Onward and Forward

Thank you so much for all your support in my last post! I’ve been wanting to leave my job for a while, but felt like there was just no end in sight. So my mommy told me to pick an end date, instead of just spiralling downward for this undetermined amount of time. Even though I have six weeks left, I feel much better knowing there is an end in sight. I already have little bounce back to my step today :)

I do however want to address that my decision to leave my job is not as courageous as it may seem. When I accepted the job, I knew the salary was extremely low, but it wasn’t until I started getting the bi-weekly pay checks that I realized just how low it really was. I think I may have miscalculated just how expensive it is to live on my own. Technically, I’m only paying $60 more in rent a month, but my TV, internet, heat and lights are twice than they were before. Add that to unexpected expenses like snow tires and new glasses, and suddenly, that job no longer provided me the means I needed to live. Additionally, I was given close to no vacation or sick days. Not even enough to go home for Christmas.

So, in the end it was get a part-time job on top of this low-paying job I don’t like to begin with (and with difficult hours to work around). Or, just give it up altogether and start from scratch. Trust me, staying in the old job would have been a lot scarier than embarking on a new one.

Leaving a swanky, high-paying job to pursue your passions is brave. Leaving a low-paying job where you’re overworked and can’t survive is just common sense.

Perhaps if I had big aspirations to be a hard-hitting journalist, it would be worth it to stick it through. But I made up my mind long before I even accepted this position that I did not want to be a reporter. I love to write, tell stories, and meet interesting people. But I do not like the daily grind of a newsroom. The running through hallways, chasing after people, and doing whatever it takes just to get that 10-second clip. Tis not me.

In retrospect, I should have told my boss I would think about it before accepting the job immediately. Even an hour of extra thought would have been all I needed to realize it was wrong for me. At the very least, I will be able to take what I’ve learned over these past six months and apply it in my future work. I didn’t meet a co-worker I didn’t like. I appreciate the opportunities I was given. And I leave there knowing I at least put some good work in, and wrote a few decent stories ;)

Onward and Forward!!


I woke up feeling emotionally exhausted. Thankfully, it’s Waffle Wednesday which means I filled my tummy with some comfort food :)


I was slightly indecisive though. One side has laughing cow cheese, raspberry jam and deli chicken. I had this combo for this first time yesterday and it’s awesome!! Jam + poultry = veryvery good. Other side is egg n’ cheddar.

I had just enough time for this to digest before heading up to the gym to try out a new class! BodyAttack. According to the Les Mills website:

BODYATTACK™ is the sports-inspired cardio workout for building strength and stamina. This high-energy interval training class combines athletic aerobic movements with strength and stabilization exercises. Dynamic instructors and powerful music motivate everyone towards their fitness goals – from the weekend athlete to the hard-core competitor!

My description? Jumping up and down for 55 minutes :P It was almost like step, but without the steps. A lot of hopping and running around. With a few squats, lunges, push-ups and abs thrown in for good measure. It was actually quite hard. We were running in place the whole time. There were no recovery songs. Funny, I can run on a trail for an hour no problem, but make me do it in one spot and it gets so hard! I think I may need to practice doing more jumping jacks in my living room before I go back to that class, I almost didn’t make it through…


Now, please don’t judge, but lunch was more waffles!


I used my protein pancake recipe, so in my mind they’re really more like an oatmeal and cottage cheese dish just shaped like waffles ;)

With some homemade applesauce and fake syrup.


Me and homemade applesauce are still madly in love. 

I’d actually planned on making Chris and I a special dinner tonight, but it turned out to be a celebratory one of sorts :)

I decided it was time to finally man up and roast a whole chicken. I’ve been eating poultry again for a year now (after a decade without). So far, I’ve mastered chicken breasts on the George Foreman, aaaand that’s about it :P

I used Jenna’s directions and stuffed the bird with, garlic, lemon slices, thyme and some Earth Balance. I also threw some new potatoes and carrots in there. Roasted at 425 F for 90 minutes and voila!


I was floored by how easy this was! And how delicious it turned out!!


The meat was sooooo tender and juicy. Cooked to absolute perfection. George Foreman has got some serious competition!!!


My only complaint is the veggies were greasy from the fat that came off the chicken. I forgot that would happen. My mom even told me to cut the fat off the chicken, and it escaped my mind as soon as I started handling the dead bird. Lesson learned!

