On anniversaries and introspection

by DaniGirl on March 23, 2010 · 5 comments

in It IS all about me, Life, the Universe and Everything

Beyond Tristan’s birthday, March is a month full of anniversaries. Things that happen in March have a funny way of becoming milestones in my life!

Fifteen years ago last week, Beloved and I met in a bar in London, Ontario. I was in town from Ottawa for the baptism of a friend’s new baby, and was hanging out at a restaurant where a friend of mine was bar-tending, largely because I didn’t have anything better to do. Beloved and the bartender were friends, and he introduced us. Eventually, after spending most of the evening talking about the art project he had been working on at home and his other paintings and sketches, he invited me back to his apartment to see his etchings, and I went. The rest, as they say, is history!

Seven years ago this month, we saw our house for the first time. We weren’t actively looking for a new house, but enjoyed browsing. We happened to be driving home from my parents’ place by a circuitous route, and followed the “Open House” signs. As soon as we walked in the door, I knew. I looked at Beloved and said, “Uh oh.” We moved in a couple of months later, and it’s been the longest either of us has lived in a house since our childhoods. I still love it, even if we’re starting to burst at the seams! Maybe when Lucas is in school full time and daycare is less of a burden, we’ll look at a four-bedroom place, but I have a hard time imagining a place as perfect for us as this house is. Except for a bigger kitchen, maybe. And an extra bedroom. But really, that’s all I’d need!

And, last but certainly not least, 20 years ago this month I started working for the government. (Twenty years! Who would have ever guessed I’d have enough of an attention span for 20 years of anything?!?) I started, way back in March of 1990, at what was then called Revenue Canada Taxation, Customs and Excise. I was a CR03 tax assessor, following arcane algorithms on a flow chart to see if credits and deductions were correctly claimed on personal income tax returns using a red pen and post-it notes.

From there I went on to resolving complex tax cases, and to answering public inquiries. I moved up to program management about the time Revenue Canada became the Canada Revenue Agency, and made the jump into communications a little less than ten years ago. And, as most of you know, made the jump to my current job just a few months ago.

It astonishes me (frankly, it scares me a little bit!) to look back and see how so many of the fundamentally important changes in my life — meeting Beloved, finding our home, starting a career, starting a blog, finding this job — have all been predicated on nothing more than whim and chance. No doubt, the circumstances around those whimsical moments were padded with preparation and hard work and more than a little luck, but to think of how different my life might be if I chose to stay home with my folks that night back in March of 1995, instead of hanging out and mooching free drinks from my bartender friend!

Almost equally astonishing is to realize that my current job — Web manager — did not exist as an occupation 20 years ago. Was there even an Internet in 1990? Surely not one as we know it now. And to think that social media barely came into existence in the middle of the last decade — and now it’s such an integral part not only of my job but of my life that I simply can’t imagine a day without it.

Looking back on the milestones of March makes me feel a dizzy sort of vertigo. I’m more than half way through my career, if I stay on track to retire when I’m eligible at 55, and yet I still have a toddler at home. I’m 40 years old, but I still feel 17 inside.

I’m still more than a little amazed by all the things happened to that oblivious little girl who sat down at a down at a desk 20 years ago, wide-eyed and ignorant. She never would have guessed any of this — but I know for sure she would have been relieved that it all turns out so well!

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 dean dad March 23, 2010 at 3:01 pm

Congratulations, Dani!

I know the paradox in praising someone’s humility, but I love the way you acknowledge how much of life can hang on a whim. I met my bride in a bar, back in a faraway time and place, and that was luck, too. And if you had told me twenty years ago what I’d be doing for a living now, and where, I would have assumed you were high.

Shows ya what we know.

2 Chantal March 23, 2010 at 4:29 pm

It really is amazing how chance directs our life isn’t it. I was working in Alexandria (town of 3000) when I decided I couldn’t see myself settling in such a small town. I quit with nothing else to go to. I applied to a temp agency for a temp job in Ottawa, no specific job, just a call for resumes. They called me about coming in for placement at a permanent job. I have been at that job for the last 15 years. On the day of my interview a friend contacted me and we met for lunch at the Rideau Centre. 3 years later we were married. I often wonder what my life would be if I hadn’t sent my resume into that placement agency!

3 Rebecca March 23, 2010 at 5:41 pm

wow – happy anniversary! that’s a big accomplishment. Hard to imagine how things have changed over the years I bet šŸ˜‰

fun captcha: ‘previously duchy’ – what am I being accussed of šŸ˜‰ ?!

4 Madeleine March 23, 2010 at 8:40 pm

Happy anniversaries, Dani!

20 years ago we had Gopher. Anyone else remember Gopher? It was kind of like an interactive phone system (“Press 1 for Stocks, 2 for Bonds, ….”) except in text. Green letters on a black screen, or maybe amber letters if you had the newfangled terminals. Ah, how far we’ve come.

5 Paula March 24, 2010 at 11:22 am

Congratulations on achieving so many wonderful milestones this month! They say there are no such thing a coincidences, only fate. Life can turn around on a dime for each of us, good things and bad things. We never know what to expect but we do know all things are temporary. Embrace the good, learn from the bad and most important…remember to count your blessings, even if you don’t recognize them as such, they usually are.

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