Adventures in Job Hunting

So, after my last depressing post, things have started to really look up. I went to two interviews today and have another on Thursday. I have been applying to everything I think might be interesting and have been cautiously optimistic in light of various employers calling me and saying they’d like to interview me. So, yay! God has been so gracious and keeping my spirits up the last couple days. Hard to believe it’s almost midweek. Time seems to have been flying by lately.

Today I did a working interview at a braces clinic and right after that met a dentist looking for both front desk reception and chairside assistant (2 positions because that’s too much work for one person). I really enjoyed the working interview at the orthodontist and am cautiously hopeful about that one. The second one…well, let’s just say, it ended up being so funny and weird that I just had to blog about it.

One of the great things about being a writer is being able to translate an experience to paper in such a way that other people can enjoy your experience along with you. Today was one of those times when I just HAD to blog.

So, here goes my story. Today I interviewed with a dentist in a small practice along the Bloor line. And when I say on the Bloor line, I mean that the practice is directly above the east and westbound trains. I approached the desk where this dentist was, behind the counter, answering phone calls. He put the call on hold and handed me a clipboard with pen and lined paper and said, “Please write down any goals for the future and how you can be an asset to the practice,” and then went back to his phone call. When he got off the phone, he interrupted me to discuss my resume. But it wasn’t to talk about my skills and any questions…it was to figuratively shred it. He went into how my bullet points were all wrong, how the sections were long and redundant etc etc until I was silently asking, “Are you my English teacher or potential employer?”

After this, we had the interview which was one of the most bizarre I have ever experienced. First thing he did was say, ‘Do you have any questions for me?’ Well, I was thrown off since that’s usually a near the end of the interview question and ended up asking my questions as we went along. It was bizarre though. Instead of asking me the usual questions, he said, “Let’s role play for a moment here.” So, okay. I was game since I had nothing else to do at the time. His first question was, “Let’s say it’s your first day, you have had no training, I’ve gone off to get a coffee or something and a new patient walks in. What do you do?” I answered with, “Look at your schedule and book in the consulation.” Then he said, “But how would you know my schedule? How do you know I’m even available?” To which I replied with slightly raised brow and more of a question in my voice than certainty (because this was just getting weird), “I would look at your book or the software?” Then he said, “That’s not right. What you should do is tell them to take a seat and that I’ve stepped out and will be back momentarily, or take their number if they can’t stay.” The way that he said it made me feel like a dumb student who got the test questions wrong. So, I tried again with another question he asked and at one point he accused me of making stuff up.

I am not kidding people. He also swore at me in the interview. Not with heat, but with a definite, “You haven’t a clue what you’re talking about,” air. I have to say, being told that I’m ‘making up sh(you can figure out the last two letters)’ and to try again…well, it was all crazy. I felt like I was dealing with a person that, in the first five minutes of meeting with him, one would clearly see that whoever worked for him would never do anything right, in his eyes.

Now, it would be easy to feel like my time and his was wasted in this interview, but I think it made great fodder for my writing. I think I’ll have to put a character based on him in a future novel. Just too good to pass up. This guy was arrogant, full of himself, a bit off and very picky about everything. I say this not with anger or bitterness but with a laugh. It was just crazy. I think that what he needs is a person at the front desk in her sixties who has years of experience behind her and takes over, telling him to keep to his dentistry at the back and let her run things. I honestly do.

So, that was my first adventure this week in job hunting. If I come across any other weird and wacky stuff, I’ll be sure to write it here for your amusement.

Until next time, keep dreaming and never give up.

Amy McGuire

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The Reality of Being Let Go ‘Without Cause’

Sometimes I write from musings, and sometimes I write from things that happen to me or someone I know. Today I’m writing about something that happened to me. Something I had actually never heard happens, but now I know it does. And it sucks. On Thursday, October 24, 2018 at 1pm EST, I was brought into a meeting with my supervisor. She started off the conversation with asking how things are going and I gave her an overview and report and expected her to either make suggestions or tell me I’m on the right track. What I did not expect and I know no one can ever prepare for, especially when there were no signs of discontent from my employer, were the next words that came out of her mouth.

