Thursday, October 6, 2016


It feels oddly real and surreal now.

Now that it has been put into writing.

Now that those words, on that paper have been given, cementing my plans for the New Year.

It feels like leaving home. It feels like saying "yes". It feels like walking out of a maternity ward with a new baby in tow -not quite certain how the future will unfold, but at the same time hopeful and strangely confident that this decision that has been made is most certainly the right one.

The promise of the next chapter in my life, a shifting of weight, and; exhilaration at the prospect of a life in balance, the prospect of the opportunities that now lie ahead.

This is the path not taken. It is overgrown and uncertain - and yet, the path that lies ahead could not be more right for me at this time in my life.

I do not need to know where it will go, all I need to know is that I will grow while I walk it -as a professional, as a mother, as a wife, as a human.

Courage now and gratitude. There is no dress rehearsal.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

An Act of Love

I am on a weekend get away right now - much needed. So much has happened in the months I have not been actively here. Seismic shifts with my husband's business, now fully our business. We helped fight the siting of a sewage treatment plant on what is our front door step. Life with small kids is apt to be, just busy - add a small sliver of time for oneself and then life's true shortage, time, is all the more apparent. Juno's started grade one, and Wyatt is now in his last year of pre-school.

Shifts that I had hoped to make in June had to be postponed. Shifts that would have seen a bit more time here and working on other aspects of Cesarean by Choice had to be postponed. I had to contribute to advocating for where I live, I had to contribute to our business. So I spent and will spend the remainder of my vacation time largely contributing to our business and a bit to helping "Save Clover Point" - thankfully, the efforts to Save Clover Point appear to have succeeded and there is little doubt in my mind that our business will thrive. It's on a good path - it has a great team, they do good work - there is no fear of the hard work that lies ahead. That is the biggest shift, the time and energy I had left after work, after mothering has gone in support of our business and in advocating for where we live in the ways I best know how. But it has meant that this space has needed to take a back seat to the rest of my life. And so, these past few months the Cesarean by Choice Awareness Network on facebook - has been maintained, largely because of the incredible group of women who are there - and indeed it has continued to grow. And so moving from my job, to the work I want to do, fully, truly - might take a while longer.

But it will happen.

We're back on the road to get there - albeit "there" - might be a slightly different spot than what might have been first imagined. "There" now involves a lot more work for our business in addition to the other things I want to do. I'm excited about it though - I'm excited by the prospect of getting to the sweet spot, that place where what I do will align with who I am. I'm excited to leave what often feels like a spin cycle of working motherhood where there isn't quite enough time left over and at the same time, some sadness over that time which feels less meaningful than it could have been.

And yet, the idea of stopping the spin cycle - taking a different approach to my life as I know it. An approach that leaves the "regular paycheque" and the 9am to 5pm and the full pension at age 60 behind, is scary. Indeed, perhaps the largest act of love my marriage has known - is the act of giving permission for me to make this shift in my life at this time in our life. It's an act that says so many things - "I trust you", "I believe in you", "I respect you" - it's an act that is not easy for a spouse to do. I know that - and what lies ahead I do not expect to be easy, but rather I expect it to be worth it.

Love gives wind for wings to fly and heals the wounds that time cannot.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

An Exit, Stage Left

A good friend of mine, a colleague with whom I shared more than a decade of my career, retired yesterday. A small, select group of people - mostly economists, who had intersected his career over the decades had been invited and I felt privileged to be among them. People who had made his career enjoyable, people who had contributed to projects over the years and had assisted in the "good work" that had been done. My colleague, with whom I had enjoyed countless hours of collaboration over coffee over the years was choosing to leave the public service a few months ahead of schedule. Not because there wasn't still good work that needed to be done. Not because he was not willing to do that good work. Not because he disliked the people with whom he worked - but because, but because all of the reasons I had sought to leave the ministry the year prior. A kind of resignation to the reality of the situation at hand and an awareness that retiring was feasible in that context.

It was a pleasant gathering. A reminder of how doing good work, work that makes a difference and working with people who care about that work, who care about evidence informed policy is meaningful. A reminder of the value of coffee with true colleagues. A reminder of the value of remaining focussed on the things that matter. A reminder to do what one can to create the kind of environment and to surround oneself with the kind of people with whom you can collaborate and undertake good work.

