Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Settling Down

Well, it's been a month since I left work and things are settling down a bit. Rosi is still very much missing her mum, and each day brings new memories and new challenges, but she's dealing with her grief as best she can and life unfortunately, moves on.

As I mentioned in my last post; Tami, bless her heart, has offered to take Rosi to Phoenix with her next month. The tickets are now purchased and they leave in less than three weeks. Rosi is really looking forward to it!

I'm afraid I was a little premature in my plans to fly down myself and ride my bike back. It sounded like a very cool, exciting thing to do when I first thought of it but a little reality is now setting in. I've already paid Ward to bring it back so it doesn't make a lot of sense to spend another $1,000 flying down and riding back just for "fun." Plus, I just know I'll get two days into a five day trip by myself and wonder what the hell was I thinking. And besides, if I'm going to spend five days on the bike I'd just as soon do it with Rosi and ride down the Oregon Coast as blast straight through from Phoenix to Summerland. So this time pragmatism is outweighing dreaming and I've passed on that particular idea.

Now some positive news; things are starting to move forward with my consulting business. I had some very positive meetings in Vancouver a couple weeks ago and I have my first teaching contract lined up for April. It's just three two-hour sessions over the Internet but it's a start. It's for a company that does training for the credit union system nationally so it could work into a semi-regular position teaching throughout the western provinces. The company will have a booth at a trade show in May that's part of a large credit union conference in Vancouver and they've asked me to join them. They know I have a lot of contacts in the credit union system and having me at their booth will be a good way to leverage my experience to earn trust in the system and hopefully drum up some business. They're paying my way down so there's no downside for me and it could end up being a great partnership.

And always one to look for the positive, it's a great opportunity to ride my motorcycle! My bike will be back from the US - or I may take the Goldwing, I haven't decided - and I can ride down. The dress is business casual so dockers will be OK, which is good because taking a suit on a bike is a huge PIA. After the conference Kevan and I may hook up and ride our bikes down to Washington State. Maybe a loop through the Olympic Peninsula or as far south as the Oregon border. He's riding to Alaska in June with Karen so it'll be a good shake down cruise for his new bike. See, I don't want to go, but I have to because I can't let Kevan down. :-)

Other than that it's same ol same ol. Like everyone else we're waiting for some decent spring weather so we can get out and work in the yard. It's not too bad - around 8 degree's - but still below seasonal temp's and at least two weeks behind where we should be.


Saturday, March 7, 2009

New Beginings

It's been a VERY busy last few weeks. There were highs lows and lots of everything else in-between.

We had the memorial service for Rosi's mum almost three weeks ago and it was lovely. It was standing room only and a very fitting tribute to her life and accomplishments. A service is hugely emotional at the best of times but I sometimes think doubly so when it's your mother. Rosi is still struggling with her grief and is doing as well as can be expected. Each day is a new one and we move on.

As friends and family know, I've been working on a diploma in adult education for quite some time. I've often thought about starting down a new career path as a trainer and consultant but the time just never seemed right, especially with the recent economic downturn. This said though, there's never a right time. Rosi and I discussed it and we decided I'd give it a try. My fear is if I don't try now I may never. And, at the end of the day, it's the things we didn't do that we regret, not the things we did.

I returned to work on Monday, Feb 23rd and gave my notice that I was leaving in two months to start a new career. As is often the case with senior management though, the credit union didn't necessarily want someone hanging around who was obviously focused on something else. Particularly since other credit unions will be my primary marketing focus - so they released me immediately. It was a bit of a shock - OK, a huge shock - and it couldn't have come at a worse time, because of the other stresses due to Rosi's mum's passing, but whatever is meant to be will be. I'm now on my own as a training and development consultant, madly working the phone to develop contacts and drum up business. I have a few meetings already lined up and I have a really good feeling about where this might lead. In the interim I've joined the ranks of the self-employed and now control my own destiny. Which is double-speak for saying I now work 60 hours a week for half pay - but so far I'm loving it!

For tax reasons we formed the new company as a partnership. Say hello to DEXCO Training Consultants. The website is still under construction but I now have a business e-mail and the fax machine should be up and running in a few days. My business e-mail is and the company website is

One thing that's looking good since I now have more flexibility is I'm leaning towards flying back to Phoenix and riding my bike home. My sister Tami, one of the kindest and supportive women you'll ever meet, is taking Rosi on a two-week vacation back to Phoenix in April. Tami goes down every April and has enough airmiles to pay for her tickets as well as my other sister Sheri and Rosi. Oh boy! I can only imagine the goings on around the hot tub once those three crack open their first bottle of Corona or Red Wine! Rosi needs it though. Our vacation was cut short and it's been a crappy time for her since.

As for me, as long as I can get some work lined up before I go I'll take few days and complete the ride home. I'll fly down on a Wed so I can have the Thu and Fri to complete all the necessary maintenance, and then hit the road on a Sunday morning to avoid the freeway commuter traffic on a Monday. Looking at a map, I can do the ride in five easy days, which will put me home on a Thur night. And by late April (knock on wood) I shouldn't have any issues with snow. It'll be chilly again, but this time I'll have my other gear, which is designed specifically for cold weather riding, so I'll be fine.

That's it for now. I'm a co-executor on Rosi's mum's will and there are seven children and lots of grandchildren, all with an opinion of how things should be handled, the wills instructions notwithstanding. Stuart, her oldest son, is doing pretty much all the work and I'm just along for a second opinion and moral support, but it's still a huge commitment. And no matter how you try, someone isn't going to be satisfied. Oh well, broad shoulders.

Adios mi Amigos Y mi Familia