As I write this, I’m on the bumpy train ride back to Toronto (please excuse the extra typos). I just spent the last four days (and nights) frolicking the streets of Montreal with my mom.
(Yes, frolick was the right choice of verb there, as you can see from the photo below).
Besides coming home to my husband and fur-baby I think what I’m most looking forward to is no longer butchering the French-language with my terrible English accent (and I don’t mean British-English, because that one is pretty good after a few glasses of wine).
I’m also excited about getting back to my regular working routine. I have to admit, I struggled a lot with taking some time away from my beloved laptop this weekend. June has been my busiest month of self-employment to date (and most financially rewarding, too). I was hesitant to book a last minute trip when I had so much going on. After all, there’s no one here to pick up the pieces while I’m away. It’s just me, the solopreneur.
This was the first time I truly had to figure out how to balance work-life and travel.
Fortunately, I was reminded once again how lucky I am to have such wonderful clients and colleagues. As I answered emails and edited social media posts from the train and immediately upon checking into the hotel, they were the ones telling me to unplug and enjoy my time away with my mom. This is why I love working with fellow small business owners; they know how hard it is to pull away from your work, but they also understand how important it is to take a break and live your life.
To make matters even more exciting, I found out less than 48 hours before my departure that I’d be contributing a piece to Canadian Business featuring an interview with the president of MasterCard. My deadline was end of day Monday, precisely around the time I’d be boarding the train back to Toronto.
The good news is, I was only travelling to Montreal. I still had cell access and it was easy enough to find a Wi-Fi connection, which is really all I needed. My trip was definitely still a working trip, but that was OK with me.
And while I quite enjoyed writing from Café Starbucks in Old Montreal, the best part of my extended weekend was spending the time away with my mom. We hadn’t travelled like this before – just the two of us. And although my mom and I have always had a great adult relationship, it was so nice to be able to hang out with her this way.
Together, we sipped sangria from a patio overlooking Old Port.
We (thoroughly) enjoyed an outdoor spa evening on the St. Lawrence at sunset.
We ate crepes and poutine… (OK that was mostly me – my mom’s allergic to dairy and wheat. But don’t worry, I ate enough for the both of us).
We took selfies on top of mountains (well, I took the selfies while my mom sketched the view).
We mispronounced a lot of words and phrases. And we got to enjoy the talents of many wonderful musicians who were in town for the Jazz Festival.
It really was a fantastic weekend.
Looking back to a week or so ago, when my mom mentioned her trip on the phone and casually asked me if I wanted to join, it’s kind of hard to believe how much I hesitated. I mean, I was excited about the idea, but I had a business to run. I had clients to serve. I had a (tight) budget to maintain.
But sometimes you have to push down your walls, even if they are built upon a logical foundation. Sometimes you have to forget “the plan,” and board the train. Sometimes, you just have to let go.
And I’m so glad I did.
How do you manage your schedule when a wrench is thrown into your working plans? What are your best work-life balance tips? Share in the comments below!