Nine days from now, K becomes the first member of the Savage-Wright family to leave the country. Emotions this occasion provokes include excitement, anxiety, pride, terror, joy. Is it ever easy being a parent? I can’t believe that despite cutbacks at the paper I’m managing to pull this off – down to the wire, but I think we’re going to make it – and am so pleased K’s therefore able to take advantage of the opportunity to Travel. Castles! Cathedrals! The Rhine! Munich! Berlin! Austria! EEK! My baby across the country and across the Atlantic?! The farthest she’s been from me is Petrolia! I can’t breathe! She’ll have a wonderful adventure! She’ll be amazed! She’ll know that she can do something brave, go off into the unknown, and thrive! But she’ll be so far! EEK!

Yeah, it’s like that.

(Speaking of… several people have offered to donate to K’s trip fund. I’m so appreciative and have wanted to say yes; at the same time, I have such a hang up about seeming “poor” or having to ask for money, my response has been, thanks, but we have it covered. And I am going to do it. We do have it covered. Then again, given the fat paycut I took earlier this year leaves no safety margin – and also given the knowledge that I’m about to be in a place where I can do nice things for people in return – I’m willing to accept the generosity of others at this point. I won’t come asking, but if you still feel willing/able, I’ll accept. Even though my insistence on self-sufficiency has me cringing in embarrassment. Gak.)

And where is that place providing improved options and the opportunity to do for others along with it? With the Ocean Conservancy! I’ve been wishing for something more challenging and interesting – the universe answered. Is flinging me right into the fire, in fact. Not that I was actively looking for a new job; circumstances and serendipity led me to this one: I’ll be helping with the establishment of Marine Protected Areas under the Marine Life Protection Act. Unfortunately the process has met with great resistance in some places, where people fear the restrictions will cause them to incur economic harm, but it’s already legislated, mandated and happening, so hopefully I can help strike a balance between implementing the law and looking out for the fishing community here on the North Coast. (As usual, any discussion of work stuff here will be minimal at best, advice I’d recommend to most people regarding blogging about their jobs.)

I’m keeping my columns at the Journal and my KSLG midday shift, but Monday is my last day at the Eye. Seven-and-a-half years of Scene editing, writing and reporting, wrapping up after one more deadline. I’ve loved working at the paper and grateful for the connections that came about from being part of it.