Monday, May 23, 2011

Summer in Vancouver: Friday May 20th to be exact!

Last Friday the temperature in Vancouver hit 17 degrees. The sun was shining for the first time in an eternity and we all got excited that Summer had actually arrived. Historically, this phenomenon is fleeting, so Vancouverites have to move quickly. There were sandals to dust off, summer wardrobes to review – and of course the first summer pedicure to book.

I wasted no time, and took my chances as a walk in, at my local mani/pedi establishment at 10:00 am as they opened their doors and placed their sandwich board signage on the sidewalk. I had chosen my polish colour, and had magazines in hand before the rest of the staff entered through the back door.

Nothing like bubbling sudsy water, piles of gossip magazines, and a comfy black leatherette massage chair to transport you to another world. Who ever came up with this combination of blessed therapy was brilliant. “The Price is Right” was on the television as I sat down, and before long I was shouting out prices and ohing and ahing with the audience as if I was actually there.

For an hour as my feet were being pampered and my toes were being painted, and my back was being massaged, I did all the things I never do – watch daytime TV – read fashion magazines – and catch up on all the advice Oprah has to offer. It was more delightful than I am really willing to admit!

The woman doing my pedicure did an excellent job, and since no one needed my chair, she let me stay until the end of the soap opera I was watching, even though my nails were already dry. She just winked and motioned to press the start button again on the massage chair – ahh ...  heaven on earth!

I walked out a new woman, in capris and sandals enjoying the sun on my face, even though I was actually freezing for the entire five minute walk back to my apartment. It was only 17 degrees after all ... and I was in capris and sandals ...

By Saturday morning it was pouring with rain and freezing cold. Ah, Vancouver at least you are consistent!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The journey continues ...

Do you believe in fate? I think I do. Life places forks in our way at every turn and we consider the options and make our choices. The fact that those choices magically create our future is the mystery.

I wonder how I knew to apply to Emily Carr College of Art and Design in 1986, or how they knew to accept me into 3rd year ... ? If I hadn’t – and they hadn’t – I would never have met Violet there – and she would never have gotten me a job at Signals Design Group after we graduated – and would never have taken the leap with me a year later to start our own design business ...

Huh ... I guess then we would never have experienced 21 years of the best business partnership that has ever existed in the history of the world! 

I remember as if it was yesterday, us sitting with our husbands trying to come up with a name for our business. “Tandem Design Associates” made so much sense then and it still resonates today. We were a team from day one, and we still finish each others sentences 21 years later.

And if we had not been in the best business partnership (and friendship) in the history of the world, we would not have come to the realization together, that at the next fork in the road, we would each take a slightly different path. So I have to believe that it was fate that brought us together, and our synergy that made Tandem a success and our friendship that makes this next bit possible.

So this is when I get a bit teary, cuz this is huge ...  The fork in the road is just in front of me and I have chosen my path. The tricky part, is that I know this path has a few forks in it, but I can’t see them yet, so I have many decisions yet to make. But the tears are not because of what lies ahead — but for the amazing experience that has now come to an end. I have been letting go in baby steps, but this week it feels like it is really happening.

And so the journey continues. As the corporate designer persona takes a back seat to the illustrator/designer/vagabond in me, a new chapter begins. I have big and many plans. Some of them are already in motion, others, well we will see what fate brings my way.

And if I had a glass of wine in my hand, I would toast to friendship and partnership and not sweating the small stuff. Violet and I never did and it served us well.