Tuesdays like today

This is Rosie.

I saw a lot of that mustard-coloured floral shirt today.

In the morning, around 6, after getting her changed alongside our other three kiddos.

During the next part of the morning, while we played with our baby chicks, tidied the house, and danced to Kanye West streams on YouTube.

During the afternoon, when she woke up from her nap while I was still working, and I invited her into my home office to play with post-its and pianos.

During the evening, while she cried as Kendra and I made dinner together, trying to keep her entertained as we sliced veggies, cooked rice noodles for the pad thai we’d be serving my in-laws.

In between the slats of the bars of her crib trying to comfort her in the dark as she cried after bedtime.

And now here, in this photograph Kendra snapped during a magic-hour stroll up our neighbour’s driveway.

I see a lot of Rosie on Tuesdays like today especially.

On Tuesdays I shift my working hours around. I have a “no meetings” block on my calendar each Tuesday morning, and during this time, Kendra takes a fitness class at the local Y.

It means that on Tuesdays like today, I stay up a little later to make up for lost time during the workday. It’s why right now, it’s actually not Tuesday anymore, but early Wednesday.

I’ve finished my work for the day. Ambient noise drones in my headphones, and my body shivers a bit — the house temperature has dropped for the evening, and the signals are all saying I should be in bed, but I’m excited to make space for this creating daily thing.

I’m hoping that choices like this, of unforgettably-present dad-ness and mom-ness in these early years especially, help our kiddos blossom and grow. I hope it’s building into my family a level of foundational strong care and connection that will never leave us.

The kids, they see a lot of their dad. I work from home. I chase them down the driveway saying goodbye to them in the morning on the way to school. I’m co-creating dinner each night, co-dousing them in the bath every bedtime, co-huffing at them for not listening every storytime. It means they see a dad that is engaged, connected, present — in happiness, anger, boredom, sadness and more. I hope it helps us show each other what it looks like to be real together.

The kids, they also see a lot of their mom. Kendra made the choice not to renew her license as a physiotherapist recently, to focus on spending time with our four kiddos. I hope that by empowering and supporting Kendra through my own life and work choices, that she too will be able to flourish and thrive, feeling like she can make the choice she wants to make, rather than being forced into any particular path.

With both of us at home like this, I hope that being here in the early years means we, too, have a shared foundation as we “grow up.” We’ve been back-to-back, side-by-side, this whole time. It’s creating a shared storyline we’re experiencing together.

So I’m working tonight, shivering in the home office, because of a choice to help out my family, whom I love, in ways that are life-giving and holistic and supportive. Catching up by using some time-shifted hours. I’m more of a night owl anyway.

You know who else is a night owl? Rosie. She’ll be up more than once before the morning, and Kendra will be the first-responder each time. When Rosie starts the day around 6 am, I’ll be able to help Kendra get a little extra time to sleep in by getting up with Rosie and the other kids.

And then we’ll start Wednesday.


Talking climate change with parents (Part 2)

Hello! This post was first written as a private email exchange between family members. I published it here enthusiastically, but didn’t check in with those I was quoting. That’s not very polite. I’ve removed the post for now, but will look to a future time to see about rebuilding some of the main thoughts (without the quotes) and we’ll see if we can get somewhere healthy.


Talking climate change with parents

Hi! When I wrote this, I was building momentum privately in the very first week of my Creating Daily project. I repurposed some emails I had exchanged with my family as fuel for the first week of posts. It turns out, if you’re doing that, it’s a good idea to check in with those being quoted first.

I’ll be removing these posts for now (part 1 and part 2), but will look to a future week to see about resurfacing some of the core thinking.


Creating daily

Last night I stayed up late with a glass of whiskey and a blank 8×11 piece of paper and decided to get to the bottom of why I even have a website, or social media, or call myself a writer. I did what I could to pray, to listen, and then I just mind-mapped things.

The scrawls got scribblier and scrawlier and ended with one box that says CREATE DAILY.

It became an invitation to get into a rhythm of publishing, for five important reasons. Here’s what they are:

1) This space is for my own learning and processing.

It’s a chance to actually write and create, without being drawn into mind-reading. (That’s something I do in regular life: I imagine what other people are thinking. Then I shape-shift accordingly to suit their needs and expectations. Then I forget who I’m supposed to be.)

So this is about the potential for authenticity, for becoming clear on my own needs, perspectives, passions.

2) But this is also for my wise friends. They might be my closest audience. I get the chance to learn and benefit from them, and benefit them in the process. And me, I need a rhythm for this. Publishing doesn’t come fluidly, as a “natural social outpouring.” It instead needs be a “planned personal gift.” So this is a gift space. To show up alongside wise friends and learn together.

3) It’s a chance to live into my own vision. I have a statement on my wall that says (lots of things, but the key part of it says): “I will use my empathetic leadership and creative expressions to draw out our collective genius”

As you can clearly read, I’m not here here for:

  • emotionless following
  • anxious silence
  • individual showing off.

I’m also not here for:

  • empathetic thinking alone (that doesn’t connect with people)
  • creative ideas alone (that never get expressed)
  • collective dumbness.

4) I’m also curious: What will people discover that helps them come alive? It’s not just about me and my ideas: it’s about you, dear reader, discovering your unique possibilities.

I hope my learning and sharing makes it safe for you to do the same: share real stories. From spirituality, from parenting, from work, from life. 

5) This is a push against presenting an image. It’s a challenge for me to reimagine a web presence. It’s not for promotion, not for brand-building, but for love. For authenticity. For reals. I want to use it. To authentify the .com. Our job is but to live a life that is authentic, wise, visionary, and alive-ness making. This is for that. 

* * *

So with those five reasons, I’m going to try a rhythm this year of creating daily, on here, then curating weekly emails that get sent to my exiting subscriber list.

I killed my “Kevan Gilbert” public Facebook page, removed everything else from this site, and have started from scratch, to see if this can be something different.