“Amy, I’m sorry, but we have to part ways.” Just like that. No explanation. Just, “Thank you for your service, we wish you well, but it’s time to move on.” I have to say, when I woke up that morning, boarded the first of two buses and headed to work, I was not thinking that by 1pm that same day, I would be looking for work. I was blindsided. I was shell-shocked. I honestly couldn’t breathe for a moment. I just sat there, trying to comprehend what my supervisor was telling me. After over a year and a half with a company I had worked faithfully for, loved and saw myself staying with for a minimum of five years (as in, ‘where do you see yourself in five years?’ ‘Working at this clinic, managing and seeing it grow and hopefully thrive.’) I was being let go without a single word of explanation.

I asked what I had done and was informed that it was nothing I had done. That was it. Through the haze, I tried to think of how my co-workers would be without me, without a manager to help things run smoothly. In any job change, I have always wanted to make sure I never leave anyone in the lurch. When I asked if they would be okay, I was informed the new person starts on Monday.

Jaw drop. Disbelief. Gratitude that I wasn’t sipping the water in front of me at the time, because my former supervisor may have gotten sprayed with it. How does it feel to know that your leaving of a company through no fault of your own was planned well enough in advance that the person filling your position comes in on Monday, creating no gap in your employment (I work four days a week and another staff member covers Fridays, so essentially, there was no gap between me and the new person)? How does it feel? Horrible. Gut-wrenching. Sickening.

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing and could barely comprehend as my former supervisor slid an envelope across the table detailing my severance and reminding me that I had to immediately return any clinic property, such as my key and uniforms and I didn’t need to work to the end of the day but would be paid anyway. She asked if I wanted my co-worker to pack up my things and bring them down to me, thus somehow ‘saving me any embarrassment’ as I did the walk of shame. I told her that no, I wanted to collect my things myself, that there were no patients at that time to witness my downfall and that I wanted a chance to say goodbye to at least the few staff who had not yet gone on their lunch break.

I said goodbye to a few people, puzzled as to the reason, simply telling them I was being let go and wished them well, unable to hide the tears I tried so valiantly to hold in. I left hurriedly like a thief or someone who had done something shameful, instead of being given the dignity of holding my head high, knowing that I had done nothing wrong. I called my husband immediately to let him know, then got on a bus to head home, not sure where I was and what I was even doing.

How does it feel to be in such a situation? It’s a grieving for sure. It’s disorienting and easy to be bitter and exasperated and a host of other negative emotions. Your feelings go in waves, from disbelief, to anger to relief that some of the stresses you had when working in that job are no longer there, to fear that you will be unemployed for a long time and then how will you pay bills even if you have EI, which is only 60% of your salary anyway, to anger again that your former employer treated you in such a fashion after all the hours of service you put in without a single complaint, to feeling crushed by the weight of rejection.

Ironically, I can write this objectively two days after it all happened. Maybe not so ironically, since I have an incredible network of friends and family who have been supportive, praying, urging me not to give up and to move on, giving me good advice on the best way to go forward, and generally not letting me get down on myself. Some of my friends have shared their own experiences of being let go with no good reason, and knowing I am not alone, has been a huge help.

I am trying, with God’s help, not to be bitter at my employer, not only for the manner in which I was dismissed, but also for how little they seem to care for my wellbeing or the wellbeing of my family, as the severance was a scant two weeks salary, which means I had better to get a new job that pays at least as much as I was making before with equal or more hours because now I have higher bills to equal the previous higher salary, just before the Christmas season where most employers aren’t hiring, in the scant space of two weeks, or we stand a chance of going into arrears for bills. I am fortunate that my husband also works, though we are a dual income family because it is just too expensive to live in Toronto without that.

