Twelve Days of Appreciation: Day 1-Work

We are twelve days until Christmas. So I am going to use that as a prompt over the few blog posts to share my top twelve things that I am grateful for leading up to the holiday season. I know the twelve days of Christmas start on Christmas Day, but I want to lead up to that day instead. So here goes with day number 1 of Appreciation.

I appreciate my job.

It’s kind of obvious that in life we do need some sort of income to be able to afford a lifestyle that we enjoy. Over the past 15 years, CN has been wonderful in this aspect. CN has allowed me to enjoy and deliver the best things in life for myself and my family. I have made many good friends along the way and have had some great experiences that are one of a kind because the railroad helped me to get there.

I’m thankful for my previous jobs also. Without working at a movie theater, Chuck E Cheese’s or even pumping gas- I never would have made the friends that I have kept for a lifetime. A job isn’t always just about making money- it’s about creating friendships and bonds that go beyond work.

As I grow older I have come to appreciate my past and how it got me to where I am today. I have also enjoyed the decades of watching my friends succeed in life and grow their families as well. From career changes to marriages to pets to kids- everyone has had a different path than mine and each one is beautiful to behold.

Without work, none of those things could happen. I am truly grateful for where I am in my career and wouldn’t change it for the world.

First Day(s) Of School/Work September 2022

Today was the first day of school for our youngest at age 16. He was returning to his high school for grade 11. He stayed at a friends house last night because today was only an hour or so long and more just a chance for everyone to meet up again.

Our middle attended their first day of post-secondary at the Simon Fraser University. Upon arrival, it to was a meet and greet type of day, but lasted about six hours or so. They had a chance to make some new friends, create group chats, and even went to the mall with these new friends after the first day ended.

My wife also began a new job today for a company called Jane. She is working remotely (from home) in a similar manner as she once did for Shopify. Her day went rather quickly.

But all three of them had great experiences on the first day of their new adventures. I was genuinely excited to hear about their first day encounters over dinner. I’m glad our middle made some new friends already and is really enthusiastic about the school. I was a bit worried prior to this moment. But I think my fears and anxiety trumped theirs. I’m also really proud of my wife for jumping into a new role after such an unexpected leave from her previous job. I know it wasn’t easy for her to go an apply for work when she didn’t foresee that moment coming. But she is back in the saddle again and moving forward with her career! Our son was just happy to be back with his high school buddies and his change in fine arts major is a chance for him to showcase other skills he has.

All in all a good first day was had in our household. How was your first day?

Our Youngest’s 1st Work Week

As I mentioned previously, our two youngest finally got summer jobs. Today, I’m going to talk about our youngest. That’s because I have been receiving updates from our neighbor about it.

Our youngest has finished his first week of work. There have been early mornings all week. He has come home after an eight hour day at 1pm and taken a nap on more than one occasion. But it hasn’t deterred home from getting to work each and every day this week.

On his first day, he was actively working the grounds by hand. He raked the sand traps and was given the general lay of the land. It’s funny, but after three days at work, he’s already talking about golf and the course he works at.

Three days later and he was using the machines to smooth out the sand traps. He came home today and enthusiastically described the work involved in operating these machines. My hunch is telling me that he will keep this job for a few years and enjoy the summer benefits he gets from working there.

He also wants to start golfing now. He has been told a bunch of advice and feels the need to get involved more. He gets free golf, so I’m sure he will take advantage of it by the end of summer and into fall. All I can say- my father (his grandfather) would be proud.

Life’s Bittersweet Memories

Sometimes a memory pops up on Facebook and it’s kind of heartbreaking. Today hit me unexpectedly, again…

Some of you may be thinking, It’s just a job, why does it matter? To me it wasn’t “just a job” that I was leaving. I left a job that I truly enjoyed and was proud to do. I also left behind numerous friendships- however I have still kept in contact with many of them. Colossus was the first place to employ me after almost a year of unemployment. I worked there for five years- as I felt I owed it to them for getting me out of a bad place. Yet it was time to move on. The main reason I left was money.

The job didn’t pay as well as I needed anymore. It was great when I was single and scraped by. However, I never saw a future for me and my family. I was married and we had our first kid. My wife was pregnant with our second child that would be born three months later. I needed to do more than just enjoy my job. I needed to be able to support my family.

Besides working at Colossus Cinema, I was also working two other part time jobs. I was putting in 70-80 hours a week in order to buy our first home. If I hadn’t sacrificed my time back then, we wouldn’t be where we are now.

Over the years I have shared with my family my love of cinema. In return, our oldest is going to school in order to work behind the scenes. Our middle has friends who work at that same theater and has been going to movies with friends. Our youngest is always talking to me about the latest trailers and wanting to be the first to see the big blockbusters as they come out.

Since 1999, Colossus has been a part of my journey in this life. I am fortunate that working there happened. I also can’t believe where I’ve gotten to since then. It was a good move, maybe when I retire I’ll go back to being a projectionist part time, assuming they need someone of my age.

Linked

The other day it was suggested to me to join LinkedIn. I have been aware of the site and what it offers, but never saw the need for joining it. I’m not actively looking for new work, but it’s neat to see so many current and previous coworkers and their profiles stating skill sets and abilities. I had no idea that many of them are supremely talented and successful in many aspects. Go team!

The platform is similar to Facebook (obviously). As much as I was wanting to limit my Social Media usage, I’ve been enjoying setting up my new LinkedIn profile. I guess you can find me here: Josef Havelka LinkedIn. I’ve currently being adding my careers and jobs, and searching similar jobs and even dream jobs. But I have been hemming and hawing about mentioning my blog in my profile.

This blog is a great place for me to share, even though it’s not devoted to one topic. Besides being about ME. So do I add my blog or not? It’s kind of like a diary of being a father, husband, and geek who enjoys food and travel as well as nostalgia.

Help me interweb friends! What do I do?

Relearn

At work I’ve been moved around to different locations over the past year or so. Every time, I use my knowledge that I have gained over the years and adapt it. Sometimes I struggle to figure things out.

But sometimes I forget things. Things I should’ve remembered. Mostly because I don’t use that knowledge.

I don’t plan on forgetting computer commands. Or forgetting the processes and rules in place. But when you don’t utilize them, you forget them. It’s like relearning how to ride a bike all over again.

As tough as it is, everyone is patient with my abilities. And willing to help me out. The people and the job are pretty good to me in that aspect. No one wants to see you fail here. It’s very encouraging.

Job!

A couple of days ago I mentioned my wife applied for a job: She Works Hard. She found out this afternoon that she got it!

She now works at Shopify starting as soon as we return from our trip to Tokyo. Tonight we are going out to celebrate. That’s my quick update. Gotta go and share the joy with my wife.