We worry about our children and other youngsters in our lives, but that doesn’t mean we should forget our older loved ones. Many are isolated for safety, as the pandemic is of particular concern to older adults. The resulting potential loneliness can lead to depression and other health problems. Here’s what NPR recommends to keep their spirits up:

Stay in touch. Call as often as possible. Talk about what you’re doing, what makes you happy or sad, and what they’re up to. Ask for their advice so they remember they are valued.

Have a virtual dinner. Schedule a shared meal via Zoom or another app that allows you to virtually gather. Cooking and eating together, or watching TV together from different houses, can create a feeling of togetherness despite being in different locations.

Connect to their interests. Find out what they like to do and share that hobby with them. If an older loved one with fading eyesight likes reading, offer to read a book aloud. You can also arrange for audio books that they can access and enjoy at any time.

Ask for help. Just because people are older doesn’t mean they’re helpless. Often they have useful skills acquired over a lifetime. Ask for favorite recipes. Encourage them to pass down a skill to the next generation.


National Mentoring Month.

You can make a fundamental difference in the life of a young person. Establish a path based on what you have learned first-hand in your own life, regardless of where you are in your career. Or you can answer the call for mentors nationwide through a system like the one at the mentoring.org website. There, you will find suggestions you can scale up from occasional work involving youth in your home area, all the way to starting your own local program.

Your commitment and guidance can be the driving force to your mentee's future success and their willingness to reach back and help someone else. You might even find that helping a young person find their way has the echoing effect of helping you strive for more, as you begin a new year with new goals.


Once upon a time, a young chef was hired to work at a high-end restaurant. The job was entry level, prepping vegetables, but it was the first step in his chosen career and he was determined to do his best.

The first day, he gracefully sliced up ten catering pans of potatoes, all perfectly cut to the same size and shape.

“Excellent work!” the sous chef said as he passed the pans to the saucier.

On the second day, he jumped into work as he had the day before, but he only cut nine pans of potatoes.

Determined to make up for the slower second day on the job, he tried to outdo himself on the third day, but he somehow sliced up only seven pans of potatoes.

He stopped by the sous chef’s station on his way out and apologized and honestly claimed he did not understand what was going on.

“When was the last time you sharpened your knives?” the older chef asked.

“Sharpen?” the young man asked.

“I had no time to hone my knives. I have been too busy trying to cut potatoes.”

The moral of the story: Sometimes working hard alone is not enough to achieve success. You have to work smarter, too!


If you’re finding it hard to tap into your creative center, multitasking might be to blame. It can be hard to segment different tasks if you’re working from home, so be sure to carve out time to do absolutely nothing. That “nothing” time is high-quality reset time! Whether you only have a few minutes or a full hour, take a walk, journal, meditate, or focus on a creative practice.

Think of it this way: If you’re learning to play the guitar or taking ballroom dance lessons, you would commit to a specific amount of time for instruction and for practice. You wouldn’t be making phone calls or writing a report or doing chores during this time. The same is true for times when you are engaged in any creative endeavors, or just need space to think freely


Canadian real GDP grew by 0.4% in October, following a 0.8% increase in September. This is the weakest rate of growth since May but marks the sixth consecutive monthly increase in GDP since the steepest drop in Canadian history was observed earlier this year. Sixteen of the twenty industries reported an increase in output. Leading the increase was professional services (1.0%), while accommodation and food services reported a steep decline (-3.9%) as patios closed up and heightened restrictions were implemented.

Early estimates from Statistics Canada indicate that real GDP grew by 0.4% in November. We continue to anticipate growth, albeit at a slower rate as the economy has once again been hampered by rising COVID-19 cases and lockdowns in many provinces. The soft handoff to the new year will mean that the first quarter of 2021 will struggle to report any growth.

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

Link: https://mailchi.mp/bcrea/canadian-monthly-real-gdp-oct-december-23-2020


Did you know— the ancient Vikings measured age in how many winters someone lived through? I just love that idea, like we aren’t merely surviving the winter months with extra-thick socks while clutching a warm mug, but we are living through them and truly taking in all they have to offer, and thriving in response.

I think we can all agree that 2020 was challenging and we are all likely to anticipate 2021 with a sense that there is a fresh start on the horizon. However, if we channel our inner Viking (skipping the horned hats), we are obligated to bring vivid life into this typically bleak month, rather than seeing it as something to survive until warmer times. There is living to be done in January, my friend!

Those ancient Vikings were masters of the sea and had an innate understanding of navigation by natural elements. Like many ancient cultures, they noted landmarks for reference points and used the stars to navigate their way while out at sea, however they also kept track of their route through storytelling. Reciting the route they took in a poetic tale was not only entertaining, but it was also a way to hand down trade routes through generations.

I’m sharing this with you because I think there is value in giving voice to the course you plan to take as you begin the journey through 2021, whether you plan to redo your kitchen or embark on an adventure later this year.

What will you commit to your melodic plan this month? What will you leave as guideposts for those who want to follow your path? How will you live this year?

