December 29, 2013

You know you are an Empty Nester when....

If you follow my blog and twitter you will know I try to write from the heart and share my journey as I move through my next 50 years as a Boomer.  It changes daily and sadly I have not been keeping up with my writing as I admit my priorities are off with focusing too much time at work and not enough time on me but come 2014 I am realigning. My balance is off and I acknowledge that and commit to making change.  Just another part of the journey. That will be a later post....

The Empty Nest....

Lots of changes for me this past year as you know when both my kids flew the coop and I became an "empty nester".  Off to university across the country.  Now many will say they looked forward to this day when they would have the freedom without the ties that bind.  I had no idea what I would feel until reality hit me head on in August 2013.  

I don't love it but I am adjusting.  

I try to write about it and speak openly to others about the realities and the emotions one might experience.  This is for the minority of us who dig deep and fight repressing their true feelings allowing their vulnerability to be exposed.  I cried many days after my kids left, after sharing skype chats and phone calls but nobody ever talked about similar experiences.  I felt alone, like I had to pretend all was ok and I was happy to be into my next phase of life.  I especially feared when others would push my feeling under the carpet and say "oh you will be fine".  I knew I wasn't alone when others would want to hear my tales at parties and stop me on the street corner eager to ask me questions about their pending situation.  I was encouraged to speak honestly without filters, something that comes naturally.

My kids are blossoming, engaged and participating fully in the opportunities they have at school. I keep reminding myself that we raise them to become authentic contributing adults living their passion.  I give credit to both my husband and I as we did a great job setting them up with the foundation they needed to venture into this world.  I wouldn't have it any other way and they both know it. 

I had this list posted on the fridge, which I wrote shortly after they left in September and it recently made them laugh.  I hope it makes others laugh too....

You know you are an Empty Nester when.....
  • you only buy 1 litre of milk
  • don't search for a dry/clean towel after a shower
  • your laundry takes 15min and one dryer cycle
  • can't figure out how to get on Netflix (apparently it's on kids PS3)
  • your semi unpacked suitcase from Spain (trip 2 weeks ago) still on kids bed 
  • the dog sleeps on you and greets you at the door like a long lost friend every day
  • couple cans of PBR in the fridge and your beer fridge remains full
  • 1/2 finished stale cheerios in the cupboard
  • the cleaning lady looks for things to do
  • kids rooms are bare and empty and exactly the way they left them
  • your shoes/boots left all over the house suddenly stand out
  • you start a family WhatsApp group with intent to facilitate family conversations 
  • you are the first one at the airport, often early waiting their arrival home 

Be happy, hug your kids.  



July 11, 2013

What is the definition of an Entrepreneur anyway?

This is from my application to be a mentor with the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs, 2013. 
Chapter called, "Going out on a limb - believing in self"

I had never called myself an entrepreneur until I got involved with FWE recently through Kids & Company, holding back membership for many years because I didn't have a product to sell. I stood on the sidelines for years secretly watching FWE and those playing in this field while testing my brand a place for women moving into their next 50 years and evolving and sharing my own real stories.

It is only now (for some weird reason) that I can confidently stand tall as a leader excited to inspire and help other women entrepreneurs grow personally and in business. After sharing and meeting others at your FWE garden party, I truly feel I can help make a difference in the lives of others. I was told that I inspired the few I spoke with.

I would love to help breakdown those similar barriers for others, like me, who have vision and ideas and entrepreneurial thoughts but not quite sure where to begin.  I personally think this is an area that FWE could develop to not only help drive new members but also help support those who are bursting with ideas or simply need the emotional support to believe in themselves and their ideas. They also are looking for a tribe to belong to.

I have carefully strategized and created my own opportunities over the last 10 years, working for high skilled entrepreneurs who see my abilities and value (Nurse Next Door, Kumon Canada, Nognz Brain Fitness and recently Kids & Company) strategically choosing entrepreneurial companies as my employers of choice with a personal goal of continuous learning and improvement.  I have real life, grassroots experience in the sales, marketing, business development and think out of the box!  My strength is on seeing the bigger picture, glass half full and always finding ways to get to goal, breaking barriers while creating a positive corporate culture through leadership.

I hope I can add value to your vision at FWE.
Denise Kelly
Director of Marketing and Operations BC
Kids & Company
"jack of all trades"

PS. for those who care, according to Wikipedia, The entrepreneur is commonly seen as a business leader, innovator of new ideas, and business processes.  Management skill and strong team building abilities are often perceived as essential leadership attribute”.

June 12, 2013

Another ride on my journey.

Well it all started one night in December at a community hockey party where, after many glasses of red wine, I said yes to my pal (and Brainiac captain) Dave Desrochers.  A decision for which I have no regrets. 

People who know me recognize my tenacity to seek out opportunities to try new things, push the boundaries and to find some sort of excitement, so The Ride to Conquer Cancer was for me just that. 

This gal at 50 feels no limits and looked at this bike thing as a new midlife challenge, great way to get fit, meet new people and maybe even lose the mid-drift bulge. I had a new found confidence on the ice rink as a Stanley Cupcake so a new activity simply made sense. 

My big ride is in 3 more sleeps and honestly I can't wait! 

I bought my bike second hand and left it sitting for a month afraid of the clips that locked my foot to the pedal. My first ride was down the street, I remember the fear of falling. Well that ride turned into longer ones, completing 110 km riding to Richmond and back! My dream ride was to Horseshoe Bay along the water which I ticked off my bucket list and Map My Ride became my new best friend. I got up at 5:30 am to ride Stanley Park for which my friends think I am nuts. 

