Wednesday, July 29, 2015

This upcoming generation is pretty lucky but I don't think they know it yet. 

Back when I was graduating high school there was a lot of pressure from our families to go to college or university.....we were told we couldn't get any decent jobs without at least some college....and that was very true....although I did manage to get a job with only a certificate in accounting and from a local community college.....but college is college - it turns out other than Harvard or Yale, no one really cares where your degree or diploma comes from as long as you have something that says you've gone a bit further than high school.

But kids coming out of school have been taking out student loans and working two jobs at night to get themselves through university at all costs.....there is a tremendous pressure on these people to do just that....they've been sold this story that it is do or die.  Then they get out of school - can't get a job in their area of specialty because they have no experience and then find themselves going back to school thinking that is the answer.

I've now been in the workforce for about 25 years or so.....so I've learned a few things.

You need an education and you do need specialized schooling to get most decent jobs.....but you don't have to go about it the old fashioned way anymore.  So much has changed but kids are still being sold the same old story about university.....the truth is more often than not - kids are forced into university because their parents want to be able to tell their friends that they are going there.

EVERYTHING can be done online these days....you can finish high school and waitress while earning your bachelors for pennies on the dollar of what fancy universities cost....then you get a better job and you make that job pay for your further education....its really quite simple and leaves you with no student debt.

I have no degrees....not one.....I have a certificate, a couple of levels towards a CGA, two licenses and I'm registered as a commissioner of oaths....that's it....If I wanted my MBA, I could ask my employer to pay for it.....and I'd take it online....I am currently taking my CAIB which will be the equivalent of that MBA but specific to insurance....I study during my lunch break and my employer is paying the full cost....I even get the day off of the exam each semester paid

The world really is your oyster now if you are just coming out of school......I simply don't understand the pressure still on young people to do the university in class setting thing anymore at such a high price

Get a job......any job with a company where there is at least some room for advancement....impress them....ask for challenges....be fearless....go from there...

Friday, July 24, 2015

I went to the movies last night.  It was a new release so it was busy.  It was also one of those "date" movies so it was mostly couples.

As a single mom, I know how much a night out as grownups means when your kids are young....I also understand how expensive babysitters are.  But don't bring your baby to the movies on a Thursday night....they aren't going to get anything out of the story line....and they tend to cry....loudly and ruin everyone else's experience.......and if you do happen to bring your baby to the theatre.....when the baby starts to cry, which they inevitably do.....TAKE THE OUTSIDE UNTIL THEY STOP.

Anyways, I saw Train Wreck and other than the crying baby it was hysterical.  We laughed out loud in several places.  Its recommended viewing, but a bit raunchy so if you aren't into vagina jokes, its probably not for you.

I like Amy Schumer because she's funny and I respect funny women.  Some people think funny is silliness or that it isn't something intelligent, educated people should be aspiring too.....I used to think being funny was something we all could do if we tried....now I realize funny is a talent and takes a great level of intelligence both IQ and EQ....because it requires timing, knowing your audience and an ability to put words together or make expressions in just the right way.  I grew up around funny people, I consider myself very lucky for that.....I believe that humor and that joking banter in families and within partnerships helps make you more resilient when times are hard.....the family that laughs together, stays together.....a sense of humor that matches your own is probably one of the most important factors in healthy relationships.

I'm glad and thankful for my funny friends and family members I've collected over the years.  They are keeping me happy and healthy, I'm sure of it.




Monday, July 20, 2015

I know everyone loves the early part of dating someone new......when things are exciting and fresh and everything they do is cute and endearing and you spend time picturing if you were to get married and blah blah blah.....yeah - that part is great, but as I've gotten older and with more life experience I know that this stage - as fun as it is.....fades and is replaced with something different.  It's not necessarily worse - if it is, then it probably isn't right - but its definitely different.

I sometimes wish you could just skip that beginning part and just get down to the parts that really matter when picking a long-term partner.  That beginning part is actually unfair to both people because you put out an air that you actually like football, or large family gatherings....you have a vibe that says you want to spend massive amounts of time together and you will always be willing to blow off work for a night out at a comedy club.....a year from now will you still be up for a family barbecue of 40 people you don't really like that much and still don't really know that well?  Will you start to feel dragged to events you never really liked attending but did because you wanted that time with that person who you were just getting to know?

When first dating someone new - you are more willing to try all kinds of new things and experiences because you just enjoy spending time with that person....You are more willing to move your schedule around for them and ignore the niggling thoughts of blending families down the road and who would live where and that kind of thing.....you are in the moment and just enjoying the new experiences and feelings.

