there's so now we're focusing on the application itself and actually serving people with helping them prepare local seasoning food, and so I'm really looking forward to that as well. So on the business side, that's the two areas that I can comment on. On the relationship side, that's my husband and I will be celebrating twenty five years of marriage in on April, one in two thousand and twenty, and so the last decade for us has been both really challenging. I would say we started this decade with having children who were not even teams yet and now they're adults, and the growing ourselves and trying to I think Dan Sullivan has a really good point when he talks about creating a life that you love and he says that you always have to have a future that's greater than your past. And in two thousand and nineteen, I think both of us, my husband and I have a particularly n since...

I'm talking about me here, we've been trying to figure out what the future holds in terms of our relationship. We've spent so much time raising a family and that's been the priority. Now we have to actually invest in ourselves as a couple, and we're not particularly good at that. I'm really not good at that. So I spend a lot of time working and I don't really enjoy just lasing around and relaxing, and my husband's super good at that. He loves watching movies and he loves relaxing, and so basically we have been learning how to build on each other's strengths and help each other grow, and I think that that will be something that we have to continue doing moving forward. So it's been real learning experience and I'm so happy to have my best friend. It's my life partner and but it isn't always not the easiest person to live with, so it hasn't always been easy. So I think that that adventure is still an adventure. You just can't tell what you're going to get these things. So under the friend's side, that also has been something that I haven't spent that much time working on in two thousand and nineteen. The I think moving forward, I need to spend more time build maintaining the wonderful friendships that I have and spending more time with them, with the people that I love. And two thousand and Nineteen I only saw my dad, for example, and it crosses over to family, but I only saw my dad once in that I know that's not true. I saw twice in two thousand and nineteen. That's just not enough. So and in the last ten years, of course, my mom died during that time and so our family has also been trying to get used to not having her, pulling therself together, and I have to say that I'm pretty lucky to have two wonderful sisters who have and one of my sisters in particular, but both of them have been working very, very hard to connect the family on regular basis and they are just fabulous people that have in a life. I mean, they both live in the Niagara Region and so I've been spending a little bit time going back there. We've been spending a lot of time wine touring over the last few years and including in two thousand and nineteen and because of that we, my husband and I, actually discovered some wineries that are great in Quebec as well, so I expect that to continue. So, friends and family have been lots of wine touring, lots of spending time, quality time with each other. I took them to the Shaw Theater last year and that was a really for the glass MANAGERV and I'm really happy to have done that and actually we're going to be doing that again in two thousand and twenty. We're going to see Sherlock Holmes curse of a Raven for Thanksgiving. So the friends and family friend has been not as close as I would like, but definitely close. We've spent a lot of time at my husband's sisters place and his brother's place. They both have chalet's just outside of my treal, so we've been really lucky to to be able to be invited up there and it's really great to see pendrids family. They are just wonderful, wonderful people, but again, and see them as often as I'd like. Really happy that will be spending the years you've together tomorrow. So that's a real great opportunity to spend some more family time, friend innch. Wow, my French is actually I'm...

...pretty much biling well now, so I don't actually even have that on my list of goals anymore. But I thought, like I said, I wanted to look at my past goals because this was a an entire decade. It's hard to remember how much you've grown when you look at that past, and especially when you look at things just in one year. So, looking over at the goals that I had when I first moved to Montreal, it's basically my I'm completely by the goal. I can even my even my writing is improving. Of course, there's always improve it's to be had with these things. I'm always going to be learning, but I really feel like I'm part of the French community here now and that's a really thrilling realization. To make photography. I don't do very much photography. I take pictures with my phone. I need to take pictures of everything because everything needs a visual side to it. But photography is not something that I developed and it's not something that I'm particularly good at and it's not something that I particularly want to be good at. So my is to actually create a business in which I can hire a photographer and a videographer to do all this kind of stuff so that I don't have to do it anymore. So that's the goals moving forward. And selfdefense. Well, I stopped doing karate in two thousand and nineteen, which I think was a mistake, and I'll probably pick it up again in the future because is I really felt strong being a Karty cat and I'd like to take that up again. So that's the actually nine level of goals. Were points that I want to make in terms of my business and my life, and that's my overview of two thousand and nineteen. Like I said, I've become a seasonal creative entrepreneur. I've I've created a true seasonal life. I started working with coaches actually about five years ago, and I think that's the biggest change that I've noticed in the last decade, is that I'm now really, really comfortable working with coaches. I'm going to be doing that a lot more in the future and it really if I didn't have Ryan Life and to encourage me to create a vision of a seasonal life, I wouldn't have gotten involved in Grand Potaje and cause and I wouldn't have created a new business little up fiction. So I think that the various coaches that I've been working with over the last five years have really changed who I am and my what my business is accomplishing, and I have to thank them for that. So, and I guess B school will be starting soon. So if if I invite you to experience any one of my coaches, then I definitely recommend taking them up on it, because I wouldn't have an actually, that brings up interview that I'm doing for apologetically Canadian that you'll get to hear not next week but the week after, a wonderful woman who has she's a Canadian who moved to Los Angeles and she's a trainers coach and she has a method called evolved that she goes through with me on the podcast and the V and evolved is vision and all. I was really inspired by her her process of coaching people, and I really think that you'll learn as much as I did from our discussion, and so I definitely encourage you to tune in the so a happy year and farewell to the the first decade of this century and I hope that we continue enjoying peace in Canada and around the world and even more so in the coming years. It's we and and I hope that we can solve the climate...

...crisis as well, because I think that that's the biggest crisis hitting humanity and that's talk about that much in this overview, but because so much my seasonal life is actually been we put in Geo thermal in our house. We now have a hybrid car, we've we compost, we we've done everything we can think of to try and combat climate change as as an individuals and as a family. And now and we have voted for parties that I want to do the same thing on the national level and I think that it's time for that that happens, and I'm looking forward to being a part of that too. So here's to creating here's to solving the climate change problems so that we can have a healthy earth and a healthy humanity living on earth over the next decade. Thank you very much and happy new year. Thank you for listening to an apologetically Canadian. This episode was brought to you by Cobo. Use My affiliate link from the show notes for five dollars off your first order today.

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