Where I Find Inspiration ~ Blogging my way through 100 Topics for writers

Do you have a place you go to for inspiration? I have a few favourites. A local café, my writing room, walking around in nature, and the airport, yes, the airport. My favorite thing to do as a writer is people-watch. I don’t stare; I watch people walk around the airport as I sit and write or read at a restaurant. Or sitting in the gate seating area waiting for my section to be called to board the plane. I usually wait until everyone else has gotten up and boarded the plane. We are all going to the same place. There is no rush.

During the pandemic, I was lost not being able to go to a café where I would sit for a couple of hours drinking coffee, and people-watching and writing. It was my go-to place. The first memoir I wrote was in a cafe. I had a ridged routine on my days off. I got up, worked out, and then headed to a small café in the small town of Campbell River, BC, on Vancouver Island. Like clockwork, once I sat down with a large Americano on the table, laptop open, my fingertips hit the keyboard, ready to type the morning away. I wrote a draft memoir about growing up in my family, about the two people who I was the closest with, my Nanny and Bumpy. I told their love story and my story of being an only child who knew she didn’t fit in with other people. It was the first time I really put everything on the page. This draft sits in a drawer waiting to be massaged into the memoir I will share one day.

Now, I find in other places, our farm. Walking around the lush green space and walking through the path I created amongst the wooded areas gives me great inspiration. I have found a local café, a ten-minute drive from our farm. It’s called the Purrfect Café. One side is the café and the other side is for cats that can be adopted. They have a lot of space to roam, and lots of cat trees to play on and nap in. There is a large window between the café and the cats. I sit at a table next to the window and now cat watch. A sense of calmness flows through my body as I sit and type, and every so often, I glimpse over to see a cat watching me. I imagine they are sharing their creative energy with me.

Inspiration comes from all around. I am open to all the possibilities for inspiration to find and work through me. Oh, how I love the creative process.

Thank you for being here with me today. I love hearing from you. Please share your favourite places to find inspiration. It’s nice to learn from others.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

Vintage typewriter keys by Markus Spiske

Morning Routines and Writing

Blogging my way through 100 suggestions by Mixtus Media

Share my morning routine

It is 4:45am, the first wake-up call is ringing next to my ear. I hit snooze. There is a second alarm coming within 5 minutes. I get up out of bed and wrap my housecoat around my body, pop a vitamin C, and head downstairs to the living room with a glass of warm water and lemon, my morning pages journal, and a pen. My cat, Micro, follows me into the kitchen and meows for food. He has learned the 3:30 am requests are not tolerated any longer. He sometimes rations but he’s a cat and when he is hungry, he eats, but he waits until one of us is up to ask for more. After giving him a hug and filling his dish, I headed to the sofa to write my morning pages. I write the three long hand pages filled with random thoughts of how I am not awake. I hear the birds singing. I now hear Micro at the door wanting to go outside. I continue to write about what comes to mind. Lately, there have been more thoughts about the hotel life and the reoccurring theme of my creative life suffering. I stop the thoughts with a deep breath. I am the only one who can make the change.

After I finish writing, I schedule social media for the day for my author and the farm pages. I attend to what is most important for my creative and farm life. The hotel life takes enough of my time during the day, I have to honor the creative life. Don’t get me wrong, the hotel life has and continues to provide me with what is needed to maintain and excel this amazing life. I thank the universe multiple times a day.

After I finish writing, I head to the basement and work out for an hour. I love to move the body and sweat. Afterward, I make a smoothie while I get ready for work. The mornings are a fresh start to the day, and I love the stillness of the moment.

What does your morning routine look like?

Thank you for being here with me today.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

How to Get Unstuck – The Artist’s Way

I’m feeling stuck with the blogging process. It’s not that I am stuck about writing, it’s what to share with you and wondering if anyone is really reading these weekly blogs. But I have to remember that I am writing for myself and it’s my hope that one person reads my work and maybe they connect with my writing and get something out of what I am sharing. I write about the difficulties of being a writer who works full time and has a bag full of excuses.

