Virtually real- Virtuellement vraie

Micheline Harvey: Virtual Assistant, real person/Adjointe Virtuelle, mais tout à fait vraie

Who checks up on me? March 4, 2019


In a world where we are all busy, running around, with barely enough time to do our work, take care of our children, love our significant others, and perform various basic tasks that require our attention, very few people will check up on each other.

I’m busy. Too busy. With my own business, living alone, a house to take care of, errands, groceries, upkeep, shoveling, yard work, classes, running, appointments, friends, family, social life, sometimes I forget to eat or even take a minute to go pee!

But I check up on my friends who are not doing well, or who have been quiet. And if I check on them and they don’t respond, if they never check on me, I give up and hope that someday I’ll hear from them, or they’ll have a moment so that we can share and get up to speed on each other’s lives.

Life is not always easy, and a smile can hide a lot. Sometimes it’s hard to simply get out of bed. But you do it, because you must.

Sometimes you don’t have 20 minutes to listen to a friend’s problems, but you find time, and you listen. Because they need you, and because you care.

I often think… who checks up on me?


Je suis vraie – I’m real March 15, 2017


Je suis vraie

Je suis vraie, je ne sais pas être autre chose. Je ne connais pas bien les règles du jeu. Vous savez, ce jeu où il ne faut surtout pas montrer à quelqu’un qu’il nous plaît, où il faut demeurer distante, mystérieuse, évasive et floue? Ce jeu où il ne faut surtout pas rappeler le mec ou le texter trop souvent, car cela voudrait dire que je suis trop disponible, trop enthousiaste, trop facile?

Je ne suis pas facile. Mais si je m’intéresse à toi, et que j’ai décidé de te le montrer, tu as de la chance. Je ne m’ouvre pas à n’importe qui, et peu d’hommes peuvent capter mon attention, m’intriguer, et garder cette attention. Alors, si tu m’intéresse, je vais te le faire savoir. Je vais soutenir ton regard, je vais te sourire beaucoup, je vais te parler, t’écrire et te montrer qui je suis, incluant mes pensées bizarres, mon sens de l’humour un peu douteux, mes passe-temps étranges, tout!

Si tout cela te plaît, alors dis-le moi. Parle-moi, dis-moi comment tu te sens, sois présent, écoute-moi, appelle-moi, laisse-moi t’écouter, serre-moi fort, fais-moi rire, ne m’oblige pas à me demander ce que tu penses, ne me laisse pas me soucier de mes réactions ou des tiennes, ne me laisse pas me faire du mauvais sang et stresser sur le foutu jeu. Sois vrai. Si tu m’as charmée, tout ce que je veux c’est que tu sois vrai, aussi.

On ne sait jamais ce qui va arriver, court terme, temps partiel, long terme ou juste l’histoire d’un bel été? Mais pourquoi s’en soucier quand on n’a rien d’autre de certain que le moment présent?

On perd tellement de temps avec ce jeu. Et pourquoi? La vie est courte… comme ils disent! Il faut déguster la bonne nourriture, boire le bon vin, danser si on en a envie, montrer nos sentiments, prendre des risques, même si la situation semble compliquée ou sans espoir. Une véritable connexion est une chose beaucoup trop précieuse et rare pour la laisser passer!


I’m real

I’m real, it’s the only way I know how to be. I can’t play the game. You know, that game where you’re not supposed to show someone that you like them, where you’re supposed to remain aloof, mysterious, coy, and unclear? That game where you are not to call him back or message him too often, because that means you’re too available, too eager, too easy?

I’m not easy. But if I like you, and I’ve decided to show you how I feel, you are lucky. I don’t open myself to just anyone, and not just any man can catch my eye, intrigue me, and keep my attention. So, if I like you, I’ll let you know. I’ll hold your gaze, I’ll smile at you, I’ll talk to you, I’ll write to you, and I’ll let you see who I am, strange thoughts, quirky sense of humour, crazy hobbies, everything!

If you like all of that, then let me know. Talk to me, tell me how you feel, show up, listen to me, call me, let me listen to you, hug me hard, make me laugh, don’t let me wonder what you’re thinking, don’t leave me to worry about my reactions or yours, to wonder and stress about the game. Be real. If I fell for you, all I want is for you to be real, too.