This post is for you my sponsors, supporters and friends who not only donated to the cause to help find a cure for Cancer but for me, you have become this wonderful presence watching over me.  As I gather my cycling stuff and my confidence over the next few days preparing for this huge undertaking, riding over 200km to Seattle,  I want you to know that I feel the love. 

I am honoured as well to be chosen by our team captains as one of the ambassadors for the Brainiacs, the largest team riding in BC.  I guess it shows that my passion for this new adventure, ability to reach a huge personal goal and my encouragement for others, are all sincere. 

Some of you may not know but I also lost my Dad last week so this ride, on Father’s Day, has spiritual meaning for he was always one of my biggest fans and supporters. He will also be there in spirit. 

I feel very blessed to have such a wonderful group of friends like you all and promise to make you proud. 

May 13, 2013

Don't limit your challenges, challenge the limits!

BIG smiles today.
Feelings of incredible SATISFACTION and currently basking in the LOVE shown by others.

I reached my GOAL! My ride to conquer cancer fundraising goal raising $2500 for the cause.

I very much feel the love and support from many whom sponsored me as I embark further into this frightening adventure but even more confident that this gal (at 50) can push the barriers that often limit us.

I am going to ride to Seattle on my bike. I  have been training physically but also mentally. I know that by keeping my thoughts positive I can accomplish anything I set out to do. It has worked for me before and combined with my new found confidence, I am determined it will work again.

I myself  live with tenacity, integrity and with compassion for others.  It has always been my hope that I could inspire others to also push their limits by exposing the risks I take to push mine.  Most importantly a clear message to believe in themselves.

The feelings of accomplishment that I had when I rode my bike over the Lions Gate bridge last weekend was empowering. You see, each step forward is a step closer.

This ride is just one step further to becoming a stronger and confident self.

February 10, 2013

125 more days to go

125 more days to go until my adventure I call

I joined the BC Ride to Conquer Cancer , which for those of you that don't know, is a 2 day cycling adventure through the Pacific Northwest region on a road bike over a weekend in June 2013! (Vancouver to Seattle).  I proudly hold a spot on a team called the The Brainiacs  comprised of brain cancer survivors and friends who are committed to finding a cure for cancer.  We will be fundraising and creating awareness for cancer research at  The BC Cancer Foundation. You should also note that I have started a team chapter called The Scardiacs, my own little tribe of beginner riders and that my brave husband Brendan recently joined the adventure.


The words "cycling adventure" freaks me out but their marketing message is that this is for everyone - both seasoned and beginner riders. I am told by my long time pal and now cycling Brainiac mentor, Dave Desrochers, that I will be fine. He clearly sees my tenacity for life and positivity, however, I must be honest that when I agreed to join it wasn't until I said the words out loud to friends and myself that the reality set in. 

It is however notes of support like this that I have received that make me feel supported by friends and encouraged that I can do this. With each donation I have tried to send a personal thank you card or personal sincere acknowledgement and showing of  thanks, such as a simple hug. 
Thank you to those of you that have supported me financially and to those who continue to support me in spirit. I will keep you updated through my blog so that you can follow me along on this adventure. Sign up on my blog to receive updates or learn more about me on my personal fundraising page  Denise Kelly.
Little do you know, I need your support way more then you know so keep the love coming. I am only 30% to my financial goal and every little bit counts.  Please acknowledge all riders on the journey especially those survivors who ride with the yellow flag, because really, we are all doing this for them.

January 20, 2013

Trying to Live With No Regrets

Quinn Keast taught us to Live with No Regrets and I listened.

My 2013 Ride to Conquer Cancer is no different then the half marathon I signed up for years ago with friends. You see at that time I also thought myself a little out of shape, too heavy to run, excuse excuse excuse...... but guess what, I did it!  I taught myself  that negative self talk won't get you anywhere and since then it rarely dares to talk to me.

Since then I have learned to play ice hockey and have achieved many goals both personally and professionally. Achieving such is not always easy but without goals we stand still. I crave challenge and continuous improvement.

What I loved about my marathon adventure was the chance to train with friends who I also believe may have shared similar self doubts but most importantly we were accountable to one another. I remember those early morning Sunday runs and many we ran with few hours of sleep and sometimes hungover, but we would laugh our way along because we had each other.

Camaraderie is super important to me. It is definitely a reason for my participation in this ride with other like minded wanting to make a difference. 

I am thankful for my kids and my husband who are my biggest supporters and believe in me when I sometimes don't believe in myself. I feel very loved and supported on such new crazy adventures and appreciate when they find humour in such. 

Are you living with no regrets?
The Quinn Keast Foundation


You can sponsor me here.

January 12, 2013

Will any of The Stanley Cupcakes accept the challenge?

Saturday January 12,2013
(To my female hockey team The Stanley Cupcakes I helped start 3+ years ago. A mix of 45 something woman)

Dear fellow Cupcakes and friends,   

I remember the day (and excitement), years ago that I had the opportunity to push my boundaries and step out on the ice with all of you. All of us have come such a long way....

Many of you know that I love to create opportunities to try new things to not only keep life exciting but to prove age is no barrier.  I thrive being around others who can find joy in new accomplishments. 

I am certainly no uber-athlete but I have decided to take this humungous step and join the BC Ride to Conquer Cancer with a great group called the Brainiacs led by David Desrochers whom many of you know. I will be looking for other beginner riders to ride with me (no, I don't even have a road bike yet but started spinning).  No doubt fellow Brainiac/Cupcake Heather will be well off in the distance as I ride along but just having her part of this keeps me in:)

Please consider riding along with me on this team but also showing your support so I know I have others who believe in me and my abilities to finish this. 

I'm actually terrified. 
Support me on my cycling journey to Seattle!

Denise Kelly