I'm a realist - I can't tell you how many relationships I've had where I felt I was sold something in the beginning and got something different later down the road....I'm sure I've left a few feeling the same way.....its a little bit of human nature to put your best, less honest self forward in the beginning to "catch" that person....and maybe we don't even do it for the other person but we put forward a version of ourselves we wish we were....we shouldn't experiment on people though and one of the benefits of getting older is learning about ourselves and who we really are and what we are really all about....so we get more honest early on....we don't hide our anxieties about things and just put it all out there right away.....it makes for faster moving relationships, but they tend to be more solid with better foundations.

For example: if dating an extrovert - he/she likely loves being around new people and thinks the entire world is just 699,987,003,458 people he/she hasn't had the pleasure of meeting and inviting to his/her place for a barbeque yet....If you're an introvert - maybe early on is a good time to mention that....but honesty comes with its own challenges - you have to be willing to walk away from things where you know yourself well enough that you can't get past (I would never date a smoker).....and you have to be willing to be walked away from - knowing that being with a person that "gets" you is so much more important than those giggly butterflies you are feeling....






Friday, July 3, 2015

There are too many choices in life.....and it always seems to come down to choosing one thing you really want over another.  Its so hard to have it all!

My boss recently told me that it appears myself and this other person are both marked as potential successors to herself and the VP .  Which is both exciting and terrifying.  But already, just being mid-level management has come with quite a workload.  The amount of emails I have to wade through is at times mind boggling.  Plus there are mid year and end of year reviews - objectives that need to be met.....and basically the pressure is on to continue being good at my job even as it continues to get more challenging.  I feel ready for taking that challenge on - but its a pretty big time commitment.  I have to get busy finishing my CAIB and then move on to some business courses and there is quite a bit of overtime expected.

On the other hand.....I.....well.....I might have met someone.  And this someone could be someone really great.  But again, there is a time commitment in building something with another person.

This might be my only opportunity to really make something of my career and I really want to see what I can do.  What I'm capable of and what challenges I can meet. Its important for me that I do this because I have two teenagers going off to college and that's going to be very expensive.  Its also important that I be able to retire before 80.....also a Mercedes would be really cool...

But I also want companionship in my life and someone I can travel with and laugh with and just "be" with.  Someone to come home. And lets face it ladies, great guys....the tall, dark and funny ones - don't come along everyday.  Its important to me that I be able to do this because I have two teenagers going off to college and as independent as I am.....I could go 40+ years being single and be ok with it....I realize I'm far too good at being on my own and I need to do it now before it becomes impossible, because as good at being single as I am...I don't want to grow old alone - and that takes work and commitment to be able to build a real partnership with someone....something, until now that I've given to no one except my children.

Can I have both?  Is there a way to balance?  Will I be able to balance?  That part seems more challenging than analyzing spreadsheets and answering emails....its more challenging than learning to share a queen sized bed and allowing another person an opinion on where the forks should go....

Sunday, May 31, 2015

I had an interesting experience at work this week.  Wednesday morning I was at my desk, I've recently had an office upgrade and been moved to one with large windows that cover the back wall....windows that face the alley to the parking lot....but still....

Our training and development manager came and asked if she could look out my window....which I thought was odd because her office faces the front with a view of the actual parking lot and not just the alley....she peeked through the blinds and said "I thought I saw cops outside"  Sure enough there was an officer running past the window holding a large rifle and looking panic stricken....We said in unison "that doesn't look good".....so we walked back out to the front where a couple of co-workers had stupidly walked outside to see what was happening.....By this time about 11 police cars had screeched to a halt out front and men in full bullet proof gear jumped out....they  heard "shots fired"....and rushed back in to lock the door and we all made a beeline to the boardroom where there are no windows and the doors look from the inside....

At first, as we had no idea what was happening and if it was a shooting rampage or what - I have to admit it was nerve racking.  I texted Cecilia and my Mom and calmly told them that we were on lock down, but OK.....fortunately we have a TV in the boardroom so we waited for news updates....they were vague but it became fairly clear early on that it was a targeted shooting and that we were on lock down because they making sure the shooter was not still hiding in the building....so we started to relax a bit and even played some games with our phones.....after 3 long hours, two officers finally came in and told us that unfortunately it was now a homicide investigation and that they needed to take all our contact information and they would escort us out where we needed to find our own transportation because they needed to keep all the cars in the parking lot to make sure there was no evidence left behind.....They made it very clear that we were not to speak to the media and just say no comment.  I didn't think much about that - although there were a lot of them standing around outside.....we quietly made our way out and they stood watching us like we were prey they were hoping to pick off one by one......The next morning we were allowed back in and our boss texted us that there was still media on scene.....sure enough when I arrived on foot they were waiting....they accosted a woman going into the dental office walking ahead of me, but I escaped by keeping my head down, and marching fast trying to give off an air of "NO COMMENT".....

