Holiday Survival, Reflection and The More/Less List

Is anyone else secretly happy the holidays are over?

We all have our baggage over the “warm and cozy” times. I suspect I’m not alone. Family, excessive consumption and no schedule. Sounds like fun…but I felt like a bag of shit when it was all over.

I realized this year more than ever, that without a routine I kind of flail around without direction. I think I secretly like having a routine and although the goal was to blob around for 10 days…I actually didn’t enjoy it quite as much as I thought I would.

Maybe that’s the point though. Maybe the point is to go back and appreciate your routine…as mundane as you think it is sometimes. Or maybe I’m becoming a sheep. I’ll have to let you know.

I thought I’d pop in and post since we’re all reflecting on the closing out of 2015. I’ve been hasty with my reflection because I’m headed out on a 2016 solo planning retreat in the upcoming weeks and wanted to save ALL the reflection for my journal by the fire. But it is a good time to take stock of the previous year, and I was thinking this morning about the memorable moments of 2015.

If I had to give 2015 a label it would be “Lessons”. It was neither good nor bad. I learned many things about myself, my business and the people around me that will help me propel a little bit (or a lot) deeper in 2016.

Some of the really cool things that happened in 2016 were: first time visits to British Columbia and Saskatchewan (I could probably reasonably not go back to Saskatchewan ever again…in the winter) and my first 2 flights in a DHC-2 Beaver!!! It was fucking awesome.

Shotgun in the older than dirt bush plane.
Shotgun in the older than dirt bush plane.


I also had the opportunity to hang  with Canadian music icons The Tragically Hip after watching an awesome concert just a few feet away from Gord Downey…if you are Canadian you know what impact they have had on our culture in Canada. I watched more car races and inhaled more fumes than I ever thought I would….and I actually enjoyed most of it. I had my bathroom overhauled in my cottage…goodbye turn of the century claw-foot tub! (It’s for sale if anyone wants it).

I developed some new kick-ass friendships and got into serious partnerships and collaborative journey’s with a few clients.

Hanging with The Hip
Hanging with The Hip

Also had a bit of turnover in my business, which at the time was super stressful but in hind sight for the better. Course correct and move forward. I learned to really listen to my gut and my intuition when it comes to the integrity of other people, which is many times painful, but it always works itself out  at the end of the day.

Give people what they deserve…either a lot or a little.

I’ve drifted away from a few people…kind of like the surf…not because of anything bad or wrong, but just because now is not our time. Perhaps it will be again soon.

I cut off shitty friendships…because nobody has time for that.

I learned that love gets packaged in different ways. And that it’s better to be open to different packaging than only focusing on how you think it should look.

I learned that money will respect you if you respect it. I learned that I get what I ask for. I learned that I need to improve in a few areas such as my expectations of people and my time management. I learned that I feel better when I get enough sleep and my body STILL doesn’t like caffeine. Or sugar.

I learned that it feels really, really good to give.

And so moving into 2016 and my planning retreat in a few weeks, I feel so open for things to come. Almost without exceptions but with an excited anticipation that really, without it being New Years, it’s a clean slate for me to design whatever my heart desires.

And that’s fucking cool.

And here…I bring you my second annual More/Less list (because resolutions are silly):


  • Blogging
  • Creating
  • Contracting out work
  • Writing
  • Furniture refinishing/decorating
  • Self care days
  • Abdominal muscles
  • Asking for what I want
  • Telling people what I need
  • Creative space/writing/time
  • Passive revenue
  • Meaningful interactions
  • Early, peaceful mornings
  • Whole-hearted pleasure
  • Positive people
  • Exploring
  • Home renovations
  • Hiking
  • Mountain biking
  • Risk – Calculated
  • Saving
  • Meditation
  • Love
  • Letting things be
  • Sprouts
  • Fermented foods
  • Kombucha


  • Facebook
  • Un-meaningful relationships
  • “Stuff” – Keeping up with the Jones’ shit
  • Late night work-a-thons
  • Alcohol – Monday to Friday
  • People with negative energy
  • Limiting beliefs
  • Forcing things
  • Listening to the critics
  • Sugar
  • Caffeine
  • Bending for others

What’s on your More/Less list for 2016?

Brooke Simmons