To move forward, to shake things up, I am going to follow a list of topics created for writers to blog about. This comes from Jenn Hanson-dePaula, a content contributor of MixtusMedia.

There is a list of 100 Blog Topics for Fiction Writers. I am a non-fiction writer at the moment, but have fiction stories waiting to be written, so why not work through this list for the next 100 Mondays.

The first one is not my favourite topic,

Write a review for a book within your genre. I was never a fan of writing book reviews, but I love the book I am going to share with you.

The Artists Way by Julia Cameron.

You may have read some of my blogs about my experiences while going through this great creative book.

How I stumbled upon this book. As I have shared and believe, everything happens for a reason.

I was working for a new meditation retreat resort and met some lovely people from the weekly mediation class offered at the resort. One woman, Christine, and I connected when we shared our stories, to find out we both were writers helped us connect quickly. She told me about a writer, Julia Cameron’s memoir, Floor Sample, but told me it was dark based on Julia’s substance abuse and how she quick cold turkey and wrote a screenplay within a month after becoming sober. It intrigued me. I asked to borrow the book if she brought it by the next meditation class. A week later, Christine left me a copy of The Artist’s Way in the mediation’s entrance room. There was a sticky note with my name on it and I placed the book on my writing desk that evening and didn’t open it for another month. The morning I opened the book was a regular morning for me at the resort. I got up and went to go work out. I took the book with me and read as I moved on the elliptical trainer. I was hooked when she shared, ‘I teach people to let themselves be creative.’

It’s not that I wasn’t allowing myself to be creative. I was living and working at a spiritual resort. Creativity surrounded me. It was that I didn’t know how to make my creative life a priority.

As I worked through The Artist’s Way, went on Artists Dates, started morning pages, went for long walks, and read more about writing, I was investing time in my writing life. I was shifting into the creative being I knew I was.

The Artists Way is a book on how to get creatively unstuck. It is full of experiences, situations, and routines of how to move towards creativity.

A few of the core themes of the Artists Way:

·      Creativity is our natural state. Creativity “God” wants to work with us.

·      It is safe to be open to creativity. It’s safe to be yourself.

·      To move towards creativity is to move towards your true self.

The breakdown of the book:

You will read a chapter each week for 12 weeks and focus on the exercise provided to look at our limitations and move through them.

The main activities:

·      Morning Pages: Three long hand pages to be written in the morning, as soon as you get out of bed, or write them while in bed. No rules, no topics, just write to clear the cobwebs to help get unstuck. Morning pages are to be written by longhand, no typing because it’s easy to delete. Writing from the heart on the page can let go of what needs to be said to get unstuck.

·      The Artists Date: Take yourself on a date. A date to nurture your creative self. A few examples: Go to a local festival, music, art show, or museum. Write a letter to a friend. Go for a walk in the woods, take a sketch pad and play around, draw, write, or simply sit in silence and soak it all in.

Julia guides us along the way. There are times when I didn’t want to do the exercises, but I would sit down and push through them, and afterward I felt something shift. My mindset mostly. On how I can take the time to write and do creative things to help my writing life.

Julia loves affirmations and so do I.  A few of my favourites:

·      As I create and listen, I will be led.

·      My creativity heals myself and others.

·      My creativity always leads me to truth and love.

·      There is a divine plan of goodness for me and my work.

·      I am willing to create.

·      I am willing to use my creative talents.

The Artists Way is a reboot back to the creative life. This book is a journey of self-discovery and self-actualization. If you are feeling stuck and need a nudge, get a copy of Julie’s book and start your journey. 

Thank you for being here with me today. If you have been reading my blogs and have a moment, send me a note to say ‘hi’. I would love to hear from you.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

Did you ever wonder why I put a picture of a typewriter at the end of each blog? I love typewriters, and love to share the fun pictures I find intriguing.