A few of them wandered into our office asking if anyone saw or heard anything and wanted to comment....I know they were are just doing their jobs, but it felt so invasive and gossipy.

The whole experience has left me a bit scared.....I work in a good neighbourhood so the fact that this can happen in a good suburban neighbourhood kind of destroys my sense of safety.

Anyway, its over now and hopefully I never have to experience anything like that again.  And I no longer see my office as an upgrade.....I was better off in the inner office with no windows and a desk I could hide under!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Sometimes the answer is to be a shittier parent than you think you should be.

Not that long ago, I had parent teacher interviews for the boy who is starting high school next year.  Half of these interviews were encouraging....but the other half were not so much.....my take away from those is that he didn't have a prayer of graduating......Why not? I asked...."well he gives one sentence answers most of the time, that's not going to be good enough"....."Are these sentences usually correct?"....."about half of the time"....."so about 50 percent then?"....."yes"...."and what is a passing grade?"....."50%..but..."......"so if he learns to write more on the paper, he will get partial credit even if he isn't 100% correct in his understanding of the concept"...."usually yes"...."great, thanks for your time".

I went home and told him he needs to learn to bullshit more....."just write a bunch of stuff down, make it up if you have to".....his grades have improved since....

Then, shortly after that, we were having dinner at the food court and he was reviewing some of his concerns over this first job he applied for.....what if I have trouble with something, what if they ask me to do math?.....I told him to use his disability to his advantage....tell them you have a learning disability....they will feel like dicks for expecting you do something faster or better.....So far his job is going well and no one has asked him to do math....but they are patient when he doesn't remember his schedule, or has trouble remembering to do certain steps.

Lastly - When he was about 3, he had epilepsy very badly.  His neurologist told me that if we didn't get his seizures under some control - he was never going to progress beyond that of a three year old level......fortunately, we found a drug a year later than worked...he's been seizure free since - but it has left his brain scarred a bit and re-wired - the source of his learning challenges....up to now I've been using the tactic of telling him that things are more difficult for him and that isn't fair, but its his responsibility to kick his learning challenges in the ass.....why would I tell him what his neurologist said?....what good could that do?......but seeing his face, and how unfair it and hard it has been for him.....I finally cracked and told him what his neurologist had said......I told him, that he was a miracle and that he was beyond amazing everyday to me......he said "that just took every bad feeling, every insecurity, every time I've been called stupid and just blew that away - that totally lifted my self esteem Mom. Thanks!"....

Sometimes you gotta do what your inner shitty parent says to do and not listen to that good parent that thinks they have all the answers......fly by your seat more.....

But don't let him take Cards Against Humanity to his friends place.....the good parents out there don't like that your son is well versed in terms like "ball cheese".......not that I know this from an experience this weekend or anything.......

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

I'm not going to write a whole blah blah blah about the importance of voting on this Provincial election day.....You either vote or you don't....and besides I already had my rant about it on Facebook.  But I will say that I am very sad that I changed my vote for the first time in 34 years of voting eligibility.  But I felt I had no choice - I don't delude myself into thinking my voice was heard, but at least I didn't cast a ballot for a party I only believe in because I've always voted that way.

Or something like that - maybe it was spiteful vote......I think in reality my parents were always PC because they were entrepreneurs and had money so they liked the new taxes and conservative spending on programs they didn't need, so I just naturally was a PC without even really thinking about it.........but I've spend most of my adult years fighting to keep my head above poverty.....now that I've done that, I realize how much those programs mean to those that use them.....and that perhaps the rich should be a bit more charitable in their thinking.....Of course I realize you worked hard to make that money....I've worked hard for every penny I have too and I definitely don't want to spend my money supporting people that are capable yet don't do anything to help themselves.....but that isn't most of the people that need services.

Most people in need of services are trying the best they can....not everyone has the resources to secure a student loan and go to school.....and yes some have made poor life choices to get where they are....but I've made a few of my own poor life choices that landed me in need of services....and I'm a hard working, non-drug using, non-panhandling, working parent - so I know first hand the stigma that goes with that, and just what kind of people we are talking about and one bad apple may spoil a bunch of apples, but it doesn't always work that way with people.  While I was an apple I saw one or two bad ones, but I also saw a lot of perfectly edible ones....ok that's not the best analogy maybe....but you know what I mean.

Anyways.....go vote - but make sure you at least read your party's platform before you do so you know what exactly you are voting for, not just who or what party....