Hello 2011!

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It’s hard to believe it’s actually 2011. Not long ago, it was weird to write “2010” on things, instead of “200_” and now 2010 is gone. What a year! Here are a few highlights from my life!

No more Flight Service. I worked my last day for Nav Canada on December 31, 2009. Only a few times in 2010 did I miss it… and I don’t regret the decision I made to strike out on my own. I don’t hold any bad feelings towards Nav Can, so all in all, it was a great experience! I would even consider going back… In all honesty, I sometimes miss telling people “I’m like an air traffic controller.” But I do not miss the shift work! Or getting up at 6 am to go to work when it’s -30 C in a snowstorm! But those were good times too, in their own way! Always an adventure!

Starting my own business. Starting Flow North Paddling Company was a huge highlight of 2010, and a heck of a lot of work! I loved setting things up, working on the website, ordering business cards, getting a new vehicle and then getting it covered in lettering. I’m having a lot of fun being my own boss, although it has its challenges too. There’s nobody pushing me to get out of bed early to go to work, except me! Then again, I have to live with the pushy part of myself (which usually kicks in at 8 pm or so) that wants to get this-or-that task finished…

Paddling the Peace River. I was so very blessed to paddle about 800 km of the Peace River, 430 km of that in a solo kayak, on my own in the wilderness. It was a challenge and a journey, but most of all, a blessing to be able to do it. It took 19 days, and if I worked for someone else, I would not have had that much time off! It was “research” but it was also a sort of quest. I didn’t know what I was looking for, but I found it! Peace, serenity, focus and clarity.

Joining the volunteer fire department. In the fall, I signed up for the volunteer fire department in my town. It has been another challenging and awesome experience. The people are great, I enjoy learning all kinds of new things, and I have made many new friends! I feel really well-suited to the work and enjoyed my first calls (what a day that was)! It gets my heart pounding, and hey, isn’t that what life is about?!?

Writing a paddling guide. Using a completely different skill set — researching, scouring through details, graphic designing, and writing — I have been creating a comprehensive paddling guide for the Peace River. It will be available online in the spring, through GeoTourism Canada’s website. They are paying me to write it, to make it available for free for all of you! I’ve enjoyed it, on the whole, although at times, it’s been challenging too. It’ll be great when it’s done! It’s been a priority for the last couple of months, so I’ll be glad to be done and have time for other things!

Almost finishing my book. In January 2010, I found an illustrator for my book. I started working on the finishing steps. Then, spring came and I got too busy with the paddling business to work on anything else. I took a little time in August to work on my book, and the paddling business slumped. I refocused, and the business came back a little. It’s amazing how one’s focus affects success! I had a friend do some editing for me… and when winter returned and the canoes and kayaks were put to bed, I resumed the formatting and other finishing work. I’m so close to finishing I can smell it. Hopefully by the end of next week!

Hmmm… it would seem like the theme of this year was challenges! Maybe it’s the theme for my life… in any case, I’m ready for another year, whatever it will bring! Book success! Canoe trips! Making more new friends! More writing! I know, I’m a week late, but let’s raise a glass to 2011!

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