Monday, 22 May 2017

The First 100 Days


The week leading up to camp has always been full of little rituals and traditions. Things that made me feel prepared to start the summer. I would spend an evening assembling welcome bags for all the staff, an afternoon making warm fuzzy envelopes and many hours trying not to overpack but also not run out of clean clothes before the next laundry day rolled around. I would make sure to include a meal of three cheese pizza pops & pepsi into my camp prep, taking time to reflect on the beginnings of my camp love. And on the night before I would often craft the perfect pre-camp playlist to listen to during the drive. Instead of doing all those things I found myself navigating the complexities of palliative care. 

I always had a mini-celebration when I hit the "100 Days Until Camp" day and so I had decided that I would celebrate "100 Days" of this new life, which happened to fall on May 11. I had originally planned to celebrate by drinking my very last can of Vanilla Coke (that I had been saving for when I got a year round camp job), eating chips & dip and maybe watching The Parent Trap. I ended up spending the day in one of our organization's homes, which seemed like a much more fitting celebration. Even if it didn't involve any Vanilla Coke. 

On Friday morning after a full week of waiting for the inevitable, our community member passed away. Today there will be a wake and tomorrow a funeral. And amid all of those emotions I'm also trying to figure out how to navigate summer life without camp. The combination of all of that has made me a bit of a hot mess these past few days. Saturday I did three loads of laundry and debated asking the neighbours if they had any to do. Yesterday I got groceries and tidied by apartment and watched too many episodes of Grey's Anatomy. This morning I am going to help set up for the wake and then likely spend some time at the office. Even though it's a long weekend I need to be busy and productive because otherwise I'm sure I'll find myself pacing the living room. 

And maybe what I really need is to stop trying to keep myself busy and just let things settle. To give myself permission to be sort of sad but also excited about the possibilities of a summer without camp. 

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

Sunday, 7 May 2017

May Life 2017


Another month of radio silence around here...

Personal Life// The clique-ness is really hard. It's such a unique blend of work/personal that it's unlike anything I've ever experienced so navigating it feels impossible. I've been included in a few things but nothing fulfilling. I try to Skype with H. and/or R. every week or every second week and I've been going home one weekend a month and it's worked out that I've also made mini-weekend trips at least one other weekend. Things aren't terrible but I do feel rather lonely. 

Hobbies// This improved by leaps & bounds. I am caught up with Project Life as far as printing photos goes and I have everything slotted into pockets, it's now just a matter of adding journalling and embellishments. I didn't take a whole lot of photos this month, but I did have my camera out a few times so it's an improvement. Blogging clearly hasn't made a come back but I'm still working on how to factor that into my day on a more regular basis. 

Career// I knew being in the office full time would be huge but even I underestimated how what a difference it would make. I feel like now I can at least focus my attention in one place and that's helpful when it comes to feeling less stress. Again, I'm hesitant to make any sweeping statements at the three month mark but I will say it's not love. It is a stepping stone though and I recognize that there's lots to learn over the next couple of years that will be transferable. I spent some time doing camp related things this past weekend and it really confirmed that my long term goal is to get back to camp. I have no idea what that will look like but knowing what needs to get done is the first step in getting it done. 

Spirituality// Eh, could be better. I got back into the habit of choosing a word of the week and still haven't really missed a day writing in my journal so those are good things. I was tempted to order a Bible journalling starter kit but finding something that is reasonably priced/can be shipped to Canada has proved to be a challenge. 

Health// I've been going on lots of evening walks, which is great. Eating has been semi-challenging because I'm not entirely in control of my own menu and that's annoying & frustrating for me. Realistically this probably won't change much until the fall so until then I will just make the best of things. 

Goals// My goals for April were to manage my stress better and make time for hobbies. I definitely achieved making time for hobbies and I think in general my stress levels improved. I also made a big extra payment on my student loan which was sort of a goal but not one I had specifically verbalized. For May I'd like to write some blog posts, make plans for a fun summer vacation and convince myself to splurge on an Erin Condren Hourly Planner. 

Linking up with Gretch & Kristen!
SaveSave

Thursday, 6 April 2017

April Life 2017


It seems like I blinked and March happened. In some ways that's a good thing because I keep telling myself that these months will be the hardest and once I'm over the initial hump things will be better. In other ways I feel like I'm no closer to that plateau than I was the beginning of March. 

