People of Georgian: Advisor rediscovering herself after kids leave the nest

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The Georgian community is full of unique, inspiring perspectives —and we’re sharing them as part of an ongoing series.

People of Georgian: Meet Stacey MacNeil

My kids are older now and have recently left home.

They were in competitive sports, so the last 18 years have been filled with travelling around to their different sports and tournaments.

My one son, Lyle, played lacrosse, and we travelled as far as Philadelphia and New York for games. My other son, Connor, played volleyball, and we went all around Ontario and as far as Edmonton for the nationals.

Four people stand together on a hill with a green landscape and town behind them.
Stacey with her husband, Steve, and sons, Lyle and Connor.

My kids still to this day love their sports, even my older son who is now in the Canadian Armed Forces plays on the Armed Force’s volleyball team.

I used to think, “What are we doing with these crazy busy schedules?” But I see them now as young men who are still loving sports and have developed these leadership skills and passion they want to pass on to other people and help them thrive. That makes it all worth it.

Rediscovering Stacey

So, after all that time, now I’m trying to rediscover what I like, what my hobbies are, and what piques my interest.

I tried curling, but after a previous fall I was afraid of falling on the ice, so I’m still trying to figure out activities. I like being outside. I love walking, solo and with my dogs, so that seems to be the most consistent activity I’ve picked up so far.

It’s been an interesting journey, and it’s an interesting change to be able to focus on me.

A person takes a selfie with a black-and-tan dog.
Stacey with one of her dogs, Bailey.

Stacey catches the travel bug

Travel is another thing I never really had a chance to do I when I was younger. I didn’t have the travel bug then, but now I do.

This month, my husband and I went to Europe for two weeks – London, Rome and Edinburgh. We also flew our boys out to come meet us in Edinburgh for the last leg of our trip.

Before now, I had just gone on a couple all-inclusive vacations and to the U.S. for lacrosse tournaments, but this was my first time across the pond.

The trip was amazing, and I feel very privileged to have been able to experience it and to share that experience with my family. I have been bitten by the travel bug and now I am thinking, ‘Where to next?’

It is nice to be back home now after such a big trip.

A person stands next to a statue of an old man sitting down and holding a cane.
Stacey in Saint John, New Brunswick.

From the East Coast to Orangeville

I’m originally from New Brunswick, but my husband, Steve, is from Orangeville, where we live now.

We met in the East Coast where he was in the navy, and we had our first son in Halifax. My husband left the military to work with the Toronto Police Service, so we moved to Orangeville to be close to his family.

We’ve been here ever since – over 20 years.

It was hard at first not really knowing anybody, but Orangeville has been a great community and I’m really happy and proud to live and work here.

Six people sit together on a bench surrounded by shrubbery.
Stacey, left, with her mom and sisters.

‘That really brings me joy’

I work at Georgian’s Orangeville Campus, which is a small campus but we’re growing and doing some great things. It’s buzzing with students and activity, so it’s not as quiet as it used to be. It’s a nice, happy, positive environment.

I feel like I have a front row seat to watching the students that I support grow and flourish on their journey. That really brings me joy.

Stacey MacNeil, Student Success Specialist at Georgian’s Orangeville Campus.

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