That's really the nub of it. When you've had it, being anywhere else - where some critical element is lacking, creates a kind of hunger to find it, somewhere, somehow. To create it or recreate it, somewhere, somehow.

My friend valued his colleagues and his work - he was in the sweet spot for large chunks of his career - and there is something rewarding knowing that I had been (and those others who were in the room, celebrating his career with him) had been a part of the parts of his career where that three legged stool of occupational happiness were realized.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

A Lot to Blog About and No Time to Blog

It feels as though it has been forever since I've blogged here. Life over the past few months has taken a turn for the stressful - and while things were up in the air, I could not blog about it. Before things went from "on track" to "now what" I was looking forward to creating the time and space to get back to the Cesarean by Choice advocacy work - to not only maintaining the Cesarean by Choice Awareness Network on Facebook, but taking it from informal, off the side of my desk endeavour to something more structured. Something that would actively undertake work to help meet the needs of women who choose cesareans. It is part of what I do, that has given me great satisfaction - and nothing has been more rewarding than the certain knowledge that I had helped others in their journeys as women and as mothers. Sadly, it is this work that has been neglected over the past couple of months while dealing with other events. My goal was to go to half time and with half of that half time, making a more formal effort on this front. The dream of having 1.25 days a week to dedicate to advancing this cause, delayed yet again.

The other half of that half time? I was going to spend cultivating the marketing of my husband's law firm and developing an economics consultancy. To that end, it does look like I will get a day. It looks like going to .88 time is in the works - that I will be able to wrest away one day a week from my day job. This falls out from the set of "now what" events. The events that have lead to my husband taking over the firm - and being solely responsible to ensure that its obligations can be met. There are a lot of upsides to that - the team that has been built over the last two years is amazing - the lawyers and staff who work with my husband are a dedicated group of people who are committed to ensuring that the law firm succeeds. The firm is established and has a promising future ahead. However, with the agreement that my husband's partner is to leave the firm, a sizeable chunk of the revenue that was to be expected over the next two years also left. Meanwhile, all of the overhead remains. As a result, there is a need to trim overhead where possible, and look towards more effective marketing strategies to grow the business. To that end, I have become VP of marketing and will in a more formal capacity do what I have been doing informally (I've been managing the firm's twitter account for the past 18 months)- taking on the social media marketing and engagement. It is exciting and the kind of work that has potential to result in enabling my goal of creating time to work on the "work outside of work" that I want to do.

The other thing that has been on my plate - is that I have been engaged in the neighbourhood efforts to Save Clover Point. I have been running the twitter account @SaveCloverPt - and doing what I can to support that cause.

Hoping to being able to blog here more often in the months to come.


Monday, April 4, 2016

Yes, My Panties Are in a Bunch

So I've started blogging over at: - in opposition to a Sewage Treatment Plant plan at Clover Point Park. A Plant that will literally be on my front door step, and less than 100 meters away from my home.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Detour Ahead

We were at the point where I was going to go to half-time this coming June. We were at the point where we were going to put in motion plans to build our new house. We were at that point where I was going to start doing more "work outside of work" - more writing, more work in support of cesarean by choice, more work in support of my husband's business (social media marketing, miscellaneous analysis, etc.), more work in support of my daughter's school's PAC, work to do more independent consulting, and a better balance for me.

All of that must now wait again - relegated to the side of my desk once again.

At least the work I am doing at work has improved substantially. At least my marriage is as strong as ever. The kids are healthy. I'm healthy. My husband is healthy. We have what matters most. At least this is happening now, rather than in a few years when the damage would have been far worse (and while the situation is bleak, it could be far worse). In the long-run, we will be stronger. In the short term, it is stressful. In the short term, it is uncertain. In the short term, things that seemed within reach just a month ago are now going to have to wait.

