How I find balance — Jan/Feb 2014

Cody Burns advises on balancing a career and a family.

There really isn’t a good way of getting from southern Calgary, where my wife, Stacie, and I lived for seven years, to my office downtown. The train takes more than an hour or it’s a 55-minute drive with 40-some traffic lights.

So in June we moved to a house in Cochrane, which is farther away but takes less time: 40 minutes from door to desk. And it’s actually relaxing — I’m on an open highway, with no traffic lights (until I get into the city), staring at the mountains — I see it as one of the small joys of life.

Balance has typically come fairly easily to me, but right now with a baby on the way, a two-year-old and a dog, my wife and I find that sometimes we just have to say no. For example, we usually stay with family in Edmonton at the holidays but this year we told them, “You know what, we will have a newborn and spending time in a vehicle is just not on our to-do list.”

Being a CPA is an exciting, dynamic career path — you kind of know what you’re getting into [in terms of workload]. My advice is to know where you are prepared to draw the line, and when there are times when you can scale back, do it — and don’t feel guilty about it.

Cody Burns, 31, senior business analyst, Focus Corp., Calgary

— As told to Tamar Satov