Western education 2013

Thursday, September 29, 2011

.... Welcome to the new gals who came out this week to try out Dragon Boat paddling!!

It is hard to believe that in a mere few weeks, I will no longer be considered a newbie!!!  I had a new girl ahead of me and one behind and although there were a few hits to the paddle in the beginning, Marianne in front did exceptionally well and the one behind was grinning from ear to ear.... ahhhhh yes, the magic of being in a boat moving with the heartbeat of 20 paddlers in time!!!  it was getting into the dusk hours with the skies threatening rain and the cool wind on our exposed limbs.  The splash of the occasional paddle hitting the rise of water beside the boat created a spray and mingled with the few drops coming down.  The flock of seagulls by the thousands rising up with the approach of the boats... 4 boats with members of the PenDragons, Rowbust and prospective new members for each team.  What a thrill!!!  Coaches Cheryl and Sarah are amazing in their engaging banter.  One of the gals in the PenDragon boat started blowing bubbles and we all watched them drift past the four Dragon boats bobbing gently at our imaginary start line.  READY READY was called, then a GO and we were all off paddling with great time and speed... exhilarating.  No matter how tired I was today after an early start, the fatigue easily washed away with each stroke of the paddle.  I LOVE DRAGON BOATING!!!

Tomorrow I am off to meet with Andrea Horvath, our provincial NDP leader for a gathering here in London.  We both know that the wages for those in CEO positions at our tax-payer funded hospitals is outrageous and needs to be capped.  It's been 18 months since I last met with her in Queen's Park where she stood and introduced me to the members while asking them to consider the CEO's outrageous wages and the plight of the nurses.  I will stand with her tomorrow as she addresses the constituents of London about this and other health care issues.  Go Andrea Go!!

I am feeling tired these days and have not yet caught a break.... I need to rejuvenate my batteries but will not be able to until this semester winds down.  The time passes so quickly now that I am incredibly busy!!  January will come soon enough when my LTD runs out and I will know what happens to my full-time position and how I will be bringing in an income....

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

.... in the lake with my paddle....
Tonight, our Dragon Boat team hosted a welcome paddle night to new and prospective breast cancer survivor members.  The guest I had invited out for our invitational is Natascha.  She is a sports psychologist and guide to our paddling members.  She made it out to the lake and with her signature smile and high energy, she eagerly jumped into the boat to participate as a first-time paddler.  There is nothing like going out to paddle in the waning light of the fall sky with comfortable temperatures and teaching someone new about a sport you are so passionate about.  In two weeks, I will cease to be a newbie and my first year will fade into wonderful memories and begin a new year in November.  We train by the pool for 6 months each Saturday morning and on Wednesday nights with an aerobics instructor.  I have missed about 3 practices in 11 months of training.  My passion for the sport is shared by so many others in our breast cancer sisterhood.

I came home shortly after 8:30 p.m to find my facebook home page filled with notes that our NDP provincial leader Andrea Horvath had mentioned my name twice in the candidate debate this evening whilst I was out on the lake.  What an amazing feat of co-operation and help from so many that we were able to save the jobs of the 8 nurses in the LRCP.  Go Andrea Go and know that you will always have my vote.

Today was a very busy day.... I will leave you with a very funny clip of what my day sometimes consists of the older I get :)What is Age Activation Attention Deficit Disorder......

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Life is getting busier.....

..... and I am loving every minute of it.  I am in the process of getting ready for another Dragon Boat season, now that my 'newbie' year is officially finished!!!  What an amazing year of personal growth!!  The breast cancer journey sent me on a different path and woke me up to a whole new way of living my life.  For some of us A type personalities, it often takes an abrupt wake-up call to determine where your life should have been heading all along.... only the hints along the way just never quite got our attention.

MY VISALUS BUSINESS - I am feeling confident that I am on the right path these days to fulfilling some of my life-time goals.  I have started a new business with ViSalus and loving the product line that they offer  The great thing about this business is that it grows itself.  I simply put it out there and any customer can become a distributor through me with products being drop shipped straight to their home and to their customer's homes. This really translates to a no-brainer business where you can have clients from around the world!!  They can develop their own business and make money doing it.  

The Dragon Boat competition season on the Canadian waters has come to an end for our team.  November will bring with it a number of new members and a training schedule in the gym.  I will miss the summer training on the lake!!  Next year, I will be stronger, faster and more competitive than I was this year.  I am looking forward to our end of season party next month and the new electronic yearbooks that we are producing for all members of the we can really show off our stuff to family and friends during the holiday season this year.

I am currently drawing up a first evaluation exam for my students and creating next weeks lecture where my students will be using what they have learned in a more practical application.  Building circuits in the practical labs is proving to be fun for the majority of the students and my animated lectures are keeping most of them awake!!  I remember being a student and thinking to myself... what have I gotten myself into... when there was so much information coming at me!!!  No worries, they will all come to understand the information in time and I know there are a few each year who literally jump out of their seats when they finally 'get it'..... the epiphany!!! 

