A lil 2021 recap: I started my masters, I burnt out, and then left my job right before Christmas. On the first day of my new student-ski-bum-life, I flopped over while skiing and destroyed my good ankle *ugh. After a bit of wallowing, I asked Kat and Scott if their guest room would be available in two weeks. They said yes. Decided to turn lemons into lemonade – and booked a six-week tip to visit Kat and Scott in Australia. Wahoo!
2022 was epic.
- Funometer: 10/10
- Sleepometer: 10/10
- Endless summerometer: 10/10
- Savings destroyometer: 10/10
- Emotionsometer: 10/10
I took 2022 to thoroughly enjoy being a student. I love being a student (most of the time). My master’s program is a part-time program tailored for people who are working full-time. However, a full-time job = 40 hours/week, and this program = 15-20 hours/week. It’s not sustainable. This program was expensive!! I felt like I was pouring part of the $30,000 down the drain and not taking full advantage of the opportunity. So, I decided to use my savings to invest in myself and work part-time instead, which gave me way more time, headspace and happiness. Yay!
Winter aka Summer #1: I went to Australia for some long overdue sister time (and best brother-in-law time). I wanted to meet all their friends and experience their life as much as possible. I told Kat I wanted to try Olympic weightlifting, so she found a coach to teach me and help with my ankle rehab. You can read about the trip here here here here aaaand here.
Spring: I was incredibly thankful to have more free time, because the school workload kept ramping up over the whole year. I started prepping for my thesis which involved interviewing different organizations to see who I could partner with. On the side, I set up my own solo-business and offered my first few paid negotiation workshops and consulting services. Kat and Scott came to Canada in my break between terms and we spent two weeks in Ontario visiting e.v.e.r.y.o.n.e. and one week in BC. Much fun! But exhausting.
Extended Summer #2: In retrospect, completely filling my short break between Spring and Summer semester was not a good idea. Summer semester was a ton of work. I also knew I wanted to get a part-time job. This is when I started getting involved with SORCA (Squamish Off-Road Cycling Association aka the mountain bike association). I originally approached them to see if they would be my thesis organizational partner. The first meeting went great.. so great that I ended up accepting a part-time Event Coordinator position for the summer with them. This job was soooooooooooo fun and I met so many lovely people. It was the perfect way for me to be introduced to the organization which has helped tremendously with my project. The whole experience has been truly incredible and I am ecstatic to continue with them, as a volunteer. It’s really filled a hole that I have been trying to fill.
In addition to all of that, I went to Victoria for my two week school residency. It was good and bad – very complex. I squeezed in my first two mountain bike races, some mellow cycling trips, and Lauren’s friends came to visit for a week. And then we went to Liz’s wedding in Ontario, with a short but very lovely stop in Listowel. Whewf! Sounds like that’s all that you can pack into a summer right? Nope. Turns out that the biggest event of my contract (SORCA’s 30th anniversary event and end of year event) was the same time as my targeted master’s proposal due date. I worked multiple 60 hour weeks and turned into an angry computer monster. But, the event was super fun (video here) and my proposal was submitted on time. I was very thankful that the nice summer weather continued into September/October so I had some time to enjoy summer. Feels weird to be thankful for a drought. Hm.
In addition to the addition, I also started facilitating at SFU in the business school. I facilitated planning sessions and debriefs for a MBA Leadership simulation class (paid) and group leadership sessions for an undergraduate Group Dynamics and Teamwork class (unpaid).
Finally Fall: This fall was relatively more relaxed. I facilitated at SFU. I did a lot of athletics. I did my data collection for my thesis (a survey, a world café workshop, and a handful of interviews). I did research. I started my data analysis. I was planning on doing an internship with SORCA, but unfortunately the government funding was pulled back. I still did some contract work. Once Whistler opened, I took advantage of student life to ski during the week.
Overall, I have felt very supported this year and felt like I “put myself out there”. Quitting my job was a risk but I think it has paid off. I told myself I wanted to make more friends and get better at mountain biking, which I did. I also said that my #1 goal was to stay injury free AND I WAS SUCCESSFUL. I definitely struggled with a lot of things this year – academic reading, staying motivated, managing my self-expectations, committing myself to potentially too many things, feeling stressed about ~making the most out of this year~ etc. It is easy to look back and see all the good – my note to the reader and to future me is that in between all of these ‘good’ things there were a lot of ‘hard’ things too – which is normal!
This year I’d like to focus on these things:
- Find a job (or jobs) that focuses on learning, facilitation, leadership, training etc with a great mentor and with enough pay to….
- …have more sister and family time in July (BC edition) and visit Lauren’s family in September (UK edition)
- Start applying for post-secondary teaching opportunities and continue building my facilitation and public speaking skills, portfolio, and network
- Another injury free year!
- Decrease my attachment to perfectionism and make my self-expectations more kind…. So my first step towards that is I’m going to post this really long newsletter without obsessing over the grammar (even though I feel like I should), without pictures (even though I wanted to), without the answers to Natasha’s questions (even though I wanted to), and without Lauren’s question answers (even though I wanted to). I feel like I have even more to say, but I’m running out of time. Trying to believe a bit more that sometimes things don’t have to go according to plan.
One picture for the algorithm. Skiing with friends!