The What-if Story – How a Story is Started

When I roam around the farm I think about writing. In my head, I was having a conversation about a time when I would be interviewed by Sheila Rogers from ‘The Next Chapter’ or ‘Writers in Company’. I love CBC and I enjoy listening to other writers share their stories, how they wrote their books, and their writing process. I love all things writing.

The hypothetical question during my interview was, ‘why write this book?’ the book was about losing a spouse, and the circumstances around the main plot of losing a lover to a random act of bad timing.

My smart-ass answer is to start off with, ‘Why not?’ and then I follow up with, ‘To work out my junk through the story. The fear of losing my lover crushes me and cripples me with fear. What if and what now comes to mind. I want to know what the story is and how this person is going to get through this time in their life.’

Then I walk away from the greenhouse and move on to my next task on the farm. Planting squash starts in our outdoor garden. Growing fresh produce for the community, besides growing our own food, is a top priority for me. I need to incorporate my writing and farm life along with my paying day job in the hotel life. It’s a juggling act that I have been trying to balance and/or figure out for far too long. There was a moment in my life a few years ago I had a glimpse of the work-life integration, but at this moment I am trying to get back to or find a similar balance in this new season of my life.

I wanted to work out this new idea of writing a story about losing a loved one. The person you are deeply in love with, the one person who gets you.

What if you woke up one morning, kissed your partner hello then went on about your day, went to work, sent a text to your partner to say hi, they share a few things about their day so far, then you go back into work mode. Then it is time to go home, and the routine is to send a quick text, ‘leaving’ and usually receive a heart emoji or a ‘yeah!’ from your loved one. This time there is no response and you think nothing of it because they are busy and may not hear the text tone or are not near their phone. It’s not unusual for your partner not to respond right away.

When you arrive home, the dog is pacing and whimpering. This is not normal. The cat walks up to you and cries, you pat him like you normally do and say, ‘he baby, what’s up, did you have a good day?’ and the dog is pacing now from you to the front door of the house. Okay, now you feel your heart quickly pacing. The cat stays close to you as you walk, the dog whimpers loudly as you get to the door and you try to open the door. It is stuck, something is holding it back. You look in the window and see your partner laying in front of the door. You cry out their name and push the door open with your jolt of adrenaline. The dog jumps over his body and the cat stays outside. The dog is sniffing your partner’s head and whimpering. You call out his name as you roll him over. There is a fine line of blood coming from his nose and he is cool to the touch. You already know he is dead, so you pull out your phone and call 911. Nothing is happening as you try to save his life. You lay next to his body and cry. The next thing you remember is a voice,

‘Lily, can we move him to the stretcher now.’ And the other voice says,

‘Lily, let’s move over a few inches while they do their job.’

The dog is at your side; the cat is nowhere in sight now, but the door is shut and you don’t know what is going on.

‘Is he dead?’

‘I’m sorry, he is.’

‘how?’

‘Aneurism, but that will be determined with the autopsy.’

You take a deep breath in and cry again. You feel lost and do not know what to think.

****

Our Farm

This is just what came to mind as I was working around the farm. The creative process makes me happy. I love the way the muse says, hey I have an idea, lets share it with this person with whom we want to share the story with others. I’ll whisper this idea and see what happens.

This happens. At the moment, I feel the loss of my partner. I feel if he was gone, I would be lost. I feel lost just writing this down. I am filled with fear of him not physically being here. It is overwhelming and I am right here writing about it and want to keep going with the story. This is where I want to be. Right here writing this story.

Thank you for being here with me today.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

Farm Life Part 2

Thank you, everyone, who stopped by the read my latest blog about work-life integration. As I shared, I am a writer trying to implement work-life integration into my daily life.

