Moving forward, looking back

February, being the shortest month, always moves quickly. It’s usually a relief when it’s over because then we’re that much closer to spring and nicer weather.

It’s still a relief for those reasons this year, but it’s also felt even shorter due to our upcoming move.

The move we’re making tomorrow.

We spent the last half of January and all of February preparing for moving into our new home. We’ve had lots of help, but we’re still sitting here the night before with lots to do. Of course a lot of those things simply cannot be done until the movers come and take our (piles and piles of) boxes and empty our home.

Our first house. The house Sean and I became a married couple in. Where we raised our child from pregnancy to almost-ready-for-JK. (When did *that* happen?)

I’m excited to go to our new home, but I’m feeling a bit wistful and weepy about leaving this one. We’ve had a good run during the nine years we lived here: nice neighbours, a wonderful daycare provider who we’re heartbroken to leave, a nice sunny deck where we spent a lot of weekend afternoons hanging out.

I’m sure we’ll find those things in our new home, but the unknown is always scary.

There is still so much to do so I feel like I should be doing stuff besides writing and ruminating. If Sean and I get through tomorrow without wanting to kill each other, it will be a miracle. Moving really is one of the most stressful things you can do to yourself. I don’t know how all those HGTV-junkie types do it.

Concerts are about more than the music

Sean and I had a sorely-needed date night on Wednesday when we went to see Tool at the Air Canada Centre. It probably doesn’t actually qualify as a real date since a friend of ours came with us. A night out is a night out though so I’ll take it.

The concert was promoted with the warning of no new music on the setlist. Not exactly a greatest hits tour, but more of a reminder that they’re still around. Judging by the fact that the show sold out with very little advertising, I’m not sure their fanbase needed reminding. Sean and I enjoyed the show, although he would have preferred some shakeups to the setlist. We’ve seen Tool several times over the last decade or so and this was very similar to previous shows.

Concerts are great places for people watching. It’s fun to see the different kind of fans out there:

  • The superfan that pulls out his concert shirt from the first tour he ever saw to show everyone that he was with the band before they were cool. It’s rare that it fits properly if the band has been together for many years. (While I don’t wear my old shirts to shows, I do struggle with fitting into some of them, so I don’t consider myself immune to this phenomenon.)
  • The teenagers that you think couldn’t possibly have been old enough to listen to the band with any great zeal when their last album was released. (Tool tends to go at least five years between albums so this is a legitimate issue for them.) Maynard James Keenan (Tool’s singer) commented that some songs hadn’t been played since a lot of the audience were sperm. That was an exaggerated statement, but maybe now that Sean and I are no longer the youngest fans in the room, everyone else seems younger to us. Get off my lawn you kids!
  • The “fashion don’ts”. This comes up a lot at the shows Sean and I go to – the perils of liking hard rock and metal I suppose. Not the most fashionable demographic. Most people don’t look out of the ordinary, but I honestly wonder what rock some people crawl out from to come to the show. Wednesday’s highlight was a guy who was wearing a black goth-style full-length jacket. It looked more like a cheap bathrobe with S&M accessories. I don’t want to snark  on someone’s fashion choices, but sometimes going to these shows feel like I’ve stepped into a timewarp. Some people don’t look any different than they did in 1996 (or whatever year the band you’re seeing was huge), bad haircut and all. If someone was to observe the outfit I wore, they would have said “she must have just come from the office”. Which I totally did, and I’m okay with that.

Sean and I used to go to a lot of shows before Flora was born and we had more disposable income. Now that concerts are an occasional event for us, I definitely appreciate all the little nuances more. We make the same jokes every time and we still laugh. We still love going together and that’s the best part of all.



Sean went out last night. After I put Flora to bed, I had the evening to myself. There were a million things I could have done. Should have done. Instead I sat in my chair, had my dinner, watched TV, and played around online. A typical evening, productivity be damned.

I feel like I’m barely holding on to my life. Most nights after Flora goes to bed, I just want to sit and relax. Those few hours after her bedtime and before mine are the only hours I have complete control over my time. The only time in my day where no one wants anything significant from me.

My house looks like a bomb went off most of the time. Since we’re considering selling it in the next few months, I feel worse about the state of my home than I usually do. Sean has started decluttering his stuff (something he’s needed to do for years) and has begun organizing some general repairs we’ve been putting off. I’ve packed my books for storage in my mum’s basement but I’m having a hard time keeping up momentum to work through my decluttering.

There’s just so much to do. Going through our life’s accumulations to decide what comes with us and what gets passed on. Getting rid of enough stuff to make a trip to my local second-time-around shop worth the effort of packing it. I joke sometimes that I should just set the house on fire (with everyone out of it and safe of course). I know that is a horrible, irresponsible, hateful idea, but sometimes disaster feels better than actually doing the work.

Sean is the catalyst of this project. I am grateful that he doesn’t go into overwhelm like I do, but his methods are making me crazy. He has several half-finished decluttering jobs in progress throughout the house. I can’t work like that. I need to make a list, prioritize it and check the tasks off as I complete them one by one. The problem is I feel too overwhelmed to even make that list. My mental list is somewhat formulated, but I need to commit it to paper (or screen) so I can get the satisfaction of checking those tasks off when they are done.

