Tuesday, March 10, 2009

March 11th: A New Job & My Birthday!

So, tomorrow is a very big day.

In the previous post, I alluded to big changes in my life. The biggest one is a new job that I've been offered at my company. The second big news is my birthday, which has caused me a lot of reflection. I've been thinking about what I have achieved and where I "should be" in my life. And my advice is to not think about these things as they will take you to the verge of a nervous breakdown!

But seriously...I have been thinking a lot about who I really want to be and how I can achieve my dreams, and why I haven't achieved certain things so far. I am still in my 30's but as each birthday looms, it seems the future is coming way too fast.

But back to the job front. I was not asked if I wanted this job - I was told that I was being moved due to the economy. I work in a corporate engineering function and there is simply not enough work to keep us all busy. My boss has been scrambling to find work for various people around the organization and found me a position at our research center. He is so excited about this job, but I'm terrified!

I will be moving from our downtown office to a big university-like research center north of the city. I love our research center, as it's filled with all sorts of big brains and fascinating characters and academic people. There are chemists and scientists of every stripe and practically everyone has a Ph.D. It is a wonderfully creative and challenging environment. Lots of people there are into hiking and glacier climbing and outdoorsy pursuits and organic/local eating and have various other cool hobbies, like running marathons and making movies. Many of these people have invented things and have patents (there is a whole long wall of patent certificates there!) and are renowned experts in various fields. For some reason, these academic environments are always filled with successful, fun, wacky people. Our research center is full of characters and people who care less about how you look/dress (judging by how most of them look/dress) and more about what you are DOING with your life and where your passions are. They are a very grounded community, for the most part!

I will be doing technology transfer work and more coordinating and managing than I do now. I will be responsible for getting research done for our engineers and for getting engineering done for our researchers. Science and engineering will come together through my role. It is an awesome job, just terrifying.

Right now, I am more of a detailed technical person. I do hard-core engineering every day, lots of calculations and looking at data and working alone. But my new role will mean I have a lot more meetings, deal with a lot of people, and will be coordinating more. I will be doing more "idea generation" and big-picture thinking, which I really hate. I am not a "pie in the sky" person and like concrete, detailed work. But I will adapt and grow these skills. I will sink or swim. I'm excited about the new role, but scared to death I will not have the skills to do it. It isn't my cup of tea. But it is also full of potential and in a really neat environment. So we shall see...I am giving it a chance, and in this economy, there isn't much choice.

The new job will mean the same pay, but the bonus is that I will get a better office! Our research center has great offices! Large, quiet, huge windows...

But I will have to drive the highway to work every day, about 30-45 minutes each way, depending on traffic. It will be similar to my current commute time (on the train). I really hate driving to work, for various reasons. And the highway in winter gets some wretched, icy days. But like any good Canadian driver, I will adapt. I will just be paying a lot more for gas, as my car sits in the garage every day now. And I can listen to the radio, but I won't get as much reading done, which is why I prefer the train.

I am sure it will all work out. I'm both excited and sick with worry. But I fully intend to ask a million stupid questions and try my best. I am also going to switch over to a longer work day schedule, so I can have every second Friday off.

In the meantime, tomorrow is my BIRTHDAY too!

I love birthdays, even if it means getting older. After all, I seem to be improving with age. And there is always the alternative, as my Mom says.

David and I are going for lunch at a beautiful downtown restaurant, and this coming weekend we will go to his Mom's house in the country. I'm thrilled for my big day, but I'm also reflecting on where I want to go with my life and how to get there. I have had a lot of career dissatisfaction in the last while and I often find myself wishing I had done other things. It is hard to redress these mistakes, especially when we are face-to-face with deciding whether to have children or not. Lately, I have been feeling so rushed to fix my career but also decide about a family. Suddenly, it's all come down to a crunch!

And I think a lot about retirement, about having enough money, about investment decisions. I do not leave things to chance generally, so I want a firmer plan now. So it seems like a lot of things hinge on this year - to get my career in order, to decide on family, to make bigger financial plans.

I would rather just think about decorating, but for the last few months I have been engrossed in worry and insecurity. I am sure the future will be bright, but I really want to spend more time setting goals in the future and less time drifting in the wind. Sometimes it is good to drift in the wind and settle for what life brings, but I am tired of that and don't want to get down any wrong paths and find myself lost again. I know I can't control everything. Life brings unexpected things - death, illness, sick children, fires, crises of various kinds. But I think a wise person plans for these things (financially, building a community, etc) so this year I plan to invest more in my career (I would like to get a coach eventually), in my financial future (we save a lot but need some new advisors!), in our family (whether that means a baby, or a dog, or both?), and in my community (finding more friends).

Pray for me and wish me the best as my big new year begins!

xo Terri


  1. Ja må du leva ja må du leva ja må du leva uti hundrade år!!! = U shakk live u shall live u shall live in a hundred years (free translation from our swedish happy birthday song :)

    Hope u have a great day

    Many many hugs

  2. I hope that you'll have a nice birthday!

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts about your life and where it's heading. I can relate to many things you have written.

  3. Happy Birthday Terri!! Cheer up and enjoy your special day. Your new job sounds fascinating and I'm sure you'll adapt in no time. Maybe you can find some other people in your area and carpool to save on gas etc. I'm still so impressed that you're an engineer and have such awesome decorating skills and flair.

  4. HAPPY BIRTHDAY - it's my b'day too on the 11th! :) How funny is that!? I hope you have a a wonderful day and you are spoilt rotten just as you deserve. I was supposed to be going to Tina Turner in concert, but she has postponed till May as she has the flu...what are the odds!

    I know what you mean about getting older and wondering what you have achieved, vs what you think you should have. I feeling that v much at the moment.

