Lazy days of winter

You’ve heard of the “dog days of summer?” Well, for me, that gets reversed a little bit. In my day job, I am extremely busy for the months of May-Oct, often working 12 or 13 hour days 7 days a week for as long as 4 weeks at a time. The flip side to that is that once the exercise season ends in late October, the pace of my day job slackens quite a bit.

Rather than getting paid for the the overtime we work during the summer exercise season, we bank time of in lieu (TOIL) of pay at the rate we’d normally accrue overtime. While there are times when the extra cash might be useful, I must admit that overall, an arrangement like this that keeps the taxman’s hands completely out of my overtime cookie jar is definitely the way to go. Were I getting paid cash for the extra time I work, I could reasonably expect to see 40% taken off for taxes, or more depending what other income I made that year. With the TOIL in place, however, I get full credit for all of the overtime I work, and the taxman never gets his hands on any of it. I end up with time off with pay in the winter (this year I’ll be taking some 10 weeks worth at some point before May) while the only thing the government gets to tax me on is my regular base salary. In many ways, its the best of both worlds.

One of the things I tend to do with my winters is travel a bit. I think this year I will likely be staying in Canada, though I may go to the Caribbean for a couple of weeks to escape January. Mostly, I think I want to spend some time travelling Canada and seeing this country. While many people think I’m a bit insane for wanting to travel Canada in the winter time, I think in many ways winter is the time to see Canada. We are a northern country, forged from the ice and snow. Our history and legacy is intimately tied up in winter … rather than battle and fight against winter, through sports like hockey Canadians instead embrace winter to live with it.

I’m still not sure when it will happen, or where exactly I’ll be travelling to yet. I may not even have a firm plan when I set out … I see this being something of a rambling trip that sees me headed wherever the wind happens to blow on a given day. These pages will always contain an account of what’s going on, so check here for more details. For now, I’ll be taking some much needed rest and relaxation after a long, hard summer this year.

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