We will get through this. That is the one thing I am certain of - that the now is merely a setback. That we will learn, we will build, we will get to where we're going. It isn't what is best for us financially right now that matters (particularly if that means sacrificing a core value) - what matters is building a business and protecting it, fostering the right team to provide services that meet the needs of clients, services that enable them to focus on recovering as best as possible and maintaining those services through this transition - fostering a sustainable business means that there are sacrifices that need to be made now. Sometimes, in order to grow, you must identify the areas that need to be pruned.

Resiliency and optimism are a powerful combination.

Monday, February 8, 2016

A Lovely Detour

October 2014, I was painfully aware of the need to make shifts if I were to get to a place where I would be happy with what I did, who I did it for and how I did it and the balance between my work life and my outside of work life. I dropped alcohol from my diet, joined a boot camp and set about trying change my workplace for the better with a collaborative “deck the halls with art” project. It was clear that if I could not change where I was, I needed to change where I was. There was also a kind of clarity around what I genuinely wanted to do and I felt as though I was making strides in the right direction.

By May 2015, I had dropped 20 pounds and had navigated into a secondment at a different Ministry. Now, 8 months into that secondment, with promise of my position formally transferring over in the near future – I have learned a lot and have enjoyed the work I’ve done. However, I am again looking at where I am at and where I wish to be. I’ve regained 15 of the 20 pounds lost (note: I did reintroduce moderate alcohol consumption and got a bit lazy diet and exercise wise). While I am doing good work, in a good environment – there is still something lacking and a feeling of there just not being enough hours in the day to do work at work, as well as the work outside of work. My life lacks balance. I am still not in that “Sweet Spot” where what I do truly resonates with who I am and what I wish to achieve. It is, as I thought it might be, moving from one ministry to another but remaining with government; I am happier but not happy. It has been a lovely detour – and it is nice to know now, that I will not be leaving out of some kind of desperation, but rather out of genuine desire to live a different kind of life. I long to get back on the path I first envisioned, a path filled with the work outside of work with the hope of making a life while finding some way to also make a living.

So if I know the destination – then, is it merely a matter of taking steps once again towards that destination? First step get back to getting healthier (back to developing good habits and dropping some less than good ones). Once again alcohol has made the “no drink” list. Once again the kitchen scale has come out to measure. Once again, I’m logging into MyFitnessPal. Once again, I have found another boot camp that works with my schedule. I look forward to again mounting my bike and ditching the car for my daily travels. Having seen what I can do before – I’m confident that I’ll again be running the TC 10K, and if I stick with it, can be in better form for my 40th birthday (now just three short years away), than I have ever been.

Step two – scale back work at work to make more room for work outside of work. The plan is half-time as soon as feasible. It looks like that will happen in the next 3-4 months. That might be enough, that might bring enough balance between the work at work and the work outside of work. At the least it will create a much better balance.

Step three – get back to growing and engaging in work outside of work. There is nothing more satisfying than knowing that you have helped someone else - that you have made their life a bit better. The work I do outside of work, does that. So finding ways to contribute to this world that resonate with who I am and helps others is profoundly important to me - being able to focus on what matters, matters. This is the part that excites me. The part that has the potential to bring purpose back to what I do. The part that fills my soul – for life is short, and I wish to love what I do and find a way to work a life worth living.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

What will you fill your life with?

Of all the resources that are scarce, time is perhaps the most valuable. I have not been blogging much lately, far less than I'd like. Not for lack of material, but rather for lack of time. Life has filled my hours with mothering, and work, and more work and mothering and being a wife. Things I'd like to get done get shoved, postponed - the car goes without an oil change for a couple months past due, the house isn't nearly as organized as I'd like, I'm not as on top of a variety of things as I would like (Christmas cards, what Christmas cards?) - but the mission critical things are getting done. The bills are getting paid. Work is in a much better spot than it was. The kids are being read to, fed, dressed and to school on time. The Cesarean by Choice Awareness Network on Facebook continues to flourish as a community of support. My husband has been able to focus on building the business - and in time we will get to where we need to be.

I would like to take a step back, to find a few hours to think about what the future might look like - to identify and set aside time to do the things I'd like to do. To identify the things that will bring me joy - and to find ways to have those things fill more of my time. To identify the things that are not bringing satisfaction, and to find ways to have those things take less of my time.

More blogging seems to be in order.