Sunday, December 06, 2009

2009 in Review Part 1: Ripplebliss

Like ocean currents, some parts of my life run fast and deep, others slow and shallow. Work is my Gulfstream right now, whisking away any vestige of free time that I try to hoard and depositing it who-knows-where. Maybe someone on the other side of the Atlantic is collecting all this leisure time it as it washes up on shore.

Really, my "New Year" starts every September, so January is usually just a continuation of what I've been doing all Fall and Winter. Jan, 2009 I was teaching 3 days a week and spending the rest of my time focused on Evvy and home improvement projects. I was comfortably busy and feeling quite productive. I had a weekly routine which included going to the gym, sharing childminding, visiting the library, going on Facebook and putting off my marking. Work had taken the back burner, which was where I liked it, and our home and yard were steadily becoming something we could be proud of. Peter's business was running well, too, despite the recession, which was something to be very thankful for.

I will skim over the part of last spring when my job was whisked out from beneath me like a magician's tablecloth. Most of April through June were spent pondering the greener career grass that other career options seemed to offer. "Hmmmm..." said I, "those chicks that hold up SLOW signs at construction sites are fairly well paid..."
But alas, I had to conclude that I am a teacher. There it is and here I am. Until an epiphany comes knocking on my door, you'll find me in a middle school classroom.

All this mess sorted itself out as best it could and September saw some huge changes in how my teaching career looked, including a move to a different middle school and a return to work full-time. But first, I had Summer: Lovely Summer!

Summer was great, as it should be. We did our usual couple of weeks at Shuswap lake with my family and we all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I had fun working on my waterskiing, which had fallen by the wayside over the past few years (think pregnancy and small baby), but a new water ski perked up my interest and I looked forward to mornings out on the water.

The one hard part about the summer was losing Mao. He died unexpectedly in August and it was hard on everyone. We've got plans to make a little memorial in the garden for him, come spring. One thing I knew, after losing Mao, was that no cat could fill those boots anytime soon, so we started slowly on our quest to find a dog. This quest finished with Maqsoum, a retired racing greyhound located for us through the Northwest Canadian Greyhound League. We picked him up in Calgary in mid-November and have been enjoying his company ever since. He's got a wonderful, calm temperament and has fit in very nicely with our family and routines. Evvy absolutely adores him, too.

On the work front, my RTW reality hit mid-August. Thankfully I had already found a daycare for Evvy, which turned out to be the silver lining of this whole ordeal.Peter and his mom decided to alternate Mondays with Evvy, which is great for all involved. Ev then spends 4 days a week with a wonderful lady named Alison, whose ability to deal with preschoolers is nothing short of magical. Evvy has made many friends since September and loves telling me about her day. The kids go on regular outings, and produce enough arts and crafts to plaster every surface of my fridge on a weekly basis. It makes my life so much easier knowing that she is in good hands while I'm toiling away.

I'm also working much closer to home now, which has allowed me to bike to work. The trip to MEC to get all the equipment was pretty fun, and I've gotten good use of it, riding to work on average 4 days a week. Of course, now that the roads are getting icy, I'm going to have to come up with a Plan B!

My job has devolved somewhat since September, too. The position I applied for, and accepted back in the spring was to be on a team of 2 French Immersion teachers, sharing 2 grade 8 classes of 20 kids each. Pretty cushy numbers, and straight classes. I figured I could handle working full time.

Hah! Goes to show how naive I was. The posting was a lure, and I was the bigmouth bass. The first week of school in September, they restructured classes and came up with 2 grade 7/8 split classes of 30 kids each. Ouch! Needless to say, I was ready to apply for a WalMart greeter position after that news. Some negotiating took place, and I got Wednesdays off work to do marking and prep (unpaid, of course) I still have to teach the monster split classes 4 days a week. It's still way too much work, but at least I'm keeping my head above water now.

Life is not ALL work and mommy-maid. I still have delusions of being a bellydancer in my spare time. My stream of creativity has trickled down to a drip, but like everything else in my life the past year, at least it is flowing in the right direction.

In June of last year, my good friend Sarah and I decided to go it on our own, and with the blessing of our longtime teacher Pamela, we formed our own duet: Sarelle. We've been relishing our Friday night practice and coffee sessions ever since, and we've even secured some gigs, one of which is on the mainland on the January 9th weekend (more details soon - come see us dance!) We will soon have a website, and had some gorgeous photos taken during the summer (much preening was involved!)

That's where things stand in my life right now. For brevity's sake, I've kept the digressions and anecdotes to a minimum, but I *do* have plans to fit blogging into my life somehow this New Year. I miss writing, and rarely allow myself the time I need to indulge in this pastime. I definitely have enough inspiration in my life to work with.

Well, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours. Those of you I haven't seen or spoken to in awhile, I would love to reconnect over the break. I hope all is well, and invite you to stick around for the next blog about Evvy.

Oh! And link to photos coming soon!
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