Hey Kathy, Kathleen, Kath – which do you prefer?
I’ll answer to Kath, Kat and Kathy equally. I was named after my Gran Kathleen and I adored her.
You are one of the coolest women we know, and maybe a bit of an enigma. We are always wondering what you are up to next. So, what are you up to these days?
I like that word enigma; I don’t think of myself like that. I am a dreamer and I believe I always need to try to achieve those dreams. Right now, I am up to getting my kids through University; I am back at University; I manage three properties in London; and I have founded a non-profit called Kids Living.
Your new venture is a non-profit and just recently you cycled in France to raise money for it (I donated, of course). Tell us why you started this non-profit and what impact you’re trying to make?
I did a cycle from Paris to Geneva for my non-profit called Kids Living. My co-founder Jane DeCroos and I started this project because we saw how stressed young children are. Education is too pressured and focused on results. We wanted to bring back non-provisional days out of school for children aged 4–11. Children, particularly in impoverished areas of London, do not get a chance to see the city they live in. There is no funding given to schools to provide fun days out. I believe children need to see the world they live in to know the choices they have. The formative ages to help children develop awareness are from 4-11 years old. Our goal is to bring awareness around mental well-being and knowing what choices can be made.
My biggest learning is that being human is complex and needs compassion and forgiveness.
Tell us more about this degree program you are taking. The first time you talked about it I was fascinated and asked if I could join you! What has been your biggest learning?
I am in my third year of Psychosocial studies at UCL Birkbeck. I am learning a new perspective on organisational, social and therapeutic relationships. Our world is changing at a fast pace and I love feeling like I am an active participant in those changes and plan to continue doing that. My biggest learning is that being human is complex and needs compassion and forgiveness.
In addition to living in London, going to school, managing your properties and now starting a non-profit, you are Mom to four kids! Well, they aren’t kids anymore, are they? How have they shaped who you are today and what is your wish for them?
Wow, you know the toughest and MOST rewarding job for me is being a Mum. They are so much fun. They keep me feeling young and motivated. The rest of what I am doing is because I love it. I would wish that they always live doing what they love to do.
Kathy in London wearing the Rock Salt Robe.
You’ve achieved some big milestones recently, including the big 5-0. Has that changed anything for you? Do you look at life differently?
I think the big 5-0 is going to be the one of the best years of ME! I am fortunate to have had many moves and adventures raising my four kids. I intend to have many more adventures one day at a time. I see challenges as motivation to move onward, and though it may be tough at times, I find it exciting to know I can create the life I want.
Okay we love London. What do you love most about it?
London is vibrant, alive and layered with history. I love living here. London motivates me and I have met some of the most influential people in my life here.
Do you miss Canada? If you were to relocate where could we find you?
I do miss Canada. I miss the mountains, the open spaces and clean air. In my heart I am a Canadian. In my ideal world one day I would like to be able to live in Victoria by the ocean part of the year and Portugal and London for the other part.
I see challenges as motivation to move onward, and though it may be tough at times, I find it exciting to know I can create the life I want.
As women, we’ve often been trained to look after everyone else and then maybe if something is left over, we get it. You have done a remarkable job in your selfcare. How did you make that change or were you always like that?
I don’t think I was always good at self-care. I used to retreat to care for myself, now I say, “hey I need to take care of myself” and I just do it. It was a difficult shift to make. I love to take care of others, and if I take care of myself first, my care for others is of better quality.
We are huge fans of your style and your finds are always fantastic. What is your secret?
My style has always been classic and comfortable. I like to add an edge with accessories and footwear.
What do you want most for your fifth decade?
For my fifth decade I want to keep doing what I love to do. I want to see my four young adults settled in their lives and doing that too. I want good haircuts and to invest in good comfortable clothes, like HK! I strongly believe the clothes I buy are an investment in myself. I want to be active, go on walks, and travel. I want to do more cycling trips and bring in other amazing women and men to join me.
If you were to write a book about your life’s journey, what would the title be?
My kids figured that title out a few years ago. The title is – Kathyesques, Words to Live By.