The good, the bad, the federal government

Things over here are pretty awesome these days. Awesome both in the sense of being great, but also in the sense of being a tad overwhelming. The good, the bad, the life – you know – the life.

What’s good right now you ask? Well, generally we’ve been having awesome social time with lots of different friends. Our friend Red Chris moved back to town and in with his sweetie Clare (who is a month away from having a baby!), our friends Chris and Carla have been coming over every two weeks for dinner and games, I am developing good friendships with some of my fellow-grad-students, the writing group I am involved with is meeting semi-regularly and I even managed to get a crew over to play music last weekend. Plus! We’ve had lots of great dinner invites out of the blue – including one tonight for Raclette which I’ve never had before.

I’m writing extensively for school, reading like a madwoman, attempting to reformulate the Flying Folk Army for an early spring gig, and getting started in the garden. I’m feeling energized for the first time in months, which I attribute both to my naturopath and the returning of the light. And, I live in an awesome community where people organize events like last night’s movie showing of Queen of the Sun and Saturday’s Light, Water, Drums festival.

What’s not so good?  The federal government, for one thing. Although layoffs have started out as a trickle, the expectation is that after the spring budget we will be flooded with pink paper since this government is so hell-bent on reducing its workforce. What that means for me is a lot of work as a union rep, but I am not immune to layoff either and like every federal worker right now the underlying stress is great. Will it be me? Will it be them? If it isn’t me, do I want to stay in a decimated and demoralized workplace?

It’s a little intense, and especially for someone like me who identifies so strongly with the world of work, and was raised with a lot of fears around joblessness. On the other hand, getting laid off would pretty much force me to change my career trajectory which I’m not altogether happy with at the moment. The worst part about it all is that we’re all to keep doing our jobs as if nothing is happening – planning for the future, purchasing new software for projects down the road, getting committees for next autumn set up – all with the knowledge that we may have to walk away mid-bounce.

I’m a bit bogged down by it at the moment, and tense for the worse which is yet to come. People keep telling me how great it is to have an experienced union rep around, how lucky it is that I haven’t found other employment yet (cause everyone knows I’ve been looking) – and I do feel a sense of obligation on that front, for sure. On the other hand? It won’t matter one bit what I do for anyone right now if this government is hellbent on its path of destruction. We’ll all be picking up the pieces for a long time to come.

Now, what I have going for me is an awesome partner, and a great social community that I am feeling really engaged with lately – not to mention some creative and intellectual outlets. If it wasn’t for all of those things, this whole downsizing situation would feel a lot worse. Even though I have a slow anger burning beneath the surface, I can honestly say that I feel generally very satisfied with my life right now – which seems incongruous, but life, you know? Sometimes it’s very weird.

Next goals are to get back to the gym and start doing more stuff outside as the weather improves. A little more exercise would go a long way right now. We’ve got at least another month until we know for sure what’s going on with that damned federal buget and I need to work that angst out!

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