Awe-inspiring Autumn


There’s some new beginnings this October for Sideways Sally… after getting off the boat (OMOO I miss you!!) I had changes to make, and it’s become awe-inspiring.

adjective: awe-inspiring

Arousing awe through being impressive, formidable, or magnificent.

“Michelangelo’s awe-inspiring masterpiece”

First of all, I switched the B&B I’ve stayed at for 5 years to a brand-new beautiful house with a gym in the garage. The owner is an impressive 80 year old woman who looks and acts 60. While she was helping me drag my luggage up two flights of stairs I saw how fit and strong she is. She gave me inspiration to get into better shape. I hired her trainer and got to it.

I found Dolores when I was between moving from my rented room at Cambie B&B onto the boat last spring and boat projects were delayed due to damaging winter storms that held up the repair shops for longer than expected.  I took to airbnb and found my new winter home.

The new digs gave me another part of Vancouver to explore. The neighborhood is near Shaughnessy which is home to streets lined with beautiful trees guarding historical mansions of brick and mortar. Not much further away is the VanDusen Gardens which is paradise to wander through, so colorful this time of year.

Over the five weeks the skipper was in hospital in the summer I ate my stress. A pizza, a bag of chips, washed down with a bottle of wine really packs on the pounds. One of the specialists I see put it all into perspective as I struggle to get my back pain under control. He said, “Imagine carrying a 25 lb backpack around all day.” That would hurt, and I was hurting myself.

My new routine included a new job!! I switched from 12 hour shifts to 8 hour shifts in community mental health. I left the setting of acute mental health and rotating shifts. I’ve never worked Monday to Friday in my entire career. This was traumatizing to say the least.

Six weeks in and here are three things I love about this job:

a) I love my clients wherever I work so that part didn’t change.

b) A sunny office, with autonomy to arrange my day to juggle the needs of my clients. I’m an old pro at multi tasking and it makes me happy. My computer station includes a sit-stand desk top, so I can get off my rear end as needed.

c) I get out and about, I either walk, take transit or grab a car-share to wherever I’m meeting my clients.

My case load is 60, about 40-50 are stable at any given time and 10-20 may be in crisis or need extra support to deal with what is going on in their lives. Sometimes they require hospitalization, to see their Psychiatrist, or a change of medication. I can be helping with getting applications done for health coverage, disability or simply handi-dart. I can be doing therapy with a young 20 year old with childhood trauma.  You name it, I do it.

It’s never the same day twice.

It’s a big change for me not to go see the Skipper and Omoo on my days off, but between work outs, grocery shopping for healthy food choices and getting rested from the work week, the days fly by. 

We did have a rendezvous on land in Nanaimo over the November Remembrance Day long weekend, met family and friends for dinners and had NOTHING to do in our hotel room. It was perfect!

I’ve booked vacation times in 2020 to give me some longer weekends, a trip to a warm beach, and time off for sailing.  

 SO… I think I can do this!!

3 replies on “Awe-inspiring Autumn”

Glad to see there is change in your life, change is good. Wendy and I are in Utah’s wonderful mountains. All is well. Cheers Rick.

Sent from Rick


Good to hear about your job in mental health, I’m sure you can help a lot of people in that role. Tough work though, I’ll bet. Chin up!

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