Sunday, April 23, 2017

D & His Career

It's like a bad soap opera.  You can tune in years later and it's the same old theme but the characters are sporting updated clothes and hair.

So despite work being far easier than before and feeling like he is way overpaid for what he has to do, there are a number of items that still bother him.

  • He doesn't feel like he is being challenged in the way that was specified at the interview.
  • His position has morphed into a role that he wasn't hired to do, due to sudden increases in work load.  Everyone is feeling it in their office right now.  New hires are supposed to start soon...
  • He is getting really tired of having to work nights and weekends.  Even a 3 hr stint, done often enough is going to interrupt flow of life.

D knows that I am seriously tired of his various work issues over the last decade.  And I honestly don't think I'll ever understand his field and the chaos that seems to always crop up no matter how calm it is at the start.

He has come to terms that no matter where he works, it will eventually suck.  So, his new thinking is to consider contract for the remaining years of his work with the idea that he might as well get paid more for it as it is going to be bad anyways.  He had already ruled out working contract after full time work ends.

Here's the thing.  The position he has come across will take him consistently out of town for 4 - 5 days a week.   It will always be to one location though, reachable by car but requiring overnights for the duration of the week.

Obviously, I'll have to take on more of the daily housework etc.  Am not keen on the amount of driving he would have to do, especially in the winter.  However he is quite adept at it.  It's more my mental issue.  I'm glad he doesn't have to fly for this job as I really don't believe he is cut out for that type of work travel.

The saga continues...

Thursday, March 23, 2017


In Tokyo, I learned pretty quick that I did not have what it took to slurp noodles up like everyone I ate with at a ramen bar.  The times I tried, soup flew all over my face.  Fortunately the Japanese people are too polite to notice and laugh at me.  Totally understandable had they, though.

After another attempt, I eventually found a noodle in the outer pocket of my purse, stuck to my phone... Honestly don't know how people did it and not get it all over their white business shirts! Impressive.  Predictably, I gave up after that.

The city appealed to me instantly and I right away regretted waiting so long to visit despite connecting through many times, due to being intimidated by their metro map.  And like in most instances, the reality wasn't near as dire as my mind made it out to be.  So please don't be like me and go!

I loved the formality, the politeness, the orderliness, quietness even at busy intersections.  Don't know who tunes their trucks and cars but they are not only pristine but are near silent, even the diesels.  We need that team here in many parts of Canada.

The food is expectantly great and filling, even in budget places.  Couldn't eat or try near as many things because of that.  And surprisingly not as expensive as I had anticipated.  No surprise that I'll be returning soon for another short stay.  Can't wait!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

For Real

You know how you can feel it when someone really means something?

Well, in the past few months, D has been genuinely grateful for the life we get to live.  In fact, it oozes from him.  He has said similar in the past, but I've never felt it resonate as true as it does now.  It's like he has suddenly seen our life in 3D, how everything plays together and stacks up.

I'm not entirely sure if his leaving the last workplace has been the cause of his realization, now that the fog has lifted?  It's easy to not be able to appreciate or see things clearly when mired in stress.  I certainly can relate to that.  Or have things finally come together enough to be truly recognizable?

I have to admit that most of the drive to create has stemmed from my vision and he has been happy to follow along.  D doesn't enjoy planning nor the extended discussions as much as I do.  He isn't the dream ahead, big picture kind of guy and has admitted that he has not allowed himself to wish so broadly.  His strength is with participating in the execution.

I'd be lying if I didn't also admit that I've wished I had more help in the dreaming, planning and fleshing out parts.  Often I've felt like I was the only one coming up with ideas and ways to get there. Fortunately I am not easily deterred and can drive on without encouragement or support if I believe in something strong enough.

His response has given me a lot of gratification as executing a great life has taken years in the making and at times, I've felt like I have been the only one truly believing in "the plan".  Although D has stated he was on board, the detached sense I sometimes got from him has made me question whether what I believed to be a solid and well thought out path was truly good for both of us.

Because I've been the one who has pushed the discipline with saving etc. there has been extended years of me feeling like the "bad guy".  Not a role I cherished especially when I felt like he didn't appreciate the sheer amount of time and work I was spending on creating.  It has been a struggle of wills at times.

You can imagine how good it feels to be recognized for my ongoing efforts, to see his enthusiasm and feel the joy in his voice.  He really gets it now and wants it too.

