musings

2014: New Beginnings. And Hats.

Back in my corporate days, I seldom appreciated the expression, “He wears a lot of hats”. Like, what exactly does that mean? Surely the employee was hired to do one job – so why bother taking on one, two or even three more roles? I couldn’t fathom why someone would want to wear another hat, so to speak. I couldn’t understand the need to constantly be busy… working a deadline… juggling balls in the air. Or as we like to call it on resumes: multitasking. 

“Job incumbent XYZ has a keen ability to multitask and take on new responsibilities.”

And so, I was happy to fly under the radar; being outwardly ambitious while biding my time, knowing it was time for a change. And that change came in the form of maternity leave – in addition to being awarded a sweet little baby, I had twelve long months to care for him… and reinvent myself.

For a while, I wore two hats: mommy, and blogger.

Then, slowly but surely, I began to gain a new respect for multitasking. I began to look at my new hobby as a career, and my new career as a challenge. And I acknowledged that I didn’t graduate with a Bachelor of Commerce, and I didn’t toil in an office cubicle for nearly a decade, to simply wear one hat. For the first time in my life, I was ready – and excited – to take on more.

And then it clicked! All the times I’d regarded managers with disdain – all those times I’d rolled my eyes at those directors who wore “hats” – perhaps it wasn’t because they were overworked. Perhaps they weren’t taking on more work for the same pay. Perhaps they were simply ambitious individuals who loved their jobs. Who loved their contributions. Who loved life.

I’ve realized that you all know me at www.listentolena.com, but you may not know about some of my “side jobs”.

This year, I will wear the following hats:

1. Mother: Employed since 2008, I will always have this role. It is the “job” that brings me the most joy, the most stress, and certainly the most fulfillment. Although I would never want to be subjected to a performance evaluation.

2. Spouse: Employed since 2007, one of the easiest jobs I’ve ever had – I could actually do it with my eyes closed. But that may have something to do with the fact that I married my perfect match.

3. Writer: The truth is, I used to refer to myself as a “blogger”. I mean, this is a blog post I’m publishing, no? But as the years went by (employed since 2008), I realized that with the high caliber of my writing, professionalism and ability to consistently produce stellar content, I was actually selling myself short. Hence, I’ve now embraced my new job description: writer.

(Of course, as my blog – and writing – provide a vehicle for online influence, you may also find me as a Brand Ambassador/ Spokesperson for many of the products I love.)

4. Social Strategist: This year, I’ll continue working with Chatelaine to develop their Tasters and Testers panel. Cultivating the influence of bloggers across Canada, we’ll build a group of ambassadors that are passionate about food, fashion and lifestyle.

5. Social Outreach: In 2014, I’ll be heading up the #HBSocialKitchen blogger panel for Hamilton Beach Canada. Working closely with a talented group of online influencers, I’ll lead the discussion and manage the monthly campaigns.

6. Social Outreach: I’ll also be managing the blogger outreach for Werther’s Original, a new (and decidedly delicious) client. With tasty new offerings this year, it’s a treat (pun intended) to work with them.

7. Social Media Consultant: Once again, I’ll be partnering with PR companies and brands to develop best practices for working with bloggers. (This is a continued role since last March, when I was asked to speak on a panel at the Canadian Public Relations Society’s #PRBootcamp.)

8. Twitter Party Host: After hosting / moderating over 50 Twitter Parties in 2013, it’s safe to say that I may have a party (or two) on the radar this year. And, this year I have an exciting new collaboration: I’ll be co-hosting a monthly #FamilyTravelCA chat to discuss all things related to family vacations. Tune in on the last Tuesday of each month!

Okay, so eight hats. But you know what? It doesn’t feel like multitasking. It doesn’t feel like work. It feels awesome.

79 Responses to “2014: New Beginnings. And Hats.”

  1. Marissa
    January 3, 2014 at 10:18 am #

    Awesome post Lena and congrats on your many multitasking hats! You’ve earned them with all of your hard work, professionalism and your great talent for writing!

    • Lena
      January 3, 2014 at 10:27 am #

      Thank you so much Marissa! You’re too kind!

  2. Darlene Schuller
    January 3, 2014 at 10:39 am #

    Meet Miss Lena, embracing life and all it is !! Luv ya lady <3

    • Lena
      January 4, 2014 at 8:08 am #

      Aw, thank you Darlene! Have a wonderful new year!

