Competition versus Community – finding balance.

First – this post holds no secret answers.  Just some meandering thoughts that wanted to be expressed while i sip hot chocolate with a dash of coffee in it for good measure.  balance.

Everything we do, we do for a reason. Sometimes the reasons are community minded, and sometimes they are self-preservation minded, but either way, our decisions affect both ourselves and the world around us.

Like my hot beverage today – hot chocolate – personally motivated comfort food on a cold morning, but with a touch of coffee – purposeful, ‘get me going to face the world” kind of subtle touch, that brings me out of my cocoon and into the public. balance.

Sometimes it’s just straight coffee – get out there and face the day with gusto and get on with it.

And when it’s straight hot chocolate, it’s time to take a time out – “me” time to recharge and contemplate – and when there’s Bailey’s or Sortilege in there… well, let’s get back to the topic at hand.

Competition – good for the customer as it provides choices and forces the service providers to step it up and keep working on improving their products and services to meet the needs of their clients – new and existing.

Community – we all need support at a times from our colleagues who are going through the same thing as we are – be it in business, hobbies, health, anything that touches our lives. Having a community to be a part of is important, to various degrees, as a human being and a member of society in general.

Balance.

So there we are, offering a service that is offered in a similar fashion by others we consider friends and good people, and there are so many of us – are there too many? Is it spreading our customer base too thinly so that no one can earn a living?  Do we fall into the terrible trap of starting to negatively think about those good friends and deem their services less valid than our own?

And what about that community feeling we all want – is it just to stroke our own egos and make us feel better about ourselves, and yet we find it difficult to give back that same support we might be seeking?

We are all insecure at times. We all find ourselves trying to balance fulfilling our own dreams while knowing that someone else also has the same dreams and maybe we have to vie for the same people to support both of our dreams.

But is there enough to go around? There might be, if we make the choice to not “need” so much.

I know this is a very vague post – and it’s not so much because I am thinking of specifics and don’t want to name names; it’s vague because I’ve been seeing this balancing act to various degrees in so many peoples lives around me for years now.  It affects the dance world, it affects the social media world, arts of all types, event offerings, the bridal world, the eco-friendly world, it’s everywhere.

So what do you do about it?

Years ago, I read a book. Yeah, helpful I know. It was a bit all over the place, but the gist that I got of it was seeking out multiple streams of income < competition> and win-win scenarios <community>.

And that was what stuck with me – I think those who know me can easily see the first one – I do try to find multiple ways to generate the income I need to pay the rent and eat.

And I hope that the 2nd element also comes through in my actions. As much as possible, I try to find the win-win solution in situations.

Balance.

But every once in a while, I look at what others around me are doing and I wonder, am I doing enough?  Am I promoting myself enough, am I doing my best at whatever it is I am trying to achieve < and this is my competitive side emerging to stir things up>.  And isn’t everyone else going through the same thing, no matter how confident and put together they may seem to be to the outside world?

I think we need both. and we need to be grateful for both.  balance.

Tracey/ Halyma

Thanks for reading if you took the time – I value your time shared with me.

Epiloque:

This morning, on the first extended early morning walk I’ve taken in a while, I was blessed with a teacher.  The universe is infinitely fast in it’s responses to our great life questions if we are paying attention. In a literal moment that transcended into the metaphysical aspects of my own personally created reality, < you like that? #flakyphrasingbuttotallytrue >, one of my purposes was reiterated.  Simply and succinctly over a 10 minute period.

Personal time: A Thank you to my Dad.

Every once in a while, I remember.

This summer, while on our annual camping trip, I was reading a thought-provoking book called, The Ancestors Are Arranging Things, and segments of it discussed Allumette Island – where I spent time as a child. and it brought up many memories.

It was a long time ago < 1981> that my Dad passed away on a summer vacation that would change a lot in my life.

That which I remember before that, is only moments, snippets in time.

Snippets of Dad:

- cooking his home grown swiss chard and eating it himself – I think no one else liked it.

- boiling water and pouring into his glass grape juice jar that was kept in the fridge, and if you drank it and didn’t refill it, well….

-supper at 4:30 p.m. so that he could grab a nap before heading out for civic duties.

- his garden and compost set up.

And the cottages….

The view from the beach at "Vibert's indian Point"

The view from the bonfire pit at “Vibert’s Indian Point” < so not PC>

-the night I saw a family of skunks crawling out from under the porch when I needed to venture out to the outhouse.  Pretty sure everyone was awakened for that adventure.

- map-o-spread on graham crackers with hot chocolate and resoundingly loud singing along with the 78’s on the wind up record player. “She’ll be com in’ ‘round the mountain” as a long-time standard.

- the gift of an inside set-up of a port-a-potty for Mom, to which I may have innocently declared, “That’s not vey romantic”, but now as an adult, realize it was a phenomenal gift of comfort and security to his wife at the rustic cottage.

-and canoeing and the peddle boat, and the hours he spent on upkeep of a beautiful piece of land, where I learned to love the outdoors.  I would not have had the opportunity if I did not grow up with every summer involving a trip to the cottages thanks to Dad, and Mom, of course.

And then, after my Dad passed away, my sister picked up the torch. So,thank you Ginny too, for taking the time to pack up your little sister, a big black lab and head out for those weekends in the small cottage.  And yes, I remember the bear crossing the road ahead of us as we were about to pull into the long winding lane and our sudden trip back to Waltham for Grandpa’s hunting rifle. We never needed it, thankfully, but it was the thought that counted.

