Settling In: Trying to Embrace the Chaos

Sweet home Alaberta I'm back, and let me tell you it has not been easy. I've now been back in Sherwood Park (just east of Edmonton for you out-of-towners) for 10 whole days and they have just been packed. If you're thinking of packing up and moving somewhere else, allow me to give you some advice based on my recent experience:

1. Fly, don't drive. Two Mondays ago I began a five day road trip across parts of Canada and the United States with my beloved baby brother, Damian, to move my car and me back to Sherwood Park from Ottawa. Now don't get me wrong: the road trip itself went pretty smoothly. There were kooky videos involving karaoke, jamming with Henry the Uke (one video even involved a priest – we love you, Fr. Mark Gnutel!), really good conversations, and only some bouts of frustration with each other where we had nothing to say and didn't want to be stuck in the car with one another. No, the thing that's tough after a road trip like that is that YOU. ARE. TIRED. Exhausted even. I didn't want to move for days afterwards, but unfortunately I did not have that luxury. Which bring us to #2 of Things-To-Do-When-You-Move:

2. Start work at least two weeks after you've moved and had a chance to settle in. I started work a full 2.5 days after I moved back home. It would be fine if my work finished when I left the studio for the day, but, alas, as a teacher you've got to do this little thing called lesson planning. The bane of my existence, lesson planning is (did I just become Yoda in that sentence?). Really, lesson planning is homework for grown ups. Thankfully my lesson planning can be quite interesting at times, especially when it includes reading a great book and then assigning pages from it, or exploring different vocal selections (some for my students, some for myself). It does take up some time, however, so my time at home isn't generally free to be doing other things, like unpacking...

3. Unpack and organize your space as soon as you move in, to help ease the transition. I kind of feel like I live in a bit of a war zone right now. There are barricades of boxes and bags all over the place, papers piled high in the most precarious of positions. It's really hard to find things because I'm not sure whether the thing I'm looking for I've already put into its new place or it's still packed away, waiting to be found. To those who know me, this might not seem like much of a change from how I normally keep things, but the madness I tend to live in regularly does have a method to it. This is just utter chaos, and with limited hours in the day due to work-related responsibilities, the unpacking gets drawn out much longer than it should be.

4. Change your billing addresses, update insurance, open your mail ASAP. Yeah... that's not even on my radar... See above reasons.

Yes, it's been a bit crazy for me to start living my life in Alberta within days of getting here. You know, though, it really has been a blessing that I have been able to get started so quickly. The fact that I do have work already and have started earning my keep here is something not everyone can boast about. I also have not had time to be bored because I literally have so much to do and deadlines to abide by. Third, my students so far have really been fantastic! Seriously, I am having a blast in the studio with my kids and I'm looking forward to seeing where this year will take us. Which studio, you ask? Well, reader, let me tell you! I am teaching Voice and Piano at Crescendo Music Studios Ltd. in Sherwood Park, Speech and Drama at The Speech Studio Inc. in Edmonton, and Beaumont Broadway group classes with the Town of Beaumont! For more info about the studios/classes or to sign up, check out the Classes and Camps page.

Lastly, but certainly not least, I am enjoying being closer to my family and friends I grew up with. I mean, a corn maze birthday with the girls and family dinner to celebrate some new babies? What's not to love about that! Although, Ottawa, I will say one thing – you still have our autumns beat. I will gladly give you that!

Peace and love and hoping you embrace your chaos!

Joyanne :D