July 9, 2020

Things suddenly become very real for me today. I know I’ve mentioned that I recently retired from 35+ years in education, that past 2 of which I have been on a medical leave. Last year I spent as the assistant at ‘Donna’s Day Home,” the daycare service my wife started up last year. It was a very busy but enjoyable year. Once I retired, I had hoped to enjoy some time to unwind before beginning any new adventures. I’ve always been an advocate of staying busy no matter what chapter of your life journey you’re in. Keeping that in mind, I had hoped to play some golf, go for some walks, read a few books, and write on this blog.

Ok, it didn’t quite work out that way. Once I was officially retired on April 1 (I’ve since started to say March 31 for obvious reasons). Anyway, my daughter Meghan, who teaches in Igloolik, Nunavut said to me, “Dad, you should apply for jobs up here. They are looking to fill several principal positions.” Never being one to shy away from a challenge, that’s exactly what I did. One thing led to another, a phone interview and Wham! Before I knew it I was the principal of the new middle school in Igloolik.

Since then I’ve been busy getting things ready and buying things to take up there with me. Meghan has been sending me weekly lists of things to get. I’ve spend more time at Wal-Mart, Canadian Tire, and Costco than most other people. I’ve also been busy catching up on some professional reading and doing some preliminary planning. Apparently, keeping busy is a sure fire way to pass the time quickly.

Up until today it has been a bit of an abstract concept my going away to work for most of the next 3 years. Donna and I have come to grips with it, to some degree. She’ll be staying in Saskatoon to help out with our youngest grandson who will be starting pre-school this year and kindergarten next year. With the Covid-19 and uncertainty around schooling for the older grandsons, grades 3 and 4, she’s needed here. I’ll be in Igloolik with Meghan. It’s a good thing that we have Face time and Zoom to stay in touch.

Things got real today. The movers came at 8:30 to start packing all the stuff I was taking with me. They were quick and efficient despite an almost 3 hour wait for the truck. Nevertheless, they were done and gone by 2:30. Up until today there was always that window to back out of going. I never really considered not going, but now that my ‘stuff’ is on it’s way North, I’m now all in, so to say.

It’s not all clear sailing however. I still don’t know when I fly out. Again, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, things are not simple. Instead of 2 days of travel with an overnight in Ottawa, I will likely have over 16 days of travel that will include 14 days of Isolation in a hotel in Ottawa. I’m only 1 of several hundred new educators who are employees of the government of Nunavut, traveling in the next 6 weeks. It’s a logistical nightmare that I can only hope and pray that those working on it have good fortune.

I guess this would be page 1 of that next chapter in the journey I’m taking called life.

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