This past week I took small steps toward blending the work and farm life. My creative life was non-existent after I completed my morning pages. I write three long-hand pages as soon as I get out of bed before I start my day. This daily ritual keeps me connected to writing. Then I take my days off and write as much as I can. When I say write, it means everything relating to writing. Reading, creating plot lines, jotting down notes about ideas I have for other books, and researching for my current work in progress. Writing doesn’t always mean the physical act of writing words.

This week, I took the time to do a little more on the farm after the workday was done. I know I am needed more on the farm as we grow our business. I attempted to tell myself and set a time frame with my work life that I needed to be done at a certain time to ensure I would be available for another appointment that was important to me. Everyone takes time off during the workday to go to a doctor’s appointment, take their kids to the dentist, and so on. Why can’t I do that? You know what? I can and I did.

I took an afternoon off to deal with personal and farm life appointments. However, there was a monthly commitment at the hotel life that I knew I wanted to still be involved with, so I connected remotely as I could tend to the farm life. I was blending into two of my worlds and the earth didn’t come to a screeching halt. Life was going on around me. I knew I can work from home and get everything I need doing in both areas of my life. Writing would still get my attention. I am here writing this blog and feeling connected to my creative life.

On Saturday, I could take the time to blend all three worlds together. I stayed on the farm as my hubby went to the market. The list of things to do to maintain the greenhouses where known. I knew I had to do some hotel work, so I wouldn’t be scrambling on Monday to get it done. I could get the projects needed for both farm and work completed in the morning. I spent the afternoon reading, sitting idle to listen for my muse to share what is the next step for my book. I smiled. I was in the moment and doing what needed to get done. It felt great.

The biggest highlight of the day was at five o’clock in the afternoon. I don’t think I shared a freak windstorm that damaged our first greenhouse in December in the middle of the night. It was if the hand of God or energy picked up the greenhouse in the middle, squeezed it ever so gently, and moved two feet across the property. The next day, a new friend of ours helped straighten out the pressure points on the greenhouse, but we knew we would need more help with moving the structure in the spring. That happened. These two wonderful people came with their tractors with forklifts and within thirty to forty minutes the greenhouse was straight and moved back the two feet to its original spot. Yes, there are areas we will need to work on but minor to moving the 96-foot long by 24 feet wide greenhouse entailed. Thank you, universe.

This is my creative life at the moment. Trying to figure it all out, to have some type of integration. Blending my lives in harmony is now a daily commitment. I am aware every day may not work out as planned, but I am setting the intention and committing myself to the highest self-care required to maintain this amazing creative life.

How are you with work-life integration? Do you have any tips and tricks that work for you? I would love to hear from you.

Thank you for being here with me today. Wishing you all a great day!

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

Photo by Min An on Pexels.com

The Farm Life; Trying to Create Balance.

I am a writer. I am a writer who happens to be a manager at a hotel to pay the bills. Because I am not Danielle Stelle or Stephen King. I am an amateur writer. I can say that about myself because it is true. I haven’t taken my writing career as seriously as I know I should be. It’s a sad story.

I am a writer who is a manager at a hotel that happens to have a small-scale farm. I am a writer who doesn’t write as much as she would like to. I am a writer who is more into hotel life than farm than writing. Okay, I’ll be very truthful. I barely help with the farm, only on the weekends when I try to squeeze in a few hours of writing.

On Saturday morning I did some hotel work because my job doesn’t end at 5:00pm on a Friday. I’m not a GM, but I am part of an senior leadership that doesn’t equal a 9-5 model.

It’s hard to find work-life integration. Human resources, Lifestyle experts say it is possible, and I’m trying to find my integration. I’m trying to blend my lives to live as one. Why? Because it’s hard to keep things separate in the world we live in. Yet, I love boundaries. I use to be the queen of telling people politely that when I am not working; it is my time. Unless it is a life-or-death situation, it can wait until I return to the office. It’s true. Nothing is that earth-shattering that I need to leave the comforts of my home to go to my day job. Yes, sometimes it was a serious situation, and I put my work hat on because it is part of the job. I choose to be in the world of management in hospitality. I am good at what I do and I love sharing how great it is to work in an industry that brings people together. I am of service and I am aware of the choices I make. I am grateful for this awareness.

