I love running in the autumn evenings, under the canopy of fall colours and into the setting sun. 🏃🏻🍁☀️
85km with great roads and friends! This was the Garmin photo generated for the return ride from Ashton.
Perfect day for a run 🏃🏻
Today I am rejoicing in the memory of a beautiful Sunday afternoon picnic in the “Parc Georges Brassens” in Paris with four families and ten kids.Coincidentally three of the families, including mine come from the same Ottawa West neighbourhood in Canada. We met one of the families in 2007 at the Westboro beach in Ottawa. We each had daughters around the same age that played with each other at the beach. I remember the fun summer evenings on the beach back when our first daughter was just a toddler. Eventually we lost track of them until they resurfaced in Paris 10 years later. The second family we met through our kids’ school in Paris. The third family comes from the USA and we met in late 2015 as we overheard them speaking English with their kids at a local crêperie on Rue Montparnasse and we immediately became friends.
Sunday presented a beautiful occasion for all of us to gather, catch up, for some to meet for the first time, and to let our kids run freely in the park on the boulders, on the playground, and through the trees. The “Parc Georges Brassens” is one of the only parks in Paris that lets kids wonder freely, play on the grass and in the trees without it being “interdit”!
We thoroughly enjoyed the sunny afternoon in the park chasing and searching for the kids whenever they disappeared out of sight.
Had we not had kids we would have never met any of these couples whom we’ve thoroughly enjoyed meeting, becoming friends with, and building community together.
Our kids have brought so much joy and so many new, interesting, and inspirational people into our lives.
It was just a few days before the end of the quarter in September 2016. I was on the phone with a colleague discussing a large deal and the steps to close. We had just received frustrating news that the customer was challenging the terms of the SaaS licenses in the larger deal. The call was intense and we were not sure there was a way through the customers’ issues.
I was walking along rue de la Grande Chaumière in the 6th arrondissement in Paris, not far from my flat. The road was quiet, dark, and provided an ominous atmosphere, a dark tunnel to complement the call.
As I turned the corner on to Boulevard Montparnasse I was overcome with the beauty of the sun setting over Paris. The sky looked like it was on fire. But to me I saw an absolute beauty that awestruck me. It gave me a sense of optimism.
Later that week, after several very late nights of negotiation with the customer, we signed the large deal.
When we are in the darkest tunnels… remember there is light at the end, or around the corner.
I love Paris in the spring. The trees come to life with an incredibly optimistic green.
This week I had to visit the Canadian embassy a few times to obtain a temporary passport while they take the six to eight weeks to process my normal passport.
After each visit I had the privilege to walk home while on business calls. Fortunately the path home is lined with some of the best monuments in Paris. I get to cross the Seine, walk by the Musée de l’armée, and walk along boulevard Montparnasse.
Here are some of the photos I captured along these walks on Thursday and Friday of this week. My colleagues never noticed I paused to capture Paris’ beauty and the weather was spectacular!
As a father, husband, and professional I am often presented with challenges at home, at work, and in my personal ambitions. I like getting in to the zone of discomfort, testing myself, raising the bar, failing fast, and learning quickly. I also make time to reflect, consider the intellectual and emotional learnings along the way. Honest reflection, feedback distillation, and not taking myself too seriously are foundational elements for growth… but as a father, husband, and manager or colleague I’ve also learned that growth through listening not only teaches ourselves new ways to be within the world but it also creates bonds of trust, family, and community that further cement the foundation for everyone to thrive.
Kids teach us new ways to listen, to care, and to love. From the moment our children are born they train our intuition to be highly tuned to their everyday expressions. On day one we listen to them breathe, learn their facial expressions, listen to their heartbeat, and familiarize ourselves with their subtle gestures like the sound of their cries and how they move. We learn what makes them sad, happy, content, angry, and irritated and we respond to their subtle cues, their cries, their smile, their facial gestures. In turn, we learn from them and they learn from us… our smell, our touch, the feel of our skin, hair, and our facial expressions. Continue reading