Here we go

When a “remember to breathe” Travel Alberta ad comes on
– it’s like a breath of fresh air.
And not just because I need the reminder to breathe…
{but it helps…I do need the reminder…lots to do before the end of the semester}
I appreciate the peaceful images
fresh scenery
and slow music

…and the song happens to be by a Vancouver Island artist 🙂
{Wil Mimnaugh

If you didn’t catch the lyrics in the video clip above, here is how
the song “Here we go” begins
(courtesy of Wil’s website):

Screen Shot 2013-03-06 at 6.28.07 PM

Most of my posts have been about time (and, more recently, even entitled Time). This time, I want to take the time to share our plans that involve Frank taking some time off.

Frank and I took the leap of faith off the island over 2 years ago and are now about to take another leap of faith. Well, if you know both of us…this is more like an over-analyzed, calculated, intentionally planned and obsessively thought-out leap of faith 😉

“So here we go…”

But first, a bit of context…

In an earlier post, I shared my ‘introverted’ understanding of the “introvert/extrovert continuum” and how Frank is more on the extroverted side (but we both do like structure and routine).

Change is tough – especially for me (as I shared here and here).

Unlike me, my brother has an adventurous gene
…while I watch the scenic mountain shots in a Travel Alberta commercial
– he is probably enjoying the view from a real mountain top.

jeffrock 2

He tried to teach me how to rock climb…but the most I could do was
within the 4 walls of a padded recreation gym.
One day, I’d like to follow my brother
up a mountain to see the world from his perspective.
…hmmm. maybe I do have an adventurous gene after all…?

I guess it just depends on how we define ‘adventure.

According to, adventure is:

  1. an exciting or very unusual experience.
  2. participation in exciting undertakings or enterprises: the spirit of adventure.
  3. a bold, usually risky undertaking; hazardous action of uncertain outcome.

As previously shared here, Frank and I started our married adventure a couple years after graduating high school. Given our young age, some found it “unusual”…which is still within the definition of adventure 🙂

Throughout our adventure, Frank’s work commitments
– from tires, to yachts, to houses, and industrial equipment
have always made it possible for me to study
{ …and to do so without student loans! }

I admire his solid work ethic, creative problem-solving, integrity, and his ability to work tire-lessly (…pun intended) until satisfied with a job well done. Oh, and his sense of humour helps too 🙂

He started in a tire shop at 15, which led to management roles,
and naturally {for him} to start his own business {Durksen Tire} at 23:


He built a strong business over 7 years of hard labour
before opting to learn something new
(…and rest his back from stacking mega-tires 10 high…).

So he started and operated his own business again
– this time a yacht brokerage in Sidney BC.

After 8 successful years in beautiful Sidney-by-the-Sea, BC,
he turned his clients over to local brokers and to
his dad (who has a brokerage in the US )
so we could move to Alberta (…no ocean for yachts here…)
– all to support my Ph.D. goal!

He inspires me.

He isn’t afraid to step out of his comfort zone and learn something new.

He embraces steep learning curves and works diligently.

He has a gift for building relationships quickly.

Bear with me while I continue to proudly brag take a moment to share his latest success 🙂

In 2012 Frank was the #1 producing territory manager in Canada for
Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, earned a Dave Ritchie Excellence Award,
and received a nice bonus too!

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But equally { if not more importantly } he has learned a lot
and has gained some great friends!

And now…after 25 years of work {without a break}…
Frank is planning for a few months off…we are calling it a sabbatical!

I am familiar with this term in the university context (i.e., a professor generally takes a one-year sabbatical after 7 years of work). And (…I know…no surprise) I found a TED talk just on this topic: The power of time. I lost interest halfway through this talk, but did catch a reference to the 20% ‘personal project time’ that Google apparently builds into employees’ schedules. This is based on the idea that personal time off promotes productivity and creativity.

“But – wait?” 

“Frank…is this a now-I’m-40-so-it’s time-for-a-midlife-crisis decision?”

“…should you really be doing this?”
“…didn’t you hear about all the unsettling Alberta Government budget cuts?”
“Aren’t you worried about your own budget if you’re not working for a few months…?”
“You love structure and routine…what will this sabbatical look like?”
“What will you do after your ‘sabbatical’ is over…?”

This recent decision didn’t happen lightly or overnight –
we’ve been obsessively over-analyzing
considering this for awhile.

…and I’m not taking time off from my program
{have laptop. will travel}
I am happily connected to the structure of university 🙂

…but we are embracing this unique opportunity
and recognize that we may never have the time – or money – to do this again.

So what is this?

And why now?

Though life is full of uncertainties,
we have great expectations for work that awaits Frank in the fall.
But for now, as he prepares to close the current chapter, we are making
a Bucket List.

(…but we don’t plan on going sky-diving
…remember, my brother is the one with the super adventurous gene!)

Here is our first item
– which may help explain the ‘why now’ –

Bucket List Item #1
As I shared here and here, this year has included some tragic moments

that have encouraged personal assessments of what’s most important in life.
Frank’s family has experienced some huge challenges this past year –
but with those challenges have come positive opportunities for re-connecting.

So the next few months for us will involve some intentional
quality time with family and friends.
{ This will include a drive across Canada – a first for me! }

I look forward to sharing more of our Bucket List plans in future posts –
but for now, I invite you to watch another Travel Alberta ad (posted below)
that is accompanied by the song  that is stuck in my head
Roam” by Wil
(some of the lyrics from his website are posted below).

And we’d like to hear from you:

What’s on your Bucket List?

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