(Not) Balancing Work & Play

I'm probably the absolute last person that should be commenting on maintaining a balance between work and play. Right now, my idea of balancing the two are writing this post, and Netflixing the newest season of OITNB at the same time. See? Balance is key! No, but really, not everyone realizes just how much time a side hustle like Tipsy Canoe requires. Side hustle? YES. I'm actually a full time teacher. Your girl runs Tipsy Canoe, AND teaches the most hilarious kiddos & teens ever during the school year. 

When I started Tipsy Canoe, I didn't really expect it to grow into what it is. Don't get me wrong, TCD is still growing and I'm so thankful that it's blossomed into what it is. I'm so proud of what we've been able to do, and the amazing circle of supporters I have around me. But TCD started as something I'd do 'here or there', and hopefully make a few bucks to travel or pay off the ridiculous student debt gaining an education gifted me with. While the student loans are still looming, what I have been lucky enough to do is travel. I've continued to make it a priority and I'm so glad I have. Getting to all the nooks and crannies of Canada is on the top of the travel priority list.  

Bowen Island

The stars seemed to aline when, over this past winter, I was asked to work on two of the largest projects I have done to date. Conveniently, both were to be shipped and installed on the West Coast. The first project was for Glenn Cormier's new pub just one building over from the old Bowen Island Pub. He wanted paddles of every size, with designs that respected and acknowledged the indigenous communities and Salish land that Bowen finds itself on. The second project was the largest to date: 22 paddles with a variety of a dozen different colours, all cohesive enough to fit together and represent the coastal landscape of Oregon. Portland, Oregon to be exact. Hired through Studio Art Direct & Janelle Baglien to design and paint 22 paddles for a medical facility in Portland, I called in the troops and accepted any and all help I could get to finish them on time. Thankfully, both projects gave me a ton of creative freedom and I got to do my thing. The best part though? When the school year ended, I had a totally valid reason to head to the West Coast: to see these paddles on display and really soak in the fruits of my labour. A perfect reason to vacation on the West Coast with just a touch of paddle business. 

 Paddles of every size, located at Bowen Island Pub in Bowen Island, BC. 

Paddles of every size, located at Bowen Island Pub in Bowen Island, BC. 

 Cheesin' with the paddles. Portland, OR for Studio Art Direct

Cheesin' with the paddles. Portland, OR for Studio Art Direct

 Paddles in Portland, OR, USA. 

Paddles in Portland, OR, USA. 

I convinced one of my best friends that she needed to come to the West Coast (I was also trying to convince her to apply for her Ph.D. out there too, just to give myself more reasons to visit) and we headed out. Vancouver, Portland, Victoria, Tofino, and Bowen Island were all on the itinerary with day trips to Cannon Beach, OR, Forks, Washington (15 yr old Caitlin was loving this), and Salt Spring Island, BC. Was is fantastic? Absolutely. We ate good food, we drove aimlessly, we sat on beaches, jumped in the Pacific and hiked in a rainforest. It was wonderful and such a well needed break. BUT, it wasn't really a break. I was still posting on social media, answering emails, planning community events and sketching designs. The break from painting paddles was great, and my back and neck were thanking me for it. I should've left my phone at home. Would Tipsy Canoe have survived had I gone completely off the grid? I would hope so. Was I willing to take that chance? Apparently not. 

 Harbour in Tofino, BC. 

Harbour in Tofino, BC. 

 Cannon Beach, OR. 

Cannon Beach, OR. 

 I have no regrets about this trip, I did my thing. I did it the only way I know how- by mixing work and play. 

All of this to say... I think I suck at balancing both. How do you manage to balance your work and play? Any tips or tricks to making the most of your time?