Showing posts from March, 2020

Shelter in Place

It is weird being told to stay home. Even though I am an introvert with a work from home job who enjoys time alone, being told to stay home weighs on me heavily. My gym is closed so I cannot go there. Almost all recreation is shut down. They are discouraging people even from going to the park for exercise if "social distancing" cannot be maintained. I joked that once this is all over, I am going to become an extrovert. I believe I will have achieved all of the isolation I can take for one life and I can consider my introverted side completely fulfilled! My personal feelings about this aside (and not just including the virus itself but also the implications to our freedoms and to the economy), I have made some interesting observations about people and society in watching this unfold. First, the number of people - and in some cases so eloquently expressed - about how maybe this can be a really good thing for us. Learning to slow down, appreciate each other, be charitabl

The Impact of Those Who Encourage Others Without Reservation

I would not be where I am in my career without my mother. No other person has invested themselves into my success the way that she has. Her encouragement, feedback, tough love, pep talks and faith in my abilities has absolutely gotten me where I am today. For everything I have achieved she deserves a little of that credit. (I'd add here that my mother's general influence on my life has been significant. She is an amazing leader, a workhorse, a powerhouse of energy, a beacon of integrity, and has set a tremendous example for me in so many ways by just watching her. However, she personal investment in my career as an encouraging force has only added to all of the above.) I would not have achieved what I did in my academic endeavors without that teacher from my old high school in Edmonton. She took me aside and took a personal interest in me and told me not only that she could help me overcome my struggles in math but turn me into a confident student. She invested time and enc

The Day I Changed My Attitude

Back when I was twenty-two years old, I was going through a tough time. I was at that time truthfully an illegal resident of this country. My visa had expired and I had no pretext for extending it. Because of this, I was permitted neither to work nor finish my degree. I was engaged to my husband who I saw only once every six weeks and spoke to sometimes for less than thirty minutes a day. I was doing every odd job imaginable to make ends meet from cleaning homes and businesses, to nannying children to pet sitting and taking care of the elderly. Seven days a week, I never took a break, I had no option but to take every opportunity that came along. And not all of those opportunities were pleasant. Once, as a housekeeper, I cleaned human  shit out of the shower and picked up used tampons off the floor. I well know the lack of disrespect people have for the cleaning lady! I've completely gutted out the houses of people who had died or needed to move, organized estate sales, painted

How I Define Success in My Life

I've written before about the "great adventure" of my childhood, where my parents quit their jobs, rented out the house and bought a second hand motor home and for eighteen months we traveled extensively throughout North America. I was four years old when we left and turned six just after we arrived back home in Canada. During this impressionable time of my life, when many other kids are in pre-K and kindergarten, I was living a wild gypsy adventure. I remember chasing the waves in Oregon with my dad at night. I remember the Arizona sunsets. I learned to ride my first bike alongside the Rio Grande river in Texas. And yes, my parents were teaching me the fundamentals of education, I was learning to read, but I was learning so much more than that. Even now, over thirty years later, I am left with a lesson from that experience in my life that will always stick with me and that is that success and happiness look different to everyone. It's easy to look at society an

Twenty Years Ago Today...

Every love story starts somewhere, some particular moment in time when a decision is made or an event occurs that determines the course of life. For my husband and I, that moment happened twenty years ago today. I almost wouldn't have marked the day. I had been sitting in my high school computer lab and sent an email, and he replied. It all started with my sister, who had been teasing me with pen pal ads of guys all over Texas that were a total mismatch for me but then she sent my husband's and said, "no, seriously, this guy is perfect for you." And a series of email exchanges turned into friendship, and then infatuation and then in love, and now, twenty years later, thirteen years of marriage under our belts. Some weeks after our first email exchange I noted his name into my diary and that is when I mentioned the date, that "on March 6, 2000" I had started emailing this really nice guy. That is the only reason I know the date. Over the upcomi