Andrew and I will be celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary in July and for the past few months I’ve been thinking how great it would be to celebrate the occasion with all four of the children.

In one place.

But as I  write this, Tom (20) is a 2nd year electrical apprentice in Calgary, David (20) is in 2nd year architecture in McGill, Ted (19) is in 2nd year Business in Acadia, and Rebecca (16) is in Grade 10 in Newmarket, and all of the three students have lined up summer jobs in three different provinces. SO, a family “anniversary gathering” in July is a remote possibility as much fun as that would be and as much as big gatherings have been a rewarding part of my life in the past.

As Andrew knows, I like having lots of new things and new people added to my life but I have trouble moving on mentally from old traditions, former colleagues and acquaintances, things I used to do or be in the past. But I would say that having a modern family living across four provinces and starting my own business after a couple of other careers have both been really helpful to me in going with what is rather than what used to be or what might be if, for example, the family all lived in Toronto.

A couple of things that I do about this gap is to take the perspective of “not right now” rather than “never”. To stay with the family example, there may well come a time when all four children and their partners can join us regularly on family trips, but that’s not right now. Right now Andrew and I mostly see them individually and that leads me to the other approach I have learned about being with what’s possible now: just enjoy it –  it’s called life and it’s great. The upside of the times we have with the children now is that we really get to focus on whomever we are with…tonight we are getting together with Rebecca and next weekend Ted will stop in for several days en route from Nova Scotia to Calgary. It’s not like my childhood on the farm when every Sunday was a huge family gathering – it’s different and in many ways, better.

These reflections also extend to my business. Some days it feels all-consuming and I worry about what’s next, where it’s going. But I do really try not to do that too much. Although I’m a slow learner in this area, I have learned that it’s essential to enjoy the stage, right down to appreciating the amazing bakery scents I work in every day right now.   So there’s my fridge-magnet thought for the day – take time to smell the toasted coconut!

I hope your day is great, whatever you’re up to.


About the author

Jean Blacklock

Jean opened the popular Prairie Girl Bakery in the financial district of Toronto in 2011. She owned and operated the business until it closed in 2021 as a result of the pandemic’s impact on downtown Toronto. Read more about her background in commerce, law, and entrepreneurship here.

By Jean Blacklock


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