    Best wishes V

  5. Happy Birthday, Terri! I'm so glad they found you a place at the company. These are difficult times.

    I hope your birthday celebrations are fantastic!

  6. I wish you a happy birthday and I also wish you good luck with you new job. I am sure you will swim!

    Do not think to much about all decisions about your future. Sometimes you just have to float along and see what life will bring. It is no use to plan to much since so many things will come to you by mere chance.


  7. Anonymous4:06 pm

    I suggest you purchase the book Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Clifton. It will really help you understand yourself. These are tough economic times and right now just having a job be the goal. Read the book, it may help you in the future. Sometimes people are moved out of the area of their personal strengths. This can be a disadvantage for the employer and cause huge disatisfaction for the employee also. Good luck and happy birthday!

  8. Happy Birthday!! Your new job actually sounds really good - they wouldn't have selected you if they weren't confident. The research center building and people sound great - congrats!

  9. First off - happy birthday. Sounds like you have a very exciting year ahead of you and you are facing it with enthusiam and bravery. All the best!

  10. With such change happening around your birthday you know that this means a new phase in your life. Embrace and enjoy!
    ,,,and many Happy Returns!
    Irene x

  11. What a relief! I was worried about what news you would divulge today.

    What a great boss, to find new jobs for his team. I hope your new endeavors cause you to grow professionally and personally.

    Happy Birthday! You will be 39 - yes? I am a few months behind you! I hope you have a wonderful day.

  12. Happiest of Birthdays to you, dear Terri! Put everything out of your head tomorrow and just enjoy your day!
    I think your new job sounds exciting - the environment sounds fantastic and the bigger office with windows, YAY!

    I hear you on the worrying, but you sound like you have it in hand - take the necessary steps, but don't forget the joy, too!

    Much love to you, birthday girl! May this year be filled with everything you want, need, and more.
    xo Isa

  13. Thank you for all your kind thoughts and words. Your friendships and caring mean the world to me!

    Thank YOU!

    xo Terri

  14. Anonymous9:49 pm

    I do not mean this unkindly, but if by 39 you are worried and confused about starting a family and find decorating more compelling, you may have your answer right there. Not everyone has to have kids.

  15. Terri! Much love and best wishes on your new adventure! It sounds incredible and exciting! HAPPY BIRTHDAY DARLIN"!!!! I love this post and found a lot of what you wrote to be ring true for myself as well. Great outlook and great things to come for you!
    Sending you good thoughts and good luck!

  16. The happiest of birthdays Terri & congratulations on your new job! What a fantastic opportunity - you go girl!
    Millie ^_^

  17. je découvre ton blog!!!
    happy birthday


  18. Terry, happy birthday!! Congratulations on your new job as well! Of course it's a bit scary, but isn't everything that's new a bit scary? Once you've started, I'm sure you'll do fine. I think most people think about achievements and goals during life - I know I do! Good luck in finding out what's right for you=)

    Have an absolutely wonderful day, filled with cake and sunshine!!


  19. Best of wishes to you Terri on your special day. Hope David spoils you rotten!
    I know how you feel - I turn FORTY this year and I can't believe it. Where has the time gone? Where is my white picket fence life with the perfect husband and family? Why am I still in the same job? You are right, it can make you go crazy if you think about it too much, and most of the time I try to concentrate on all that is good with my life, but sometimes I do have a bit of a freakout.
    Best of luck with your new job, I hope it surprises you and turns out to be just what you have been searching for.
    Hope the next year brings you all that wish for.
    Catherine xx

  20. Happy Birthday! Older? No. Better? You bet! You're in your thirties; that's still "runway". In your forties you start to really live and in your fifties you start to fly. Best to you, today and this year.

  21. Happy Birthday, my friend!

    (I agree with your advice...don't fret too much about the future and always be thrilled with a new birthday for the alternative is, as they say, grim.)

    Now this new job sounds delightful on most levels. I'm not sure about the same income when your expenses are going to be greater, but other than that, it sounds like a blessing and a relief and a challenge and a joy all rolled into one. I know that you will be fabulous at this. Of course, your boss knows this, too! He's no slouch is that one. One "no slouch" always recognizes another!

    Have a happy day!

  22. Have a wonderful birthday!

  23. Happy Birthday and wow - you are an engineer? I'm impressed to say the least. and don't listen to the comment - it's never too late to decide to have a baby (until it is really too late !

  24. Hi Terri!!

    Happy Birthday!! Hope you have a great day!

    Lots of things to think about and consider :) I am sure that you will get where you want to be but it might take some time. I also hope that you will enjoy your new job!

    I also think a lot about these things at the moment and sometimes I feel like I am at a standstill, cause I can't really get where I want to be always.

    Anyway, have a great birthday!!

    Hugs Susanne

  25. Don't worry about any of that on your Birthday.
    Have a wonderful day Terri! MWAH!!
    Ness xx

  26. Happy birthday dear Terri!! Changes are not my favourite thing either...strange, as usually they are really great once you have taken the step. we are just thinking too much...about everything. kids, work, houses, jobs, especially in today-s world, there are so many options, chances, but I know completely how overwhelmed you can be.
    I think you should have kids if you feel like it, not to follow the plan society expect from you, you see what I mean? just listen to your heart and talk to your husband.
    have a wonderful day, I am sure the job and your birthday will be fantastic!!


  27. Terri- fisrt of all, happy birthday & I'm sorry I'm late on this post!! Also, I'm so excited about your new job. You're going to adapt wonderfully. You make people feel so good & I think your boss knows that you'll flourish in this role. Also, you will never regret adding onto your family- human or canine. ;)