Corporate and Special Event Planning

Life’s Priorities

Life’s Priorities
An email this afternoon has sent my day into a spiral. The email read, “Did you hear about Nik, Chris’ friend?” My answer, “Why? Is he ok?”. I didn’t get the answer fast enough so I called my friend Chris and asked him what is going on. He told me that Nik Wellstein died last night in a motorcycle accident. That name may not mean much to you but in our community he is a well respected community oriented man. He is one of the best friends of my good friends Chris and Natalie. I didn’t know Nik very well myself but always saw him at Chris and Nat’s for dinners and parties. He has four wonderful kids, all in their twenties I believe. Him and his wife and kids always looked so happy. One of the things I loved about them so much was that they were always doing fun and exciting things. They knew how to party and truly enjoy life.
Nik had flown to Australia to surprise his son for his 30th birthday. They were out on motorcycles when Nik accidently got on the wrong side of the road. His son tried to warn him but it was too late.
My day has pretty much come to a halt since that moment. I can’t think straight (this is also my warning that this blog entry might be all over the place because I have so much going on in my head). I know you’ve all felt the way I do right now. The shock, the sadness for the family. I just saw him the other day. 
I can’t help but think about what my priorities in life are and where my life is headed at this very moment because tomorrow that could be me.
First are my girls. Their health, their well-being, their happiness.
Second is me. My health, my well-being and my happiness.
Third is Trevor. His health, his well-being and his happiness.
Fourth, my friends and family.
After that what is there? The amount of money I have? Nope. The kind of car I drive? Nope.  How big my house is? Nope.
I think I have already told you all this but it is sure fits here so I am going to talk about it again. A few years ago my nephew passed away, just after this third birthday. Our life changed from the moment he was diagnosed with cancer, and it changed again the day he died. Our kids used to own every toy I could get my hands on, every craft item I thought they might want to have. They had more clothes then they could possibly wear before growing out of them. And all that, not because we had money to blow on “stuff”, but because that’s what I thought they wanted, what would make them “happy”.
After Elgin passed away I went totally in the other direction and told my kids that life was not about toys and stuff, it was about spending time with each other. They of course still got gifts for Christmas and birthdays but I think I may have ruined the magic of Christmas for them a bit because I was always more worried about getting them useful toys and I often didn’t get them the stuff they really wanted because I didn’t think it was practical. 
This year before the news I got today I had already changed my thinking for Christmas this year and decided it was time to really spoil Trevor and the girls. This afternoon I am so grateful I did. Our tree is already full of gifts for all of our family and Santa hasn’t even arrived yet. And I am not saying it is about stuff, I am saying it is about the magic of Christmas. Watching my girls open the gifts they so badly want. 
My kids are so good. They already have such huge hearts for charity, so much more than many kids their age. They donate much of the money they make or receive and are always eager to volunteer their time. Although I know it would be satisfying for them to give their gifts to needy families, my girls also deserve to be spoiled. They are getting big and soon the magic of the holidays will be very different for them and I want them to have nothing but magical memories.  And sooner than I want to realize Trevor and I will be waking up Christmas morning alone, just the two of us. And I want to enjoy the time I have left with them here in their pj’s, running down to the tree at 4:00am, tiptoeing into our room…knowing I am already wide awake, waiting for them to wake up because I am so excited for them to get the perfect gift.
Life’s moments is exactly what In the Moment is all about. This is not a sales pitch, this is the truth and the reason that I spend 12-15 hours a day working on this company that has taken up much of my time and energy in the last year and a half, the reason I don’t hesitate to put almost every penny I make at my other job into this company, and the reason that my marriage is in a state it has never been in before because I believe so strongly in what I can do with this company.
I chose the name for my company carefully, it could have been Julia’s Parties, Party Girl….and any other typical name but no, I thought I long and hard about why I was doing this and living in this moment is the reason for In the Moment. And this company isn’t about becoming rich and famous or just getting to throw big parties. This company is about making incredible memories for someone. Stop for a minute an think. What is your favorite memory?  How do you remember that memory, as a long drawn out story or a specific moment? I am pretty certain it is a specific moment that you remember right. Well, my job is to make that moment happen for you. I take control of your wedding day, a birthday party, a conference at which you are going to make a life changing speech…so that you can truly capture your moment without worrying about whether the caterer ever showed up or whether the napkins match the tablecloths.
I have always thrown parties for others, friends, Trevor and my girls. I love it. I love it more than attending a party. I love sitting back and watching that person smile, laugh and truly enjoy the moments I created for them.