My mum (bless her) has offered to come up and help us. It embarrasses me that I need that help. I know if I did a little bit each night, I’d make progress. I’m just so depleted by 8pm that I need to just decompress for a bit. Then when I’m finally relaxed, I don’t want to get up and start working again. I want to keep relaxing.

I need to figure something out because stuff needs to get done. What do you do?

My #BlissdomCanada recap: better late than never

So my Blissdom recap is happening more a full week after I came home from the last party. You know, the one where that guy from the late-80s boyband showed up.

No matter, I’m choosing to believe that I’ve taken time to consider my thoughts and formulate my opinions. It was not that my laptop was busted or that I have a life outside of the Internet – I mean really, who has *that* these days?

So I went to Blissdom Canada. I had a good time. It felt different from last year. I’ve been reading everyone else’s blogs all week and I’m not the only one who feels that way. I’m just glad I’m not crazy! The conference, and expo hall, were much larger. The round tables at the front of the session rooms filled up quickly so I usually ended up in the rows of seats at the back of the room. That took away from the community vibe a bit, but doing the whole room with tables would have fit fewer people in so I get why it was done that way.

A lot of people talked about feeling alone or disconnected from other people at the conference. I felt that way too sometimes, but honestly, I expected that. I go to these conferences alone. I’ve connected with lots of the attendees online and met several of them last year. Even with that ‘in’, I don’t like to interrupt other people’s conversations. I often spend a lot of time listening or observing in group situations. By the time I’m ready to comment on something, the moment has passed. I did my best to come out of my shell, but I know I didn’t interact nearly as much as I observed and listened. I did have a great dinner Friday night with Mel and Sherrie Mae, which made up for a lot of the shyness I was feeling earlier in the day.

Many (but not all) of the sessions talked about monetizing your blog, building your personal/professional brand, and working with corporate brands. I left the conference with my intent not to do any of those things intact. I’ve been comforted to learn this week that I am not the only person that feels that way.

When I introduced myself to people, my answer to their first question “how long have you been blogging?” was usually “I’ve been writing online for 11 years, but I’m not very good at it, because my stats aren’t great and my readership is small.” I inwardly cringed every time I said this, but I couldn’t stop myself. I was trying to build myself up by mentioning my longevity in the genre (even though longevity doesn’t really matter). Then I instantly knocked myself back down by saying that even though I have lots of experience, I’m still not “good at it”.

Way to go, self.

I don’t have as many readers and feedback as someone who hustles like crazy to promote themselves and their blog. While I have been blogging a long time, I haven’t always done it consistently. I also haven’t participated in the community aspect of blogging as much as I would like. I read, but rarely comment. (Hey, I remember when blogs didn’t even have comments!) So really, what am I doing to earn readers and feedback?

I want my voice, my writing, to matter. I realize this makes me sound incredibly narcissistic. I write about my life on the internet as a hobby – of course I’m (at least a little) narcissistic.

So ultimately, my takeaways are as follows:

  • In order to publish more, I need to write more. I need to find the time to do this.
  • I need to earn the feedback I want. Good writing is only the start.
  • I need to get a better handle on tasteful promotion, so I can get what I want without feeling gross or dirty about it.
  • I need to stop diminishing myself and develop confidence in my writing and my voice.

Now to actually get started on these things. Advice is welcome.

Hello Fellow Blissdom Canada Attendees!

Like many other web-savvy Canadian women, I will be attending Blissdom Canada this weekend. This conference is in its second year, and after the great time I had last year, I was thrilled to be able to attend again. The #blissdomcanada hashtag has been going nuts for weeks. Lots of folks returning, and lots of new people coming. We’re all so excited to meet and learn from each other. Never mind all the talking that can be done outside of 140 characters!

I plan to meet and talk with as many people as I can. Like lots of people who spend a significant amount of time online, I can be shy, but once I get talking, I may not stop! (I’ll try to rein that in, so you can talk too!)

If we’ve never met before (online or off), here’s an introduction of sorts:

  • is my personal blog. I’ve been blogging since 2000 and have done so under several domains and platforms (my About page tells this story in more detail). I write about my life and issues that are important to me. I don’t write as much as I’d like, and I’m hoping that this conference gives me some much-needed inspiration.
  • My twitter account is @mpricemitchell.
  • You can follow/friend me at various sites by either checking out the “follow me” widget in my sidebar, or by visiting my page.
  • I have a fulltime job outside of the social media sphere, so I’m not in the know about every little thing going on out there. That bums me out sometimes.
  • I live in Toronto with my husband, daughter, cat and dog. I’m originally from a small town so I’m not completely city-fied yet.

That’s enough about me. I can’t wait to learn more about you! Hope to see you there and have a chat. If you see me at a table by myself, come join me! I’m not saving seats – I’m passively networking, hoping you’ll come sit with me!

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada
This work by Melissa Price-Mitchell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada.
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