For me, I feel amazement at how our lives have unfolded despite the down portions.  It has superseded any expectations and ideas either of us have had along the way.  My gratitude and appreciation has rarely been higher.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Let's Begin

It has been a good start to the year.  I'm still nursing a few aches and pains leftover from Nepal but believe I'll eventually get there.  Have had a few shorter trips and have gone into them with minimal stress and have come back inspired.  What more could I ask for?

Work has deliberately become slightly more part time over the past year.  I decided to not work with some people and have thus eliminated a source of stress as well as some income (around 10K) -- Well worth it, in my book.  My taxes are done and my investments should be completely transferred to my new self directed account by next week.

D has bought another bike (mountain) and is still enjoying his work, which he still describes as significantly less intense compared to his last position.  That doesn't mean he doesn't have busy periods -- He's in an extended one right now.  However he has come to a conclusion that he doesn't want to do contract work after full time work ends in just under 5 years.  He wants a complete break from it all.

I'm finding myself needing to make a strong concerted effort to stem the flow of interruptions and demands that the digital age seem to throw at us.  I don't enjoy feeling like I ought to be checking things all the time.  Or not being able to fully relax because I need to be primed should I get pinged.

I know of people who thrive on those types of demands and in providing the required quick responses but I find it exceedingly stressful.  When I am not working, my cell phone is off.  I'll turn it back on if I need to send D a message, but that's it.  My biggest online usage continues to revolve around the guilty pleasure of travel learning and planning.  I have a super fun year in store.

When I'm away from wifi or cell phone service, I discover how nice it is for my mind.  And when I return home, I find myself more and more resistant to jumping back in.  I do get drawn back fairly quickly though but I have pulled away from sites like Facebook.  And accept that I will miss things and that's OK.  Especially in the midst of what is going on in the world.  I just don't need all that negative chatter.

Finally, a few photos of where I've been this year.

Head of a monster 200 kg tuna -- Tsukiji market, Tokyo

Akihabara, Tokyo

Athletes at the World Para Snowboard Championships -- Big White, BC

Glowing Athletes!

Inside the gorgeous Palais Garnier, Paris 

Saw the "Tree of Codes" here, Wayne McGregor ballet

Facade of Palais Garnier

Monday, January 23, 2017

The End of A Year

Our new year was rung in quietly and peacefully, even unintentionally staying up quite late.  If I were to mention where we happened to be at that moment, there would likely be a lot of people who would vehemently disagree on the possibility for peace part.

No matter; I'm used to such reactions and trust in what I see and feel.  We had a wondrous time (4th visit for me, 2nd for D) and wouldn't hesitate to go back tomorrow. There is a place much closer to home I'm more worried about right now...

It has been years since I actively wanted a year to be done and over with.  The last involved years of chronic difficulties with my office, which eventually led to my moving.   Whereas this time stemmed from just wanting to get through my last chosen challenge, with the promise that I will finally get to rest and gather up.

It's always a treat when I get desperate enough to have to resort to talking and negotiating with myself like you would with a 2 year old...Well, if the shoe fits... : )  For the record D did try his darnedest to persuade me to change my plans.  But I wasn't budging.  I didn't spend 3/4 of the year preparing in one way or another to ditch, despite the exhaustion that was going on inside.  To be honest, I still can't believe I made it.

I'm not rushing to commit to anything big this year.  And am not subjecting myself to crazy long journeys either, although my definition of long (40+ hours) might differ from others.  I'll be flying quite a bit, but shorter in both flight duration as well as stay.  In fact I'll be finishing up my first short stay by the time this posts.  It's shaping up to be lighthearted kind of year.  And I'm feeling my optimism start to swell up inside again.

My current aim for our house is to further declutter my part of it.  Nothing earth shattering; It has been a few years since my last purge.  As I'm continuing to see my life with different eyes, it has become a necessary thing.  If I can be disciplined enough to get rid of 1 or more pieces each day, however small, it will become a great habit.

Committing to taking those few seconds or minutes to really think about items that I may otherwise just walk by or continue to allow to sit.  Whether D decides to start on this or not is irrelevant.  I need to do this for myself.  It is going to help reset my mind.

Friday, January 13, 2017


Hope 2017 has already been great for all of you.

Thought it would be nice for the first post of the year to involve a story.