  3. Michelle
    January 3, 2014 at 11:05 am #

    So happy you went from “blogger” to “writer,” and agree with all your reasons. It’s why I’ve stuck with you… Looking forward to more of the same!

    • Lena
      January 4, 2014 at 8:09 am #

      Thank you Michelle, that is so sweet of you to say. And I’m glad you’ve stuck with me! Thanks for being an amazing supporter.

  4. Judy C (Judy Cowan)
    January 3, 2014 at 11:29 am #

    Great post Lena! Looking forward to following your journey for 2014, sounds like it is going to be a fun year!

    • Lena
      January 4, 2014 at 8:21 am #

      Thanks Judy! It’s always a pleasure chatting with you – Happy New Year!

  5. nicolthepickle
    January 3, 2014 at 11:51 am #

    I don’t want to have a performance evaluation as a mom too. I don’t think it would go so well.

    Social Strategist sounds like a wonderful hat to wear. Food and fashion is a lovely combination and I know that yours will be a very stylish hat.

    • Lena
      January 4, 2014 at 8:22 am #

      Thank you Nicoline :) Looking forward to a great year – best wishes to you and your family!

  6. Virginia Fynes
    January 3, 2014 at 12:39 pm #

    Whoa thats a lot of hats! I too am a wearer of many hats, but I’ve never put it on paper! Good for you, Keep up the great work!

    • Lena
      January 4, 2014 at 8:22 am #

      Thank you Virginia!

  7. Wanda Bergman
    January 3, 2014 at 2:38 pm #

    New beginnings … Thanks for the post. And thanks for the inspiration.

    • Lena
      January 4, 2014 at 8:22 am #

      You’re so welcome, Wanda. Have a wonderful year!

  8. Ella Pretty Blog
    January 3, 2014 at 3:12 pm #

    SO many hats – and you wear them so well :-)

    • Lena
      January 4, 2014 at 8:23 am #

      Thank you Ella. Such a pleasure knowing you – best wishes to you and your family in 2014!

  9. Parent Club
    January 3, 2014 at 4:51 pm #

    You definitely are a writer! And your “voice” is truly unique and friendly.

    • Lena
      January 4, 2014 at 8:24 am #

      Thank you Caroline – since you are a published writer (yay!) that really means a lot!

  10. Alex
    January 3, 2014 at 5:03 pm #

    Very happy for you, Lena! You’re absolutely the best at what you do, and every client you work with is so lucky to have such a true talent on the team.

    • Lena
      January 4, 2014 at 8:24 am #

      Thank you Alex! I’m so touched by your kind words. Wishing you a stellar 2014!

  11. Ladena
    January 3, 2014 at 6:09 pm #

    Great post Lena. You absolutely wear a lot of hats but you do it so well! I always love following you and seeing what you’ll do next. Thanks for everything you do. Happy New Year!

    • Lena
      January 4, 2014 at 8:24 am #

      Happy New Year Ladena! And thank you for the kudos, it means a lot!

  12. Athena
    January 3, 2014 at 7:12 pm #

    What a great post! You truly are a Writer and have a definite voice that involves the reader and is a joy to read.

    • Lena
      January 4, 2014 at 8:25 am #

      Thank you so much Athena, and thank you for your support in 2013! Wishing you all the best this year!

  13. Judy O.
    January 3, 2014 at 9:23 pm #

    Geez! You wear so many hats…but they all look so good on you!

    • Lena
      January 4, 2014 at 8:27 am #

      Ha! You were one of the few people who made corporate life bearable for me, so thank you for that! xoxo Happy New Year!

  14. Heidi C.
    January 3, 2014 at 11:34 pm #

    Now, that’s a lot of hats! It is definitely going to be an exciting, challenging year for you!

    • Lena
      January 4, 2014 at 8:27 am #

      Yes, I’m sure it will be a blast! Thanks Heidi, and best wishes to you!

  15. Nicole W.
    January 4, 2014 at 12:42 am #

    Congrats! I’m glad you have become so successful doing something you clearly enjoy. 2014 sounds like a busy year for you!

    • Lena
      January 4, 2014 at 8:28 am #

      Thank you Nicole, and thank you so much for your support over the past few years! It’s always a pleasure to chat with you online. Happy New Year!

  16. MrDisco
    January 4, 2014 at 1:56 am #

    I prefer a 10 gallon cowboy hat myself

    • Lena
      January 4, 2014 at 8:28 am #

      I’d ask for a picture, but you still owe us one from the last time!