Personal Life// In some ways this has gotten better. I've never been someone who makes instant friends and it's not something I'm particularly good at doing. At the end of two months I think I've at least identified some people who might be on my wave length. I'm also in the office full time now and have free evenings four nights a week instead of two. That should help balance my need for introvert time with the necessity of making some local friends. This past weekend I went to visit R. & H. and it was lovely to spend time with them. 

Hobbies// I didn't make any time for Project Life in March and barely took any photos. I didn't even pick a word of the week or decorate my planner during the second half of March. I know I need to change that for April because it's not sustainable and I can't let my entire life be consumed by work. (Especially when I don't particularly love my job.) 

Career// I'm only two months in so I'm hesitate to make any sweeping statements but I'm not sure I see myself here long term. I'm confident that I will complete my current contract and there will be lots of great moments along the way. I have doubts about my ability to be happy here long term. If I'm going to take on a job like this that doesn't really end when I leave the office at the end of the day I need to absolutely love what I'm doing. On a more positive note I'm so very thankful that I'm still close to family and relatively close to H. & R. there are no required plane trips to access anyone. Maybe that part should have went with personal but it also fits with career. 

Spirituality// I stopped reading Savor because I was frustrated with all the references to husbands and children. As I mentioned above, I also neglected to choose a word of the week for half of March. I did still add something to my journal every night, some nights it was a few sentences and others a few pages, which is exactly the expectation I set for myself at the beginning of the year. I think my current level of stress is preventing me from engaging in any sort of real spiritual practices. Which is terrible but I'm just telling it like it is. 

Health// I still never missed a lunch break. Which is a culture shift I am incredibly grateful for, if it's getting a little late and we're all still at our desks someone will take the lead and remind everyone it's time to eat. This is a huge culture shift from most, if not all, other paces I've worked and it's a welcome change. I've noticed that the stress and anxiety are starting to impact my appetite but I'm trying to keep it in check and make sure that I'm not skipping meals altogether, although I've also been guilty of that a few times. 

Goals// I'm not sure what I want to accomplish in April. I know that I need to make time for hobbies and manage my stress better. 

Linking up with Gretch & Kristen!
SaveSave

Friday, 24 March 2017

One Thing After The Next

Let me walk you through the kind of week it's been...

Monday. Snowstorm. I was filling it at one of the homes and was supposed to be there at 7 a.m. but the weather was terrible and there was no way I was driving through it at 6:45. I did end up driving through it at 7:45 to get there for 8 but it was still horrible and it was not a good start to the week. Because I was filling in at a house I usually work in the office from 9-12 and then have a few hours break in the afternoon before going back to the house and staying until 10:00 p.m. Because Monday was a storm and everyone's schedule was off I ended up not getting a break in the afternoon. And that lead to a 14 hour day, which was exhausting.

Tuesday. Again, the weather wasn't great and we ended up cancelling an evening event that we had planned. This was actually a huge blessing because it meant I was home right at 4:00 p.m. I made supper and watched Big Brother Canada and was in bed by 9:30. 

Wednesday. I intended on documenting my day for a 'Day in the Life' post. I took one phone. A screen shot of the time on my phone as I was going out the door in the morning. The rest of the day was spent trying to catch up on e-mails and plan ahead for the next few weeks. 

Thursday. Snow storm. That's #3 in case you lost count. Again the whole day was off, there were terrible road conditions and so many minor and not so minor incidents. When I got home last night at 8:30 p.m. I collapsed on my couch and had to search for motivation to get myself ready for bed. 

Friday. It's retreat week around these parts so I went into the office for an hour this morning and then to chapel and then was with a small group until 3:15. Now I'm home for a brief break before heading out again for another evening event. 

Tomorrow & Sunday is more small groups and gatherings followed by another full week of work. Originally I was supposed to be traveling for a training conference but that has been cancelled so there is some reprieve in there. I can't believe we're going into the last week of March. It feels like I haven't taken a deep breath since January. 

I'm not sure if a regular schedule of events will ever happen around here but I do hope that it gets at least a little more predictable. I haven't had my camera out of it's bag since I started here and I've totally neglected my Project Life album. Blogging has been pretty low on the priority list lately as well. I know that I'll never find a perfect balance between it all but I am hopeful that someday there will be a little more equality. 

