Trifectas and Clear Agendas!

Okay, so first of all let’s cut to the chase- my planner is blank for next week. Blank. Void of commitments, deadlines, extra-curriculars, meetings, appointments, errands, reminders, and tasks. There’s nothing in it… and quite frankly, my brain is rattling.

But a different kind of rattling. I can hear a distant rusty grinding noise of gears that haven’t moved in years. These gears need lots of space to turn, and for three and a half years my brain has been packed tighter than a storage locker featured on A&E’s Storage Wars. For three and a half years my brain has sounded like a beehive- a dizzying amount of movement that looks confusing to an outsider but has a unidirectional goal of productivity that makes sense to the self.

Figure 1 My brain, soon to be past-tense.

I was hired on as the Executive Director of a phenomenal environmental charity without any experience in bookkeeping, human resource management, or accounting. I was thrown into the role with no practice questions or safe spaces to make mistakes. Or at least, my anxiety made me feel that way.

My first time bookkeeping efforts were presented to, and scrutinized by, a Board of Directors.

My first time corporate tax return efforts were sent directly to the Canadian Revenue Agency.

My first time management skills were put to the test by the largest staff body the organization had ever seen.

My first time payroll efforts resulted in the pay or nay of eight real people who depended on my competency for their financial stability.

It was volatile beginning, a shaky middle, and comfortably predictable end to my contract. As my days become numbered and the transition begins, boxes of mental clutter are finally being tossed, given away, or properly organized. The space being made is making a noticeable change in my thinking, and I’m starting to feel a desire to return to things that once made me happy like supporting local food efforts and taking good care of my possessions. These were a burden under all that stress and anxiety to perform professionally (hello Impostor Syndrome), and were desperately tossed away so that I could keep my head above water.

Things that I have planned for my very near future include introducing more local foods into my diet, prioritizing minimalism, and lessening my plastic footprint. The latter is particularly relevant and was sparked by spending time with Artur Bordalo (Bordalo II) who was commissioned to create a mural for our organization’s waste reduction project. I’m also just realizing the irony of this situation– I ran an organization that is preaching to the community to stop wasting so much, but was so stressed by my job that I produced unnecessary waste from pre-packaged foods (or else I wouldn’t eat), mindlessly/impulsively bought stuff I don’t need (livin’ life in the fast lane), and purchased produce from faraway places that had massive fossil fuel footprints (which usually went bad). Huh.

Figure 2. Wood turtle made of 1 tonne of plastic trash in Moncton, NB, Canada.

ANYWAYS, not dwelling on the past! The best thing that I’ve realized about these things is that they go hand-in-hand and will help me live the thoughtful and purposeful life that I’ve been dreaming of. A trifecta (if you will) of clear mind, clear space, and clear conscience. AND I AM SO EXCITED FOR THE NEXT CHAPTER.



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