New year, new challenges! I’ve been asked to help build a platform and certification for a new project, Doctor Patient Communication. In French! I’m excited to teach myself new things about Moodle, such as allowing visitors to make PayPal Payments. Building this certification from scratch, in collaboration with subject matter experts from Belgium who don’t know too much about creating online courses, will be just the challenge I’ve been looking for.
For the past few months, since August of 2019, I’ve been getting back to my roots, living the Kootenay life, with it’s beautiful landscapes and highly competitive workforce. What can you do? Everyone wants to live here, and that brings talents from across Canada to compete for available positions. I was interested in taking a break from Remote life, feeling disconnected from those around me and looking for a change. I was able to find work at the local College as an online French Instructor and at the local Community Services Society working with families and youth. When I say back to my roots, I mean back to my earlier career experiences in community development and language instruction, but I also mean, back to working live and in person with people.
One the one hand, starting back into community work made me remember that I shunned office life for a reason! I was never very good at politics, preferring to focus on my work and being recognized for my merits. However, I fell back in love with working with people, and re-challenging myself with the requirement of this kind of work, needing to be present, focusing on people, rather than all my future plans and schemes. It is a marked difference from the past years as a nomad, making temporary connections with people, consuming what I needed and moving on. There are many aspect of Remote life that are wonderful, and some that are not. The experience of the past months has helped me become more grounded, valuing my present moments and interactions with clients and colleagues.
As a remote worker, I often felt as if I moved through life with a cloud over my head, my network followed me everywhere, even into my dreams! I found it difficult to set boundaries between personal and professional life. In fact, they were one and the same! My lifestyle was my work, and how I worked. Having the chance to come back to community development work allows me, in fact encourages me, to set strong boundaries between my personal life and my work presence. Re-finding permission to set these boundaries has really shown me that they are important to my sense of well-being, my connection with my friends and family, and my ability to be present with those I work with, as well as with those I love.
As I think about what 2020 will bring, I know that one constant in my life is my ability to change, to grow, to question.