Ridiculously happy and oh, so thankful

I got on the bus yesterday afternoon to go home from work and there were no seats available. Normally, I’m okay with standing up for 40 minutes straight for the trip home, but my feet were kind of sore from my cute little sandals because I’d done quite a bit of walking throughout the day. So, I rang the bell, hopped off the bus and jumped onto the one two buses behind. I was greeted by the mild-mannered bus driver, air conditioning, a half-empty bus and glorious, wonderful silence.

Ah, bliss!

I tend to cocoon on the bus - i.e., turn on my headphones and escape into my iPhone to do whatever strikes my fancy - so noise doesn’t usually bother me. But yesterday’s ride was utterly peaceful. I practically forgot about my day at work by the time I arrived at the meeting place to join Matt and Brandon. There wasn’t anything particularly remarkable about the day - good or bad. It just was.

I was feeling good as I walked to the car and hopped in the backseat to hang out with my boy on the way home. Brandon looked up and smiled at me, “Mommy!” Then I say, “Brandon!” and we go back and forth a few rounds until he decides to move on. Today, he looked at me with shining, smiling (beautiful blue) eyes. He reached out for my hand and held it in his lap as he played with his noisy “music”-producing toy and I just watched him with a silly mommy grin on my face because he makes me so happy. 

Pure joy in a face that can make the darkest days bright again - just because he’s with Mommy.Brandon may never appreciate this unless and until he has children of his own, but that was one of the moments I live for as a parent. It’s one of the reasons I love having my little boy. Those sweet, special times when he’s babbling happily away, loving everything about his world make the difficult times worth it. Who know that a child’s simple touch accompanied by a brilliant smile could complete your day so perfectly? 

High on life – even with a nasty cold (and no I’m not on cold meds either)!

Yesterday will count as one of those days in my life when things unmistakably went my way. Even if, for whatever reason, something occurs to change the outcome, I'll always remember how good it felt.

I started the day getting ready, with great care and attention to detail (meaning, every time Brandon brushed his face against my legs, I immediately wiped my pants down to remove the traces of his cold – you know what I'm talkin' 'bout, moms). I donned my black suit with the "power" red camisole and matching earring/necklace set so that I was coordinated perfectly. I made sure that every hair was in place and attempted to generously cover every blemish with a thorough coating of makeup. Secure behind my mask and costumed in confidence, I took Brandon to daycare and headed downtown.

I arrived about 40 minutes early, so I wandered around the building of my potential employer, thinking through how I felt about working downtown. On one hand, the commute is a drawback. I live in the 'burbs and I would have to bus in to work every day. The commute from my house – including some walking – will be about an hour going and coming. A drawback, but made better by the fact that this isn't a 40-hour a week job; it's 37.5 hours, and my workday will start pretty early – either at 7:30 or 8:00am. (Oy, my doctor’s appointments are gonna be tricky since my doc is in the burbs, too!)

I've worked downtown before and, except for the unending cigarette smoke, I can't really find anything to dislike about it. If I want, I can hop a bus and be at the Rideau Centre (my fave mall in Ottawa) in about 5 minutes over my lunch hour for shopping – a convenient perk when it comes to Christmas shopping, the season that's coming up WAY too fast!! Besides the Rideau Centre, there are shops all over the downtown area that offer a real variety if you're looking for a little retail therapy.

Perhaps even more important to note is the restaurants. Downtown is home to countless really good restaurants of just about every type of food imaginable. Of course, my diet means that I'll be sticking close to my desk and that will benefit my waistline and my bank balance. When I've worked downtown before, I spent a small fortune on food but I plan to brown bag it this time.

So, sitting in the ground floor of the building of my potential employer, I decided once and for all that I was okay with the possibility of working downtown. I have to admit that part of the attraction was that I genuinely liked everyone I'd met with so far and so it makes it easier to commit to the extra time I'll spend commuting. In a way, I'm kind of looking forward to the commute to catch up on reading/podcasts. Riding the bus is great for that. It also allows me to feed my gadget addiction with dreams of buying an iPhone or Sony eReader!

Finally, it was time for me to go upstairs for my interview. It was a short one – only 30 minutes as compared with the 1 hour of the first round. The intention was to be low-key and casual because I was there primarily to meet my prospective boss; she'd been on holidays when I was in for my first interview. Our conversation flowed easily and I felt really good about my answers as well as the responses from my interviewers. When I left, I was about 99% sure that I had just landed myself a job. Either way, I was told they were going to make a decision by the next day (today).

Back at home, I went about my day as usual and ended up getting a call for an interview at another company (the third in two weeks). I was interested in the position, so I agreed to come in on the off chance that things didn’t work out; you know, in case I was 99% wrong. About an hour after I scheduled that interview, I got a completely unexpected call from the HR representative at the company downtown. She was calling to give me a verbal offer. After giving me all the details, I unreservedly gave my verbal acceptance. Everything I was offered was in line with what I had hoped to get from them. After hanging up, I ran – I never run anywhere if I can avoid it – outside to tell Matt the good news. The adrenalin was flowing and I was thrilled to have finally succeeded at finding work.

Here's the funny thing about this position, compared to the others: it's a one-year contract. The others were permanent. Despite that, from the first time I talked with their HR rep, I just had the strongest feeling of rightness about the job. I could easily find myself unemployed again a year from now, but I’m going to hope for the best. Either I'll find another position within the same organization – especially if I really love it, or I'll look for the next opportunity that comes up for me. If my instincts aren't heinously flawed, this should be a really pleasant work experience for me and I'm looking forward to getting back into a regular routine.

The only downer about today was having a cold come on pretty suddenly. I’m relieved it decided to show up now and not in 2 weeks when I'll be starting my new job. I've missed working and I’m definitely looking forward to going back. That's one thing I've learned these last few months – I do not think I'm cut out to be a stay-at-home mom, no matter how much I’d like to try. Perhaps there will come a time in the future that will change for me, but until then I will continue to work outside the home.

I love it when I have a good day like this! And now I hope that I am able to get a nap today since I was up half the night with this lame cold. ;)

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