But what’s a celebratory meal without an indulgent dessert? Chris and I have been saving a chocolate caramel pecan cheesecake from M&M Meat Shop (Canadian chain that specializes in freezer goods).


Omgsoooogooooood. I haven’t had real cheesecake in a very long time. Worth every bite. We’ll just forget the craaazy calorie content (like, I’m talkin’ crazy) and sketchy ingredient list, mmkay? Good.

Chris chased his cheescake down with some Kronenbourg.  


I’m sure he’ll want you to know this is THE French beer to drink during the Tour de France. It’s what all the hardcore cyclists do ;)

Happy bellies!


Don’t worry, Chris is taking the rest of the cheesecake home. But the chicken is all mine!

Lots of food today to fuel what I hope will be a 10 mile run tomorrow. The weather conditions so far look good, and it’s one of my October goals to hit the double digits by the end of the month. Wish me luck – I may need it!!


Question of the day: What’s one dish you really want to try making but haven’t yet? You can cross a whole chicken off my list! Next, I want to try making a pie :)


Posted on October 28, 2009, in Lessons Learned, Workouts and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 25 Comments.

  1. I never congratulated you on your last post. That was super badass :) Honestly, everything happens for a reason though, so I’m positive you’ll pull through.

    Good luck on your double digits tomorrow! You will rock them!!!

    And I have yet to try “cheetah fries” or whatever they’re called, so I need to get on thatt!

  2. What plans do you have in mind for yourself that you want to do for work? Not making ends meet while working a job you don’t like is really a toxic recipe.

    I can’t remember the last time I had cheesecake. It’s good stuff, but rich.

    I love cooking, and John and I are always trying new things. The dulce de leche was the latest experiment. I think crepes are next on the list :D

    • Lori, I honestly haven’t a clue what I want my next job to be! My second major was in communications, so I’ve so far been applying to jobs where I can use that skill to some degree. I also applied for a Starbucks manager position in another city! We’ll see I guess. I did the math – I’d make more as a waitress than I did as a reporter, so there’s always that in the interim :P

  3. I’ve been dying to try something with eggplant. But I’m chicken!!!

    And sweet potato fries, too!

  4. WOW. I just caught up on your last post as well…. and I have to say, I admire you, because I find myself feeling the same way many days more recently. If there was some alternate in my field or closely related available to me in my hometown or my husband’s hometown, I would probably take it without hesitation. I’ve watched for months though, and there is NOTHING. I wish I could bring myself to take that leap, but I am all about security, and until I have something secure to move forward to, I can’t bring myself to drop the ball. I’m 25 myself, so I COMPLETELY get what you’re saying about the lost social life, the early nights… everything just coming apart at the seams basically when it comes to living a life that we should be at our ages.

    Where IS home for you anyway? Not Fredericton, obviously (which is where my Dad spent most of his young life… didn’t graduate from the high school there though, because the family moved to Truro, Nova Scotia for his last year, so he graduated here…. where I’ve lived all of my life).

    So, what are you thinking you want to do now? I think I’ll be eagerly reading/keeping up with your journey from here on out, as I may find myself in a similar situation sometime in the near future.

    I am taking a vacation next week actually, because I felt that if I didn’t, I wouldn’t make it through the rest of the year. Not a good feeling…

  5. susan, you are brave! seriously. leaving ANY job in this economy is brave. i don’t mean that to sound bad either, i mean it to sound exciting and good for you! ummm i LOVE how you had waffles for two meals. amazing. so is that chicken. maybe i missed it, but were you a vegetarian for awhile or just didn’t eat poultry? LOVE YOU

    • Holly, here’s the lowdown on the meat eating history:

      Age 13 – give up eating red meat regularly
      Age 14 – give up ALL meat
      Age 19 – spend a month as a vegan after learning my favourite beer is vegan. I now refer to this month as the “dark period”
      Age 21 – break down and eat the tastiest fish n’ chips of my life
      Age 22 – break down and eat the tastiest thanksgiving turkey of my life
      Age 23 – break down and eat the tastiest hamburger of my life

      Now, no animal is safe around me :P

  6. i would’ve had waffles with dinner too. chicken and waffles is such a good combo!

