Women across Canada are kicking butt in the workforce, all while maintaining their cool and doing the things in life they enjoy. “Motivation Monday: How she does it” is a news series where we profile notable women working in various fields to find out how they juggle work-life, balance. For this installment, we chatted with Quebec fashion and music personality - Geneviève Borne.
Photo credit: Mademoiselle Aime le Style
What are you working on these days and what does your day-to-day look like?
These days, I’m writing a book on London. It’s called 300 Reasons to Love London and it will come out in May. It’s part of the 300 Reasons collection. It’s not an official travel book, just things I love like museums, restaurants, promenades, parks, and more. It’s the London I love, in 300 reasons. I love this city! I’ve written articles in the past for blogs, but now it’s a long term commitment to write a book and it takes time. I have to discipline myself to do a little bit of it everyday. So that’s the energy these days. I’m writing and editing pictures. I also did some radio over the holidays for Radio Canada which was a lot of fun, and I’m a spokesperson for Rockland Centre! So my days are never the same, I have different contracts and jobs. I always make the best smoothie in the morning though, with a banana and almond milk, and all kinds of good things in it.
Photo credit: Julien Laperrière
How do you juggle work-life, balance?
I really do think that living a balanced life is something that is very important and is something that I think I have managed to achieve, but it wasn’t always like that. I use to work too much and I tried to be everywhere and do too many things at the same time. Then in 2008, I was diagnosed with cancer and it became so clear what I needed most in my life and that was balance; to have time for myself, to be able to say no, and to save time for my passions and creativity. You need that time where you are alone with yourself, it’s very important. So, I think I’ve managed to reach that balance in my life, but I learned it the hard way. This disease and situation came into my life for a reason and I learned a lesson, and I’m still trying to respect what I’ve learned, and apply it in my life.
What are some challenges you face trying to stay focused on all the projects you’re working on, but also trying to live a balanced life?
I think it’s just to know that it’s important to go out for dinner with a friend. Let’s say, I wrote all day and I plan to write all night, that’s not balanced. So write all day, but when a friend says ‘hey, let’s have dinner’, you say yes, and you go! You can go for a walk. It might be by yourself, but just get out of the house. It can’t only be about work and it can’t only be about play. So, it’s always about keeping that in mind.
For someone who was always on the go, was it hard to accept that you needed to slow down?
It was actually really good. As soon as I had my diagnosis in 2008, I decided to stop drinking alcohol and I started to eat really well. When you stop drinking alcohol it changes your lifestyle. It didn’t mean anything anymore to go for a 5 à 7. I use to go out for dinner with some friends, and then go out for drinks with other friends after. Now, I choose to focus on the friends that I’m with and I choose to not be out all the time. It’s ok to be home and rest, and just focus on your own things. To eat better was also something that was very natural for me to do. So, these were all the decisions I took and the decisions I made, and I feel like I’m taking care of myself.
How do you like to unwind?
I love to just do nothing and stay home, and listen to some music. I also love going to the spa for a massage - that is amazing, the best! And also, what I love to do is to go for a walk on Mount Royal. I go all the way up the mountain, and then I come back down. I’ll do that alone, but I also do it with friends, so we can have nice conversations and catch up, while we walk in nature. It’s such an ideal setting.
And what is the best advice you have ever received?
The best advice I have ever received was to be in harmony with myself. If you really pay attention, you will know what you need to be happy, you will know what you want in life and how to express it. If you’re not happy in life, it’s because you’re not doing what you’re suppose to be doing. So the best advice to me was to pay attention to your dreams, but also to your needs and what makes you happy. Treat yourself and do the things that make you happy, as often as possible.
How do you define success?
I think success is when you succeed in different areas at the same time. If you succeed professionally to high levels, but your personal life is a mess - that to me is not success. That goes the other way too. If you succeed in having a nice family, but you haven’t explored or expressed who you are and what you want, then there’s something missing. I think success is when everything falls into place and there’s a good balance in all aspects of your life.
Do you know someone we should feature in this segment? Send an email to [email protected]