Now, I don’t write all this for you to feel sorry for me or even be angry on my behalf. I am simply writing my experience and thanking you all in advance for kind words and prayers for our family. It’s tough suddenly being unemployed in today’s economy and so close to Christmas, but I know God will provide as He always does. I just find that, especially as a writer, I need to get my thoughts out and sharing them with others is cathartic.

I also hope that my experience will make others who have or are going through the same or similar situations, feel less alone.  So, if you have a story to share, please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear your stories and how you got through or are getting through the tough times. And if you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, know that I’m in the same boat as are many others in this world. As my mother says, “God won’t drop you.” I feel at the moment like He has, but I know there is a bigger, better plan He has for me. I just need to be patient. And take the time I have while unemployed to rethink what I want to do with my life. And maybe be there for others who are going through or have gone through what I am currently going through.

I am also really sorry I haven’t written a post in ages. I have been going through a real dry time in my writing, not really feeling like sharing my thoughts online. I know that this too shall pass.  I hope to be blogging again real soon. Maybe I will even do a series on job hunting. I guess we’ll see.

Until next time, keep dreaming and never give up!

Amy McGuire

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A Little Nostalgia

Dear Readers,

It’s been quite a while since my last blog and for that, I apologize. I have been writing, but not as much as usual and I have been editing my fourth book, which I think has been an ongoing process for a couple years now and the book isn’t even completed. I guess you could say that life got in the way, but recently I have been more determined to make time to work on my book than ever. Life has had its discouraging moments though, and I have wanted to throw the towel in more often than not. Sometimes I think to myself, that woman is a hack. She can’t write. What on earth was she thinking writing three novels and now working on her fourth? Maybe the first three books were just a fluke. But then, last night I was going through old diaries (I have kept them since the age of ten and really only stopped writing in my diary about three years ago, so I have a lot to look back on) and stumbled upon a journal where I had written some stories.

One of these stories was a 98 degrees fandom story that may or may not see the light of day, which I wrote way back in high school. The other was obviously meant to be a whole story but for some reason or other, I abandoned it. I have no idea who the character describing the rain in this book is or even where I was going through the story. I might pick it up again and turn it into an actual novel, but for now, I felt like I wanted to share it. It’s a rare piece when I can’t even remember what I was writing, but it encouraged me to keep writing.

So it is that I wanted to share this brief excerpt that I must have written back in high school. It’s a tiny window into my writer’s soul if you will, and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I have enjoyed re-reading it.  So, without further ado, here goes.

Outside my window, the rain came down in an endless drizzle. It was so light that from my window, I had to look closely at the trees, just to see the water.  It was nearly invisible, but traveling so fast, it could have been pouring.  It was a melancholy rain, a hundred tiny drops accumulating on the leaves, then dropping in one large drop, then pooling again, to drop off again. It was the type of rain that you could drive through, and it was deceptively clear which meant a  person could get soaked through, as they sought to prove that you couldn’t get very wet. The sky was a whitish grey, and the usually bright green trees and bushes looked dull in its reflection.

I let my mind drift. Drifting to a time when a young girl in bright clothing stood out in such a rain, playing in the puddles, looking at her dark reflection in the deceptively shallow pools gathering around my feet. My hair was stuck to my head and draped down my shoulders, and I opened my mouth, face turned to the sky.  I gave up after about two minutes, because there weren’t enough drops at once, or they weren’t big enough, to even feel on my tongue.  I splashed through the puddles, free and innocent of any sickness I might get, from being so wet. 

My thoughts turned to the present, as I gazed out my window once again, curled up and warm on my bed.  Had the rain stopped? I opened the window and leaned out, seeing my breath in a cloud of cold.  Still raining.  Daydreaming.  Days like this can be depressing, or an opportunity to reminisce about the chapters of my life that involved rain.  Warm rain, cold rain.  It didn’t matter.  Rain this light could be very relaxing. 

