A Sunday Afternoon in the ByWard Market (Ottawa)

A Sunday Afternoon in the ByWard Market (Ottawa)

Category Archives: Job

It all started last Sunday when Molly, our 5-month-old Yorkshire terrier, heard a noise in the garage and leaped out of our daughter’s arms to see what it was. Unfortunately, she landed hard on her puppy back leg and yelped for the whole neighborhood to hear. After much cooing and petting, she calmed down but her long beautiful ears told the tale of a scared and hurt puppy dog.

I could go on to describe the perils of the week following, which includes two sets of X-Rays, consultation with specialists, getting estimates and setting up an orthopedic surgery, but Molly is only a small part of the challenges I had to face this week.

Our office has been going through a major reorg imposed by a group who proposed a structural change to an operational problem (to take words from an accomplished lady whom I greatly admire). So now we are in the process of redeploying which many thought were rubber-stamping functions only to realize (or in the process of realizing) the importance of the centralized functions we were managing.

Through all this, no formal deadline has been set and a change of management is imminent. Upon learning of this succession, I started sinking into despair, a feeling with which I am unfortunately already acquainted. With taxed energy and allergen-clouded head, I could barely make it through the day, and worse, I felt I was letting my staff down. I am to be the one who boosts morale when morale is down, I am the one who is to find solutions and show them the path to a happy career, a balanced life and be an eternal source of support. How could I be relied on; by them, by my family, by my friends if the birds have stopped singing around me?

I have been very fortunate in my life even if I didn’t always have it easy, and when life has thrown my a curve ball, a catcher always seemed to be not very far behind me. The puppy leg debacle is another high priced curve ball; the cost of which has to be off-set by something else. It is with great sorrow that I am announcing our relinquishment of our summer Spanish tour. Given the current circumstances surrounding my life and career, this may not be bad move.

So in front of the most beautiful Mother’s Day cake (one day early yes, but I just couldn’t resist and truly, chocolate sometimes is the solution to your problems!), our family talked about our little Molly, of our summer holidays and of the week that just ended. We decided: 1) that Molly is a member of the family, and we are to do everything necessary to treat her; 2) that we will travel through the eastern provinces like we have done in 2006 with a tent in the trunk, and adventure on the GPS; 3) and that I will go beyond my comfort zone, open the horizon and see what else there is for me out there, even if it starts with an unpaid review-writing gig, a self-realized local e-travel guide or a new project at work with long term implications. I will find a niche, my niche in which to be happy during these tough times.

And on the way to a friend’s exhibition show this afternoon, I rolled down the window and heard the chatter of birds lazily perched in trees, basking in the hot afternoon sun. It was such a lovely, hope-filled melody.

Created by Hélène Payette (MacKay Street Pâtisserie)

Friday, August 1st was my first day back at work. I was worried and a bit nervous to go back but, like the teachers at our wonderful primary school, I felt a warm welcome from my team and from everyone I met within the university community. I easily transitioned into my working persona, and was ready to affront any challenge sent my way.

Now after a week, as work is already starting to pile up, I almost feel like I have never left. There are still many files I haven’t opened yet, but I feel I will be able to settle back into my old ways (only the good ones I hope!) rapidly enough.

And of course there are those wonderful pictures that I have framed and are now featured on my office walls which remind me of the wonderful year we have had. Come in and try to decipher where they were taken!