Friday, 17 March 2017

Little Things Lately

I always find it challenging to start blogging again after a hiatus. I'm never sure if I should start with an update or skip through all that and start current. I did manage to keep up with What's Up Wednesday and What's New With You so there hasn't been total radio silence around these parts but it still feels like there's a gap to be filled. And the best way to fill a gap is will a list!

{one}

This was my view most nights last weekend. It my turn to be 'on call' with the emergency phone so I wasn't straying too far from home. Instead I watched a few episodes from the new season of Mind of a Chef on Netflix, indulged in pop and made simple but delicious pitas. 

{two}
For February & March my schedule has been filling in at one of the houses on Sundays & Mondays, working in the office on Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday and then my weekend being on Friday & Saturday. It's been rather exhausting trying to balance everything all at once but it looks like starting in April I will start a regular Monday-Friday full time in the office schedule and I am really looking forward to that happening. 

{three}

I loved Full House, Mary-Kate & Ashley were everything I aspired to be as an elementary schooler and I adored the fact D.J. & I shared the same first name. When Fuller House premiered I didn't watch because I didn't want to ruin the magic and I was pretty skeptical of the whole thing. Last Thursday I was searching for something to watch that was light hearted and I could leave on as background noise and ended up playing the first episode of the series. I found myself texting a friend about how terrible & cheesy it was but I kept watching....all week long. And last night I reached the end and realized I had become re-attached to D.J. and the Tanner/Fuller/Gibbler Family. Now I need a season three and another show I can actually use as background noise and won't find myself sitting on the couch passionately texting R. all the reasons D.J. and Steve need to be together. Suggestions?

{four}
I've spent my entire life working/living at camp in the summer which means my summer wardrobe consists entirely of neon Nike running shorts, tie-dye t-shirts and a handful of sundresses, jean shorts and tank tops I wore on my days off. My new job is pretty casual...but it's not that casual. So I've been busy doing inventory and figuring out what I need to add to my closet before the warm weather arrives. The exciting part about that is camp has a very strict closed toe shoe policy, flip flops & sandals were for days off only. It has been years since I got to wear sandals all summer and I am so excited to buy some new summer shoes! 

{five}
The past six weeks have been hard in all the ways I thought they would be and challenging in a bunch of ways I wasn't expecting. I am finally starting to see glimmers of light at the end of the tunnel. There are still days when I feel like I was handed the keys to a sinking ship but if the last five years of camp taught me anything it's that sinking ships can be repaired and restored. 

Linking up here

SaveSave

Friday, 3 March 2017

March Life 2017



Personal Life// Ha. Part of me feels like I didn't have much of a personal life this month. Only work life. Of course that's not entirely true. I am really thankful and excited that 'home' is only an hour & a half away. This is the first time I've lived not with my parents but also not 6+ hours away. It's nice to have the option of going home on the weekends and last weekend my mom came here for the day and we went out to lunch. It would be nice to make a friend or two this month but honestly there's not many people around in my age bracket. Plenty older and a solid group of younger but nobody really in that 25-35 category. And the ones that are seem to be firmly rooted in their own social circle. 

Hobbies// I didn't make as much time for this as I would have liked this month. I think I finished one card for my Project Life Album. Ideally I will get January finished this month and at least round up all the photos and memorabilia for February even though it seems unlikely I will finish the month. I didn't take my camera out at all this month...so that's something that needs to happen this month. In fact the sun seems to be peeking out today so I think this afternoon I will go do a little exploring. I also really want to start blogging again. I miss those interactions! Things seem to be getting into a better schedule in terms of working hours & days so I am going to make more of an effort this month. 

Career// Somedays it feels like I'm still frantically dog paddling and trying to keep my head above water. Other days I feel like I have things a little more under control. I started at a really hectic time, February was a short month so everything that is typically done on a monthly basis had to be done sooner than usual. And the organization operates on a quarterly schedule so there were things like vacation requests that need to be completed for April, May & June. And some things changed in regards to how the transition was supposed to take place between myself and the person who was formally in my role. Which meant less training and more uncertainty. It looks like things are coming together though. Someone who was formally in this role 3-4 years ago has agreed to do some training with me next week. And I'm attending a week long training session towards the end of the month organized my the national organization so that should also be helpful. 

