The Daily EO: September 4th, 2013

I have a tough job.  But most days I love it.  Other days I do not.  Other days I really do not.  You have to generally love working in manufacturing in North America because it is an industry without glamour and under continuous pressure from all aspects.

But all that aside as today was a good day.

All three were somewhat nervous – one was absolutely terrified and kept telling me she would be sick that day.

I got through my portion and then it was their turn.

I thought I’d get the terrified one the chance to go first – get it out of the way.  And she was shaky.  She was wavering.  She was hesitating.  But then she started to remember why she wanted to tell the story in the first place.  And started to tell it.   And connected with everyone.

Then up was number 2 – my prickly team member that I can’t often figure out what she is thinking.  British and contrary.  She told her story beginning with telling all of us how much company and the people who work there mean to her.  And she started to cry.  And she got hugs and applause and managed to carry on with her story.   And we saw a different side.

Last is the rising star.  He was nervous but would never admit it to me or anyone else.  So, he got up there and told his story that he was really proud of.  And stood even a little taller.

As I stood there, I was teary eyed with pride watching all three of my team members stretch to grow and overcome fear, knowing that I helped a little to get them there.  They did it, but I helped a little.  I am proud of all three.

September 4th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary:  A day of clarity when you understand exactly who and what you are working so hard for.

The Daily EO: February 9th, 2013

My husband had a work get together at our place tonight and by the time I rolled in, most of the food was gone and a good portion of the drinks as well.

It was a small gathering and as soon as I walked in, I was immediately greeted by someone who through the course of the conversation self-proclaimed herself as the “Book Whisperer”, admired my book collection and who told me she was unemployed but had too much pride to collect EI.   I found this odd as I am not sure what is so noble about gathering debt and not using EI as a transition to the next phase in life.  That is what the program is there for, that is why we have that deduction removed from our pay cheques.

I don’t know – I am pretty prideful myself, but thought this was an odd view.  Why would one not collect EI if your intention is employment?  It’s like having house insurance and then being too prideful to collect when your house burns down.

She didn’t know that Emile and I both faced periods of unemployment and both collected EI, so after a glass of wine I told her it was irresponsible and fiscally stupid to not collect a benefit that she had paid for.  If she was legitimately looking for work, wanted to work, then use the EI exactly what it was intended for.  Honestly.

February 9th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary:  I went to bed before the party wound down (wine, you fickle mistress), so she left me a note with her promise to sign up for EI next week and her phone number.  I made a friend.  One who wants to do drinks.

The Daily EO: April 29th, 2012

The morning finally arrived.  Our race.  Our chocolate race.  We were up at 8:00 to dress and have a good solid breakfast to power ourselves through 5K.  Instead of taking the shuttle, we drove to Port Dalhousie ourselves and found parking on a nearby street.  The day was one of those perfect days – sunny but crisp, cool but the potential for a wonderfully warm afternoon.  We were prepared – a new firm sports bra (for me – nice to have the girls strapped in tight) and new long running pants for Emile (for those turkey legs of his).  A good night rest, a solid breakfast, no alcohol, and a month+ of training.

Could we make our goals of a personal best?  Considering the chocolate pits stations on the course?  Hills? People?

Goals:  Emile:  34:00 Minutes     Susan:  38:00 Minutes  These goals are based on our best average times on an indoor track – no hills, no crowds, no chocolate and controlled climate.

The chocolate race course is a an out and back one meaning you run 2.5 kms and then loop back to finish where you started.  I have never run more than 1.5 kms without stopping, Emile has consistently been able to run 5 km only stopping for a water break each km.   We agreed we would not wait for each other (like I’d be doing any of the waiting!), but simply run the best race that we could.  As we were separated, I could not tell you what Emile’s strategy was, but mine was to just keep going.   I had a target to run from the start until about the 1.75 km mark where a very steep hill marked the entrance into Westcliffe park – and I made it.   At the 2.25 km mark, I had some Gatorade and a chocolate dipped marshmallow and strawberry on a stick.  Hello, yum!

At the 3 km mark, my old friend the stitch acted up, and I had to walk and stretch a bit, but I kept going as fast as I could.   At 3.5 km, I thought I was done, but I didn’t like other people passing me, so I found something to keep going,

And finally, seeing that finish line across the parking lot and Emile waiting for me, I managed to dig deep, ignore my shins, ignore my lungs, and ignore my stitch and ran as fast as I could.

I blog to you about many EOs – mundane, silly, ironic, funny, but today’s EO is one of the most emotional ones yet for me.  When I crossed that finish line, tears – and not from the wind – came to my eyes.  I am so proud of myself!  So proud that I ran 90% of the race.  So proud that I could turn such a difficult winter into an accomplishment.  We set our goals modestly, and trained for this race and we set fair goals based on previous results.

2 chocolate croissants, 1 chocolate milk, 4 truffles, 1 brownie and 1 chocolate martini (yeah, a real one) each awaited our celebration at the end of the race.  Why are more races not like this?

April 29th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:

Emile Results:
Time: 29:55 (personal best, and -4:05 from target)
Overall Finish:  58th (!!)
Category Finish: 6th (OMG!!!)

Susan Results:
Time:  34:25 (personal best and -3:35 from target)
Overall Finish:  126th
Category Finish:  32nd (!!)

We Run for Chocolate! (updated with official timing)

The Daily EO: April 22nd, 2012

5 Days a week I make Emile’s lunches.  It is not a chore for me really, in fact, I find it a bit of a challenge for myself to include variety, low calories, high fibre, protein, interest and bulk.   That is difficult.  I have a friend – who will remain nameless so she can avoid persecution – that refuses to make her husband’s lunches.  She doesn’t want him to become dependant on her for food.  She manages the rest of the house and the family – he can figure out eating breakfast and lunch.  That’s fair I think – and frankly if I had less time on my hands, I too would probably expect that we would take turns.

Isn't it a beauty?

Today’s lunch (to eat on Monday) I am pretty proud of.  It has homemade broccoli & bean soup with added ground flax seeds and nutritional yeast flakes; two romaine lettuce sandwiches featuring homemade pesto (like I couldn’t make that again), sodium nitrate free turkey breast from Well Fed, and light Havarti cheese; low-fat yogurt with 1 tbsp Holy Crap cereal; and a couple of pecan halves.  I’ve learned that Emile likes his lunches when they good for grazing.  He can have the yogurt in the morning, eat the “sandwiches” atlunch, and nibble on the pecans in the afternoon.    He doesn’t really want last night’s leftovers because he just eats them all at once and there is nothing left for the afternoon when he gets hungry.

Nutritionally, it’s a pretty good lunch.  A touch high in fat – but for the most part the “good fats”:

April 22, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  Making a lunch to be proud of – like millions of Moms, Dads and spouses across Canada.

Update:  Updated to show correct EO Date of April 22nd, 2012