A month of sociably scientific reflections, thoughts, and ideas
Sitting at my main workspace gives me the view captured in the image above. Over my left shoulder, I gaze out at the ocean, and at this very moment, the full moon (So beautiful!). I’ve written about the glorious views and wondrous happenings of nature just outside my home, so I thought it also makes sense to reflect on the views of my workspace too. This is my home office. I feel fortunate to have a cozy place to focus on my professional endeavours, while also embracing the flexibility of working from home.
Over the past almost-eight years, I’ve had plenty of flexibility in my days. Creating my own job as The Sociable Scientists gave me the freedom and space to work whatever hours and days I needed to to grow my company, complete projects, and develop my professional skillset and interests. Some days, months, and years have been much more financially prosperous than others. I’ve supplemented my Sociably Scientific income working at ThoughtExchange, Beach Fire Brewery, Wayward Distillery, Island Joy Rides, North Island College, Comox Valley and Strathcona Collectives, Vancouver Island University, Powell River Education Services Society, and now Tourism Vancouver Island. I love working alongside, with, and for leaders, innovators, remarkable experience makers, visionaries, and teachers. I have been limited by systems and I have thrived in others; yet with each and every place and team I’ve been part of, I try to learn and listen first, and bring my energy and knowledge as a reflection of my true self. I strongly believe that working within other organizations enables me to learn from colleagues, stay rooted in the operational parameters of businesses and organizations, and connect directly with visitors.
Creating my own job and company has been (and continues to be) a test of my own resolve and dedication to the projects and vision that I have for my contributions to the fields of leisure, recreation, tourism, community, and innovation. This past month, as a Sociable Scientists, I attended the Tourism Industry Association of Canada annual congress, three Sport Fishing Institute webinars, MaRS Impact Week, and have been updating my blog daily during the week.
I love what I’ve created as a Sociable Scientists and in this blogging challenge, I’ve given myself the space and the structure to re-focus myself on how I continue to be inspired and fulfilled and good at what I’m doing! Space and structure (literally and figuratively) are both key factors in how I thrive as a professional. Committing my thoughts to paper (Thank you Passion Planner!) and here on my website enabled me better understand how and where I’ve been putting (and not putting) my professional energy. I have so much love and admiration for where I live and who I get to call my family and my friends. I want to be the best me I can be for my loved ones and my community and I’m re-focusing my energy on both of those elements.
As I actively engage in re-balancing how I spend my designated work hours throughout each week, I am re-committing to my role as Vice President of Campbell River Salmon Foundation, creating my long-conceptualized social enterprise (or charity or society), and being a Sociable Scientist. These ventures are well-aligned with the work I am doing for the Vancouver Island Coastal Tourism Resiliency Program, and by creating space and structure in my week, my abilities and efficiencies will be at their peak!
Because leisure is woven into each and every component of my professional, volunteer, and play pursuits, I get to participate and engage in my chosen field every day. Keeping my heart and mind open to new ideas and ways to apply my learning in these times of social and physical distancing has been challenging at times, yet I am reminded daily that I live in a spectacular part of the world and I am healthy and loved and respected by people I love and respect.
Leisure can be the space in which more people find love and respect within themselves and with others. Travel can be a significant place of learning for both visitors and hosts, and domestic leisure (recreation) can also be a place to foster community and healthy relationships. My role as The Sociable Scientists is to facilitate the enhancement of healthy communities, to mobilize and share knowledge of the impacts of leisure participation within traveller and domestic contexts. The conversations and initiatives happening around sustainability and ‘build back better’ seem to be gaining momentum. The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals are being featured on presentations across sectors, we are addressing systemic racism and inequality, and places that were being crippled by over-tourism are getting a bit of a breather.
Every part of me knows I have the abilities and capabilities to realize my dreams. I’m getting to live them right now, being who I am, where I am. As I experience the people and places and spaces that inspire me to think globally and act locally, I feel blessed, and I want to give more people the opportunity to be on the positive side of leisure and community. I will write in this space, keeping myself accountable to putting my thoughts and ideas into words, moving my initiatives forward.