Spirituality// I'm inclined to give myself a failing grade on this one. I am still keeping up with my three thankful thoughts each day, reading Savor every night before bed and journalling but sometimes it is done more out of habit than anything else. I thought a lot about taking on something else for Lent, doing something really great and embracing the season. And then I got real with myself and determined that it would likely end up adding more stress to my life so I'm not doing anything specific. I am going to make more of an effort to read everyday or spend 10-15 minutes in silence but I'm not keeping track. 

Health// There's no real change on this one. I'm back to indulging in pop a couple of times a week. Trying to make an effort not necessarily to eat breakfast but to have some sort of snack around 9 a.m. so that coffee isn't the only thing in my stomach between the hours of 8 a.m. and when I eat lunch. I've also been really good about eating lunch in the kitchen with the rest of the office people. I've yet to eat lunch at my desk, which is a habit I would love to keep up! 

Goals// I survived February! In March I'd like to do a Day in the Life post and make more time for hobbies. Keep moving forward and taking time to identify the progress I am making. I've had multiple people remind me this week that this isn't the time of job that you learn in a week or month. It's probably going to take a full year before I really feel on top of things, which is hard for my Type A personality to wrap my mind around, but it is true. 

Linking up with Gretch & Kristen!
SaveSave

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

What's Up Wednesday: February 2017

I had anticipated moving and starting a new job to be overwhelming...but I still under estimated just how overwhelming it would be. I really got thrown into things and in the past 3 weeks have finished work on time exactly once. But I'm carving out a bit of time tonight to fill out the What's Up Wednesday questionnaire because I know that I'll want to look back on it once things calm down! 


What I'm Eating This Week: My meals have been just as chaotic as life this month. I've mostly been invited out to eat as I get to know co-workers and community members so I haven't been doing much cooking myself. I did make some veggie pad thai to have for lunches and I'm thinking that there will be pizza in my future on the weekend!

What I'm Reminiscing About: I haven't had time to reminisce this month!

What I'm Loving: I had to think hard about this one. I guess I'm loving the security of knowing this is where I'll be for the next couple of years. Having that consistency will help me budget better, figure out some long term goals and be able to focus more on the present moment opposed to worrying about finding a new job in 6 months when that contract ends. 

What I've Been Up To: Just trying to keep my head above water.

What I've Been Dreading: I haven't really confronted the reality of not being at camp this year (or next year) and I know that's going to be rough. 

What I'm Working On: Learning how things are done around here. Figuring out a good rhythm to my day/week/month and balancing work and life. 

What I'm Excited About: I made it through the first month! It's been hard but I'm hopeful that from here things will get easier. I no longer feel like I'm going to burst into tears at any given moment because everything is just so overwhelming so I'm glad I'm over that hump. 

What I'm Watching: Scrubs! It's been my happy little escape this month and I'll be sad when it's over. The verdict is still out on whether or not I should watch the 9th season, I've heard it's pretty terrible. 

What I'm Reading: I intended on starting Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson but I didn't get any farther than borrowing the e-book. I don't have cable/satellite in my apartment which means I can't easily access the 6 o'clock news every day so I've also been making more of an effort to read the news online. 

What I'm Listening To: I've been listening to "How Things Work" podcasts on a fairly regular basis. 

What I'm Wearing: My go to outfit is usually dark pants and a sweater. When I'm not in the office it's been lots of jeans, t-shirts, cardigans and scarves. Currently I'm wearing pyjama pants and a Cabela's t-shirt because I'm aiming to be in bed by 10 p.m. 

What I'm Doing This Weekend: The last two weekends I've had previous commitments so this weekend I am looking forward to staying in bed until 8 maybe doing some work on January in my Project Life album and depending on the weather my mom is planning a visit on Saturday. 

What I'm Looking Forward to Next Moth: Settling into more of a routine. February has been off the wall in terms of schedules and planning. Most days I leave my apartment at 7:45 a.m. and don't return until 7:00 p.m.. It's definitely not what I had envisioned but I'm hoping that it's just a result of the transition and by the end of March my days will start to look a little more manageable. 

What Else Is New: It feels like everything is new this month! I want to add blogging back into my weekly routine because I know that I'll regret not documenting the beginning when I look back on this time. It just hasn't been something I've felt particularly compelled to prioritize with so much else going on.