I started off by saying I was a writer who happens to be working in the hospitality business, who has a small-scale farm, and who is trying to live all three lives in harmony. There are days it works. I can do all three. There are days I am not able to and I have to come to terms with this. The true self is crying out to be writing and I have to pay attention to her. My creative life is my priority. I will keep working on integrating my three passions to live as one.

Do you have work-life integration? How do you do it? I would love to hear about it. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for being here with me today.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

Reflections of the Creative Life

The past two and a half years have been a blur. We have had little time to settle into our new life, but we have learned how to figure out boundaries, what is a priority, and what can wait until another day.

My husband is resilient, he is focused on the big picture of our farm. It is more than a full-time job. I have a full-time job in a hotel as a manager that requires my attention more than I like. Don’t get me wrong, I am very grateful for the amazing opportunity; I am learning work-life integration. I tried to have a balance where I tried to separate my life from work, but it didn’t happen. When I’m working at the hotel, I am the creative person who is needed to maintain engagement. When I’m at home, I bring traits of my ‘work-me’ home to keep me on track with what I need to be done. It’s all one. My hotel life has provided everything that I needed to get to this very moment. I can say the same thing about my creative life. I have said yes to almost every opportunity that the universe has presented. My creative life wants to soak in all the experiences to fill the creative well. I have said this before and I will continue to say it,

Everything happens for a reason.

I love where we are living, meaning I love our property, the farm, and the quiet town outside of the city. We once lived away from the city when we lived in Oyster Bay, BC, where I helped run a small boutique meditation retreat resort. It was twenty minutes away from the principal city. I prefer the quiet. When I am still, I can tap into my true awareness and remember that I am here to be of service by creating books, blogs, recipe books, and screenplays to be enjoyed by you. I am here to help maintain a farm that provides us with our food source and to provide local produce to our community. Locals should eat local food, and farm-fresh food. We are here to provide that experience.

The community has welcomed us at the local farmers’ market. It has been a wonderful experience to connect with new people and do what we said we wanted, to provide fresh local food to the community. Now we are opening a farm stand at the farm. We are on the main road to the smaller towns in the area. To quote the Field of Dreams,

“If you build it, they will come.”

We live in an area where change is slow, but there are progressive-minded people around that want to support locals, especially farmers. As the gas prices rise and people may think they can stay close to home and still get the food needed to nourish the body. My focus now is to grow beans to have the staples of any plant-based diet. We are not trying to change anyone’s food preferences; we are here to offer an alternative and save some money on gas and fewer emissions on the road. If we can do our part to heal the earth, even in our little area, that’s a win for us.

When I pull weeds in the greenhouses and help with planting and harvesting, I am living my creative life. Being part of nature is important to me and the writing. The more I am grounded, the better I am when I sit down to write, then when I spend time in my creative life, I am happier and able to go to the hotel life with ease. Everything is connected and I say,

Thank you, universe.

Thank you for being here with me today. I wish you a fantastic week!

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

Things I regret missing during the pandemic, not really.

It’s been two years since the pandemic hit us. It united us as one with the lockdowns, saying, ‘Stay Safe’, and every other pandemic ism that was created as quickly as anyone could think up.

I watched and listened to millions of people losing their jobs and then being forced to pivot to their true passions. What the hell! I thought. You’re getting time to open your own business? Write the book you’ve been bellyaching about all these years.

Then there was me…

I was fortunate to keep my job. Or was I? Yes, yes, I was. I had to keep telling myself that for a year before I changed jobs in the middle of the Covid-19 drama.

I can’t really get into the details because of confidential privacy acts, and if anyone knows me, I’m a rule follower. I’ve been told and self-proclaimed that I am literal. I am and that’s okay. I may not have a sense of humour or understand jokes, but I follow the steps and my IKEA furniture always turns out as seen in the catalogue.  

