Happy Trails

When people ask me what I do for a living, the short answer is that I’m an accountant. The long answer is that for the last four years I have balanced a number of part-time accounting jobs and a few writing gigs in order to bring in income while also having flexibility. I’ve been able to be with my kids before and after school, and to be a parent helper when the need arose. I’m thankful for all that I’ve been able to do with my kids during school hours, but things are changing.

My kids are growing up. G is in Quebec on a school trip without me, Nathan is in middle school with his brother, and Emily is almost done elementary school. Once the kids hit third grade, parent help is rarely needed except for field trips (I’m going cross country skiing with Emily’s class next week. Fun!). When they hit the middle school, you’re not needed at all. The kids are growing up, gaining independence, etcetera.

As 2015 came to a close I had dropped all of my jobs except for the one online contract accounting job I’ve had for twelve years now. The work level ebbs and flows and it pays well and I didn’t need to work any more than those few hours a week. The problem is, I do need to work, only not for financial reasons (Though that’s definitely a bonus). I like to be working on something, I like to keep learning, and I like to interact with people. The busier I am, the more I get done. If my days are wide open, I spend most of the time trying to decide what I should do, rather than actually doing anything.

After Christmas, I started keeping my eyes open for any positions that would be local and flexible. Living in a small town means that the odds of finding an accounting job for someone with my designation is about as likely as anyone spelling my name right without me telling them that it has two l’s.

Last Tuesday night, I saw an ad that had been posted by a recruiting company and it was hiring for a Kelowna firm that had an accounting office in Summerland. There is only one accounting office in Summerland. I sent off my resume.

Wednesday morning, I was in Kelowna running errands and my cell phone rang. The woman from the recruitment office was calling to talk about the job. I met her for an interview within the hour and it went well. She emailed a few hours later and said that the partners wanted to meet me the next day. I drove back to Kelowna on Thursday and met the two of them, and left feeling good about their firm and our meeting. They offered me the job on Friday. Boom.

I spent the day in their main office yesterday for orientation and to get to know the rest of the team (They are all lovely). I came home and just knew that it was the right fit for me and for our family. I spent today in the Summerland office getting up to speed on the happenings with our clients here, and even have lunch plans tomorrow with the investment ladies a few doors down that I know from other areas of my life and from our community.

I’m really happy and excited about all of it. I get to work in the community I live in (and love). I get to do the kind of work that I enjoy, which involves keeping my knowledge sharp and helping others with stuff they don’t know how to get their head around. (MATH, man. Everybody hates math. And taxes.) The more I learn about the company I’m working with, the more I like it and the people in it, and I’ve only been there two days. I can walk to work in minutes. I have flexibility, and reduced hours when it’s not tax season. I get to wear nice clothes instead of workout gear during the day and have the funds to buy said nice clothes. I…can’t think of any cons and I don’t foresee any arising aside from having to say no to skiing during the week, which is commonplace for most people who are good at adulting.

Also, now Mondays and Fridays have meaning again. I get to blame Mondays for being Monday and tomorrow is TGIF. Have a great weekend, folks.

Master G

As I type this my eldest child — who turned thirteen in December (Hold me) — is in a metal machine hurtling through the air with a group of his French Immersion peers to attend Carnaval de Québec. I had hoped to accompany him but we went to Mexico in November and I am, sadly, not made of money. (On that note, I start a new job today but that’s not what this post is about.)

We had to be at his school at 3:45 this morning to catch the shuttle bus to the airport. The bus arrived, he loaded his suitcase in the luggage compartment, and we had a tearful goodbye. Ha! In reality, he loaded his suitcase and started marching to the bus door, and I asked, “Do I get a hug?”

He was grinning from ear to ear (He is SO EXCITED) as he turned back, gave me a bear hug like only G can do, and hopped onto the bus. I didn’t cry as I drove home, which is odd for me (I’m a crier), but I am also SO EXCITED for him and the experiences he is going to have.

Safe travels, G. Spread your wings and have so much fun.

Sun

January is over. I’m stating the obvious, yes, but from what I’ve seen and heard, January was a bit of a jerk to many. Or, January is simply insane.

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”

We’ve all soared on the high of December for thirty-one days and as the clock strikes midnight on December 31st, you can almost hear a needle scratching across the record. What follows next is silence. Complete and utter silence. Everything is grey, even when the sun is shining. I tell myself that I’m going to do this and that and the other thing, but then find myself in a state of inertia. I may run and ski and go to the gym, so I’m physically moving, but I’m emotionally flat. It happens every January, and yet I keep hoping for different results. Insanity, defined.

I recognized it this year earlier than in past years and lowered my expectations. It didn’t make it better, but it didn’t make it so disappointing. I knew that as February approached, things would lift. I was right, and things are changing and good things are happening. The weight of January has lifted and the hope for 2016 that I had at the beginning of the month has resurfaced.

I hope that you, too, made it through January relatively unscathed. Here’s to little less grey and a lot more sunshine.

It’s my birthday tomorrow (The celebrations started last week, in usual Angella style) and I wondered if I should do a ‘[Redacted] things you should know about me/I’m thankful for/I love’, but I wasn’t feeling it. Instead, I want to talk about a serious turn of events that has happened in the past few weeks.

I now prefer dark chocolate to milk chocolate.

Anyone who knows me knows that I prefer salty snacks over chocolate any day, but if I have chocolate, it must be of the sweet variety. This has all changed in a surprising turn of events.

In early December, the free item of the week at Superstore (Loblaws, for those East of us) was a variety box of Lindor chocolates. At the end of the holidays, as we were packing up our Christmas tree, there was a lone chocolate bar under the tree. This one.

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Yesterday morning as I was taking Emily to school she said, out of the blue, “We haven’t seen the sun in a long time.”

We haven’t. I am thankful to live in an area with little rain (I spent the first twenty-five years of my life living on the north coast of B.C. and Vancouver, two areas known for their unending rain). We live in desert country, which means that we get some snow, which then melts, but we can drive up into the mountains to ski in all of the snow that dumps up there. We also don’t have to deal with months of way-too-many-degrees-below-freezing temperatures that many fellow Canadians deal with.

That said, we get Lake Cloud. It gets to be capitalized, because it takes over for weeks on end. The cloud settles over the lake and the sky is every shade of grey. The roads are grey, the air is grey, and everything is grey. My nine-year-old daughter even noticed it.

January is a depressing month for many. Even I, the eternal optimist, have been blindsided by Blue Monday. Getting above the clouds helps, and I recommend it to fellow sufferers of Lake Cloud. But sometimes those few hours of sun are but a drop in the bucket of grey.

Today, I woke up to blue skies and the sun has been shining since it came over the mountains. I ran with the dogs and felt the sun on my face and on my back. I wore sunglasses for the first time in weeks and had to tie my outer layer around my waist because I was too warm. All of the blinds in my house are pulled back and I’m soaking up every drop of sunshine and blue sky that I can while it’s here.

Blue is my favorite color and today has redeemed it to be something positive. I’m calling it Blue Thursday.

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