Thursday, October 25, 2012

For Hire

This fall, we have more or less become empty nesters. Child #1 does still live here, but being in the last year of Engineering at the U of A and having a full 7 course load means we rarely see him - usually only in the light of the refrigerator. Child #2 is haf a continent away in Ontario and #3 is off on the left coast.

I have a great, wouldn't trade it for anything, full time job. I have a great husband (everyone tells me so ;-) ). But, I'm used to a much busier, more hectic life. There was a time, not so long ago, that we had about 100 kid related sport activities a month, not to mention work and school and volunteerism. I'm just not getting the hang of what to do with myself now - how many episodes of Storage Wars can one watch? Watching Hoarders for the shock value isn't floating the boat.

Sure, I could go all Martha Stewart around here. Spend countless (more) hours on Pinterest and Design Seeds. We've even been talking about renovating the small bathroom ourselves; I'm worried that we'd get that started but not finished though.

I could (and should) be volunteering more. And I will locally for sure. I really want to travel, too. And I may have found a way to do both at once, with The Giving Lens. Problem is that the cost of the workshop and airfare comes close to being the amount of my property taxes (which sit unpaid at the moment).

And so, here I am, offering up my brain, time and skill set and looking for suggestions of how to fill the void in my brain and my pocketbook!

  • Skilled Photographer
  • Pretty good photo editor
  • Not bad at writing
  • Knows a thing or two about running a business

Saturday, October 13, 2012

We Can Do Better

This weeks sad news about the cyber bullying that led Amanda Todd to take her life  and the organized institutional bullying of Malala Yousafzai that caused her to be shot make me believe that we can all do better.

 I believe that I've given my children the courage and independence to stand up for themselves, the honesty and integrity to stand up for what is right, the tool set to make good decisions. I trust them to use those tools, but there are moments that I wish I could turn back time to when they were little so that I still had ways to protect them, and could make sure that I really teach those lessons well.

We are surrounded by tragedies that we cannot control or influence. Try as we might, we cannot yet live disease free, we cannot prevent all accidents from happening. BUT we can, and we MUST, treat each other - everyone, everywhere - with respect, with open minds and open hearts, with the understanding that things are not black and white, not right or wrong, not a binary switch. We must stand up for one another, stand up against bullying, stand up for everyones right to exist without fear.

I used to hate Camera Phones!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

As the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend comes to an end, I have much to give thanks for. 2012 has not been one of my favorite years. It's had many more stressful, difficult and sad times than most. The year started with promise, with exciting new work responsibilities and road trips, but threw us all a big curve in March when my mom was admitted to the hospital. 

Mom has emphysema, and has been on oxygen full time for about 7 years. She had noticably deteriorated in the six months prior. My sister had been trying to get mom on the phone for the better part of a day, and when we still couldn't find them the next morning I gave their neighbour a call. Sure enough, there had been an ambulance at the house the evening before. Why they didn't give me a call sometime in those 12 hours still remains a mystery. We phoned around to hospitals and finally tracked them down. When I walked into the emergency room where mom was, the first thought that entered my mind was this is what death looks like! The next five weeks were full of big ups and downs, from the day the doctor told me not to expect another 24 hours, to (a week later) getting the okay for mom to attend her 50th wedding anniversary party! (Yes, I was taking care of the details of a party between hospital visits) She was released from hospital a week after that, and has been doing just fine ever since. I'm thankful for these bonus months with mom. 

My sister and niece have had some very troubling times as well. Things are looking up for them, and I'm thankful that they both came for dinner this weekend. 

This year also saw a couple of friends/mentors/bosses leave SmugMug, and that was hard to work through. I'm thankful that they have both moved on to new adventures, are happy and remain friends. 

Edmonton saw a couple of really wild summer storms. In mid July, a hail storm seemed to find our property and sit on top of it. We had 45 minutes straight of hail (like nothing I've ever seen before) and our gorgeous garden was completely wiped out! We don't water our gardens quite the same way we did on our city lots, since we truck water in. We had had one of the best springs, with plenty of moisture and warm temps, and our garden was going to be spectacular. Absolutely everything was going to bloom, and bloom big. And the hail ripped it all to shreds. I was devastated. I am thankful that gardens are renewable resources, that I have another opportunity again next year, and that the frost stayed away long enough that some plants had a second chance to bloom! 

 We are test driving empty nesting, as we only have one at home at the moment. I'm thankful that we are finding ways to spend time together now that the years of 'kid driving' and 'kid sport' are done. 

Our daughter is off at Queens and our baby is in Vancouver at a rugby academy. Our oldest is in his final year of his engineering program and has 7 courses this semester. I'm thankful that my kids are healthy, pursuing paths that make them happy and growing into seemingly well adjusted and happy young adults. 

I'm thankful that our old dog is still keeping us company. 
I'm thankful for friends, old and new. 

I'm thankful that I don't feel my age most days. 

I'm thankful that my husband of 27+ years still looks at me with a silly grin! 

Happy thanksgiving! I think I'll be thankful for the new year as well!