I used to be a photographer and I felt the same way about that too. My job was to capture those magical moments for you so that you could cherish them in photographs for the rest of your life. 
Today I am reminded about how important those special moments are and I want to remind you as well. And not for the purposes of hiring me. But for the purposes of remembering to celebrate those moments. There is no moment too small to be celebrated. My youngest daughter lost her first tooth and wanted to have a tooth fairy party, so we did. My daughter’s first dance recital included a party at our house afterwards with all of our family and a big beautiful cake. Take the time, make the effort to celebrate every special moment you can. It doesn’t have to be with a big party but taking a moment to recognize a moment in someone’s life may make a memory they will never forget. Those memories are what life is about.
Now I touched on something earlier that I best clarify before rumours start about my marriage. I am very lucky. I have an exceptional marriage. I have been friends with my husband since we were in grade 7 so since about the age of 12. We can talk about anything, we have a better time when we’re out together. We travel well together, we have never fought about how to raise our children and so on. Since I started this company I have found a new lease on life. I have found my true spirit and I am soaring. I have found a new ability to approach people and talk because I am confident with what I am doing and I feel like I have something to offer to a conversation. Something I never had or felt before. I think and so do several of my friends, that my husband is feeling a little out of place with this new found life. My life used to revolve around him. My passion was him. What he wanted, what he needed. We can still talk about everything…except my company. It always ends in an argument. I blogged about this the other day, he has no vision. He is a black and white kind of guy. He’s never owned his own company. What he is passionate about is what is does for a living and he gets paid well to do it. He gets up every day (ok, only 7 days a month) and puts on his firefighter’s uniform and goes off to one of the most respected jobs in the world. I used to get up everyday and go to a job that has me sitting in a cubicle staring at paper. A job that no one could understand and a job that only a few people actually enjoy, one of them being my mom. I have a job where people seeing me coming down the hallway and they turn and go the other way because they don’t want to deal with what I am bringing them.
Until this afternoon I was pretty upset about Trevor’s feeling about my company. I would lie awake at night trying to understand why he doesn’t support me and my dream. This afternoon I decided that I am not losing sleep over how someone else feels anymore. That is his problem, not mine. He can join his best friend on the journey of her life time and enjoy everything that means for her or he can get left behind to live the same old safe life he thinks he wants. 
I am scared to death every day of this company. Every decision I make. Every purchase I make, scares the crap out of me. But I truly don’t know what else to do because I can’t go back to sitting in that cubicle. And when I think about what I would be doing if I didn’t have this extremely scary adventure in front of me I feel sick to my stomach.
When I wrote my four priorities up top I actually had to pause at number 2 because normally Trevor’s name would be there, not me. But I have realized that I come before he does. I need to be happy, whether he agrees with my decision or not. This is my life I am living not his. I am sharing it with him but he needs to follow me, the same as I have followed him and will continue to follow him when his life takes a new road.  I know that I am a better person now. I know that I am showing my girls what working hard means and what it means to be passionate about something. And god forbid should Trevor or I ever decide that the change in our life means moving on without each other, I know that I am strong enough to proceed without needing someone else and I am so happy that it is something I am comfortable with now. My girls need to see that a woman can be strong enough to live life without having to depend on someone else.
So, let’s recap…
set your priorities
live your special moments
cherish the memories you make
follow your dreams
love what you do
Wow, sure makes life seem pretty straight forward doesn’t it. I am suddenly feeling at peace.
Rest in peace Nik. You will be greatly missed. You were a great man with great visions and I hope that I can live my life with the same enthusiasm that you did.

Julia O’Grady has big vision, fresh ideas and a proven track record in the events industry. She and her team work hard to exceed client expectations and push ITM Events to achieve greater heights. A driven entrepreneur, Julia also manages the business side of ITM Events including human resources, finances, marketing and writing grant and sales proposals. In taking a high level approach to event management, Julia is able to visualize a project from inception to successful execution. She attracts valuable sponsors by offering meaningful opportunities to engage with participants. Julia uses her keen analytical mind to create incredible events that maximize the available budget. When Julia isn’t planning unforgettable events, she loves travelling the world with her family, staying active, and enjoying fine food and martinis.

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