Gino Pezzani,
Your Real Estate Consultant For Life


A job interview is your first (and sometimes only) chance to make a positive impression on a potential employer. If you blow it, you'll probably feel you’ve lost your chance at a job you spent hours preparing for and visualizing. Additionally, a perceived need to “make up” for last year’s pandemic-related setbacks has added to personal pressure for a strong start to 2021.

However, landing the ideal job can sometimes be harder than the job itself. Here are tips for avoiding, or spontaneously correcting, interview mistakes:

You can’t get to the interview on time. Typically, you’re prompt, but an unavoidable delay pops up like a problem with public transportation or a car that simply won’t start. Chances are, the hiring manager has also had unexpected situations pop up in life— give them a call and explain the situation. Provide a solution, such as rescheduling for later in the day or going virtual for the interview. When you do connect, apologize and explain what happened, and show appreciation for their willingness to meet with you... then move on and shine during the interview itself.

You’re so nervous that you aren’t doing your best. Thorough preparation and a practice interview can help ease your nerves, but sometimes you’re overwhelmed. If that happens, simply pause, admit you’re nervous because the position is valuable to you, and buy yourself a moment to regroup. Take a sip of water or coffee, center yourself, and gather your thoughts so you can respond to the question. Many interviewers will appreciate your honesty and authenticity.

You don’t ask questions. Some interviewers ask whether you have any questions as a test—they want to see if you’re really interested in the organization, or just looking for any job. As you go through the interview, make mental note of a few key topics, and later on phrase a question that addresses something you’ve already covered, but ask for more detail so you can continue the conversation.

You didn’t do your research or you focused on a different subject area. Employers are impressed by candidates who walk through the door with a lot of knowledge about their organization. Do your homework ahead of time, but if you’re hit with a question you can’t answer, don’t panic. Do your best to make it a conversation to show you are willing to pick up the information as you go, then focus on answering the next question knowledgeably and confidently. In your follow-up thank you letter or email, provide more detail on anything you missed, showing off your ability to pursue answers.


A mentor of mine once said, “Never evaluate your life looking forward, instead turn around and examine your progress from where you’ve come from.” As we reach the end of the year, our natural tendency is to evaluate progress, results, goals and dreams based on outcomes achieved during the calendar year.

The ups and downs of this year give us the opportunity to evaluate our year and set future goals based on new measures. This year has been a great teacher and here are some important lessons I’ve learned:

  • Instead of judging success on outcomes, measure accomplishments in adaptability.
  • Instead of evaluating progress in distance, measure the journey by turns on the path.
  • Instead of planning based on an imagined future, be guided by the next few steps.

When measuring the successes and failures of this year, remember to include the flexibility, adjustments and loving care you’ve also provided along the way.

If you’ve ever heard the quote, “A setback is a setup for a comeback,” then 2021 may become a year to remember!


Should you buy a new car? Reconsider your living space? What does the year ahead hold for you? This timeless list process will help you find clarity and get started on your next steps in an organized fashion.

1. Make two lists. On one list, write down all the benefits of making this choice. On the other, compile the many reasons you’d rather not. Write down the worst thing that could happen and your other fears and concerns. It doesn’t matter if both lists are the same length, but try to write out at least 10 reasons on each list.

2. Consider your feelings. Look over both lists. Take note of your initial reaction to each one. Are you drawn to one more than the other? Does either list inspire positive or negative feelings? These feelings may be an indication of the outcome you’re leaning toward.

3. Delete any false statements. Statements influenced by fear that might exaggerate a more negative outcome should be the first to go. Don’t let fear rule your process.

4. Make connections with your core values. Think about the things that matter most to you— family, integrity, lifestyle or something else. Place a check mark next to the items on your lists that correspond to these values.

5. Highlight areas of concern. Sometimes what prevents you from making decisions are certain risks associated with that choice, especially if things don’t work out. Highlight any of the statements on your lists associated with these risks.

6. Tally your results. Count only those items you checked off, and compare their number to any items that were highlighted. Hopefully, the number of results on one list are longer than the other, suggesting a clear indication of the choice you should make. In the event of a tie, give more weight to the list that feels most authentic to your values.


Canadian inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 1.0% in November year-over-year. This is the largest increase since the pandemic started in March. Excluding gasoline, the CPI rose by 1.4%. Prices rose in six of eight components year-over-year in November, with the recreation, education, and reading index contributing the most to the increase. Growth in the Bank of Canada's three measures of trend inflation remains unchanged from the previous month, averaging 1.7%.

Regionally, the CPI was positive in eight provinces. In BC, CPI rose by 1.1% in November year-over-year, up from October's increase of 0.5%. Strong price growth continued for health and personal care (3.3%) and shelter (2.4%). In contrast, gas prices continue to be a drag on BC's inflation (-12.3%).

Costs for shelter continue to increase, as rental rates rise and record-low interest rates put downward pressure on mortgage costs, making single-family homes more attractive to households demanding more space. As containment measures expand in many provinces, consumers are spending more on furniture and household appliances, which remain above pre-pandemic levels. Canadian inflation is expected to remain subdued in the near future. In this environment, the Bank of Canada will continue to keep interest rates low.

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.
Link: https://mailchi.mp/bcrea/canadian-inflation-nov-december-15-2020

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