Out With The Old, In With The …

This may be the last year I get to use that tagline.

Last year (2014 – yes I’m late with my End of the Year post) was intense. Heck, every single year for the last four has been intense. Ending an 8 year job, international move, career reboot, starting and finishing law school, ending relationships and starting new ones, running an award-winning podcast, and those are just the big things off the top of my head. I realized yesterday that these two weeks off have been my first official no plans, no requirements, true Down Time since I’ve met Alasdair.

That’s scary. And completely unacceptable.

Look, I am the first person to admit I’m a full-blown Type A workaholic. Give a task to a busy a person and they get it done could be my motto. I like it. I thrive on it. I’m good at it. Which is part of the problem: it’s not going to slow down (let’s be honest, it’ll never stop) unless I make it.

The September Deadline was a fantastic (and successful) experiment which I’ll be repeating. And this year we’re only going to three conventions (two for me, unless Charles Soule makes it to Thought Bubble). We’ve scheduled several long weekend / short vacations, money willing. Time for this country and part of the world to be a place I get to explore and experience and enjoy instead of being just the place I work.

And tentative feelers are in the water about wedding venues and dates and such, but that’s a whooooole other thing I’m still unpacking.

Looking back 2014 was amazing and hard and busy and emotional. Amazing highs (engaged, training contract started immediately) and tough lows (visa trauma, yet another Annual Move). All I want from 2015 is a more stately pace: more breathing room, more downtime, less cost to the accomplishment. I want to concentrate on spending more time doing and learning and experimenting with the things I enjoy. I know what that involves in an ideal world, we’ll see how reality stacks up.

Four years worth of montage. Time to see how it pays off.

T Minus One

Tomorrow’s the big day – the first day of my training contract (or “period of recognized training”, as it’s now known). I’m nervous. I’m excited. I’m not enough of either of those things, and too much all at the same time.

Mostly I feel distracted and worried about all the logistics we’re juggling: the move, the visa, etc. I viewed another house last week and applied over the weekend, but of course the referencing and such will take a few days. Part of me knows I’ll be extremely busy (and therefore distracted followed by exhausted) during the coming week, but still… I can’t help but long for things to be more settled than they are right now.

And that’s leaving aside the entire ball of emotions wrapped up in bed-sitting / living apart from Alasdair again. With luck it’ll be short – two weeks, maybe three. If not, it’ll be weekend visits and more house-hunting until we can nail down the move. Doable. Sustainable. Undesirable.

On top of all THAT, tonight is the Parsec Awards – airing at an East Coast time which should see me fast asleep. They’re not a tremendous contributor to the overall emotional rollercoaster, but they’re still a part. It feels like Cast of Wonders is right on the cusp of starting to gain more mainstream recognition. I’ve done a lot more commentary and community involvement recently, and am starting to look at panel attendance in next year’s convention circuit.

Then there’s FantasyCon this weekend to finish preparing. It’s all in very good shape, just a matter of finalizing and printing and such. This weekend while I’ve packed for London, I packed for York at the same time.

One step at a time. Finish one project at a time. No new personal projects this year. And a quiet Christmas in a new house with, if we’re lucky, enough space for a tree. Just gotta stay on target, and remember to enjoy the ride!

Phase One: Complete!

One international move, two years of intense work, nineteen examinations and more applications than I care to count, and it’s all over.

The paperwork has been signed. It’s official: I’ve accepted my training contract with Olswang, and I start September 1st!

I cannot adequately put into works how excited I am. Not just to be moving into the last stage of training, but to be doing so immediately. I had resigned myself to a two year gap, and of course made plans to use the time productively. I’m ecstatic to abandon them.

For the last several months, The Future has been one big constantly shifting order of operations puzzle. When and where do we want to have the wedding, and is that timing dictated by my leave to remain visa application? (It’s not. Whew.) When should I start looking for full-time employment after exams? Are we going to move? Where, and when? What does that mean for Alasdair’s employment? How are we going to schedule all these conventions when I may have interviews and assessment days? On and on and on. Many questions, few answers.

These last few weeks it’s all started to click into place. This will be our third move in three years. Where hasn’t been decided yet, but we’ve got a likely candidate, RightMove saved properties and tentative plans for a scouting trip along with offers of help from friends and family alike. But we’ll make it work. We always do. Not to mention the HUGE job possibilities this makes possible for Alasdair.

But one thing at a time. Nine Worlds this weekend (#DragonLadies! Swordfighting!). LonCon next (US friends!).  Then house-hunting and FantasyCon (Redcloaks!).

Onward, to bigger and better!