An open armed invitation to seek a life of intention and wellness

 

I come from a long line of hardworking women. My mother, a single mother, worked morning until night to make sure there was food on the table. Her mother, a single mother as well, worked multiple jobs to feed two children in a time of communism and scarce resources. I’ve been working ever since I was fourteen and we moved to Canada. I could barely string together a cohesive sentence in English, but there I was, behind the counter at Tim Hortons, baggings donuts and stirring cream into coffee for people. I haven’t stopped working since.

Later on in high school I worked at a meat deli, slicing salami after school and on Saturday mornings. In college I worked at a coffee bar, pouring coffee in the mornings before class and sometimes coming back later in the day to shake a mixed drink.

I was raised to be someone who worked hard. Someone that people could count on. I’m the person that always pays taxes, never misses a doctor’s appointment and reads the rules of the boardgame before playing. I’m known to be dependable. I thrived on it. Since graduating college, I’ve worked in marketing, an ever-changing and fast-paced industry. I loved the challenge. I loved, above all, being busy. My Google calendar was my lifeline and the fuller it was, the more successful I felt. Work became something that I wrapped my identity around.

What I didn’t realize, however, is that in the midst of the chaos and the rushing I was missing out on my life in a way that I couldn’t take back. While I was busy filling up my Google calendar, I left out the important moments, the ones you can’t schedule because they happen spontaneously. While I was busy “hustling” (a word I now refuse to use), I was leaving no room in my life for meaningful connection, the kind that takes time to build. While my inbox was flooding with work-related messages, I didn’t make the time to call my grandmother.

It wasn’t until I lost our child last summer that my world came to a halt. That moment was the catalyst for change in my life, a loud and clear message that something needed to change. Things needed to slow down. My life had become too much to manage, and the to-do lists, the responsibilities, the meetings, paled in comparison to the life I realized I wanted to live.

So this is where I am now, seeking a life of intention and wellness. These days it’s a lot quieter, and slower, but so much fuller. Full of laughter. Full of time to hold my nieces and nephews. Full of time to read. Full of time to dedicate my mental space to the work that is meaningful to me - writing. Full of uninterrupted moments with my husband and our dog. Full of adventure and exploration.

This space is an invitation for you to join me in living this way. In living intentionally and slowly. In creating space and saying “yes” to the things that matter to you. In cherishing a cup of coffee, or cooking a meal from scratch. In making your home a place where people could gather and connect around the table.

Our society values us for how fast and how far we can go, but I dare to go against the grain, and encourage you to find beauty and meaning in the mundane, the pedestrian moments. Fill your life from the inside out, not the other way around.

Vanda