  17. sarah sar
    January 4, 2014 at 4:13 am #

    A feel good post! You’ve inspired me….it’s wonderful to see you happy and busy doing what you love to do.

    • Lena
      January 4, 2014 at 8:29 am #

      Thank you Sarah! Not a post I usually write, but I decided to start off 2014 by celebrating my accomplishments. Have a wonderful year, and best wishes!

  18. Janet W.
    January 4, 2014 at 7:28 am #

    You really do wear a lot of “hats”! I can see why you handle it well because you’re highly intelligent and very professional!

    • Lena
      January 4, 2014 at 8:30 am #

      Thank you Janet! You’re too kind. Best wishes to you and your family for a wonderful year!

  19. Chandra Christine O'Connor
    January 4, 2014 at 7:44 am #

    The amazing part is you look beautiful in every hat you wear, you seem calm in the hats, like they are extensions to you that you seem to be able to flow with ease.

    • Lena
      January 4, 2014 at 8:30 am #

      Aw, what did I do to deserve such great readers like you, Chandra? Thank you so much, and Happy New Year to you and your family! All the best!

  20. Jason
    January 4, 2014 at 8:12 am #

    Wow, you’re like superwoman taking on so many roles! Congrats on your amazing accomplishments and on your new roles, very happy for you Lena :)

    • Lena
      January 4, 2014 at 8:32 am #

      Thank you so much Jason, and thanks for being a great support on Twitter! It’s always so nice to tweet with you. Wishing you and your family the very best in 2014!

      • Jason
        January 5, 2014 at 8:17 am #

        Always a pleasure, you’re 1 of my favorite bloggers & I like your sass, lol! :)

  21. loriag
    January 4, 2014 at 8:46 am #

    Thanks for sharing Lena, it is nice read more about the woman with many hats. Well done.

    • Lena
      January 4, 2014 at 9:40 am #

      Thanks for being a great reader, Loria! All the best in 2014!

  22. Stephanie LaPlante
    January 4, 2014 at 9:41 am #

    I’m definitely a multitasker but wow…you’re a busy lady!

    • Lena
      January 4, 2014 at 9:52 am #

      :) I’ve found I like being busy!

  23. AC
    January 4, 2014 at 11:40 am #

    You have a good perspective on things Lena. Whichever hat you wear, you wear it well!

    P.S.: I still think you would’ve made a great lawyer. ;)

    • Lena
      January 5, 2014 at 10:33 am #

      LOL I think we’ve had this discussion once before. Nope, while I’m great on cross-examination, I’d rather sleep at night!

  24. Flora M
    January 4, 2014 at 1:24 pm #

    You always have a wonderful way of putting things into perspective :) I never thought about “wearing hats” in that way before – my “Mom” hat, now my “Nana” hat, my “Computer Doc” hat, a “Dr. Mom” hat and so on… I should see how many hats I have worn at the same time through different times of my life :). This has certainly given me food for thought,

    • Lena
      January 5, 2014 at 10:34 am #

      I think everyone wears more than one hat, and the number at any given time would surprise us! Happy Near Year “Nana”!

      • Flora M
        January 5, 2014 at 2:08 pm #

        Today I am wearing my “snow shoveling” hat – LOL ! Come on spring !!! LOL

        • Lena
          January 5, 2014 at 6:37 pm #

          I know!! 10-15cm of snow expected here in Toronto!

  25. Victoria Ess
    January 4, 2014 at 2:47 pm #

    You totally fit all of those hats — you are one impressive lady, that’s for sure! I definitely agree with your self-promotion from blogger to writer. Well-deserved, and you earned it a long time ago :)

    • Lena
      January 5, 2014 at 10:34 am #

      Thank you Victoria, your kind words are appreciated! All the best in 2014!

  26. Florence C
    January 4, 2014 at 11:35 pm #

    I enjoy your blog and will be continue to follow you in 2014. That is a lot of hats and I am sure you wear them all extremely well.

    • Lena
      January 5, 2014 at 10:35 am #

      Thank you for being such a great follower, Florence! It is so much appreciated. Happy New Year!

  27. Melinda L.
    January 5, 2014 at 11:57 am #

    Wow that’s a lot of hats! You definitely wear them very well. Can’t wait to see what’s coming for 2014 =)

    • Lena
      January 5, 2014 at 1:29 pm #

      Thank you Melinda!