And our long canoe trek, from the cottages to Waltham, through what now might be considered pretty small rapids, but you made your little sister feel somewhat safe, as we “road those rapids”.

@wtl and @halyma

@wtl and @halyma

As I am blessed now with a husband who I have been camping with each August since 1996, I know I am most appreciative of it due to those seeds planted in my childhood.

I was never a strong swimmer and am still not today. But I love the canoe, and flat water paddling for the sheer relaxation of it, with a few small challenging trips through slightly rougher water, once in a while, to say I can still do it.

At the beach with our canoe, well Tom's Dad's Canoe...

At the beach with our canoe, well Tom’s Dad’s Canoe…

And stars, and the wild blue berries and raspberries and blackberries that bring back memories of summers at the cottage and heading out to our blueberry fields for picking.

The only thing I don’t think I’ll ever replicate is lying in the back of the family station wagon in my PJ’s headed into town to the Dairy Queen and maybe a drive-in movie.

Sadly and unexpectedly, recently I was back at the cemetery where my Dad is buried. I was deeply saddened to be there for the loss of a childhood friend , but it allowed me to take a fresh photo of his headstone.
Thanks Mom for the company and helping me find it.

Sometimes we all need a reminder that this life is precious, so don’t hesitate.IMG_6428

A brief thank you to the Passionate People.

There are folks out there who just ooze enthusiasm. They rave about the things that are amazing in their world.  And they do it in real time, in your face, up close and personal.

They freak me out a bit.

But I do appreciate them a lot. It saves me the energy of having to put that kind of effort into things and allows me to just get S*&T done.

I’ve been noticing a few of them around lately, and just thought I should take a moment to thank them. They won’t notice this as they are too busy being gleefully involved in the exciting things in their life.  These people actually say ” mmmm” with a musical quality when they eat.  AS I say – freaks me out a bit…. But they are still cool.

So thanks all you Passionate People – keep up the good work! Just keep the volume in check around my delicate ears :-)

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Found this site online – go see Ajay’s cartoons!

And life can resume again.

At the beginning of September, I always feel like the new year is starting.  It’s back to school for many people – both kids and adults, and there’s a freshness to the air that just blows away the sweatiness of summer.

For the first week or two, though, I wait with anticipatory tension and hope to see which of my classes will run, who I’ll get to play with again, and what new adventures I’ll be embarking upon.  Now that I know the status of most of my classes, I can take a deep breath and get down to business. There’s still room on Thursday evenings from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. if you want to try bellydance :-)

2014-Tone-Ad-BellyDancing

It’s been an interesting September though during the wait – creating 7 new dresses for Bollywood For Fun < 4 more to be made over the next couple of weeks as well>…learning a new routine taught by my co-founder of BFF, Eurika for Cine-Musique last night…

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as well as reconnecting with the Luxe ladies for a brief stint of Alterations Specialist work…

And now, I feel I can start to focus on the other many things I’ve had to put aside for the moment while I was prepping for the “new year”.

While I am no longer chair of the OttawaBrowncoats, my company, TAV Creations, is a sponsor, and I will be there to support the charities, enjoy Serenity, and see the amazing costumes and great people who come out for this fun event.

I also took some time while on holidays in August to examine more ways I can be good to me, I’m actually pretty self- preservationist most of the time anyway, but I can easily get caught up in doing more than I can do without starting to twitch, so part of my new year’s resolutions involve taking some time for me and my little family every week.

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And eventually, I’ll even start getting out to more events that are not directly related to my work/business/etc. and trying some new things – but one step at a time.

For now – let’s get this new year off to a mellow start:

Summer Sabbatical just around the corner…

Last Friday, I was pleased to have been a part of a great charity evening, Summer Sizzle Ignite the Night 2014.IMG_5922

 

The dancers were !!!!!! Amazingly phenomenal!  I on the other hand, after giving my energy to our Bollywood For Fun performance, was hit by that wave of inertia that I try to keep at bay, but with everything else happening in my  personal little universe…

So, instead of being an “awesome stage dancer”, which each and every one of the other performers that night showed how to do that, I chose my alternate route – for which I am known.

After a few fun moments on stage, I took to the darkness,  dancing through the crowd, enjoying being a “community dancer”.  I think I chatted with as many people as I danced around as I did during the rest of the evening when not performing!

So congrats to Catharine Crerar for another great event.  And thank you for having me be a part of it.

This week I am preparing for our move, not far, but after 17 years in the same building, 16 in the same unit, I’ve had a lot of stuff to go through.

And the new place is still under renos < which are being done so I am grateful, but timing!!!  So panic mode is gently running under the calm demeanour I am trying to maintain while I finish off 5 clients today and tomorrow, pack boxes and stack them, calm a stressed out dog < with the most appreciated help of Dar > and attempt to organize the generously offered time of friends and family who will help us move – assuming we can get in there Wednesday to at least stack boxes into a big empty room :-)

Then August 1st hits and I am on SUMMER SABBATICAL.

Which means time is spent settling what we can in the apartment, dealing with outstanding website issues, business paperwork and sleeping if possible. But generally, heading offline, outside, unavailable, disappearing, socializing  when possible and just taking some family time!

Then I’ll see you in September! < click for my class schedule :-) >

Scene from Pog lake