Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Wise Word Wednesday

I know the quality of this photo isn't high, but the meaning and significance is immeasurable.  This was sent to me in a text by a friend last week.  We hadn't spoken that day and she didn't know I was in the middle of a panic attack.  It was incredible.  It gave me such peace almost immediately. I hope it does for you too. 
oxox M

Monday, April 17, 2017

Mare's Music Monday

Last weekend while on the air on New Country 100.7 I asked for suggestions for a new playlist for the gym.  I wanted it to be filled with strong female country artists and this is what we came up with. 
What are you listening to right now? 
oxox Mare

Friday, April 14, 2017

Join Us!

I've created a new Facebook group for the Mareathoner community! Join us, won't you? 
It's very easy; just click this link to request to join.  That's it! See you there. 
oxox Mare

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Road Less Travelled

It's Throwback Thursday or #TBT and as I was looking for a photo I came across a keynote address I gave to a graduating class in 2010. I thought it would be fun to share that speech with you today as it still rings true. 

"Good evening graduates, faculty, family and friends. I’m truly honoured and humbled to be speaking to you this evening. A graduation ceremony is such a moment in a person’s life. Thank you for making me part of your’s. I really hope you grads take a quiet minute tonight to reflect on what you’ve accomplished. Getting here today wasn’t easy, and you deserve to be proud of yourselves.

As I choose my route through life, I am learning that the path less taken is often the most rewarding. It can be tough to not follow the crowd and try something different, but that is where you will find success. By graduating today you are showing the world that you value yourself and your future by investing in education. My education also came through the road less travelled.

My high school teachers convinced me that success was only to be found with a university degree. But, pretty much as soon as I started my first year in university, I knew it wasn’t the right choice for me. I kept thinking, ‘where is this course going to get me?’ I could not connect a practical career to the classes I was taking. At least not a career I was interested in. I wanted to get out into the working world with true skills and experience to prepare me.

I finished out the year, which was super tough, but a lesson learned. I find it’s best to follow through on something once I start, to give everything my all, just in case I am surprised by the outcome.

I decided to take some time off from school to really learn what I wanted to pursue. Turns out this was a good move, because in that September my dad passed away suddenly. I was just 19 and home at the time of his death. This shook me to my core and left me stunned with no direction. Before his death, my dad was the person I turned to for professional advice. Now, I felt no one knew what was best for me and no one could give me the advice I needed. I rebelled, shut off and did not deal well with his sudden death.

Isn’t it interesting how sometimes life lessons are just as important as what you can learn in the classroom? Slowly, I turned around and decided to honor his legacy rather than be a victim to the hand I was dealt. Education has always been a priority to me. I love to write and also love the theatre. But, when I read somewhere that the average actor makes eight grand a year, I decided I probably wasn’t going to be the next Julia Roberts. Growing up my family always watched the six o’clock news together and my dad had often mentioned how broadcasting would be a good fit for me. So I decided to try to combine my love of writing and performing.

I was accepted into the Broadcast Journalism program at BCIT and started exactly one year after my dad’s death. At 21 I was the second youngest person in my class. Like Sprott Shaw, BCIT has small classes and the professors have industry experience. This was the place for me. I loved how, just like here, I was given relevant skills for the industry I wanted to be a part of.

Initially my goal was to successfully make it through the program and take it one step at a time. With a heavy course load and intense classes, my social life was non-existent but I loved it. Quickly, I was ready to apply my education in the field.

For the summer between first and second year, I volunteered full-time at a radio station in Kelowna in their newsroom. It was a huge sacrifice to not get paid and to travel every day from Summerland to Kelowna, but well worth it. A lot of the broadcast industry, like other lines of work, is based on who you know. The bosses at the Kelowna station were super impressed that I would commute and work for free, just to get radio experience. Although it made for a very tight situation financially, the sacrifice was well worth it. I ended up co-oping out of my program a semester early after securing my first job at a station in Prince George. The News Director there knew the one in Kelowna, who gave me a great review. My dedication paid off.

Like I was saying before, sometimes the road less travelled is the one worth driving. In this case, I travelled down a very long road, up north to Prince George in the middle of a minus 35 blizzard.

I can literally remember walking outside my hotel room on my first morning, feeling my nostrils freeze instantly, my damp hair go hard and my poor car resist starting because I didn’t know to plug it in. What had I done? I was 800 kilometers from anyone I knew. I’m not going to lie; I had a little cry over some hash browns at A&W before work that morning. I know some of you are new to this country, and I felt a little like I had woken up somewhere else.

That move ended up being the best thing I could have done for my career. It was great to learn, make mistakes and learn again. I started at the bottom of the totem pole in the newsroom and slowly worked my way up. I got to cover amazing events like a strike with hundreds of truckers, elections and even a Hells Angels funeral. Just surviving on my own felt like an accomplishment. Prince George is also where I met my husband.

A couple years after moving back to Penticton and working in the newsroom at SunFM and AM800 EZRock, I was approached to try the morning show. I had zero experience being myself on-air or talking off-the-cuff because I’d only ever done news. But, I kind of like to do things that scare me. Like addressing you all today! So again, I jumped in on the show and have never looked back. The Sunrise Show on 97.1 SunFM has been the most listened to show on the number one station ever since I started. It’s brought out a confidence and strength of character in me that I always knew was there, just didn’t know how to coax it out. I also didn’t know it was possible to have this much fun and get paid for it.

I hope my story can be an example to you of how important it is to listen to yourself and take the path most suited for you and only you. My favorite quote is ‘to thine own self be true’ from William Shakespeare. It’s so important to do what you want, on your own terms. Empowering yourself with education and graduating today is the first step on that journey. Who knows where it will take you? Only you do.