Max is amazing - after all these years, he is so supportive of my life.  I think he knew 13 years ago that he just needed to get in, tighten up the seat belt and hang on for dear life..... we have yet to sit still for too long.  He is one of my biggest fans and I have to remember as I come back online from my illness that I still need to take time out for us both!!  Will is finishing up his grade 12 this year and I expect that he will head out to the college and take welding or some other 'hands-on' trade... just like his Mom.  Mitch is enjoying his first year of grade 9, trying to keep his acne at bay with Acutane and teaching himself the electric guitar through YouTube.  Lydia is in grade 4 and is showing a great deal of independence.  She has decided to join the cross-country running team and is proud to report that she has placed 39 out of over 200 competitors in her first race!!!  I love that my family is pursuing their own interests and keeping it fun at the dinner table each night!!  

I am still between two worlds... my long-term disability ends in January and the decisions that need to be made regarding my full-time job will become apparent at that time.  It is a tough gig not knowing what will come next and trusting that I will be OK no matter what the outcome.  I have learned to trust that everything happens for a reason (so cliche) and that not everything that happens is always bad.... and even if it is... something good always comes after..... the silver lining in the dark cloud.  Life is good.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Welcome to the new semester of students....

..... it has been a busy first 3 weeks of the new semester in the college!!!  The support staff strike meant that the lab assistant would be unavailable for the first 2 weeks of school.  My prayers were answered and Sara has returned fresh from the picket line and back into the groove.  We are both busy with a number of students who are eager to get started and get organized.  I have done the same lecture for 8 classes this week and I can almost hear me slurring the words.  The occasional student appears to be drooling at their desk behind heavy lidded eyes - it's not just their first year... for most, it's their first year away from home.  There is so much information being thrown at them, it's a wonder that they are retaining more than the obligatory minimum.  We see many different students from around the world and across the street.  Soon, we will all find our rhythm.  I started a now my students and faculty can read what we have covered during the week and what they need to study.  Our first exam is a few weeks away and we have a number of ideas to cover until then!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Dragon Boat season finale.....

It has been a challenging season where I have pushed myself beyond what I ever imagined I could do.  I have grown personally in leaps and bounds.  Sunday was such an amazing day and a turning  point in my life....

.... the summer had for me been a constant upheaval of drama within a group of strong women.  I had never really worked with a large group of women before and within months, found that there were those that simply didn't like me for my 'new' ideas or my energy level.  Some women simply hung out with their own group while others were just plain quiet, and there were those who couldn't care what anyone thought. Arrrrrrrg!!!  How does one fit in when you feel like such an outsider? By the time I figured out where I belonged, it was about the time that I threw my hands in the air and gave up.... gave up trying to be everything to everyone.  I stopped trying to like the miserable one, who could never, no matter what say anything nice.  She spends most of her time complaining about everything to anyone who will listen and I simply went tone deaf in her presence.  I could see her talking, but just couldn't hear her anymore.  A friend of mine would say that she was an energy vampire sucking the life out of anyone within earshot.... and then she would do something really sweet.... sigh.
..... so why was Sunday so amazing?  It was the day I realized that I loved each and every one of these incredibly amazing women with all their flaws and I accepted me for all of mine.  It was the day I heard the words..'it's about time you were put on our boat' by the women who competed in the Women's division in their third race.  It would be my third race as well, with the first two being in the BCS division.  The fourth race i found myself back in the BCS boat with the ladies there welcoming back.  I was so happy just being out and paddling in a boat and just doing my very best.  WOW!!!!  What an incredible day, filled with the camaraderie I had sought out my whole life and surprisingly finding that I just had to be myself and just enjoy the ride.... everything would fall into place just as the coach had predicted it would.  I am such a lucky woman.

It is bittersweet bidding the season good bye but looking forward to another one starting in November when we begin another season of training in the gym.  How did this fly by so quickly?

I dropped into work today to say hi to the fellows and to pick up some paperwork.  I can't believe how small the new digital transmitter is.... I missed an entire rebuild and entry into the world of digital broadcasting.  I got hugs from all the guys and sat and chatted with my boss.  I am teaching at the college until my long term disability is over and then, we will see what comes next.... who knows, I will keep my fingers crossed that the next chapter goes well!!!

Two weeks ago I started my new ViSalus business and I am excited to watch it grow as I get healthier.  It is my time to look into keeping myself healthy, build my stamina and keep the weight off.  I promised myself that I would go into my 50's looking better than I did in my 30's... let's see if I can manage that goal over the next few years!!!

Here's to living life large!!