Somewhere a seagull screeched.  The sound reminded me of the ocean.  The beach.  Grey or white, it didn’t matter.  The beach has always been a refuge for me.  Same as the mountains.  It rains like this all over the world, at some time or other.  The air was a little chilly, but I hated to close the window.  Hated to lock the wonder of it all outside. 

What is it about a drizzly rain like this, that makes it seem almost magical?  The sunshine afterward?  The gentle rhythm on the leaves outside my window?  A quiet autumn rain.  Maybe a bit too cool.  The air had a chill in it, and I felt I must once again close the window, for my health’s sake.

Well, that’s all I wrote. Maybe my next blog entry will be me getting up the courage to write my 98 degrees fanfic for the world to read.

Until next time,

Keep dreaming and never give up!

Amy McGuire

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My ‘Trippy’ Visit To The Eye Doctor

So, I am currently flaked out on my couch after a visit to the eye doctor which I don’t believe I have done in at least 8 or 9 years. I’d have to verify that with my hubby. Anyway, it’s been a looooong time since I got my eyes checked and my prescription updated and I think things have changed a bit in the way they do things. For one thing, they use a lot of different apparatuses (apparati?) to figure out exactly what kind of prescription you need, then they put both an iodine drop in each eye as well as this crazy drop that dilates your pupils to two or three times their normal size. Okay. So that part hasn’t changed.

So, I went through the usual, ‘does this lense make my eyes look fat?’….oh wait. No. That wasn’t it. Right. It was ‘does this lens make the letters clearer or blurrier?’ thing. We went through a lot of that until my doctor said, “You know you have one eye with astigmatism? When did you get your eyes checked last? Do you get headaches?” To which I had to admit that I get headaches when I wear my glasses and it had been so long since I last had an eye exam (except the ones for when I had pink eye) that I honestly couldn’t remember the date.  Wait. Where was I going with this? Hard to concentrate when my vision is like something out of a 90’s sitcom dream sequence.

Anyway, after the initial check and going to get my prescription ordered, I went back to the doctor (it was one of those places with the eyeglasses store attached to the doctor’s office…or the other way around?) and he shone a bright hand light in my eyes while asking me to look left and up, right and up, just right, just left, just up, just down and then behind my eyes and touching my toes and…well, we did a lot of eye exercises. The cool and trippy part started there. I don’t remember ever seeing the veins on the inside of my eyes but man…every time he shone the light I did.  I think it would make a very opening sequence to a thriller to just show the veins on the inside of the eye, branching away into the distance.

So, after getting out of there and being told to come back in about a week, I put on my sunglasses (remembered that from last time) and went out into what was, fortunately, an overcast day.  Did you know that when your pupils are three times their normal size, all oncoming car lights look like half stars with the bottom half shooting off at crazy downward and outward angles? And I do mean ALL. There was a police car going by with sirens blaring and lights flashing and that was pretty cool. Walking as a bit of a challenge as I was extra careful not to trip but those oncoming (and signal lights at the back of the cars too) lights were very trippy.

When I got into the house (and still my vision is blurry) the hallway lights were like starry clouds. So, very cool experience. I think I need to lie down now, but I wanted to convey it while I’m thinking about it.

So yeah, this is a random blog post, but sometimes you have to write those because it’s just so fun to share. Please leave a comment about your experiences with the eye doctor. This should make for some fun discussions.

Until next time, keep dreaming and never give up!

Amy McGuire

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End of Summer Reflections

I sit here, with the window at my back, the sky grey outside and the wind whipping my curtains to a fury, the air feeling decidedly cooler than it did only two days ago, and I am reminded that summer is indeed over. Today my daughter and I went for a long swim in our condo’s outdoor pool and I had a tinge of sadness when we climbed out, shivering due to the wind. Today was the last day we will swim in that pool until next summer. Hard to believe the summer flew by so fast. I have lost count how many times we went in the pool, sometimes more than once a day. The memories we have made, the friends we’ve both met, and the water droplets we have brought home with us after every swim – these memories will linger long after the air turns cold in preparation for Fall.

