Monday, February 28, 2005

Summer off?

Have you ever known someone that got so frustrated with their job that one day they just decided to quit? No plan for what comes after, they just said "To hell with it!" and got out?



My boyfriend quit his job of 5 years at the end of January. He worked for a video game company where the games had become increasingly violent and where the overtime hours had gotten out of control. Because he couldn't change the way things were, he decided to leave. I guess his perspective on things is quite a bit different from most people's. I think seeing someone close to you die would really make you think about how you spend your time while you're on this earth.



I think there are a lot of people that feel powerless to change their lives in that respect. Mortgages, spouses, children... All valid reasons to hold on to a job because of the paycheck, the benefits, the stability, or whatever. I've seen people leave my profession seemingly out of the blue - what made them finally crack? What gave them the balls to leave?



I've been toying with the idea of taking a summer off. I wouldn't quit my job, but maybe take more of a sabattical. I don't even know if I would go anywhere, but I could go to Kits pool everyday and swim in the sunshine. Or get out on my bike more. Or run through the UBC endowment lands with Bella and Jason.



I've never taken more than a month away from work. Not since I was in grade 9. School to work to school to work, then work work work. I've travelled all over the world but I've never gone without a paycheck while I wasn't in school. What a weird concept.



I wonder if by doing something like that, I would be seen as a less-valuable person to my employers? Would they recognize that I'm doing it to prevent getting burnt out? How much would it bother me if they didn't? Hm.



Anyhow, getting up every morning with Jason and hearing about how he is going to spend his day is making my head swim with these thoughts. He's not a stressed-out person by any stretch of the imagination, but now there is not a single wrinkle or furrow on his forehead. He is happier than I've ever seen him, just fixing things around the house, taking the dog for runs, training for the next race. He's seeing a career counsellor to figure out his next step, but is relaxing for a few months and grinning like a cheshire cat all the while!



What will it take to finally make me crack?

Monday, February 21, 2005

Stitch n' Bitch

I seem to have a penchant for "traditionally female" hobbies, which seems strange considering the lack of feminity that I exude. The job I work in is completely male-dominated. I train for triathlon. I carry a man's wallet and my wardrobe consists almost entirely of runners, jeans and t-shirts (most of my clothes are tight, but that's just the aerobics instructor in me gravitating towards spandex). I have short hair, with little attention to detail outside of washing. I only wear makeup when I have a zit to cover up. I hate perfume. Those pointy shoes scare me! I dunno.



Anyhow, I recently decided to take up knitting. I sit on the bus at least an hour a day and get carsick if I read, so knitting just seems to be the thing for me. Portable. Easy. So what if I look like a grandma? I can crank out a scarf in a few days!



But add this to my love of cooking, quilting, cleaning... well I think my inner domestic goddess is trying to show her colours.



Anyhow, if you're new to the sport, I recommend the following book: http://www.bust.com/knithappens/thebook.shtml



This chick is funNY!

Monday, February 14, 2005

Valentine!

Okay, normally I am not much in favour of Valentine's Day (I hate to even capitalize the words!) because I think it's just a way for Hallmark to get some quick $$ from the wallets of those poor unsuspecting schmucks who feel it necessary to be romantic only one day a year. The way I see it, we should be romantic EVERY day of the year (and it doesn't have to be expensive or time-consuming). For example, tea lights at dinner, lightly scented massage oil for back rubs, a surprise chai or holding hands when you are walking the dog.



All that being said, I just got the most gorgeous bouquet of flowers at work from Jason... I'm talking orchids, roses and tulips (my fave). Sigh... drool... suddenly I want to cut hearts out of construction paper and glue them on doilies.

"First Half" Half - No, that doesn't mean 1/4!

So yesterday I completed my first half marathon! I don't know quite how to describe the experience without sounding clich├ęd or corny... it was definitely a huge obstacle for me to overcome as far as distance goes and more importantly, it was the first race that I've ever done where I've had the undivided support and attention from the man I'm in love with. This solidifies two things for me:



1. I'm finally in a healthy relationship with a person that puts in as much love, time and effort that I do. It is very important that I feel supported and cared for, even though I am fairly independent.



2. The half-Ironman distance is not out of my reach, nor is it a lofty goal for me. This race was a stepping stone to something much bigger.



As I crossed the finish line for this race, with Jason running at my side, he grabbed my hand and held it up in the air. Corny, yes. But you have no idea what that did inside my head and heart. All along I was talking about how a 2 hr finish would be just fine and that I would even be happy if I finished slightly above my 2 hr goal... but somehow Jason knew that I had my own secret sub-2 hr goal, the kind that you squirrel away and don't tell anyone about so that if you don't make it, you don't have to admit that you're a bit disappointed! Anyhow, he's got me figured out. He coaxed, prodded and pulled me to the finish line in 1:58:08 because even though I complained, and whimpered and even got a little crabby at times (thank God for Power-gel!), he knew how badly I wanted it and that it was in me to do it.



It's funny though, because during the race he was cheering me on and telling me how proud he was of me, and all I could think about was the pain starting in the arches of my feet and up the inside of my shins. Now all I can think about is how he helped me get to the finish line.



Sitting with the running group after our race, my run leader was joking about how her boyfriend left her in the dust and that she surprised him by only coming behind him by 3 minutes. I know that Jason could blow my time out of the water, which is why it meant so much more that he didn't. I know we won't run together in the half Ironman, in fact he'll be leagues ahead of me with his age group, but I know I will get through it if I know he's doing the race with me.