Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Livin on the edge!

Is it sad when filing makes me happy? Yesterday, I spent a few hours getting things done ahead of schedule and organising my files (I am of course, way behind on many other things...) and got absolutely excited looking at my neat files. This is a time of many staff transitions for WYA, and I've been busy interviewing amazing candidates from a number of regions, and trying to remember to keep Francois updated with all I'm doing.

Last weekend, I booked a last minute flight to Los Angeles for an Ultimate Frisbee Beach Tournament!!! It was so great to run around on sand, in the sun, no shoes, no jacket... On Saturday we only won one game out of the 4 which placed us in the C-bracket on Sunday. On Sunday however, we won our first three games, taking us to the semi-finals! We then lost our fourth game after a very close game. I was fine with that, running on the sand is tough and it was cold and rainy by then. So we ate, showered and then I visited with my brother, his wife and their two kids for the next couple days.

Thankfully the hurricane hit after the tournament! It rained pretty much nonstop for the 3 days I was there, except for a few hours Tuesday afternoon when the sun broke over incredibly high waves and I spent hours on the beach gazing at the waves, wading in slightly and taking pictures.

The waves were gorgeous! I am bad at judging wave height, but I would guess they ranged from 5 to 20 feet high. I most certainly would not have survived past even the middling waves and I love riding waves... The water was so clear the waves rose up a wall of green before curling over with a touch of foam and crashing, often with a delayed reaction then a spurt of water like a fountain where it had crashed.

I walked to the edge of the water carrying my camera in one hand and a starbucks coffee in the other, I walked barefoot with my jeans rolled up and felt completely luxurious. How
amazing is it to leave your nephews about to nap with their mother and wander two blocks to the deserted beach on a Tuesday afternoon?

During my stay in Los Angeles, I realised how lucky I am to no longer be three. Life is tough; you're old enough to know that you want something now, but too young to have any control about whether you get in beyond asking (crying?). You're also too young to have much of a memory of past moments when good things came to those who waited, or to be able to rationalise that if you don't get something now, perhaps life will be even better. Life is also awesome because you're still young enough to be spoonfed, wander around all day with a soother in your mouth and naptimes are expected.

Life doesn't necessarily get easier but expectations certainly change. Now, I know how to plan for the future and learn from the past, and perhaps the hard part is focusing on the present and doing what needs to be done. And, maybe in a few months I'll reward myself with a nap :)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


As I sit in my bedroom in Canada, my nephews have just gone outside to play in the snow, and I'm trying to ignore my stomach, slightly rounder than usual, after a couple weeks at home eating delicious food. Thanks to a week of blizzards and then a security breach at Newark airport my flight was cancelled and I'll remain at home for another week of snow, food and adorable nephews :)

It's amazing to think I have fewer than 3 months left as president of WYA. My life for the past four years, including vacations has revolved around WYA. What needs to be done next? What did I forget to do? What will explode if I don't address it immediately, and what can I postpone doing for a little while longer? I've started to write down all the things I've learned to pass along to Francois who will replace me. I'd hate for him to make as many mistakes as I've made! Haha, although he may not have as much fun as I did, since I've tried to put structures in place to prevent anyone besides me from bellyflopping in so many situations.

I'll never forget my embarrassment when I first took over and people would ask my opinion about what's going on in whatever country and I had NO idea where that country was located - yes, stereotypes of North Americans' geographical knowledge are actually mostly true. Wikipedia was, and remains, one of my best friends!

The first time I gave a speech, I wrote it down word for word and was terrified! I went up to give the speech and was given a mic to stand in front of everyone. My left hand held the papers which looked as though they'd been caught in a hurricane, my right hand held the mic and looked as though I had advanced Parkinson's. Needless to say, my notes got dropped, I gripped that mic in a manner that would have made a Boa Constrictor jealous and passed it off to the MC afterwards flooded in my sweat. I've improved slightly since then...

I grew up vegetarian and encountered most animal innards on the dissecting table. Many cultures worldwide eat animals and parts that are considered "revolting" to a western former vegetarian. As a polite guest, I ate a small fish whole and tried not to think about how the little guy had swum around till recently or how he felt when caught, or about how his scales felt going down my throat, or if his eyeballs liked where they were headed... I've ignored the tendons of numerous animals as I gnawed my way to bone after bone and I've even eaten foods that could not be identified, and after eating them I did not wish for them to be identified :0

There are so many things I will miss about WYA; working with the best people in the world, traveling, working every day to promote something I love and believe in fully - what's not to miss? At the same time, numerous details and extraneous tasks arise that I've barely thought about what I'll spend my summer doing.

And so, since I mostly blog when I travel and rarely find my thoughts between trips interesting enough to share, I will consider these last three months as president a trip in itself. I promise to blog and see what happens as someone else takes up from what I've done and brings WYA to the next level.