Tomorrow my daughter starts grade 4. Tomorrow we start a whole new routine with a new school, new friends, new teachers, and a new curriculum, as she enters the Gifted stream. Tonight I will do some looking ahead, but today, I want to look back on the summer that seemed to go by way too fast. So fast in fact, and so busy were we all, that I realize I haven’t written a thing since the beginning of August. Just this Saturday we made one last summer memory by going to the CNE (Canadian National Exhibition) and seeing the Air Show and SuperDogs.  We wandered through the fairgrounds, we rode a tram and at end of the day, we bought popcorn and caramel corn to munch, on the long trip home.

This summer my daughter was away for a week at camp, and then there was a two-week stretch, with one day in between where both my daughter and husband were miles away while I was in the city working. This has been the first summer since I started working again over four years ago, that I haven’t had any summer vacation. Not complaining, because I have had my share of wonderful vacations at other times of the year, but it’s an interesting fact. I think the lack of vacation in the summer is why I feel like I didn’t see a lot of my little family. I am looking forward to taking one week off next summer and maybe going with my daughter and husband on their trip south of the border.

This summer my daughter finally learned to ride a bike at a one week camp called Pedal Heads, this was her second year at overnight camp, and she spent a whole week up north with my parents while my husband was even farther north for that week. She had a couple days at the cottage too, guaranteeing she has quite the list of summer memories to think over in the future months.

This summer my office changed buildings and we’ve been unpacking and getting organized from that, searching for some new staff, and generally keeping pretty busy. It’s been a busy summer. I have enjoyed a few days where I had a chance to go for walks and sit on a bench and write, while on lunch break. I have wandered through a farmer’s market near my work a couple times, again, on lunch break. I have gone from managing a small office with a few staff to managing a slightly larger office with a few more staff. I feel that I am learning in leaps and bounds and though I didn’t do as much writing this summer as I would have liked, this has been a very productive summer.

This summer I have tended the plants on my balcony, gone to movies with friends, met other friends for dinner, gone for a swim many times after work on a sweltering evening or two, and I have come to really, truly love the neighbourhood we moved to back in April. I have seen friends I hadn’t seen in ages. I have sat in my living room with the sliding door open after dark and listened to crickets chirp and cicadas sing. I have watched the moon on a clear night from my balcony and watched squirrels and birds play in the trees just off the edge of that same balcony.

It’s been a quiet summer, in spite of work at my office. It’s been mostly a relaxing summer but it’s also had its sad moments. My husband and I have lost a few dear friends this summer, most recently having to say goodbye to the father of a friend and in a week’s time, we will be saying goodbye to the father of other dear friends. It’s been a summer with happiness as well as great sadness. I suppose, although saying goodbye and losing someone is extremely difficult, it’s a part of life. It does add one more layer to the summer though. I feel as though this summer has been quite different from all the others, in many ways. It’s definitely been a quieter one.

As I turn my thoughts from our first summer in our new home, I wonder what the Fall season will bring. I am looking forward to the inevitable times of seeing family and friends around the holidays that approach with the change of season. I look forward to hearing about my daughter’s experiences in her new school and seeing what direction my office will take as we get settled into our new location. At the same time, I am a little sad at the thought of no longer rushing home from work, grabbing a quick bite to eat and then hopping in the pool with my daughter for a quick dip. I am a bit sad that on Fridays when I am home from work, my daughter will be at school. I am a bit sad that I will have to start wearing layers again and put my skirts away until next summer. I am sad to say goodbye to summer but as the wind ruffles my curtains and the sun hides behind some clouds, I am extremely grateful that I’ll be experiencing the change of season above ground and a lot closer geographically to my in-laws and my daughter’s cousins. I am extremely grateful to be in a home of my own, to have the opportunity to have people over, and to watch the change of season from our beautiful wall to wall windows and sliding glass door.

