Photo by Northover Photography
It was one of those late winter days when it was easy to find some optimism. I peeled off the top layer of my gear as I snowshoed up my favourite hiking trail. It was still a little cool under the canopy of the trees but in the open spaces the sun warmed my face and stirred something in me that had been absent for a while. Hopefulness. It was there and I was ready to receive it as it mingled with the sweet smell of spring air.
I openly admit that I can get in a little bit of a funk in winter. My cup that is almost always half full seems to have a little less in it when the days are short and dark. I felt grumpy, tired, life just seemed a little blurry, and I had lost my focus. When I was in the midst of my February fog, I literally bumped into a person in the grocery store. We both had our heads down reaching for the avocados. When we said our polite apologies and I was about to walk away the woman said that she knew I didn’t know her, but she recognized me from At Home magazine. She told me that I was an inspiring person and she loved the way that I tell the stories about the people who live here. I thanked her for her kind words and for being a reader because magazines need all the love they can get these days.
It means so much to me when I run into a fan of the magazine or get an email or Facebook message from a subscriber who admires what the At Home team tries to bring to life in each issue. It’s a tremendous compliment to hear that you have inspired someone. It’s one thing to be inspired but to inspire is something that we can all aspire to do.
Because I was feeling humdrum at the start of the new year I reached out to my usual pool of writers, who always pick me up and asked them to focus their stories on, you guessed it, inspiration for the spring issue. The assignment was to connect with some of their favourite movers and shakers on the North Shore and ask what keeps them fueled if they ever feel like they might be down a quart of their own inspiration. As the ideas started to evolve, the stories made a cheerful chime as they landed in my inbox and I felt the weightiness of the winter drift away. If you don’t quite have the pep in your step that you would like to have these days, I hope that you find our special feature Ignite Your Inspiration will be just what you need to energize your good vibes.
When I am asked what keeps me inspired I often think of the words, “you don’t need to know where you will end up to begin.” I am always inspired by people who embark on journeys or creative projects with no guarantees that everything will be perfect. It’s people like Cindy and Andrew Blair in Modern Moves and Vintage Vibes who, two years ago, left almost everything behind with the exception of Andrew’s golf clubs and moved across the county to begin a fun new chapter of their life in Pictou County. It’s people like Sherry Blinkhorn in Maybe She’s Born With It, a successful businesswoman and advocate for mental health, who could have easily chosen not to begin the path to build a new life, or someone like Shauna Northover in Muscling Through MS who chose to begin building her body when disease threatened to whittle it away. It’s people like this that inspire me to be brave, to take a chance and, in those moments when life does seem a little blurry, to seek the sunshine because it will always guide you.
Each time I begin an issue of At Home on the North Shore I have no idea where it will end. At this very moment I hope it is with you and you will ask yourself what inspires you and, more importantly, how you inspire others.