Thursday, April 6, 2017

Better to Give Than Receive

Even just a few years ago, I wouldn't have thought I'd get so much joy out of giving away something to another person. 

Ever since Thomas was born we've been helped by so many people, businesses and organizations that we realized we needed to give back more. It started with asking friends and family to not get Thomas a birthday gift, but rather make a donation to an organization that has helped him. 

I'm a big hockey card collector but for several years I didn't have anybody to share the hobby with and most importantly, trade cards with. About 2 years ago I decided to make an Instagram account to showcase my hockey cards and hopefully find others in the hobby who I could trade with. It didn't take long before I discovered there is quite the card community on Instagram. After a few months, I realized that while there were a lot of great people, there were also a lot of jerks in the card community. You'd see people scamming one another or they'd really nickel and dime you while making a trade. 

I decided to try something different. 

If I saw someone that I thought was a good person, I'd send them some free cards! For the most part it has worked out really well. I've found several people that I now make regular trades with and others that I know will really appreciate an envelope of free cards.

Yesterday was time to package up a few more envelopes and head to the Post Office. I know these cards will soon be in a loving home. 

I guess the old saying is true, "It's better to give than receive." 
- Jer

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Being an Entrepreneur

This week's episode of The Mareathon on Shaw TV is all about being an entrepreneur.  I wanted to dive into this topic as it's become something that fascinates me.  I reached out to a couple of people who run incredible successful businesses and asked if we could talk about the drive to go out on your own.  My own personal experience has been filled with setbacks and difficulties as well as triumphs and I had a feel their stories would be no different. 
Even if you don't own your own business I have no doubt you will get a few gems of wisdom or inspiration from this episode.  You can also catch up on the previews episodes of The Mareathon on my TV Show page
Thanks for your support! 
oxox Mare

Monday, April 3, 2017

Mare's Music Monday

Ever since starting at New Country 100.7 in December, I've been familiarizing myself with the playlist and current country music.  Lots of people ask me how I handle playing country music, when in fact, I LOVE country! I've been a country fan for more than a decade. (Want to see me explain why I'm back on the radio? I did a whole video on it.)

Today I thought I would share a couple of my new favourites.  

The first is Body Like a Back Road by Sam Hunt: 

I also love the new one from Rascal Flatts:

I'm really loving the vibe of a lot of country music right now.  The best way I can describe it is fun.  It's easy to listen to, fun to blast in the car and so many of them are just feel-good jams. 
What songs are you loving right now? 
If you want to listen to me, I am on Saturday and Sunday 9am-3pm PST. You can listen online or download the app.  Make sure to let me know you are listening!
oxox Mare

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Autism Awareness Day

Today is World Autism Awareness Day. We hope you wear blue and #lighitupblue to show you support of families dealing with Autism.

Autism now affects 1 in 68 children and 1 in 42 boys.

Autism is one of the fastest-growing developmental disorders in the U.S.

Autism costs a family $60,000 a year on average.

I always loved the quote of "if you meet one person with Autism, you've met one person with Autism".  What can be incredibly frustrating (to put it mildly) is that Autism affects every person differently and manifests itself in countless ways.

I have been given so much comfort since Thomas' diagnosis from our community and also the Mareathoner family. It amazes me how many people have shown great support with their time, love, understanding, donations and help.  It took us a long time to ask for help and share our story but the response has been overwhelmingly positive. 

I recently shared a video showing a day in the life of a parent of a child with special needs. I had such lovely comments and response. What struck me afterwards though was that this was just a typical day. Not a day with crisis. People kept writing me saying they couldn't believe how busy the day was or how much we manage to get done. That's just a typical day. Not one with meltdowns or a medical crisis or a panic attack or any of the endless terrifying things that have happened in the past six years. 

I truly believe Thomas is here to educate others, create a more compassionate world and add an infinite amount of joy. Jeremy and I often recognize he's made us better people. It's not without daily struggle and stress, but it's for a purpose. That purpose may be muddied some days by heartache, but it's there. I can't wait to see what Thomas achieves. I know it's going to be big. 
oxox Mare

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Holding Your Hand

This beautiful painting showed up on my front door on one of the toughest days of my life, a few weeks ago. I didn't know it was on its way to me and it couldn't have arrived at a better time. 

One of my closest friends Jess (whom I refer to as my Wife, if you've been around for a while, you know who I'm talking about) sent this to me out of the blue.  Not only did she mail this to me from across the country, Jess painted it herself. 
I didn't even know she could paint! 

Jess is widely talented and I don't think she's ever met a task or project she didn't nail.  I'm pretty sure she was watching Bob Ross on Netflix one day and thought, "I could do that". 

And then she did.

A couple weeks before this gorgeous original piece of art showed up on my doorstep, Jess and I were texting as she helped me through a particularly dark time.  She knew I was struggling and she asked what she could do. Through tears I replied, "I wish you were here to just hold my hand".

"And I am ALWAYS holding your hand" she replied. 

And she's right.  Jess is always holding my hand. We've been friends since 2005 and although we've only spent a few collective months living in the same city, she's been there.

As we've been friends for so long, our song is "Umbrella" by Rihanna.  She even managed to incorporate this imagery in her painting. 

Whether your friends are in the same city or two provinces away, I hope you have a Jess.  I hope you realize that part of your family (or in some cases your entire family) is made of up of the people you choose to let in and the people who choose to stick around. No matter who you are, I know you have someone who is always holding your hand. 
oxox Mare
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