The season is changing, but with it comes many opportunities and exciting things I know are just around the corner. I’m getting to watch my daughter grow up, getting to know my neighbours, enjoying the neighbourhood, and I live in a peaceful neighbourhood with a family that loves me. I am beyond blessed to have a beautiful home, wonderful neighbours, my in-laws nearby and friends just a phone call away.

So, while I am sad to see summer go, I am happy to start the next season of life.

It also helps that, for the first time in 13 years of marriage, my husband and I won’t have to shovel our van out or freeze while getting into said van, thanks to underground parking. 😉

Until next time, keep dreaming and never give up.

Amy McGuire

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Why I Write

I’m sitting here looking out over my deck with two tomato plants, a struggling snap pea vine, and several small plants, thinking about why I write. To me, writing is like music. It fills me up until I feel like I’ll burst if I don’t share my thoughts. Writing to me is therapy, joy, and heartbreak, all rolled into one crazy ball of emotion. I think, if I didn’t write, with all the feelings, dreams, and soul music inside me, I would probably go insane. Writing makes me happy. I get to have some control over what goes on in my world and most often, the characters in my stories get a happy ending. My bad guys get what they have coming to them (justice) and my heroes and heroines get their happily ever afters. I walk down the street and watch people sometimes. I ride the bus and people watch there too. I think, with all the stories that brew in my head from people watching and taking in my surroundings also helps keep me from despair when I start to lose my faith in humanity.

Strike that. I lost my faith in humanity a long time ago. Maybe that makes me sound bitter. Maybe it makes me sound disillusioned. Or maybe it makes me a realist. Really, there’s not a lot of point in having faith in humanity. Instead, I think I need to have faith in the God that created humanity. When I struggle with that though, diving into my stories (straight out of my imagination which is pretty darn cool if you think about it) lifts me up. Joy. That’s why I write. Love. To remember what it was like when my husband told me he loved me for the first time, three months after we started dating. Unconditional love and heartbreak. Remembering what it was like to discover I was pregnant with my little girl and have my heart break when I miscarried our second child. Anger. Writing a story where the bad guy gets his justice and the world is actually fair helps me cope with and release the anger that builds up inside as I try to control the life around me. Sorrow. Exultation. Fear. Fear that I will never get beyond book three and never publish any more novels. So many emotions and dreams and hopes and the excitement of seeing a story come to life on the pages of my books.

This is turning into a rather rambling post. Sorry about that. I guess this started out as a ‘why I write’ and turned into an actual writing session. I love to write. Simple as that. To take the every day and turn it into something achingly beautiful. To be able to express my thoughts through stories and poetry or just on a blog like this. I love writing while I listen to music. If I have a particularly sad scene to write, it’s sad music. Romantic, romantic music and so on. My daughter is becoming a writer like her mom. She told me the other day she wanted a book bag with a pen and notebook so that she could write down ideas as they come to her. That’s how I feel too.

So, why do I write? I write because I have a thousand stories in this mind of mine and I just have to tell them. And I write for me and for anyone who enjoys my stories. I write for enjoyment. I write for therapy. I write to have a small semblance of control when the world seems out of control. But most of all, I write because it’s part of who I am.

I’m a writer. And I hope that someday a lot of people will read my books and be touched, even in only small ways. If I can make one person laugh, cry or toss the book across the room in frustration, I have succeeded. If no one ever reads my books and I am the only one who reads them, I have succeeded. If I get the stories out of my head and the emotions down on paper, I have succeeded. Writing is its own reward.

Until next time,

Keep dreaming and never give up.

