I started work last week after finishing my leave. My Gradual-Return-to-Work plan began with two days, this week three, next week four, then full-time the week of July 11. I haven’t written on this blog in a few months, maybe a comment here and there, occasionally checking to see what’s up with the bloke since I closed down my Twitter account under ‘Stacks and Ranges.’
Things breaking apart meant rebuilding into something different. Stacks and Ranges is dead. It was one of many things shed during my leave. I had an idea how things would go in my career, and now, the direction once significant no longer holds any value for me. I enjoy my work; I still work in a library, but the world I hoped to inhabit no longer suits me, and I am not sure it ever did. Many people around the blogosphere, especially within the Armitage Blogosphere, overhauled their lives or adjusted them with a new perspective.
I don’t blame him for wanting to form his own company or taking a crack at writing a novel. At some point, it’s time to swing for the fences, to use a baseball analogy. I arrived at my own home plate, ready to take the batter’s stance. Writing, thank heavens, never left, and it’s time to put a clear line between life and work. (By clear, I mean a better one this time.)
They say it’s all about the hustle. At some point, the return of investment in the hustle means stepping back and wondering about the point of said hustle. I have a good life at the moment. I have a home, friends, and health.
Part of my rebuild process during leave involved health. I used my Google tasks to remind me to take my meds, setting the time for 7 am. The other hitting the gym outside sessions with my trainer. I found classes I like and specific exercises I learned from my trainer I enjoy doing. HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) makes me question my life choices from time to time, but the endorphins, those happy hormones, hit me.
The pandemic caused a lot of people to pause and take stock. Unlike the United States ‘great resignation,’ most Canadians, from what I read, haven’t left a job with nothing lined up. I noticed many people moved on from the college to another position, but leaving one job without something else lined up? No, but also not yet. Many people around here, in Manitoba, want to line up something before making the jump. The idea of simply leaving something, without something else after, even for mental health, makes people stick it out in places they need to go. Now. Our Unemployment insurance system, which I have contributed with my paycheque since my first job at 16, made changes in the 90s (I think) to eliminate eligibility for those who quit or get fired. It makes no sense. (Sidenote: The Canadian Labour Congress has an excellent timeline of Employment Insurance in Canada. Meanwhile, the Fraser Institute, a known think tank with libertarian leanings, puts up the usual arguments about EI.)
The pandemic did make me go back to school. I began a certificate course in adult ed specializing in e-learning from the University of Calgary. I needed a way to get out of Manitoba, and online learning seemed the better option until I board a plane someday. I did well in my last course, with a new one starting in August and going until December. Where it will lead me, I don’t know. I guess I will find out.