Volunteering to find out what to do in life

Ok, now that school has started, a gazillion volunteering opportunities knocked at my door. Of course, I don’t have to take on any of it if I don’t want to. But I want to.

I want to get involved at my kid’s school and have the chance to see them at school. And, if I’m going to stay home, I might as well go all out! Right now, I feel somewhat overwhelmed as I have signed up for so many things that I have something almost every day. I was thinking of taking it down a notch but then I thought, maybe there’s some opportunities for me here…

Since I’m deep in reflections about what direction to take my life next, it’s not a bad idea to spend time doing different things. I think I’d like to teach. Helping out during a class, reading a book at the library or even giving a talk on something can only be a good way to try that out. I think I’d like to be a photographer and work with multimedia. I sure am about to find out if I’d like to do more of that as I will be taking hundreds of pictures at the school events. At the very least, it will improve my photography skills.

Now, got to find time to do all this…


Let School Begin!

Ok! I survived the first morning! First day of school for my son AND my daughter! I was a total nerve wreck. I didn’t know how long everything was going to take, if we’d be late, at the right place, had the right stuff, packed the right way, had the right clothes, all papers were filled, if there’d be tantrums… But it ended up all good!

Came back home by 9:15 and find myself alone for the first ‘real’ time. It’s weird.

My son has been going to daycare since he was 18 months old and started school in Paris at 3. So for him, no biggy, it’s all routine. Except for the fact that this morning was a brand new school, new teacher, new friends. He said a few times ‘I don’t want to go to school’ and ‘I’m shy’ but in the end he didn’t even put a show the way I know he can, kicking and screaming for me not to leave. He listened to the teacher and I left with AC quietly. As I saw him 2 minutes later through the window he was sitting in his place all calm and seemed almost happy!

For my daughter, it’s another story. She’s 19 months old and this is her first time in a daycare/school. She’s going where AP used to go until now so she’s been there many times and knows the teacher. I think that helped a lot. But it was heart wrenching when I left and she started to cry. Ufff… No mom ever gets used to that. But the thing we got to remember is that it rarely last and they have tons of fun by the time you pick them up. Today I will pick her up at noon since it’s her first ever day.

Wow. No more babies in the house.

Time to ‘work’ now!

Career management: changing track

Middle age moms of little ones, raise your hand if you ever thought of changing career? Yep, that’s what I thought. 

I am now at that turning point in life. Been there, done that. That’s how I feel. I’ve also been a stay at home mom for the last 18 months and although it’s been an incredible amazing experience, I’m ready to start doing something else than singing ABC and reading Goodbye Moon. Problem is, I don’t want to go back to where I was. 

I have the opportunity to take advantage of a career management consulting firm (whatever that’s called, talent management or something). They started by making me do a career assessment. I have not yet the results but just going through the questions was interesting enough. As you are requested to answer ‘strongly like’ to ‘ strongly dislike’ without putting too much thought on it, you come to realize that perhaps what you think you liked is not what you actually like. And perhaps what you think you like has no correlation with what you are talented at. 

As I intend to get to the bottom of this, I will be following up once I get the results. In the mean time, I’ll keep thinking (too much).

Now what?

It comes to a point in life where you reached just about all you wanted to reach, except you’re not even at half of your life in time. Is this where the midlife crisis comes from?

I had a satisfying career, gave birth to two wonderful babies, married the best guy, travelled the world, conquered depression. But I still feel like I lack inspiration for what to do next.

I’m a jack of all trade, master of none. I don’t have one single passion but am passionate about many things.

I have worked as a field engineer, a mechanical engineer, a quality engineer, a quality advisor and project quality manager.

I have done many different sports: rock climbing, ice climbing, mountain biking, swimming, running, road biking, yoga. I have ran 5k’s, 10k’s 21k’s. I have raced sprint, olympic, half and full ironman triathlons.

I have dabbed at different hobbies: gardening, scrapbooking, crafts, home improvement.

I have read books on various subjects.

I have had about 20 different addresses since birth: Sept-Iles, Sarnia, St. John, St-Félicien, St-Pascal, St-Basile, Montreal, Calgary, Houston, Paris…

But now I’m at home, taking care of what I have that is the most precious thing in my life, my family. Maybe this is it. For now. I will most likely find some new challenges in the future to stretch myself even further. I might not have the inspiration to write today, but it will surely come in another form.

