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Welcome to Vintage Concierge…

Welcome to Vintage Concierge. This little endeavour is inspired by dad’s legacy of “digging out” (Brink’s Excavating) merged with my passion for putting things where they belong.

Along the way, you’ll find the odd journal entry from my lovely Irene, who I miss dearly. Those entries are more for me as I spend time in her old journals.

May you find inspiration to “dig out” from what burdens you so that you can find joy in every moment of each glorious day.

With great love,

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Shirly (Irene) Vanluling
shirly.vanluling@vintageconcierge.ca

Can’t Get it ALL done? No kidding!

Ever feel like you don’t have time to get it all done?    Been there.  I attended a seminar a million years ago that literally changed my life.  I learned three major lessons.

1.    Use ONE system….

I used to use multiple systems to stay organized.   I used an electronic calendar but supplemented that with a paper-based system for the national training schedule.  I had multiple pretty notebooks that I took to meetings, post it notes at both of my desks plus a notebook beside my bed for those moments of brilliance..you know the ones that are brightest at 3 am.   It’s not a wonder I was always tired.  I was constantly running through my multiple systems….reviewing, re-reading meeting notes so I wouldn’t forget anything.    My brain NEVER rested.

2.   A brain dump is REQUIRED….

Have you ever ACTUALLY written down everything that needed doing every day?     The most brilliant part of the seminar for me was a facilitated exercise that required me to write down all of the tasks on the list in my brain. He prompted all of us to start from the moment our feet hit the floor in the morning…think about having a shower (need to buy shampoo and toothpaste), getting dressed (I’ll hem those pants, suit to the dry cleaner), then brushing your teeth, having breakfast (need milk, eggs and chicken), get in the car (need an oil change and need gas), drive to the office.    Get your morning coffee.   Now, start with your outstanding items in every one of your projects…..oh dear!

I was literally halfway down Page 3 … the facilitator talked faster and faster…bringing home his point.     Once I realized that my task list was impossible to complete without a disciplined system, I sat back in my chair.    I was so excited that I stayed up very late that evening completing the huge task list, then started to schedule REAL time for everything I had written.   It was still IMPOSSIBLE!     

I re-negotiated some of my internal deadlines, shortened meetings to 45 minutes and stopped attending any without set agendas or clear objectives.   I communicated my epiphany to my team, set clear boundaries and got comfortable with the fact that I would be working through those outstanding tasks for some time.   I became a more efficient employee and became a better manager for my team.  I have no doubt that seminar saved my career and put my life back into balance.     

3.   Have a task list of things you might do someday, or perhaps NEVER at all!!!

As I mentioned, I had a long task list of things that I was unable to schedule that first evening.   I put all those tasks in a “not now” list so that my brain wasn’t a swirling mess of to do’s when my pillow was calling my name.   Interestingly enough, I eventually scheduled and completed every “not now” task on that list.   I felt like I had climbed Everest!   

If you have multiple systems, I urge you to trim to one.    Make a list of things that need doing that are taking up your precious brain power and schedule it….or put it on the  “not now ” task list.   Then sleep well knowing it’s on THE list!

With great love (for technology),

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Shirly (Irene) Vanluling
shirly.vanluling@vintageconcierge.ca

EBH (Ever Been Hacked?)

So, I spent most of the afternoon changing my passwords.   UGG!

My VISA was lovingly borrowed for a night on the town in beautiful Montreal, so I thought it wise to purchase a password manager to help manage all of my online accounts.   I settled on LastPass a while ago after taking some great advice from my big brother…the geek.

Today, I changed almost every password in my vault.    It took some doing!

If you’ve been thinking about something similar, check it out at https://lastpass.com/f?15096692.   The link provides us both with a free month of service.

I took my pathetic score from red to green and still have some work to do!   It’s amazing what a little dashboard can do to motivate you for better numbers.   I’m still not where I want to be, but I’m not where i USED to be!   🙂

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Have an existing spreadsheet?   Upload options are available!

Sending unhackable love!

Love always,

DABb21Ch7xc2

Shirly (Irene) Vanluling
shirly.vanluling@vintageconcierge.ca

Irene Byers – Journal – February 12, 1975

Irene Byers – Journal Entry- February 12, 1975

Made more soup.  Bonnie washing and plumber inspector came.  Vern in to talk sewers again.   Will be putting another “Y” in drain hold to pass inspection later on.  Made 2 fig pies in afternoon.

Love(d) her always,

Irene Byers – Journal – February 11, 1975

Irene Byers – Journal Entry- February 11, 1975

I done washing, hung inside, then it cleared up.  We went to Port Hope.  Molly and Edge along. Shopped at Bake shops and on to Zellers and Dominion near Cobourg.  Ate there and came to Molly’s and ate again.  Home 9pm.  Good day.

Love(d) her always,

Dominion Cobourg

Irene Byers – Journal – February 10, 1975

Irene Byers – Journal Entry- February 10, 1975

Bright and cold.  Shirly here all AM.  We took several pictures some very good ones.  Had lunch and folks left at 1pm.

Love(d) her always,

Shirly at Irenes

Irene Byers – Journal – February 8, 1975

Irene Byers – Journal Entry- February 8, 1975

Made apple pudding biscuits and snack cake in AM.  Shirly here all morning for breakfast.  Made soup in afternoon.  Watched TV awhile in eve.

I wonder what she watched in the evening.  🙂

Love(d) her always,

Irene Byers – Journal – February 7, 1975

Irene Byers – Journal Entry- February 7, 1975

Lovely day.  Away to Knob Hill at 1pm.  Molly and Edge along, lunch in Whitby and home about 5pm. Watched TV in eve.

Love(d) her always,

Irene Byers – Journal – February 6, 1975

Irene Byers – Journal Entry- February 6, 1975

Vacuumed and dusted house, went to Orono with Molly and Edge afternoon.  Got my needle and shopped.  I got a print for dress and groceries at Toms, then to Kirby for meat.  Ate at the Dutch Oven.  Home at 4pm. Good day.  Full.   George arrived at 8pm.  Supper.

Love(d) her always,

Irene Byers – Journal – February 5, 1975

Irene Byers – Journal Entry- February 5, 1975

Bright for a while then blustery again.
Bonnie washing and took to the dryer downtown.

I suppose she went downtown so she didn’t have to pick up the washing and repeat.

Love(d) her always,

Irene Byers – Journal – January 24, 1975

I have such loving memories of Irene.   From warming me in a chair in front of the oven after a rainy day….bringing her endless bouquets of dandelions (that she always put in a vase on the kitchen table with great joy)…falling asleep in her lap while she tucked my hair behind my ear …sigh. I miss her still.

Irene wrote daily in a journal that I pick up with loving remembrance.    It spans nearly 10 years (March 31, 1973 to September 26, of 1982) and includes “facebook posts” in her glorious handwriting. I’m really hoping that mom forgets that I have it.  I do suppose that particular cat is out of the bag now.

As you get to know me, you will also get to know Irene.  I’ll share what she ate, the weather and what she cleaned or baked that day.    I really should dig up the recipe for her biscuits and put on a pot of tea.   Mom!!!!!!  I need to “borrow” the recipe book too please!  🙂

Irene Byers – Journal Entry- January 24, 1975
Shirly here early, then went with her mother shopping.  I made lemon pudding and ham casserole for dinner.  Don Vinkles here in evening for cards.  George had gas, burping all night.

With great love (for this lovely lady, and poor George),

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