Life is filled with in-between moments, those times when you find yourself wading through life’s water, having left one shore to get to another. You’re never quite sure how far off that other shore is; it can be foggy, or wavy, or cold – so you just keep wading forward with heavy feet trusting (and hoping) that you’ll get to where you’re going.
Even if you’re not sure where you’re going.
Sometimes it isn’t enough to just flip on the next Jennifer Aniston feel-good, stick your nose into the latest Dan Brown book, or turn on bubblegum happy time Katy Perry music. No, sometimes you gotta take a deep dive under that water you’re wading through to get some answers.
I recently shared a table on a jam-packed patio with a Swedish guy in his 20s who was visiting Canada on a week-long work assignment. Over pints, our conversation naturally shifted towards comparisons of what it was like living in Sweden vs. Canada. I asked what he thought of the six-hour workday, if Robyn is his favourite singer (obvi), and, of course, how many weeks’ vacation he has.
He has five weeks’ vacation.
These five weeks weren’t something he’d worked up to, or a special circumstance he’d found himself lucky to be in. Five weeks’ vacation, he explained, was the standard for his profession. I wasn’t surprised, exactly – I’ve long known that Canada’s minimum two weeks of vacation is more or less a bone our so-called progressive country throws its citizens when compared to many other countries.
As if you needed another reason to hang out in your backyard or the park, but in case you do I’ve created a backyard workout you can do with minimal equipment. All you need is a set of steps or a (sturdy) picnic table and a couple of hand weights, and you’re good to go!
As a society, we tend to equate confidence with loudness: loudness of personality, of fearlessness, of bold spontaneity. We think of a confident person as someone who can march into a room and command it with his power and his presence. We also tend to equate loud confidence with success: someone who sees what she wants, then stops at nothing to get it.
But a loud approach to a confident personality doesn’t fit all of us. Sure each of us can fake it here and there, and adapt when necessary. But on a day-to-day basis, a naturally quiet person can get pushed to the outskirts of the room to hang idly as a wallflower.