Another month has gone by and it’s time for another month in review (though we’re almost into the middle of September already!). I probably sound like a broken record, but August has been another busy month. I’ve come to the realization that too often I try to over pack my schedule and don’t always have the chance to do everything that I intend. Unfortunately, that means that some of the projects that I’m working on tend to get a bit neglected and fall off my radar for a bit, but on the plus side, I am starting to get a little more organized in terms of tracking the projects I’m working on, deciding what the next tasks are, and most importantly, executing them. I think I’m learning to become less focused on always being in control, and accepting the fact that I need to be more adaptable to the changing situations. I think a pretty good summary of my approach to this month has been like that Nickelback song, If Today Was Your Last Day.
So without further ado, here’s a recap of some of the fun, interesting, and exciting things that happened to me in August.
1. Algonquin Backpacking Trip
In the middle of the month, I took a 5 day backpacking trip up to Algonquin. It was magnificent, being able to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and relax after a hard day’s trek by a warm campfire and crystal clear, and calm lake. With the only noise coming from the crackling of the campfire and call of the loon on the lake, it was pure bliss each night, as we were blessed with warm, sunny, and beautiful weather, without nary a rain cloud in sight. This is what camping in Ontario is supposed to be all about, and it did not disappoint. In my opinion, I don’t think there’s too much better than hanging out by a campfire with good food, good company, beautiful weather, hardly another soul in sight, and feeling the calm and soothing power of nature. In terms of food, we packed in an enormous amount of food and paid the price for it on some of our 15k treks, but it was worth all the effort. In fact, we could’ve packed in a little bit more food in order to be fully satisfied on our last dinner, but we were saved by another camper in the neighbouring campsite who had packed in some extra cold cut sandwiches and graciously offered to share them with us.
2. A Relaxing Weekend at the Cottage
The weekend after my Algonquin trip, I got a last minute invite to a friend’s cottage for the weekend. Again, it was a pleasure to have a chance to get away from the city, leave whatever projects, thoughts, and work behind in the city, and just enjoy a simple life of swimming, eating, napping, and reading. Unfortunately, when I got back Sunday night, it was right back into the grind of work, but the escape was definitey worth the trip.
3. End of summer BBQ
Summer is slowly coming to an end, and I had the opportunity to host another successful BBQ. Again, I tried to do too much, and cook too much food and too many different kinds of food, but overall, it turned out great! Some of the most popular items (to be included for the next bbq included:
- grilled corn with homemade chive butter
- Korean short ribs
- mini brushetta burgers
- Cheese and crackers
- Grilled veggies
- homemade lime gelato (recipe here)
4. United Way Rouge Ball
Earlier on in the month, we were contacted by a classmate of ours to become a sponsor for the upcoming United Way Rouge Ball in November. It seems like a great event, and so I’m giving it a bit of a plug here: What is Rouge and who is GenNext?
A masquerade ball: “An evening of mystery in mask” with an unmasking at midnight. There is music, an extensive silent auction, and a lounge which provides the opportunity for education and additional musical guests.
GenNext is a program of United Way Toronto with the mandate to engage people in their 20s and 30s with United Way through giving and volunteering. Led by a Cabinet of volunteers who are GenNexters themselves, and supported by a United Way staff person, the group is committed to raising awareness and supporting the work of United Way Toronto, its partners, and member agencies, by developing and participating in volunteer and fundraising events. Read more here.
5. Fairlawn Healthy Living Show
Here’s another plug for an event I’ll be participating in, this time for those in the Lawrence Park area at the end of September (26th).We’ll be setting up a booth at the Fairlawn Healthy Living Show to promote our business and also get some reaction and feedback to our educational curriculum. Read more about it here (pdf).
6. Toronto Bicycling Network bike ride
At the beginning of the summer, my uncle had given my family a membership to the Toronto Bicycling Network and I’ve been meaning to go out on a ride with them for a while. Well the opportunity finally came around and it was a great experience getting out there for some exercise, meeting some new people, and check out this organization. If I get some more time in the future, I’ll definitely be heading out on some more rides with TBN.
7. Visiting an organic farm
As part of exploring new opportunities for my business, I had the chance to visit an organic farm a little outside of Toronto. It was a neat property, and I think we may be trying out a new supplier for some organic seedlings for next year. Nancy and I took a nice day trip out to meet this guy, and it was interesting talking both about farming, and business as he had quite an extensive business background and experience before venturing into the farming world.
8. Reading More Interesting Books
Despite all the projects and activities on my plate in August, I still found some time to get through a couple of books. For those of you interested in business and sports, I would recommend the book Moneyball by Michael Lewis. For the more business and marketing oriented, I would highly encourage you to check out Seth Godin’s The Dip, and Tribes, as well as Martin Lindstrom’s book, Buy-ology
9. Gavin ‘Fun’ Chan
As August wound to a close, that also meant the end of the ultimate season. To wrap up the season (before playoffs), some of the people on my Tuesday team went for a “fun” run. And what was supposed to be a short trail run, followed by a team dinner ended up turning into quite an adventure as Gavin “fun” Chan lived up to his nickname. We were supposed to go on a short run from Riverdale park, up past Bloor and then back down to the park, but for whatever reason, Gavin decided that he wanted to keep on running. So he ran, and he ran, and when he hit the Lakeshore, he decided that the run wasn’t fun enough, and kept on running! Despite hitting a fork in the road, not waiting for us to catch up, and not knowing which direction to go in, he decided to keep on going all the way to Ashbridges Bay! Luckily, as we stopped various other people on the trail to see if they had seen Gavin or not, one of them had the foresight to take down our cell number, and then by a stroke of luck, came across Gavin and called us so we could arrange to meet him along the trail.
10. Interesting Toronto nightlife experience
Also this month, I had a fun and interesting night out on the town. I’m all for trying out new things, and was able to go to a place I would normally not have a reason to be going to. One of my friends was in town for the weekend from D.C. and brought with her a bunch of friends and her new GF. They had their schedule mostly planned for the evening and so another friend and I had arranged for us to go out and meet them at the bar where they were hanging out. While it’s not often that I’m one of less than a handful of guys in the bar, it was really an interesting experience being around a different group of people than I would normally interact with. Thanks for visiting Kate and I’m sure I’ll see you soon, be it in T., D.C. or ADK.
Looking forward, September is going to be another super busy month (in a good way). There will be lots of changes happening both personally and professionally, and I’m looking forward to whatever the future holds for me.