Letting stuff go


I’ve realized that part of change is letting stuff go.

My sister’s wedding anniversary is December 29th. That sounds romantic but it was a pain: I was in 2nd year law school with difficult first term classes, there was  Christmas on the farm to get through and Leslie was marrying into a Ukrainian-Canadian family which (we learned) celebrates weddings over a 3 to 4 day period.

I am complaining tongue in cheek because I love my sister very much and she and my brother in law are lovely people whose marriage has lasted many years

My point in raising their wedding here is to use it as an example of when I spread myself too thin. Rather than just show up in my fancy dress as maid of honour, I decided to go all in and do stuff like making chocolate dipped cherries for every one of the 200 guests. It was a huge production that was interrupted by a mouse running through the kitchen requiring me to take refuge on the back patio in the snowbank until my mother dealt with the mouse. I do not know what Mabel did to that mouse but he was gone when I returned, frozen, to resume dipping cherries.

So the cherries and all the other Christmas and wedding production took a very long time – or at least I gave it all a lot of time- and meanwhile I was **not** studying.  Surprise! My Christmas marks reflected my attention on the festivities and my inattention to law school.

I’ve been thinking about my response to Leslie’s wedding (“Let’s do this right!!”) over recent months. Here’s the thing: you can’t do it all. Or, you can do it all and not do so great at much of it.

I want to be all in to the growth of Prairie Girl Bakery right now. My wonderful team has stuck with it so that at last we have 5 stores all running well, two of which did not even exist this time last year, and we are nut free and we have a management office. There has been a ton done this year at PGB and there is a lot more to do with Snackin’ Cakes and maybe other stores in 2020 or 2021.

The corporate world likes to talk about table stake activities and in my personal life  those are: lots of time with Andrew; keeping up with our adult children; seeing my close friends every couple months; time with my cats; exercise; cooking; some tv; and keeping my wardrobe organized and updated because dressing up makes me happy.

So over the year I have realized that some other things needed to go away, at least for now.  I’ve gone on the inactive list as a registered psychotherapist, I put writing a book on hold, and I’m organizing the Christmas break so that Andrew and I can have a week to ourselves.  I really enjoy working with therapy clients, I had found a great writing coach, and I would like to be Martha Stewart and have non-stop dinners and house guests throughout all of December. But inevitably something gives and usually in the past it has been how I have felt: worn out, tired and come January, often depressed.

Once again I have wandered off topic today but maybe someone reading this will decide to do some life-editing too and if so, I wish you all the best with it. More next week on what’s up at PGB.

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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