The universe hears us. If you put it out there, be ready to receive what is needed to get to the bigger picture. Sometimes it takes longer than we have patience for, then there are moments where I got whiplash from how fast the universe works. It’s amazing.

During my year at the one hotel I worked for when we first moved back to Atlantic Canada, I kept telling myself that I didn’t want more responsibility; I didn’t want to be a General Manager because I knew myself. I knew I would be true to the hotel, the owners and, most importantly, the employees. I would be on call 24/7. Hotel life does not have boundaries. They constantly needed you when you run a hotel. But because the hotel didn’t have a GM at the time and was in the middle of finding one, I got the job because of Covid. I kept my consistent income and health benefits, and I was truly grateful for having a job. But, I said I didn’t want to be a GM again. Sometimes you have to be more specific with your intentions, and sometimes the universe gives you something to make sure you are paying attention.

When the pandemic hit and lockdowns happened, many hotels in the city closed their doors. Within 24–48 hours, we watched millions of dollars of room nights drop to zero. But, when we found out other hotels were closing, we stayed open. There was an overflow of travellers. We had health care workers stay with us because they couldn’t stay at home because of the risk of getting Covid and spreading it to their families. As Covid’s causes were going down, business came back, and we had enough business to stay open. We were getting more future business to warrant bringing back the laid off staff and hiring new employees to help with the bright future ahead.

Then, one afternoon, I met another hotel associate for lunch because it was time to get back to networking after a year and a half of virtual meetings and hiding under the covers. When they asked me to tell my story, who was I, how did I land up in Fredericton, and why did I like hospitality? As I shared my story, I watch their interest in me, then they said, ‘I’m looking for an HR director…’ because I shared how I was passionate about human resources, I loved coaching people to help them find their passion within the hotel or break free and try something new. So, I applied for the job and after the month-long hiring process, I became the HR Director for the biggest hotel in the city.

If I had been laid off from my previous job, I would not have had that lunch meeting with my new boss, and I wouldn’t be living my best life. Right place, right time. Thank you, universe.

Sure, I sometimes regret not getting laid off and getting Covid relief pay to stay home and write. But, I know everything happens for a reason and I am learning how to set my boundaries and figure out how to live a more work-life integration. I looked at my FB header and realized that I have been saying one thing, but trying to keep things separate when it all is one.

Working for a hotel became a way of life

Writing is my passion

The two become one

Hello! My work-life integration began long ago. I finally get it. Sure, I set boundaries where on my days off I don’t check emails, but if someone at work calls me, it’s important, HR-related things don’t stop because I’m a day off. I get it, and now I’m learning how to live a more integrated life. Thank you, universe!

What reflections do have you as we live with Covid? What are some things you may or may not regret during the height of the pandemic? I would love to hear from you.

Thank you for being here with me today. I appreciate you stopping by.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

I survived the Blogging Through A to Z Challenge

The Blogging Through A to Z Challenge is over. I feel good about how I approached this year’s blogging challenge. I did witness that I left the last letter to the eleventh hour. I wrote twenty-five blogs in two and a half weeks. Then stopped because of my ego, thinking I would get to the last letter before they were due. I left the letter Z for the last day of the challenge. I knew I was going to write about Zen and had started the blog, but last week I was stuck in my head. The ego was in overdrive with too many thoughts about something that is bothering me about where I am in my life at the moment. I am frustrated with not finishing my second memoir, but I have to give myself a break because I just wrote 26 blogs based on my memoir. I was working the messy stuff out on the page and it helped me get past the fear of what I was and was not sharing. So on Saturday, April 30th, I finished writing the last blog and published it in the afternoon. It felt good to complete the project. I had come so far. Why would I leave the last letter out?

Everything Happens For A Reason

Two Mondays ago, a friend I worked with 25 years ago at the Chateau Lake Louise was driving through Fredericton on her East coast road trip. We had coffee for an hour and the number of times I felt goosebumps appear on the back of my neck and arms was joyful. These moments were my angels/true self saying ‘pay attention. I am paying attention.

