Virtually real- Virtuellement vraie

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

In which my husband drops his bike September 4, 2012

This Labour Day holiday, I went on a motorcycle ride with my husband and a couple we know. The plan was to ride for a little over an hour, stop for lunch in a pretty village, hang out and then ride back.

First stop for gas, I get off the bike. Hubby and I have a routine. He puts his bike stand down and tells me when he’s ready for me to climb back on to the bike. Why? I’m not sure, because I’m fairly small and lightweight, and I’ve seen riders remain in control of their bikes while large passengers got on and off. But I digress…

So, he fills the bike up, gets back on and I wait for his signal to embark. Then he kicks the stand up. I don’t move, waiting for his signal. Perhaps he wants to move out of the way and for me to get on a bit further past the gas tanks?

Then I watch, almost as if things are in slow motion, as he bends his bike sideways. I don’t understand why he’s doing this. I’m about to ask him what he’s doing when I realize that his bike is falling and he can’t hold it up. He hops off, and wedges his foot between the ground and the bike, his leg against it. This bike weighs several hundreds of pounds. This is not what you’re supposed to do to keep a bike from falling.

You can tell that he’s freaking out. He holds the bike to keep it from hitting the ground and manages to let it down softly, still with his leg wedged between the ground and the bike. The guy on the other bike yells at him that this is not the way to do it and to get his leg out from under there.

I ask if I should help. No response from hubby, so I make sure my legs and feet are clear if he lets go, but I grab onto the back part of the bike, plant myself squarely and put my 120 pounds into pushing it back up.

The bike, of course, does not budge. Hubby is just frozen there. Finally, the other biker gets off his ride, slides between hubby and me, signals me to let go once he has a good grip and they both push the bike back up and put the stand on.

Hubby promptly backs right into me as he inspects his precious bike for any ding, scratch, chip or possible dent. There is nothing wrong with his bike, it did not hit the ground at all, it was supported by his leg, my weight and no doubt his crazy adrenalin rush, as well as by his friend who arrived just in time.

Everyone tells him that his bike is fine. And still, he stands there, panicked, dazed, inspecting every inch of the bike.

He never once asks me if I’m okay, did the bike fall on me, did I hurt myself trying to hold it up. He doesn’t apologize for backing into me.

The other girl tells him that he’s an idiot and she would have let the stupid bike drop to the ground. He could have broken his leg doing what he did!

And she’s right. It’s a bike, dude. Not a living, breathing, human being. And not your wife.

Men. Ugh.


Me time/Du Temps Pour Moi October 27, 2010

After weeks of being extremely busy with many client projects and endless things to do at my on-site office with next to no time at all to myself, this week ended at a more “normal” pace. I handed in several projects that were due, put finishing touches on some ongoing things, tied up loose ends and sent my on-site client on a trip very, very far away for a few days.

Suddenly, I actually had time where I could work ON my business instead of IN my business. I was able to spend time on personal projects that had been put aside, to write, and to work on my ongoing plans. I even had time to read and take care of myself.

The funny part is that I was sort of bewildered for a moment, unsure, confused. And I must admit that I was also a bit afraid. I felt that all too familiar fear that everything might come to a halt and no more projects would come in. I felt the urge to make calls, send out e-mails, do some PR to drum up business for the week to come although this makes no sense, as the work always comes in.

A healthy balance is important, as is taking time for oneself. I realize that even after three years of being an entrepreneur VA, I am still in the process of learning this lesson.

One day, I’ll be a me-time expert. This is my goal.

*Upon posting this, the author already had new projects in her queue! 😉


Après plusieurs semaines extrêmement occupées et remplies de projets de pige et de tâches à accomplir pour mon client « sur place » en ayant presque pas de temps pour moi, cette dernière semaine s’est terminée sur une note un peu plus « normale ».  J’ai pu terminer et remettre plusieurs projets qui étaient dus, ajouter des touches finales ici et là et envoyer mon client « sur place » pour un périple de quelques jours dans un pays très, très lointain.

Tout à coup, j’avais du temps pour travailler SUR mon entreprise et non seulement DANS mon entreprise. J’étais en mesure de terminer des projets personnels qui avaient été mis de côté, écrire, faire avancer des projets mis sur la glace et mettre sur papier des idées. J’avais même le temps de lire et de prendre soin de moi.

Curieusement, je me suis sentie un peu déboussolée, incertaine et confuse. Je me suis sentie aussi un peu effrayée. J’ai alors ressenti cette peur irrationnelle mais trop familière que tout s’arrête complètement et que je n’aie plus du tout de projets de pige de mes clients. J’ai alors eu envie de faire quelques appels, transmettre des courriels, faire des relations publiques afin de faire entrer du travail pour la semaine à venir, et ce même si cette réaction est insensée, car le travail finit toujours par entrer.

L’équilibre c’est important et prendre soin de soi l’est tout autant. Je réalise que même après trois années en tant qu’entrepreneur et AV, je suis encore en apprentissage de cette précieuse leçon.

Un jour, je serai une experte du temps pour moi. Ceci est mon but.

*Au moment de mettre ce texte en ligne, l’auteur avait déjà quelques projets dans sa file de production. 😉


The Helmet Dilemma/Le Cas du Casque July 2, 2009

Filed under: The Guy Chronicles/Les chroniques du mec — matamich @ 3:53 pm
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Have you ever seen a grown man babysit a washing machine? I have. Recently my husband was fretting over the fact that the foam insert in his Quad helmet was rather smelly. He sweats, gets dusty and dirty and I suppose this protective insert just soaks up all the perspiration, hair products (yes, my husband uses hair products, doesn’t yours?) and whatnot. So, he asked me how he could wash it. I suggested that he first look at the instructions and either wash it by hand or put it in the washing machine in the delicate cycle with cold water.

