a peek inside the fishbowl

30 Jun, 2019

General Life Update

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook you probably already know what I’m about to say but I feel like it has to be said here too: THINGS ARE HAPPENING. I can only describe these last few weeks as A Whirlwind of Emotion.

Item one: The youngest daughter has graduated from high school. We attended her commencement ceremony this past week. Some aspects of commencement drove me absolutely bonkers and dare I say, pushed me into a state of near rage. Ticket purchasing was awful, standing in line before the ceremony so painful it was comical, the parking was bad, and parts of the ceremony itself were disorganized, but I was able to overlook those things because (a) OUR DAUGHTER is awesome (b) she’s so darn smart (c) hello list of ACADEMIC AWARDS (d) I was able to connect with people I hadn’t seen in a long time (e) one of her teachers said so many nice things about her I almost melted with pride.

Sidebar: How on earth did we suddenly become parents of kids, er, YOUNG ADULTS who are now out of the public school system? It really wasn’t that long ago that I watched her and her big sister walk off down the street. Now they will be walking together down a different road, as they’ll both be at Queen’s in the fall. Sigh. Also, Mark and I will be empty-nesters. (!!)

Item two: I’ve left my job as managing editor of the Kitchissippi Times and am passing the torch. This is a biggie for me as I’ve been at the helm of the paper for almost six years. I think I counted 132 folders on my hard drive, which corresponds to 132 issues. Honestly, I can barely process this. It was a dream job from the very beginning. I met so many great people and learned so much during my time there and I will miss it very much. But…

Item three: I’ve accepted a job offer from the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. A few weeks ago I was practically vibrating with anxiety. I was attending multiple interviews and playing out multiple scenarios in my head. To add to it all, at one point there was another job offer for a different job in there too. I don’t say this as a humblebrag, only to paint you a picture of the state I was living in for a while. Should I take Door A or Door B? Or stay where I am? Where do I want to be in five, ten, fifteen years? In the end, I had to go where my heart is, and that’s the Royal. I was thrilled to meet their team. There are big brains at work and I loved the idea of contributing in a meaningful way. I’m stepping in to their communications team as a writer, by the way. Not to discount what I have been doing up until now, but I really want to do my best work in the best place at this point in my life. Does that make sense?

Item four: The youngest and I are leaving for a grand adventure to Thailand. Thailand, a country on the opposite of the world. I have never travelled this far. We leave July 4. I have a to-do list a mile long and have been oscillating between feelings of panic and joy.

24 hours of travel time.
Tiny airplane bathrooms.
Leg cramps.
Heat and gastro bugs. (You wouldn’t believe the pharmaceuticals I’m bringing with us.)
Foreign languages I will never understand. e.g. how will I ask for directions???


Travel time with my daughter.
Memories of a lifetime.
Amazing food and cheap beer.
Miles of beaches and ocean.
Seeing a totally different part of the world and learning something new.

So you can imagine how many lists I’ve had on the go, both in my head, written out in my agenda, and tapped out in the cloud (and therefore accessible to all devices in case of emergency jottings). Ack! All that being said, I would like to update this blog while I’m away but I’m not sure what the situation will be like while I’m there. Fingers crossed. xo.

6 Responses to "General Life Update"

1 | Jen_nifer

July 2nd, 2019 at 5:57 am


Wow – that’s a lot going on! Wishing you a smooth transition into your new roles.

2 | Julie Dunbar

July 3rd, 2019 at 9:37 am


Congratulations and good luck (not that you need it) in your new role. Sounds like a perfect fit. Have a wonderful time in Thailand!

3 | Anne

July 3rd, 2019 at 3:36 pm


Nothing more to say except — I’m so happy for you! ??

4 | Anne

July 3rd, 2019 at 4:04 pm


Those are rogue ??!! Should read “happy for you!” Full stop. Enjoy the adventures ahead of you. ??

5 | Anne

July 3rd, 2019 at 4:06 pm


Ok, now I’m a little annoyed…more rogue ?? ?

6 | a peek inside the fishbowl » Blog Archive Pizza on the brain - a peek inside the fishbowl

July 21st, 2019 at 10:48 am


[…] back I posted a General Life Update in which I revealed a few big things coming down the pipeline for my family and I. In that post I […]

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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