Monthly Archives: July 2016

transition and gratitude

Here we are.  I am now at the eight week mark, and said my goodbyes to the career that I have worked for so many years. Two decades worth.  While not a complete shift, but more of an alternate path within the same general field, this transition is welcome, so very welcome.  I have spent two months being grateful for the people I worked with and for the successful career I have had. Thankful for the opportunities and doors that have opened for this next chapter in my work life. Thankful for the friendships and opportunities that arose socially during the past eight years. 

Thankful. 

I don’t think I have been as thankful for so many people and events as I have been with this transition.  Or at least not as consciously. Perhaps it’s because this transition is so key in my life right now, or perhaps it is because I am more intimately connected with my life and my inner self to see how valuable all my experiences were and how truly valuable this new adventure is. 

It is a gift. 

I have said it for the past two months. I have been given a gift. It is not just being handed to me. I worked for this. I will continue to work for this and at it. I will continue to prove that I was the right choice for the position. That I am capable and confident. That I can do more than expected. I will continue to earn the position every day. 

And I will also continue to be grateful for my past experiences. For they have helped to shape my perspective and helped me to grow. They have provided the people in my tribe and given me the support I needed. They have shaped me. I am who I am because of my past. 

Thankful. Thankful. Thankful. 

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how much time in a week

What can you do in a week’s time when you put your mind and determination into it?  Turns out quite a bit.

This week, I had set a goal to give my son’s room a complete make over.  I wanted to have certain projects done by the end of July so that I could have a week of mental and physical rest before starting my next career chapter.  This included his room.  I have wanted to repaint his room since I bought our home, and the carpet in there simply had to go.  Well, this was the time to do it.  From Sunday last week to today, I worked a full week.  I had something going on every night after work, and then, once I finally got home, I got to work on his room.

I tore out the carpet and underlay.  Primed and painted the walls.  Stained some shelving pieces and pine crates to make him a creative shelving unit.  Laid down the new flooring.  Screwed the shelving unit together.  Put his furniture back in (but in a different configuration that makes the room much nicer).  Screwed his wall shelves back on the walls.  Hung some art.  Gave Jack the Tangerine Gecko a home right next to my son’s bed.

My hands are sore, my knee is a wreck, I am physically exhausted, but my heart is full and I await his reaction to his newly renovated room.  He knew I would be doing the work this week, but I wonder if he has thought about it while he’s been away at his father’s.  Oh how I wish his father wasn’t such an ass and would let me speak with them at least to say goodnight.  But I digress.

Alas, before he gets to see his new space, the plan is a picnic dinner in the park as soon as I get them back, and hunting Pokémon with them in Pokémon Go!  Such a treat and what great family time to be had!

uniqueness

I find it rather curious how we all become individuals based on our experiences and the way our lives unravel.  During this recent trip back to see my family, I think this is the time when it really hit home for me.  I looked at how my sister appeared to me and compared how I viewed myself (and how others have described me).

This is what I saw:

My sister is the typical soccer mom.  I watched as she interacted with all the other soccer moms at my niece’s game.  She fit right in.  She is slow moving, like nothing is ever a rush.  There isn’t any reason to be in a hurry or rush off anywhere, and her body language shows it.  She also carries extra weight (not that there is anything wrong with that or that I’m criticizing it, just an observation), and her slow motion seems to be accentuated by that.  She drives a Mercedes.  She works if she chooses to.  She has a husband who provides for the family.  She lives a life of leisure, has a social life, and spends the summers at their lakeside cottage.

I am nothing like her.

I am a hard working, often overtime working single mom.  I have strayed from the materialistic way of life (due to the fact that my ex-husband always had to have the most expensive-best-top of the line-keep up with and bypass the Jonses stuff.  While I was never that way myself (he typically had the best and I was left with nothing to spend for myself after providing for the children and him), sometimes it would have been nice to have something for myself.  I have a five year old Jeep that travels everywhere I go, I spend time in nature with my children and alone; I consider the mountains my home.  I am not a soccer mom, nor would I ever fit in with them.  I am a vegetarian, organic, natural and clean eater (mostly).  I am a yogini.  I meditate.  I do not have an expensive home and I most certainly do not have a lakefront cottage.  I have wanderlust, an adventurous spirit, and a camera.  I am an artist and an author.  My dog is my best friend and the one I socialize with the most.  I’ve been called a hippie more times than I care to count.  This term, as far as I am concerned, is a compliment.

I don’t typically compare myself to others because I know we all have our own paths.  It just seemed so obvious to me this time.  I haven’t spent time with my sister in so many years, and perhaps because of this, it became so very clear to me how very different we are.

So I suppose, what I have seen, is that life and experiences really do shape us into who we become.  We had the same upbringing for the first 18 years of life.  Somewhere along the way, our lives took divergent paths; neither one better than the other, just different.

I am grateful for this trip home, for so many reasons.  This is just one of them.  I am also grateful for the experiences (good and bad) that have shaped me into who I am.  I can honestly say that I have earned all I have by myself.  I have nobody to credit for my possessions but me, and my lifestyle is a reflection of who I am beyond monetary and materialistic views.  This is part of my uniqueness.

home is where your cowboy boots are

As I travelled across four provinces and back to visit my family, a few things were noticeable to me. Every province is unique in its landscape. If you pay attention, you can see the differences in the farmland in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. The landscape of the Rockies and footlands are distinctly different from the rocky landscape of the Canadian Shield. Even the trees, while similar, still hold their own differences. 

Somewhere along the way, I have become an Albertan. Somehow, particularly over the last four years, I have made Alberta my home. And as I drove the long road back home, I realized just how much I am in love with Alberta landscape and all the variety it has to offer from the flat prairie to the desert badlands to the majestic Canadian Rockies. Somehow, over this time, I have made Alberta my home without even realizing it. I had always assumed that I would in time move once again. But after this realization, I am not so sure if I will. I have a new appreciation for all that I have been taking for granted in my own backyard. 

And I love that here in Alberta, I can proudly wear my cowgirl boots without anyone giving it a second thought. It’s interesting how culture is different from one area to the next. I appreciate all that this beautiful country has to offer, and loved camping in Manitoba near the lake, but now I feel like for the first time, I know what it feels like to truly be home. 

aging

I sit here this morning to write and weighing heavily on my mind is what the future may bring.  As I prepare for a journey back home to visit my parents, I am consciously bracing myself for whatever news I will receive once I get there.  My mother has been having her battles with health issues, and this visit was planned based off of some of that, however, events have occurred since my first thoughts on going back to see them.

We all have a fear of something.  I think most of us fear the day we lose our parents.  Some of you may have experienced this already, some are far from that day.  I do not know how close to that day I am, but that fear is niggling.  With aging parents, we are the sandwich generation…raising children of our own, and caring for our ailing parents.  This becomes much more difficult to do when the distance between us is as great as it is.

And the words my father sent me haunt me… no surgery as planned, will tell you why when you get here.  Why no surgery when it was deemed necessary?  I try to not focus on this too much.  Not without all the information to make any sort of judgement.  So I wait.  I pack and prepare for the journey.  Housesitter/petsitter…check.  Laundry done and packed…check.  Gardens weeded and ready for the time away…check.  House cleaned…check..sort of.

Praying.