We don’t know what it will lead to, short term, part time, long term or just a fun summer? But why worry about that when all we have is right now?

We waste so much time on this game. And for what? Life is short, as they say. Eat the delicious food, drink the wine, dance if you feel like it, express how you feel, take a chance, even if the situation seems hopeless or complicated. A true connection is a terrible thing to waste!


Big decision number 3 – Not worrying about what other people think February 10, 2013


I had an AHA moment during my recent trip to Cuba in January, when I turned to my husband and said “That’s it! That is my Big Decision Number 3. Please remind me to blog about this when we get back.” Well, of course either he completely forgot or he wasn’t really listening (I vote for option 2), and I really need to carry a pen and paper around or something so I can write, even when I’m on a tropical vacation, because whatever it was slipped my mind as well.

Of course, at the moment I was still angry at him for acting like a toddler and having a temper tantrum about an outing we were supposed to book while on vacation, so perhaps it wasn’t really a Big Decision, but more an immediate reaction to the situation.

No matter, Big Decision Number 3 snuck up on me on its own, perhaps with the help of Big Decisions 1 and 2 that required much effort on my part and are still ongoing. This time, it was natural.

Big Decision Number 3 is not to worry about what other people think, or at least worry less about it. Not that I am obsessed with what other people think. I’m able to be silly, even in public, laugh at myself and I’m not that easily embarrassed. But I have always been self-conscious, and believed that people watch me and see just about everything that I do. In reality, most people are quite oblivious to what is going on around them. Unless it involves them directly, they mostly don’t give a crap.

This may sound silly, but feeling like this has kept me from trying or doing many things, and I’m sure I missed out on quite a few opportunities specifically because of this tendency to be so self-conscious, unsure, much too preoccupied with what other people might think, and afraid.

Well, today I can honestly say that I don’t feel like people are watching me. Also, I don’t really care what they think if they are looking at me. I had proof of that just last week when I brought my lunch to the research center on Tuesday and the only plastic bowls that I had to mix my oatmeal and my soup in were a Carmen Campagne bowl for little kids and a Disney Princess bowl, both very flashy and ridiculously juvenile. Normally, I would have waited for the staff kitchen to be empty to prepare my meals and wash my bowls. This time I didn’t even give it a thought. I marched right into the full staff kitchen and did my thing in full view of all the young lab employees, without a care in the world. I OWNED my silly kid bowls and did not care.

This may seem like nothing to you, but it was a significant step forward for me.

As a reminder:

Big Decision 1: Severing ties with a major client.

Big Decision 2: Letting go.

Big Decision 3: Not worrying about what other people think.

Stay tuned for Big Decision Number 4!


Big decision number 2 – Letting go January 4, 2013

decision-diceRecently, I had been feeling sad and somewhat trapped by my life. I had to do something to change this. All around me, I was witnessing people making major life decisions, difficult ones, separations, quitting their job to pursue a dream, giving up things that were part of their lives, shaking things up and, not only feeling better about themselves as a result, but also looking better, feeling healthier and more optimistic about their future.

My first big decision was to end a relationship with a client who treated me as an employee instead of a collaborator or consultant.

My second big decision touches every sphere of my life, but mostly my personal life and my relationships with my spouse, my daughter, my family, and my friends.

This decision is to do my very best to let go. In French, we use the lovely expression lâcher prise. Although I know that I should always live by this simple rule, it is very difficult to achieve, as I am a perfectionist and a worrier and I tend to take on other people’s problems and situations as if they were my own.

I am the one who reminds my spouse not to forget someone’s birthday, or to return a call, to show up where he’s expected, to call his dad or his brother, etc. I am the one who organizes and frets over family gatherings, meals, gift exchanges, and so on. I am the one who reminds my daughter to thank people or give them some news. I am the one who reminds people about deadlines, payments, to check up on things, to remember appointments, meetings, etc.

Nobody reminds me or acts as my backup brain. Not many take charge and organize things. And if they don’t happen, the other people implicated don’t seem overly bothered by this.

