Friday, October 30, 2015


  • I really enjoyed the latest rendition of Cinderella (the movie).  It is one of my favourite fairy tales.  Maintaining the good inside in the midst of great difficulty is something many of us can relate to.
  • D is enjoying the rest of his time off.  I've gotten back to work.  It dawned on us a few days ago that we are in that zone where we are not insured against disability, extended health etc.  
  • My mind is still somewhat foggy and energy/enthusiasm not like it was.  It is slowly coming back at times but feels like it will still take a while.  Somewhat frustrating that I cannot rush it.  
  • Don't enjoy dwelling in this funk as it comes in waves.  Surprised with how much I've managed to bury when I consider myself someone that doesn't like to hold back.  We are making some strong changes in our communication moving forward.  I don't want to feel this wounded again when we can do something about it. 
  • Emotional strength and maturity can be achieved by recognizing the need to set healthier boundaries.  
  • Due to D's crazy work schedule for the last few years, we haven't made it to any art classes.  Hoping that will change.  Until that day comes, I'm suggesting we "draw the house" for an hour or so every week.  We live in an old house with lots of neat architectural features, so plenty of subject matter, without counting the items inside.
  • Our mortgage amount outstanding sits at around $1600 (representing what is left of main house, ski condo and D's half of car) with 2 biweekly payments left.  Exciting times ahead...I've put through about 5 cents worth of extra payments (they are probably wondering if some kid was playing around on the computer) so that the last payment could be exactly finished... I admit to being weird that way...
  • Can you believe it has taken 3 months to get the confirmation letter from our Federal tax department saying that they have finally looked at my uploaded receipts and will allow my charitable donations after all?!  
  • Even though Fall is my favourite season, I have opted to travel rather than spend it up north much of the last decade.  I see that I've been missing out.  Summer is beautiful in her own way but the feel of Fall is unique.  Join me on a photo journey of a few of my daily walks.

Thursday, October 15, 2015


I usually avoid dousing myself with local everyday news but with each country visited and those currently being researched, I make an effort to keep up with current events -- Election in Myanmar, response to bombing in Ankara, fuel crisis in Kathmandu, haze in Indonesia, uprising in Palestine/Israel, flooding in southern France, pollution control in Delhi.  Unfortunately not all happy.

On the home front, D is starting a new position and will have 2 1/2 weeks off prior.  This position came out of the blue as he was approached with the opportunity.  This previous employer was a good one and was the company D was downsized out of about 5 years ago.

Having never experienced returning to a previous company, D didn't know that the process would be more involved than if he were a new hire because it is interpreted that the company is hiring him back because it had "made a mistake" in letting him go in the first extra checks were needed... I am so glad I don't have much to do with the corporate world!

Yes, it was a big decision on one level, to walk away from a defined benefit pension plan back to a defined contribution one.  But he is ready and if this move places D in a better place emotionally as well as professionally, I'm more than happy to make up the difference financially.  I am way beyond caring about the minutiae of numbers right now.  We have to take steps to improve things for D, even if they are incremental and tiny.

What this work position does offer, is a role almost identical to the niche role he was offered when we were investigating a move out west, without the massive amount of traveling.  This is a smart move career-wise and if it works out, will put him in a great position for contract work later on within Canada and globally.

Financially the salary is higher, but not high enough to offset the loss of the full pension plan.  Extended benefits are comparable.  D was able to negotiate the real gain (in my mind) in the form of more time off and work flexibility.

Canadian companies are not known for its generous time off.  So even though this is a senior position and D had worked there before (3 years), he did not get any credit for it and the initial offer reflected it.  Needless to say, he turned it down and started applying to other companies.

Long story short, they did come back and the result is 4 3/4 wk (don't ask) plus one additional week off without pay each year.  Guess who fought for that one?  It is important that it was included clearly in the contract.  Also, with eventual work from home 2 - 3 days a week and the ability to work remote from up north and out west during ski and summer seasons.  For a corporate gig, this is as good as it can get for D.

I have to admit that I'm not hanging too high a hope here.  For sure I want him to do well and get satisfaction from this role but I have become jaded from all of this so am managing my expectations appropriately.   Just don't want any more drama.  D doesn't want to be the bearer of the bad either as he's also had enough.

He will be spending the time off between jobs up north.  I'll get to be there for 1 week of it, enjoying the fall. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

5 days

I ended up taking 5 days.  

Days 1 and 2:  I was literally in a daze, my eyes not seeing with clarity, as I walked and sat by the water, feeling somewhat like a zombie.  Even my feet hurt as they weren't willing to mold to the terrain.

Day 3:  Things felt clearer while walking.  Happy to be moving.  Happy for the silence and chance to look out on the water and write it out.  Grateful I had no issues with spending time alone.  I don't know how one would do it otherwise.

Days 4 and 5:  D and I had it out.  My frustration over the last 4 years came out.  I had been carrying it along with me, not realizing how large it had become, not wishing to let it out completely and coming across as an unsupportive spouse.  

I know D's numerous job changes has taken a huge toll on him as well.  However, I was being negatively affected by the angry energy coming from him that he hadn't been entirely conscious of.  We have discussed this before but he hadn't really understood the extent of it until now.

He thought that by keeping silent meant he had it under wraps and was saving me from stress.  I'd rather him let it out than to remain silent, as I'd know it was happening instead of being bombarded energetically by anger and rage when I least expect it.  

As I'm exceedingly sensitive to such things, I get rather affected.  It's exhausting and winds me up at the same time.  And it progressively burnt through my defenses or the lack of, as I don't expect to need defenses at home...and has damaged me over time despite my becoming progressively stronger the last few years.  D feels horrible about it.

Add to it, the fact that I've been challenging myself in my own travel journeys, in ways that required more energy than ever, to prepare as well as recover from the many more difficult places I tended to go to nowadays.  So the sum of both, to put it simply, pushed me over.    

And I found myself feeling the reminders of what I remember burnout was like.  That scared me as that point in time was pretty horrible.  The math didn't add up in my head when I believed I was doing a decent job orchestrating my life.

But of course, I don't live in a bubble.  However, I do believe both parties in a marriage have to take responsibility for what they add and take to and from the relationship during the highs and the lows.  Sometimes just awareness and willingness to protect what you have can make a huge difference.

Now what?  Modify my goals so that I'd leave more energy free to handle the stresses with D's career?  For now, it is the best decision.  I don't feel like I have enough energy to embark on what I had planned later this fall so after another week of reflection I willingly cancelled it. 

D cannot give me any assurances that career wise, things are going to get better, other than to keep searching.  Even his excited energy during that process is difficult for me to handle.  This is one of the few instances I've seen him cycle between extremes in an almost frantic way.  Otherwise he is uber laid back.

It has been a long time since I've felt desperate for time to recover.  Reasonable or not, it feels like failure to me, especially when it may potentially be impacting my work. Thinking further, I have pushed myself greatly the last couple of years and time to reflect on my experiences is warranted.  On my own terms though.  

My eyes are seeing clear again right now.  It's not over but is immensely relieving. 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Inspiration from Pico Iyer

Have you seen these two Ted talks by Pico Iyer?

Caught them on a plane ride last year and find myself coming back to them.