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Friday, November 26, 2010


I should be trying to finish my Nano project, writing articles for the paper or housework but I am going to take a few moments to write about Thankfulness.

I just got off the phone with Ryan MacGrath, a young musician in Halifax who I am doing a feature article on this week, and before I could write one word I was overwhelmed with joy. My life could not possibly be better. I am doing the job I was made for; working at the paper, raising the family I always wanted and living in a town that makes me smile everyday. How I got so lucky I'll never know. Life has certainly not always been this easy.

Just three and a half short years ago I returned to North America with no money or prospects. I had one small child and was expecting another. I was living in my aunts front room. I had no idea how I was going to take care of my family.

Things have certainly turned themselves around. After one year in the US I was forced to return home to Canada, it was not a choice I would have made if I'd had my druthers. I came back to my home town and lived the first month at my fathers' house with a 6 week old baby and a 2 year old. What was going to happen next?

Little by little things started to get better. I got some money both from the government and from my childrens' father. I moved into my own apartment. In the fall I started to work for my cousin as a babysitter. After working as a teacher and journalist for 10 years overseas, this was a big adjustment. My self esteem and prospects were both feeling low. I had a Masters degree and this was my job. I thought I would leave Canada as soon as the kids were of an age to travel.

Things continued to get better but not before they got worse. The following September I had no job. Money was very tight and I was very worried about how to keep food and heat in the house. Then, the perfect job for me was advertised in the paper; a writer of community histories was wanted. I interviewed for the job. It went great. I didn't get the position. WTF.

Several weeks after I had lost the job that would have been perfect for me I got a call and was asked if I was still available. The person who had got the job had left it for an even better job. I was quick to say yes.

I worked all winter and got my contract extended into the spring. The job finally ended in June and I was sure of another position with them in the fall. It was a good summer- free of financial worries and time off with the kids. Or so I thought.

Out of the blue, I got a call from a nearby university asking me to teach a summer course to foreign students. It was a short contract but the pay was significant. Again, I said yes and went to work at 6:45 every morning to drop the kids at daycare and pick them up after 5, arriving home at 6 or 6:30. It was a tough 5 weeks but getting back into teaching was good for me.

Now I really was going to take a break. I had my hours and was about to become a EI bum for the first time in my life.

Except, there was a job posted on the EI website for a graphic designer at our local paper. I know nothing about graphic design but have done lots of jobs that I learned on the fly. I applied. I didn't get the job. Instead I got hired on as copy editor and reporter-the job I was really qualified to do.

And so, now I am working on stories, raising my kids and loving my hometown and the life we have here.

A very thankful woman.

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