Amy McGuire

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Writing Again After Months Away

Dear Readers,

It’s been quite awhile since my last blog. A lot has happened since then. We have been looking for a new home for several months (to own, not rent, as my husband and I have been doing for the first 13 years of our marriage), and I was starting to think it was never going to happen. In this economy and in this city, finding an affordable home seemed like a pipe dream. But thanks to God’s amazing provision we not only were able to afford our own home, but it turned out to be the home of our dreams. We moved into a condo with lots of light, a lovely balcony (which I promptly turned into my patio garden), amazing neighbours, easy access to the transit for my job and even a heated outdoor pool within steps of our place. We have been truly blessed. I also found a new job (or they found me) which I started March 20. We moved into our place April 20. What a whirlwind those first few months were! I barely wrote anything on my books in that time. Now, I’ve been able to start writing again but have been super busy with other things and this blog has been allowed to slide. My apologies. Part of me wanted to have something super exciting to share like the previous vacations, but I am starting to realize that I need to write more about the everyday, wonderful and not so wonderful things in my life. I used to keep a journal and wrote nearly every day. Now that I’m busy with my new job, our new place and my side business with Jamberry (you can see this awesome business here: www.amyvirgin.jamberry.com/en.ca) I have to remember that there are people who actually read my blog and would like to hear what I’ve been up to.

So, that’s what I’ve been up to. I started a new job as office manager for a dental clinic four days a week, I have a new three bedroom condo which means my husband has a home office and we have the space to have company, and I’m actually looking forward to the winter because it will be the first year we don’t have to shovel the snow or clean off the car because we now park underground. I have a pool to look forward to at the end of a long day, I am making friends in the complex, my daughter is making friends and every morning I get to listen to bird song and watch my plants grow as a cool breeze envelopes me through the screen door while I sit at my dining room table and eat breakfast. I have come up with new story ideas and been able to add things to current stories. The new atmosphere, new job, new life…have all helped so that I’m writing more than ever before.

I can’t say I’m really done any one book, as right now I have about three books going (and am thinking I really need to complete at least one of those) but I am enjoying writing again. For awhile after our last vacation I was so stressed with home life (issues with our landlord and starting to get really depressed living in a basement) and work that I didn’t know what to do with myself. Now I actually enjoy my job and look forward to coming home each day instead of dreading going underground and making dinner after working until 7 or 8 some nights. Life has definitely improved.

This summer my daughter went to her second week of overnight camp, she took a week of Pedalheads and is now eager to ride her bike (it was like pulling teeth previous to Pedalheads because she just didn’t have the confidence), and I have been able to spend a bit more time with both my husband and daughter.

Things are definitely looking up. Yes, there’s still piles of laundry that wait until the weekend, there’s still dishes to wash and floors to sweep and mop and meals to cook, but for the first time I’m okay with it. What a difference owning our own home makes. And what a nice home!  Sometimes, after my daughter has gone to sleep and the house is quiet, I’ll pad out to the balcony on bare feet and sit on the couch or look out over the complex and just think, “What did I ever do to be so blessed?” The peacefulness of a home on the second floor, with amazing landscaping and a great patio garden is something I hope I get to enjoy for a long time. I try to remember to thank God for His blessings every day, even when life isn’t as peachy as I’d like. What can I honestly complain about?

I have access to a heated outdoor pool, every shop and grocery store I could need within walking distance, a brand new library just down the street and even a Cineplex movie theatre just 20 minutes walk away. Everything I need is within walking distance, except for my job and my daughter’s school, and it only takes me about 20 mins by bus to get to work and soon my daughter will be able to go to school and back in about that time.

The only down side (and I am slowly learning to go to bed earlier to make up for it) is how little sleep I get during the week since I wake up at 6 am. But seriously, I can cope. A lot of people work more days and have less sleep than me. I just have to be more adult and not stay up so late. Life really is great right now.

So, sorry I haven’t written in awhile, but I will try to do more writing soon. Now, I have to go get some work done and maybe write a bit more of one of my many books. Tomorrow I’m hoping to take my Bunny to see Despicable Me 3.

Until next time,

Keep dreaming and never give up!

Amy McGuire

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