So I’m setting myself free. I will strive to stop thinking for others. I will not feel that I have to remind people of things and it will not be my fault if they forget. It will only be theirs. I will not take things so seriously and if an event doesn’t happen, then it was simply not meant to be.

I will focus on my things, my schedule, and my projects. I will focus on ME.

Stay tuned for big decision number three.


I’m not a good friend August 18, 2012

Filed under: Friends/les copines — matamich @ 4:07 pm
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I’m not a good friend. At least, this is how I feel. A tweet from a wonderful lady in my cyber world that basically said the very same thing made me think about it yet again. I like people, and I have friends. I just don’t have that many. I e-mail, sometimes call (not often because I hate the telephone). I send birthday greetings and silly messages just to say hi. I remember birthdays and I enjoy finding just the right card or gift or surprise for my friends. Sometimes, I just like to send them a gift for no reason, just because.

On occasion, I go to breakfast or lunch with my good friends. Sometimes I take road trips. Sometimes I attend parties or just hang out. But I don’t do this often.

I’d love to visit my friends who are in other cities and countries, but I don’t do that very often either.

Time gets away from me, life takes up so much space. Work keeps me busy and, I admit, I also need my down time and my solitude when I can get some.

I barely see my family enough, let alone spending the time I think I should with my precious friends.

I should be there when they are grieving. I should show up to cheer them up when they are down, have lost their job or received bad news. I should have them over for dinner and go places with them. I should do so much more.

But there just never seems to be enough time or energy to be there in person for all of them.

I love them, I enjoy them, I am always happy to hear from them and give them news.

And yet, I still don’t think I’m a good friend.


Don’t be afraid of change/N’ayez pas peur du changement November 25, 2009

Don’t be afraid of change and movement. The river will flow around the rocks. This is something my mother recently said to me in response to the fact that I have been moving, changing and making things happen much more than I ever have before.

My best friend also told me that I needed to “switch gears” in my life because although I am not afraid of change, this does not mean everyone around me can, or even wants to follow at the same pace.

And so, I made some decisions. I will no longer wait for a hero to make things happen for me, plan fantastic vacations, buy me a new house, build me a fabulous office, give me a dream cottage, find me great freelance contracts or plan an unforgettable road trip, and so on.

I am a river in movement. Perhaps my current has been slow at times, and maybe this was because I was waiting for people to move along with me.

But now I understand. I do not need to wait for anyone. I must believe in my dreams, in myself and keep making things happen, even if I have to do the work on my own. True friends and partners will be happy to come along for the ride.

Just like in my Virtual Assistant business, I will keep moving forward. I will go around the rocks.

I am not afraid of change.


N’ayez pas peur de bouger et de changer. La rivière contournera les roches. Voilà ce que ma mère m’a dit en réaction au fait que je m’étais mise à bouger, changer et à organiser toutes sortes d’événements et ce, bien plus qu’avant.

Mon meilleur ami m’a aussi dit que je devais «changer de vitesse» dans ma vie car bien que je n’aie pas peur du changement, ceci ne garantit pas que mes proches soient en mesure de suivre mon rythme ou veuillent le faire.

J’ai donc pris des décisions. Désormais, je n’attendrai plus un héros qui fera tout pour moi, qui planifiera de fabuleux voyages, qui me construira une nouvelle maison, un nouveau bureau, un chalet de rêves, qui m’obtiendra d’extraordinaires contrats de pige ou qui organisera un périple inoubliable vers une destination surprise, etc.

Je suis une rivière en mouvement. Mon cours a sans doute été lent par moments, peut être parce que j’espérais et j’attendais ceux qui bougeraient au même rythme que moi.

Mais j’ai compris que je n’ai à attendre personne. Je dois croire en mes rêves, croire en moi et continuer à bouger, même si je dois le faire seule par moments. Les véritables ami(e)s et partenaires seront heureux de faire partie de l’aventure.

Tout comme pour mon entreprise d’assistance virtuelle, je vais continuer à avancer et à bouger, et je contournerai les roches moi aussi.

Car je n’ai pas peur du changement.