Category Archives: Career

Month in Review: November 2015

After the massive catch-up at the beginning of the month it’s time to go back to doing these reviews monthly.

November was my first full month at the new job and things started to feel more normal. I have settled into a comfortable routine and I feel like a part of my office rather than just a visiting worker. From both a professional and a personal standpoint I work with a really great group of people. And perhaps most excitingly, I’m no longer the newest person in the office.  I’m technically still the newbie because this person transferred from another site…but it was still nice to be able to let someone else know where the coffee was and which printers are where.  It wasn’t that long ago that I was on the receiving end of such helpful hints.

For the first time in at least 15 years I dined at the Cracker Barrel this month.  We also tried a poutine place (extra delicious late-night food) and a distillery that are walking distance from our apartment.  There is such an amazing food scene here that it’s going to be a real battle to stick to a meal plan regularly.

Thanksgiving happened!  After work Wednesday we headed up to Liam’s hometown to be with his family.  We had a midday meal on Thursday because one of his siblings had to work that morning and I had to work on Friday and we wanted to get an early-ish start back to our place because night driving and moose don’t mix.

To continue with the food theme of the post, we kicked off the week of Thanksgiving with a potluck Friendsgiving celebration hosted by one of Liam’s acquaintances.  I knew no one and Liam only knew a few people, but it was lots of fun.  And the food was amazing.  I had to laugh because we were in charge of making a vegan recipe and the joke was that we were set up to have the least favorite dish of the night.  (Curried pumpkin soup if you’re curious; I happen to think it’s quite good but it didn’t really go with the non-vegan offerings.)

Now that we are settled I feel like I can get back to enjoying hobbies that I had set aside while we were working toward relocating.  I attempt to become a “good” knitter each winter and this year is no exception.  I’ve been re-learning everything that I forgot over the warmer months and I have also picked up a set of crochet hooks although I haven’t touched them yet. I got my new library card and have been enjoying the vast e-lending library that I have access to as a result.  Though I try to avoid going to the library on my lunch hour (it’s amazingly crowded during the workday) I may have to drop by soon and see whether they have a foreign language children’s section.  I’ve been working on a new language – possibly in preparation of a trip next year and kids’ books are a great supplement to my daily practice.

My Christmas shopping is entirely done, although if we’re being totally transparent the last gift is still on its way to me and all of them need to be wrapped.  But as a result I had the time (and desire) to do some selfish shopping this month.  I was crushed to realize that secondhand shopping is terrible here – especially the thrift offerings.  So I wound up coming home completely empty handed.

And finally, can we talk about the weather?  Forgive the shouting but it’s necessary because WE STILL DO NOT HAVE SNOW.  I think that the northernmost part of the state finally has some in the 10-day forecast but we are looking at the mid 40’s for the next several days.  I’m not complaining but it is so, so weird.  Remind me about this when I’m whining my face off in March, okay?  Maybe when I’m complaining about wearing my winter boots to Easter services.



Month(s) in Review: July, August, September, October (!!!) 2015

1015 color


Remember me?

This summer and early part of fall were fraught with stressors. And there were sad things, too: if you’ve been following along you’ll know a few of my family members passed away this summer. These are the first members of my parents’ generation to pass and it’s frightening in many ways.

Lots happened over the past few months that I didn’t want to dwell on (at the time) or remember in detail anymore. The sinking ship that was my mood and my life (so dramatic) finally righted itself toward the end of September. So, let me start there in catching you up on what has been going on around here lately.

1. We moved! I don’t just mean moved to a new apartment. I mean we moved states. And time zones! And climates (sob). That’s right; this is hello from New England! And yes, I already miss Chicago and its pizza.

2. New job! I was in an okay-but-not-great situation back in Chicago. I had a job that I was able to do mostly from home but that wasn’t related to my graduate degree. I got my new job as a direct result of what I studied in grad school – so, yay! I don’t think this is a permanent position for me (as in, I don’t expect to retire from the office I’m sitting in now) but I do think the job has the potential to propel me to that ‘forever’ job.

3. Job offer! Shortly after I began training for my current position I was actually offered another relatively local job. It would probably have required a move to be feasible in the long-term and it was slightly closer to what I dream of doing but there were a few factors that made the role I stayed in much more appealing. Still, I seriously considered switching and it was ultimately a very tough choice.

