Today is one of those days where I am keenly aware that I can be doing just about anything I wanted to do with my day.
It’s been a while since I tried the spin class. In the past week, I have been back at the gym a few times to ride five effortless miles on an indoor bike. It seems odd to be driving over there, but Canadian winter makes it cold outside and it’s working for me. The spin class was more of a workout; the indoor bike feels just about right.
Last night I taught an evening sewing class at the fabric store. It ran late. It was bliss. I have switched to a scheduling system to reign in the alterations clients. I had given a lot of thought to the Shopify platform in 2015. Upon closer inspection (I had time), it’s very product oriented and I am selling a service. I did set up a trial site with service offerings and evaluate it. My conclusion is that it is not the right thing for right now. I’m glad I looked closely, it will save some “What If?” later.
This week I’ve been binging on movies through Netflix and Google Play. Today it was the Most Exotic Marigold Hotel. Last week was a bit of outer space theme in which I became an armchair astronaut. (I may not have worked for NASA but I have worked for at least one of their suppliers, and that’s going to have to be good enough.) I am hoping to get to an actual theatre today. I hear the Revenant makes good use of the bigger screen.
After the kids leave for school, I cook breakfast for myself and the other adult in the house. Two fridges and the freezer are packed to capacity with meat. He was put in charge of procurement well over a year ago. It’s a good system and it’s working. We all pitch in and take turns with preparing the dinner meal.
In my spare time, I’ve been working on an afghan. I picked it back up again if only because it’s a sizeable unfinished project that’s spent considerable time in a bottom dresser drawer and I was looking for something to do with my fidgety hands. I had started it with knitting but eventually realized it wasn’t going to hold the shapes I needed for the Tetris pattern. I started it over with crocheting a few months ago. In granny squares, it makes a lot more sense. It seems to be a matter of pressing importance to finish it up in the next week or so. At times, I fail to understand how my mind prioritizes anything. I am wise enough to obey the directive as it stands.
New upstairs tenants arrived this week. The upstairs flat was vacant for a while and we have mostly had the house to ourselves. Our tenancy here started with the main-level only of this quirky 1920s house. About a year ago, we annexed the basement studio. A few years back we put a shed up in the backyard.
This past summer, our landlord improved the backyard fence, creating an enclosed pen for our beagle. It also runs along side the carport, which we are using this winter to actually shelter the car. With side door access from the studio to the carport, it makes bad weather days just a little more tolerable. I remain quite content as a tenant.
I write because I learn new things about myself everyday. Over the years, I have convinced myself I cannot draw and am no artist. I’ve taken up acrylic painting. I was tracing things at first, but I have to say, I’m getting nearer to my comfort zone. This particular “I can’t” stems from a different place as the “I can’t do brain surgery” (which I clearly can’t and should not do!) I wonder at one point that I adopted this particular point of view. That moment I make a mark on a piece of paper or a canvas, it becomes art. By definition, that makes me an artist.
French is not my first language although it was my grandmother’s. This heritage is important to me as my children have sometimes found themselves immersed in French immersion schools and (gasp!) speaking French in our home. This statement of the obvious comes up a lot in my search for interesting work in an officially bilingual government town. While I have studied it extensively (from primary school to university undergrad and beyond) and applied my knowledge widely (at various contracts in the private and public sectors and in my travels), there are just some situations where it must be.
I am at peace with the idea that I will continue to be screened out of competitions simply because it is a criteria I cannot meet. That I do have some francophone heritage makes it rather ridiculous at times though. I am getting better at identifying which competitions fall into the non-negotiable category and I am getting better at asking directly before any recruiter/agent ties up days of my time prepping for an interview or competition to illustrate compliance on all technical skills and requirements. I don’t take refresher French courses any more even though I have time and I could. It’s a fool’s game in this town.
My self-paced learning lately instead has been directed at improving my technical skills. I need to write about this more. Somewhere it must be written that one cannot be cheerful, good with people, female, and technical. There can be no other logical explanation to why this viewpoint is so widely held in my places of technical work. I am and always have been all of these things. If someone can’t see them then it’s either because I’ve chosen not to share them (yet) or something else is obstructing their view. It’s been a recurring theme in my career as is the all too familiar tune of I am less entitled to be here for all the same reasons.
I refuse to buy in. It is crap.
In my recent coding courses, I have been casting how I learn in a new light. My recent experience teaching has showcased extraordinary patience, of which I could certainly extend a bit towards myself. To learn new technical skills: I follow the lectures, study the lesson, try the tutorials and scan the manuals for syntax and code samples, just like anybody else. What makes me different? Perhaps it’s the wisdom of the ages, having written countless manuals, exhaustive syntax, and rounding up code samples. Or karma, catching up.