He obviously did not trust me on this but he was also quite adamant about washing his helmet insert because, despite the fact that it was already 11 PM on a Tuesday night, he started the machine up. This was very surprising to me, since he is usually in bed by then and it was also against my better judgment, as the washing machine is quite loud and vibrates through the townhouse walls.

I was even more surprised to watch my husband stand beside the washer and open the lid every few seconds or so, basically babysitting the entire delicate cycle! Hmmm, I wonder if I could turn him on to house cleaning, perhaps if I put up some Quad posters on every wall.


Avez-vous déjà vu un homme adulte monter la garde auprès d’une machine à laver? Moi, oui. Récemment, mon mari était inquiet du fait que l’insertion en mousse de son casque de VTT émettait une odeur assez nauséabonde. Il a chaud quand il fait du VTT, il sue, il se salit, il est dans la poussière et je suppose que la mousse à l’intérieur du casque absorbe la sueur, les produits pour les cheveux (oui, mon mari utilise des produits pour les cheveux, pas le vôtre?) etc. Il m’a donc demandé comment il pourrait nettoyer cette insertion. Je lui ai d’abord suggéré de lire les instructions et puis de le laver à la main ou le mettre dans la machine à laver au cycle délicat et à l’eau froide.

Je crois qu’il n’avait pas tout à fait confiance en moi, mais il voulait à tout prix se débarrasser des mauvaises odeurs. Donc, malgré le fait qu’il était déjà 23 h un mardi soir, il a mis son casque dans la lessiveuse. J’étais très étonnée, car il est normalement déjà couché à cette heure là et puis je ne trouvais pas que c’était une bonne idée, car notre machine fait beaucoup de bruit et produit des vibrations qu’on peut ressentir à travers les murs de nos maisons en rangée.

J’étais encore plus étonnée quand j’ai vu mon mari, bien installé à côté de la lessiveuse, entrain de suivre le cycle de lavage en entier, ouvrant le couvercle à toutes les 30 secondes pour vérifier que tout se passait bien! Je me demande si je pourrais lui donner le même souci du ménage. Peut être en accrochant des affiches de VTT un peu partout sur les murs de la maison?


The Quad Obsession/Obsession de VTT June 7, 2009

Filed under: The Guy Chronicles/Les chroniques du mec — matamich @ 8:08 pm
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This could also be entitled “Tales of an ATV widow” because last year, out of the blue, my husband purchased a King Quad All Terrain Vehicle that cost nearly more than my car. I kid you not. I have no idea where this sudden obsession came from. Although he insists that he has always wanted one and has been passionate about them all his life, I had never before heard him mention these four wheeled machines or even witnessed him going out of his way to borrow or rent one or spend any time at all checking them out at RV shows or dealerships. You see, as far as I’m concerned, a lifelong passion is something that is a central part of your persona. Did ATVs like this even exist when he was a kid? I have no idea. Take me, for example. I have been passionate about reading all my life and if you question anyone, even from my past, they will tell you that I could and still can always be found with my nose buried in a book. So, there you have it. Almost every weekend I am a Quad widow for at least one day, sometimes more. He occasionally goes out in the evenings on his machine. He has spent a veritable fortune on special clothing, gloves, boots, helmets, rain gear, accessories, gadgets, a trailer, fuel, and travel to and from the ATV areas, repairs and what have you. He even has a whole new following, his Quad buddies that he did not even know before he bought the thing. And the best part: He has planned a Quad vacation for himself. None of this includes me because you see, first, it is not my style at all and second, the Quad does not have a passenger seat!


Je pourrais intituler ceci « La complainte d’une veuve de VTT » car l’an dernier, mon mari s’est procuré un véhicule tout terrain King Quad qui coûte presque plus cher que ma voiture. Je ne blague pas. J’ignore d’où est venue cette soudaine obsession. Même s’il insiste sur le fait qu’il a toujours voulu posséder un tel engin et qu’il est passionné des VTT depuis toujours, je ne l’ai jamais entendu parler de ces machines à 4 roues. Il n’en a jamais emprunté ou loué et je ne l’ai jamais vu passer des heures à les admirer aux salons de VR ou chez des concessionnaires. Voyez-vous, selon moi la passion d’une vie c’est quelque chose qui fait partie intégrante d’une personne. Est-ce que ces VTT existaient même quand il était petit? Je l’ignore. Moi, par exemple, j’ai toujours été passionnée par la lecture et si vous questionnez les gens qui m’ont toujours connue, ils vous affirmeront qu’on peut toujours me trouver le nez bien plongé dans un bouquin. Alors voilà, désormais presque toutes les fins de semaines, je suis une veuve de VTT pour au moins une journée, parfois deux. Il lui arrive aussi de partir sur son véhicule les soirs de semaine. Il a déjà dépensé une petite fortune en vêtements spécialisés, gants, bottes, casques, ensembles de pluie, accessoires, gadgets, remorque, essence, kilométrage pour se rendre aux sentiers et en revenir, etc. Il a même un nouvel entourage. Des amis de VTT qu’il ne connaissait pas avant de se procurer son engin. Et la meilleure: Il s’est planifié des vacances de VTT pendant l’été. Et moi, j’en suis virtuellement exclue. D’abord, ce n’est pas du tout mon style et de plus, ce VTT n’a même pas de siège de passager!