OK, universe, it’s my time now!

It seems as if every time things begin to settle down and reach a tolerable pace, the universe throws more stuff at me to see just how much I can handle.

When I finished my degree I went from full-time employment, full-time parenting and part-time studies, to “just” part-time employment and full-time parenting. I thought I had it made, time for me, time for my projects, time to hopefully build on a plan to eventually be independently employed. At first I enjoyed the luxury of having time to catch up on household things with a quiet house. I enjoyed being able to meet my children’s bus at home 2 days/week. I enjoyed having time for my writing and my photo-post-processing. I had a great routine going and was looking for a way to build some income into things.

Then I had an opportunity for some short-term part-time employment in an office I love (and knew from my practical experience while completing my degree) doing work that I truly enjoy. As this was winding down I began planning what I would do with my extra time again.

Then the federal election was called and I was once again working two part-time jobs, while additionally volunteering on two different campaigns whenever I could find the time. I loved the experience and involved my family as much as possible. When that came to an end, it was time to get back to my short-lived routine of 3 days/week working outside the home and 2 days/week of having the house to myself for a few hours while the girls were in school. Or so I thought.

My sister returned to Nova Scotia just as we’d long been wishing for since her multi/complex diagnoses over the last four years. After a couple of weeks she moved in with our family. We were thrilled. We (she & I) began the complicated process of getting new doctors, specialists and income assistance established. Most days off have been spent running around or, finally, having some much needed sister-time. My own projects continued to be neglected. We put our house on the market and began hunting for just the right property that would accommodate an in-law suite for my sister, whose medical needs have made it imperative that she have support close by for those just-in-case moments that happen far more frequently than anyone would like.

As summer approached the appointments began to slow down a little. There is still much work to be done, but things were beginning to feel “relaxed”. (If you can call constantly making improvements to the house to make it more sell-able, while also having to prep it for viewings 1-3 times/week, relaxed. 😉 ) Just when the house projects had thinned out and I decided to take a breather and spend a little time on my own neglected projects, my sister became sick. An infection progressed into more and we found ourselves at the emergency room most of the night and proceeding day when she was, at last, admitted. Activity had picked up on our house almost exactly at the same time. While I sat in the ER we negotiated and accepted an offer on our house, then spent time back and forth between the hospital and viewings of potential new homes. The closing date was already looming just 4 ½ weeks away. We managed to find and negotiate an offer on a great house with everything we need, and a closing date of just 2 days prior to the closing of the house that we must vacate! Phew!

In the meantime my sister was still in hospital and I was supporting her through more challenges. Most days I stopped in twice/day, some days I spent most of the day with her waiting on specialists’ to report new information. Finally, she was discharged.

We now have less than three weeks until our move. There is much to do, including sending the girls off to school, recently registered at their new school which will mean driving them everyday until we are in the house on their new bus route.

Two weeks ago I was regretting summer coming to an end because of the crappy weather we had for most of it. Now I am wishing my favourite time of the year away, hoping that when October comes the universe will finally see fit to give me a bit of a break.

Right after I do a little extra part-time work for my “other” employer… 😉

Progress in this journey we call life

After missing so many weeks of writing blog posts, it’s time to make it happen. Perhaps looking at what’s been happening recently will help me to get motivated/inspired or simply able to take action!

Life has gotten really busy, and there is a lot of progress worth noting:

  • we continue the quest to sell our house in order to move into a bigger house with capacity for an in-law suite, on lakefront. This has kept us the busiest, making improvements to the house to make it more sell-able. All are projects that were on our list that we were continuously slogging through. Since listing in May we’ve completed most, taking years off the timeline. There have been many viewings, but so far no bites.
  • My sister is settling in with us and our family is reshaping a little. It’s all good, but it sure would be nice to be done with the viewings and to have more space (and that lake to jump in every morning!)
  • I am officially closing a chapter in my life that brought a lot of heavy emotions and stress, the official documents arrived today, and court issued certificate will come in a few weeks. This is a huge weight lifted that will hopefully allow our family to move forward more.
  • Finally another sega is being closed with a settlement hopefully forthcoming in the near future from my car accident.
  • Working with my RMT, chiropractor/ART, and family physician I am getting back to a more active life, with less pain and feeling (bit by bit) more like myself again
  • I bought a new bike (upright city cruiser), and sold my mountain bike to pay for it. I can now ride without neck or shoulder pain, and have started cycle-commuting again!
  • I am becoming more involved with advocacy efforts once more
  • Contemplating my future and hopefully moving into the career I will grow with
  • with things feeling more settled I am ready for a bigger challenge, full-time work, etc.

Who am I? …in 500 words or less?

Me - swimming with the jellyfish

Me - swimming with the jellyfish

I’ve been through this exercise a number of times in the past few years, only looking specifically from the perspective of my location in society and what power or privilege I have or lack depending upon the situation. The anglophone, Caucasian, heterosexual, able-bodied, educated, middle-income me. The female, student and (once) single mother. I know what my location brings to my (and my children’s) benefit. I know where we struggle due to the same.

I’ve also done the inventory of roles I play or have played. The list is long and in-exhaustive: mother, daughter, sister, wife, ex-wife, spouse, girlfriend, friend, woman, employee, employer, co-worker, mentor, boss, manager, director, team leader, chairperson, supervisor, early childhood educator, consumer, activist, advocate, facilitator, writer, reader, photographer, researcher, archivist, runner, cyclist, swimmer, triathlete, cook, cleaner, launder, driver/chauffeur, book-keeper, storyteller, caregiver, nurse, confidante, counselor, learner, student, teacher, navigator, planner, coordinator, social worker, volunteer, organizer…

But I do not define myself in such concrete terms. Who I am is difficult to capture, and more difficult to describe. I am a big-picture-visionary sort of person always looking at things from the perspective of change. How can this situation be improved upon, and how can I be the change-agent or catalyst for such change?

I am forever seeking the ultimate balance, and forever uncertain it can ever be attained.

I have an idealist way of looking at things, yet I struggle with putting it into practise.

The greatest priority in my life is my children, yet I know I must take care of myself first in order to be available to them to my fullest ability. There is a constant battle within me as to whether one takes away from the other.

I often take on too much, always wanting to be/do more than I am.

I speak my mind, and often at the risk of loss, in the hopes of the greater good prevailing.

While I could never be mistaken as an extremist, I always try to do what is consistent with my ideals, without fear of stepping outside of the accepted norm.

I love to read, enjoy my garden, prefer the simple things in life. I have a constant desire to be more creative, yet a need for greater order and structure.

I try to lead be example in my life. Convinced that the best way to raise socially-conscious, compassionate, caring children is to live it myself.

Above all, I like to consider myself a genuine, honest person. I seek the company of those who are real in every aspect of their lives.

I am a dreamer.

I am a doer.

I am me.