4. Interview offer! Immediately after I turned down the second offer I was asked if I was interested in interviewing for a third position. The interview will be later this winter. Job #3 is actually a blend of my current job and the one I turned down so I am going to take the interview if timing works in my favor. (If it doesn’t; no big deal.) I’ve never interviewed from a comfortable position before – I’ve always wanted out of the role that I was in, and I feel like I want that experience just so I’m comfortable the next time the situation arises. And I’m not just taking advantage of the opportunity; this is a job that I would also give serious consideration to if offered.

I typed this up on my lunch break and got distracted by the ocean view from my office. I’m going home to my small, quirky apartment that is walking distance from where I work. We may get lobster rolls while running errands on Saturday. My in-laws will likely come down this weekend for dinner and to see our new place. And though my family doesn’t (yet!) have tickets out here there is discussion of their coming once we start to thaw.  Things are very, very good right now.

Liam also had a very stressful summer at work and that was ultimately what pushed us into trying to relocate as quickly as possible. He is currently debating between two job offers here in New England. Neither are the dream job he thought he would have (something fell through; I haven’t pressed much) but both are good options for him while he looks for the next great match.

And that’s where we stand.  Hope things are well with you!

Day in the life: September 2014

I’m in the midst of doing a “time study” of my days and in doing so I decided to record my activities for a day. I have no idea if anyone but me will find this interesting. I work full time as a researcher/editor (not as exciting as it may sound) but I’m at home two or three days each week.

Initially it was tough for me to figure out a good routine whilst home – but now that I’ve been at it for a few months I like how things are looking. If you’ve ever done one of these, let me know! I would love to read about what your day looks like!

6am – My husband has already been up for about 20 minutes at this point but now that the coffee is made and he’s showering/clomping around our room getting ready I’m up. While he gets ready for work I’ll clean the kitchen (if we didn’t do so the night before) and surf the ‘net for a bit.

6:40 – Husband is in the kitchen now too and getting his food ready for the day. Neither of us are ready to eat breakfast at this point so he’s packing everything for his office and I’m having coffee and chatting with him until he leaves around 7.

7:10 – Home alone; time for my own shower and getting ready. Even though I’m working from home I still get ready and dressed every day because 1) I do occasionally get called into the office on a “home” day and 2) I feel more productive.

8:35 – I’m dressed, ready for the day and have just gotten back from a walk with the dog. As usual, I’m still not hungry yet so I pull my work stuff out and get set up at our kitchen table. Work begins at 9, regardless of where I am.

9:00 – On the dot, I tune into a call with the boss who has been working from another location for a few days. She gives out new assignments and then we get started working for the day.

11:10 – I realize that I haven’t eaten yet so I make myself some eggs and tea and step away from the computer for about 20 minutes. Call my sister to ask about whether anyone has offered to host Thanksgiving yet.  (The answer is no!)

1:25 – Because I’ve finished the project I had yesterday I decide that it would be a good time for my lunch break and I step away agin for about 45 minutes this time.  When I am at the office I try to time lunch so that I can eat with at least a few coworkers.  At home I just break in between assignments and do something like call a friend (or the mother) or do something around the house while listening to the radio so I can rest my eyes a bit.

2:15-5:00 – Work work work until a call with the boss at 5.  This is unusual, but she wanted to call at the end of the day to check on my progress.  I’m guessing this means my assignment is for a higher-profile client than usual.  We decide that I’ll put in two more hours of work tonight to guarantee I’ll finish it during the next workday.  We hang up and I call the husband who says he’ll be home about 6pm and asks for leftovers for dinner.

5:30 – I lost 15 minutes in there…checking personal email and news, I think.  I get dinner ready (which means reheating leftovers and making a salad).  I take care of most of the household chores on days that I work from home because I don’t have a commute to deal with.  When we’re both out of the house we split food prep and clean-up more evenly.

6:00-6:45 – Husband arrives, we eat dinner right away and he takes the dog out for a quick walk.  When he comes back inside we clear off the table so he can do homework and I can put a few more hours in.

9:12 – I’ve done a little over two hours of work and emailed an update to the boss. I shut down the computer and pack everything up because I’ll be going into the office tomorrow.  The kitchen is clean, my husband is still doing homework and the dog is sleeping so I’m going to relax with a book.

10:00 – Relaxing over; I’m going to bed.  I’ll be up at 5 the next morning to get a run in before work.


And that’s the day.  My commute isn’t long at all and I don’t generally have to work in the evenings so not much changes from this summary.