Monday, October 31, 2011

I'm just glad it's over

Those are the words my 7 year old uttered when I asked him how Hallowe'en went at school. He was so jazzed up about his Willy Wonka costume, only it was lame (essentially a bathrobe, top had and goggles) and no one knew what he was and it broke my heart to see his disappointment. I want Hallowe'en to be one of his favourite days of the year. But it was a good lesson nonetheless -- a tough lesson that we've all learned. Life is full of disappointments. Don't look forward to something too much because you will be let down. Homemade costumes suck. K, well maybe not the last one. But putting yourself out there is risky. My boy did not want to just put on a pre-made costume, he wanted to be creative. And for that I should be proud. They are showing more and more independence every day. I'd love to shelter them from disappointment, but it's better to just let them fly (and crash a little). Next year I'll just help him out a bit, but not too much.

Be careful what you wish for ...

The day has finally come, my manager is moving on and I will likely be moving up ... or at least sideways. Change that I've been praying for is here. So why am I not relieved? I feel like shit. I feel anxious. There are no more excuses. I have to make this work -- my neck is on the line. It was so convenient to have a scape goat before. It's awful, but true. I'm scared shitless and just want to hide under my desk.
K, I know I can do this. There's no other way to move then up, which is great. It would be even more challenging to have to fill big shoes. I know I can motivate the team to achieve great things. It's just so fucking daunting. Bleh.
Good lesson here to be careful what you wish for!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Coke is not it

A good friend of mine asked me at break today why I drink diet Coke and I really never questioned it before -- I like the taste, it's low cal and I need the caffeine hit in the afternoon. But then I started to think about the corporation behind the beverage. Who am I supporting with my Coke habit? How hypocritical am I to bash the likes of Walmart and MacDonald's, while sipping my beloved Coke.
It took only 10 mins of research tonight to remind myself that Coca-cola are not exactly good corporate citizens. Here are just a few highlights:

They sell a product that's largely the cause of obesity and diabetes.
Drinks sold in poorer countries (where regulations are easily bought) have higher levels of sugar affecting the health of the most vulnerable
They aggressively market to children, especially in schools by selling exclusivity contracts to school boards who are desperate for funding.
They own Disani bottled water which exploits local water supplies and creates millions of tons of garbage.
They are the fathers of brand management, having spent billions of dollars marketing a product they don't produce. Manufacturing is outsourced to deregulated off-shore suppliers who are free to commit a host of anti-union violence and human rights abuses. This is complicity at its worst.

OK then. Time to walk the talk D. Coke is out. xx

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Beautiful fall day, kids were climbing over pumpkins and running through a corn maze, colours abounded, three happy faces basked in the sunshine... and the camera batteries were dead. I was disappointed but I put the camera away and enjoyed watching the kids play in real time. The best part was having my partner remind me that he was glad that it was me and not him and that he was not upset with me for forgetting to check the camera. Yes, had it been him, I would've torn a strip off of him. I'm grateful that he is not a tyrant and takes life's little bumps in stride. Good awareness moment for me too. I hold others to a much higher standard than I do myself, which is why I often feel let down. It's like I'm looking to be disappointed instead of accepting that everyone has their faults and that's the beauty of life. xx

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Time for some gratitude

Money, I never feel like we have to sacrifice and for that I am eternally grateful. I don't need to take a part time job delivering pizzas to pay the bills. We're both at the top of our game and we're living within our means. Thank you universe. When my partner starts complaining about how behind we are compared to our peers, I just ignore. Those financial magazines want you to despair about your future so that you'll buy their shitty investments. No thanks. We're doing great.

My kids are sweethearts. Yes, I know all parents feel this way about their offspring. Unlike my parents, I can say that I really love them for who they are, not for what they achieve. Yesterday when my 7 year old was wrestling in our blankets with his sister, he told my 2 year old "feel free to join in anytime you want." It warms my heart when they are nice to eachother without prompting. I'm very proud and very grateful because I don't think they learned this from my partner and I. In fact at times, they are my example of kindness. I'm grateful for that too.