  28. Rosie
    January 5, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

    I make hats, so this post caught my eye. Then I realized it is about the other kind of hats – wow, you are amazing!!!! I’m sure you do a great job at enjoying all those responsibilities! You deserve some pampering, too!

    • Lena
      January 5, 2014 at 1:30 pm #

      Aw, thank you Rosie! I think we all wear more hats than we realize. And kudos for having a hat-making talent!

  29. Nadia
    January 6, 2014 at 2:54 pm #

    It’s time to soar high in 2014 my friend! Loved this post and so happy you decided to share!

    • Lena
      January 8, 2014 at 8:24 am #

      Thank you my friend! Looking forward to some amazing collaborations!

  30. NT
    January 8, 2014 at 11:03 pm #

    Hey Lena, I’m sure you wear a lot more than 8 hats. Just being a mother means you wear 10 different hats already! (nurse, cook, teacher, driver…) And you didn’t put down friend, daughter, sister, aunt etc. You definitely deserve the ‘writer’ hat over ‘blogger’.

    • Lena
      January 16, 2014 at 1:56 pm #

      Hahaha well said. And thank you, I truly appreciate that.

  31. Wai K
    January 9, 2014 at 12:16 am #

    So many hats, impressive !!! But most important, to love life. Cheers Lena !!!

    • Lena
      January 16, 2014 at 1:56 pm #

      Hear, hear! Cheers Wai!

  32. Rossana
    January 10, 2014 at 12:17 am #

    If anyone can do it, you can! Exciting year ahead for you. :)

    • Lena
      January 16, 2014 at 1:57 pm #

      Thank you Rossana! Looking forward to collaborating!

  33. YashY
    January 11, 2014 at 8:36 pm #

    I hope each hat is a different colour! haha.. lame jokes aside… Congrats on all the hard work lady! Being a hat lover (the figurative and literal kind) I will remind you to slice in some YOU time coz that’s the one that tends to be stuck at the back of the hat rack.

    Cheers to a fantabulous 2014 lady and I hope we get to connect IRL more often!

    • Lena
      January 16, 2014 at 1:57 pm #

      Sage words of advice, Yashi – thank you! And wishing you a wonderful 2014!

  34. Sophia
    January 11, 2014 at 10:01 pm #

    Happy New Year, Lena, and greetings from Hong Kong! Love this post! It is giving me hope that I too can find a role this year where I can make meaningful contributions and where work doesn’t feel like “work”! :)

    • Lena
      January 16, 2014 at 1:58 pm #

      Greetings Sophia!! Have a wonderful time (in the warmth) and looking forward to chatting when you return!

  35. @sweetkeet
    January 13, 2014 at 3:54 pm #

    Loved this post!! It’s so upbeat, and it made me smile and realize this year IS filled with promise, though it did get off to a rocky start for me and my family. May it be an awesome year for you and your family!

    • Lena
      January 16, 2014 at 1:58 pm #

      Wishing you all the very best in 2014!

  36. Julia
    January 16, 2014 at 11:12 am #

    Congrats on all your new hats. I have no doubt that you will rock each and every one of them. I feel you on adopting the title of writer though. When does one make the transition from blogger to writer? Some would say by writing brand messaging we aren’t “real writers”, but there is a creativity and story telling element even to that and the good ones definitely do “write”.

    • Lena
      January 16, 2014 at 2:00 pm #

      I agree Julia – it’s the creativity and story-telling element that sets apart writers. It’s easy to post a press release and your “review”, but it’s when you weave in a story that makes it special. Proud to call you a fellow writer.

  37. Matthew Tully
    February 8, 2014 at 9:44 pm #

    So I’m curious… your a little over a month into the year. How do the hats feel? Are they tight, a good fit or are they on the desk as you are not quite sure? You always come across as being very composed and you get the job done…just curious. Have a good one!

    • Lena
      February 9, 2014 at 2:27 pm #

      So far, the hats are a good fit :) Thanks for checking in Matthew!

  38. Lynda Cook
    April 15, 2014 at 5:36 am #

    Hi Lena! just wanted to say I love your blog and your such a busy lady, how do you manage to get everything done and still manage to take time out of your busy schedule to please us your readers, which I’m glad you do because it’s not just the contests that have me coming here everyday, it’s to see what’s new and I love reading your posts, you make them fun to read and there is quite a few that bring a smile to my face even when I’m grumpy..lol….

  39. Rick F
    June 4, 2014 at 3:53 pm #

    That’s a lot of hats. You wear them all well!!

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