Theme Team in Montréal, Quebec 2017

What a week! Last week, my team met in Montréal to work on projects and planning.

Since it’s fairly close, I rented a minivan and drove the 7+ hours to Montréal. My first meetup road trip! Huzzah! After a brief and unexpected pit stop at the border for some paperwork (harrowing but successful), I was off. There was a lot of Tim Hortons coffee and a Stephen King audiobook involved, and I spent a fair amount of time arguing with Google Maps.

We stayed at a cute boutique hotel downtown, where we could walk to most places. When we couldn’t walk, I also drove the group around, which was an experience. I managed to shatter the right-hand rearview mirror on a narrow detour at night, but I also parallel parked almost perfectly one time, so I figure I broke even (pun intended).

I spent most of my work talking with my teammates in 1-1’s and feedback sessions. We also found out that there are some major changes happening in our division — namely, the dissolution of our division! Thankfully our team is still together, but the announcement gave me pause. I’m also stepping down as team lead when I come back from my leave; it’s bittersweet. I’m still struggling with pre-sabbatical FOMO and anxiety, but I’m sure that will resolve itself as I find other things to occupy my time.

We had a lot of fun in the city, though, braving the cold and rainy weather to go out to eat and activities. There was a storytelling show, a lively ceramics painting session, a tour of the local marketplaces, a craft fair, and a fun group game of Codenames to top off the week.

The trip home was “eventful”. At one point I was stopped at the Quebec/New Brunswick border for a random police check and asked if I had any alcohol, tobacco, or dead bodies in the vehicle. I’m still not sure if he was being serious about that last one…

I also came thisclose to running out of gas in an area with no cell reception and few gas stations; that was exciting, but I made it with 4 miles to spare. Rural NB is no joke!

I’m glad I got to see most of my team one more time before I leave for the majority of the summer. I have no idea what I’ll come back to, but I know it will be positive. Thanks for a great meetup, team!


  1. Two thoughts immediately come to mind. The dissolution of the division is just a signifier that change is inevitable. I went through the same feelings when I found out that my team would break up several years ago before leaving. It was hard. If felt like I was losing something that I had worked so hard to build up.

    I lied. It was not hard. It was excruciating. It was one of the hardest things I’ve dealt with because not only does it hit the ego, but it also hurts the sense of accomplishment that I thought I felt over the work that I was doing. It sounds like you are dealing with the news much better than I would have. And that’s what has always made you an amazing person.

    You seem to be able to bounce back from anything thrown at you and that’s what makes you so incredible. I love that so much about you. With the upcoming sabbatical the only thing I want to hear from you is how much you are being lazy and how much you are enjoying just not having to stress and think about the day today BS of work. I own my own company now, which is “the dream”, but work is still work. Having that time to practice a little mental hygiene I hope does wonders for you. God knows I could use a little bit of that right now.

    Last, and most certainly not least, that cupcake looks absolutely, without a doubt, real and edible and incredible. So so so cute. My goodness, talk about FOMO of missing out on that event. I have it right now in a major way.

    Big hugs as always. Please keep writing. With every new blog post that I read, it’s like a morsel of candy. Big big big hugs to you and your entire family, including Tim.

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