If you want to be a writer, write

Some many years ago, I bought a book called On Writing Well. I had never really written anything but always felt like I needed to write a book someday. I actually did read the book but never took to writing! Then, I wanted to start a ‘blog’, like everyone else. Not sure what my intention was at the time but it didn’t go very far. A few years later I gave it another try with WordPress. I really enjoyed writing some things here and there but again, the posts were few and far between. There are always excuses. No time. Nothing to write about. Etc. But still in the back of my mind I want to write. More. So what’s keeping me from doing it?

Depression. Is that an excuse or a reason? Perhaps a bit of both. The funny thing is that writing is such good therapy so I should really be writing more when I’m depressed. But I’m not. Depression is making me hide under a rock, paralysed. It’s ripping me from all will to do anything. I can go on to explain how it goes but unless you suffer from depression, you probably won’t understand. The last bout I just went through was another postpartum depression. Lovely.

So after coming out of the black cloud, I found myself getting motivated to work on finding what it is I want to do. I know I want a career change but I don’t know what. I don’t even know what my dreams are! One thing I recalled was reading that you need to try things out to see if you like them. This means less wondering and more doing. So I signed up for a computer science online course (as I’ve been ‘wondering’ if I would like to be a programer). Then I watched again a video I had seen six months ago which was basically saying if you want to be a writer, write. Not tomorrow, today! And that if you’re not writing right now ask yourself why you want to be. This had a profound effect on me. Not about writing of course, but about many things. There’s many habits I wish of taking on, that I’ve been wishing to take on for many years in fact, and that still haven’t materialised. There’s never a better time to start than now.

(~Nov 2014)

Dear son

October 21st, 2014

I am now 42 and it feels like I’ve been searching what my passion is for most of my life. Today, I feel my passion is my kids and I want to write to them because I feel I will forget those magical moments I get to share with them, and I want them to know how much they were loved and cherished.

Dear son,

Today was your first time out at the theatre. Since this week you are on vacation and dad is away, I wanted to do some special activities with you so you get to enjoy your time off school. Bear in mind that you’re only 3. I brought you to your old daycare this morning and picked you up at 2:30. We took the bus and then the metro. You love taking the bus and metro and looking out the window, pointing at things, feel the movement. You have no idea of how privileged you are but you might realize it when you’re older. We are currently living in Paris, in one of the best arrondissement. We got off at the Arc de Triomphe station and exited on the Champs Elysées. I wonder if it will ever feel ordinary but trust me, it ain’t. We walked across the street to go buy our tickets but since we were plenty ahead of time, I brought you to a café to eat a pain au chocolat, which you adore. I wanted this outing to be very special. There’s nothing too good for my little boy. We then lined up at the theatre to get in. You chose a seat and I helped you to sit on the little booster they provide (you had to choose the red one!). I explained that we could not speak out loud and to speak in my ear if you needed to. We cuddled. You sneaked under my arm when you got scared. You hid your eyes with your hands when you didn’t want to see. It was a beautiful movie, rated for 3 year old, don’t worry. I hope you’ll have beautiful dreams about it. I know I will.



#blogging101-day 4

Sometimes we need a little kick in the butt.

Everyday I wish I had the time to sit and write. About my day, my kids, my travels, my (non) training, whatever. But guess what happens. Nada. I never have time. Correction: I never take the time! So I thought this blogging101 thing might challenge me and motivate me to TAKE the time.

Writing is therapeutic. It doesn’t matter if no one reads what you write, or that you ever reread yourself for that matter. It’s a nice way to release emotions. You get to rant, complain, but mostly relive beautiful moments. It allows you to think, makes you analyze things, find new solutions without you knowing it. It keeps your mind active and is a good ‘me’ time.

I’m a busy mom. Hmmm wait… ALL moms are super busy. I’m just a mom, who likes to be busy, busier than she needs to be. I have young kids, 18 months and 4 years, and going through my midlife crisis. I’m an engineer who doesn’t want to be an engineer anymore, a corporate worker who is not going back to corporate world, a 9 to 5 working bee who doesn’t want a schedule anymore. I want a makeover. And the transformation has begun.