I am a big believer everything happens for a reason. As I listened and shared stories with my friend and her friend that was travelling with her, they reminded me that life is too short to worry about the little things. Life is meant to live and live fully.

My friend from the past showed up exactly at the right time. I needed to be in her company and hear her stories to help remind me I am the only one who can write and share my books. I knew this, but sometimes I float around like I have all the time in the world. That is not the case.

Each blog I wrote about certain experiences helped me go deeper and not hide behind anything. You can’t hide in memoir. We do not share often the dark side of hospitality. This second memoir is about the choices I made when I veered off my true-self path and the third memoir is about how I got back on track with my creative life.

Now that the challenge is over, I will go back to each letter that I wrote about the hotel life and include what I need in the chapters in my memoir that I forgot to add. I will provide more detail and tell myself the image of keeping things at an arm’s length is no longer an option. Not only for the writing but for myself. If I was chosen to write memoir, why would I try to keep things from the story? Now is the time to let go of the past on the page and move forward. (Inset a hallelujah here).

Thank you for being here with me today. If you have read any of my 2022, A to Z blogs, I would love to hear from you.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

Q is for Questions

Every year when I plot out the letters for this blogging challenge, I seem to turn back to the same thought about the letter Q. Maybe I should look into why I choose the same topic or ask a different question.

What I was going to write about was the questions guests have asked me when working at Chateau Lake Louise. They are the same questions I would get year after year.

· How heavy does that mountain weigh?

· Are the shrimp from the seafood chowder from the lake?

· When do you turn on the Northern lights?

· What time does the staff paint the lake?

· What time do you let the animals out?

At one point, I wondered if it was just me. Maybe I was the only one who got the questions. Then I would hear guests at other tables in another section ask their server the same questions. As the weeks passed, my work friends would not complain but mention the same questions asked by guests. The bellmen would tell us stories about what guests would ask about what they packed for their trip to the Canadian Rockies, “Do you think three pairs of sneakers are enough? Do I need an umbrella for the snow? Should I bring snacks for the bears?” It was never-ending.

Questions I would ask myself when I talked to guests in my early twenties:

· Why am I here listening to someone ask about how heavy a mountain is?

· Do they really think the lake is painted? Common sense is not so common.

· How can I get them out of my section?

· If I spit in the soup, will they notice?

· Why are they married, all they do is bicker about nothing?

· Can I just leave and no one notice?

There were times I stood at my side station organizing my tables and watching people eat the overpriced meal that I placed in front of them and wondered,

If I just left, would anyone notice?

I know it would go noticed, but when guests dismiss you and call you, honey, dear, you… it gets a little draining. There were times I wanted to walk out on my entire section because of the same questions, the same self-entitled odour coming from their comments about how they couldn’t believe they got a room facing the back of the hotel, they spend all this money and they don’t get the room with a view. I may have said, you have a beautiful view now, waving my hand towards the floor-to-ceiling windows facing the Victoria Glacier and Lake. Maybe a guest would pay attention and realize I was right, but there was the odd guest who gave me the stink eye, as if I knew nothing. In those times, I wanted to drop my wine opener and walk out the door.

Why I stayed? I was living in one of the most stunning places in Canada. I was gaining experiences; I was learning about myself and filling up my creative well. I was doing what I needed to get to the next step.

I focus a lot on Chateau Lake Louise because it was a special place for me. During my time there, I connect with many people I am still in touch with today. During the mid to late 90s, we had something special. We had fun, we laughed, we cried, we did everything together; we went through the same heartaches and the same celebrations. It was amazing and the one question I ask myself, is what if I stayed? That is another story percolating on the side.

Thank you for being here with me today. Have you worked in the service industry and been asked silly questions by guests? I would love to hear from you.

Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…

Photo by Min An on Pexels.com