  7. Body Attack is the best eh? Great workout!

  8. sounds like you made a great decision! i was at a job before the one where i am now and i was just so unhappy. finally i realized that i needed to quit to motivate myself to move on and forward, which i did, and i found my new job within a week, just because i knew i had three weeks left at the old one and had to find something new! sometimes you need to give yourself the kick in the butt you know? and nothing in life will change unless you make it happen! way to go for making it happen :)

  9. I have seen so many recipes on blogs that I want to try but time is an issue. Black Bean Brownies and Vegan Enchiladas come to mind.

  10. I see your chicken turned out to be a great success!
    And glad to see that you actually earned some great lessons out of your puny-paying job. Onwards to better things now! :-)

  11. Hey Susan,

    I’m back in bloggieland, just wanted to say hey :)

    And about quitting your job: I’ve recently had a series of hardhitting epiphanies too… Sometimes you know it’s what you should have done all along, but it’s big and scary nonetheless.

    I hope you become a bigtime journalist. I know you’ll do great :D

  12. Ahhh, your roast chickie is classic fall/winter fare around my house. Except with hubby being Greek, he does his roast potatoes with lemon and olive oil and cooks them separately from the chicken. I wholeheartedly believe that you have to leave the skin on to cook the chicken and then remove it once the cooking process has completed. ;) It’s probably not the healthiest way…but it’s the tastiest.

    I seriously think I may have to stop at M&M on the way home to get one of those cheesecakes for this weekend. I drive by one on my way home from work and the urge may be impossible to overcome!!

    I really want to make gnocchi from scratch. I always buy mine at a shop on Erie Street (where else, riiiiiiight?!) but I’d like to try making it myself just to be more in control of fresh and whole ingredients, if possible.

    • Jenn, definitely doing the veggies separately next time! And the cheesecake was SO worth it!! M&M isn’t anywhere near healthy, but at the same time, I think that’s why their products are always crazy delicious :P

  13. Ack. I should have read this before responding to your last post- and here I was thinking I was clever going in chronological order! Lol. I am still happy and excited for you, and glad you are getting out of your current situation…life is expensive! Gah! If you loved the job, it could be workable one way or another, maybe. But since you don’t, now is such a perfect time to look for something else. A coffee shop under the name of ‘Susan’s Wake-Up’ in the making?.. :D

    Ah…roast chicken is so good. I lived with my dad for a while about 2 years ago and he taught me how to do it. I have never mastered the art of George Foreman’d chicken though. I have a feeling I would give myself food poisoning.

    On my list to make- I’ve crossed a lot of stuff off that list recently, but I really want to experiment more with tofu, and make seitan from scratch. As well as a bunch of baked goods I have had bookmarked forever!

  14. This is eerily reminiscent of what happened to me… I wanted to be a journalist, until I was; “puny” pay is being generous. I would have dealt with it, but like you said… I didn’t like the daily grind of the newsroom! Or the whole “intruding on people’s privacy” part.

    Does it count that I want to make raw nut butter? ;)

    <3 <3

  15. Sounds weird but I want to make lemon curd. I like it in the jar and want to see if I can make it at home. Recently I have successfully tackled homemade bread, cranberry sauce, baklava, and various Lebanese dishes.

  16. You know you said that it wasn’t that hard to quit a job that didn’t pay as much as you really need, but it did take conviction and the ability to make a decision to move onto something that you will enjoy more! I’m impressed!!

    I’d like to make something with Greek yogurt!

  17. You’ve got to do what makes you happy! I always say that you’re the one living with yourself so if you aren’t happy, you’re the one who has to deal with those emotions.

    Holy waffles! Those look delicious!! I love the savory idea – so smart! Oh and don’t even get me started with the cheesecake!

  18. Your chicken looks beautiful! That sounds kind of weird when I say it out loud :P If you try the pie, I’ve got the perfect easy-peasy recipe for you–you know where to find me! xoxo

  19. ohhh props on the chickeN! and the abundance of waffles=<3

  20. I knew you could do it with the chicken! I never doubted you ;) It looks beautiful :)

    It sounds like you have really thought long and hard about leaving your job. I didn’t realize you didn’t want to be a reporter–I thought this was your dream job in terms of setting you up for your career. Now that I undertand it a little better, it really does sound like this is the best decisions. You seem to work SUCH long hours.

    Whatever happens, I am so excited for what is next for you, and I hope you know that I truly, truly wish you the best!

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