Music. K, it's not something I'm typically grateful for, but I've found lately (especially when working from home) that it really helps stabilize my mood. It lifts my spirits, inspires many family kitchen dances, keeps me running when I'm ready to stop, puts me in the zone for work and does wonders in the bedroom :-P. Music nurtures my soul and I'm grateful for having expanded my musical taste in the past three years. I look forward to discovering much more great music.

Wow, that was fun for a Saturday night!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Getting a Job

I attended a workshop on landing the perfect job the other day and although the material was not earth-shattering, I realized that I spend way more time whinging about not having a great job instead of just preparing for the job I want. For example, I've never sat down and asked myself "What is the most interesting and unique thing about me that will allow the assessor to see how I will contribute?" I know what my strengths are, but I haven't practiced my zinger response.

Here's another thing I learned --going into an interview, I'll know that I'll be asked to answer a 'tell me about a time' question. And yet it always takes me by surprise. I should have a list of stories to pull from that can apply to many typical situations -- difficult client, changing requirements, competing priorities, etc. And from what I recall, my answer rarely covers how you're supposed to tackle those questions: 1. explain the situation 2. describe your role 3. state your actions 4. provide the result. Makes sense. I should really think about having a few of these ready, the next time that I interview (which has been over a year now sadly). I love practicing -- sports, hobbies, even work scenarios. I may not have my dream job just yet, but I can have fun practicing for it.

Monday, October 3, 2011

I want ...

Unfortunately I haven't quite learned my lesson that 'wanting is bad'. The line is often blurred between wants and needs and I end up accumulating so much useless shit that I end up hating myself for wanting it in the first place. A good friend of mine suggested listing your wants and letting them simmer to make sure that they are true wants instead of consumerist impulses. We all need 'things' to some extent. I just need to make sure I'm buying things for the right reasons, not because I expect them to addess a void that cannot be filled by things.

So here goes, what do you want D?

1. organization: I need better ways to organize my life. "A place for everything" means I am not wasting my day turning the house upsidedown and yelling at everyone because I cannot find my head. In my mind, there is a landing station for mail, homework and charging devices. It has both form and function. I have already wasted a lot of time trying to find this organizational panecea and the DIY one pictured here is definitely not it.

2. scrap books: I need to carve out some time to just DO THIS. My sister's forever showing off her photobooks, I should just hand her a USB stick and $200 and be done with it. Problem here is that I want the joy of accomplishing this, yet I have no artistic abilities. I also want this to be publisher-quality, not windows clip-arty.

3. a professional wardrobe: I just need a few select pieces that will transform me from office scank to sophisticated go-getter. Problem here is that I'll end up buying uncomfortable suit jackets and other dry-clean-only numbers that will just collect dust in my closet. Again, I want something that doesn't exist.

4. I can't think of anything else that I want, except for love, respect and rommance. But alas, even if I had them I'd probably want more.

Get a maid, save your marriage

I feel like everyone I know, save my parents, has a housekeeper. With three young kids, how can you not? is the reaction I typically get. The cost is my main prohibitor -- $120 is a new pair of shoes. I work really hard to pinch pennies. How can I justify paying someone to do something I am just too lazy to do? It's not like I'm doing hundreds of hours of volunteerism, studying for my masters or training for a marathon with my free time. I will likely waste more time watching TV and surfing if I don't have to clean. Plus I will unrealistically expect the house to be spotless if I am paying someone to clean it. Then again, it will get done and my partner and I will stop resenting each other for not doing their part. He certainly helps with the day-to-day dishes, sweeping, tidying. But the big jobs get neglected by both of us, until it gets embarrassingly bad.

What to do? I'd suggest giving it a 'try' but unfortunately once you go there, you just can't go back. Perhaps if I try to prioritize and organize my time better, I will feel less guilty for how I'm using my free time and feel more deserving of a housekeeper.