How I find balance — November 2014

How senior accountant Andy Wettlaufer balances his life and career.

Andy Wettlaufer, 48, senior accountant, BDO Canada, St. John’s, NL

I find balance in knowing when to work and when — and where — to get away from it. And we’re lucky enough to live in a place that always provides something to make you sit back and relax. My wife, Loralee, and I came out here from London, Ont., to visit and just fell in love. I started putting resumés out and got a job almost immediately.

I live in one city, Mount Pearl, and work in another, but it’s a 10-minute commute by car. Everything is slower here, yet the culture is well beyond what we had expected. We’ve seen more live theatre in four years here than we did in the previous 20. There’s always live music somewhere and the George Street Festival in St. John’s is amazing. The restaurants are great. And there’s hockey — we have the Winnipeg Jets’ farm team, the St. John’s IceCaps. I play a fair bit of hockey, too. Goalies are always in demand, so I’ve played with lots of people, including the [CBC series] Republic of Doyle cast and crew.

More than anything, though, we’ve found the ocean is our happy place. Before, we’d come home from work, make supper and not do much. Now, we might put supper on to warm and go and watch the waves come in to Cape Spear, or watch the icebergs. We get up on Saturday mornings and say, "Where are we going?" You know the red house in the commercials [for Newfoundland/Labrador Tourism]? One day in July, we packed a picnic and went down to where it is — Tors Cove. We sat by the water; Loralee had a book, I was strumming my guitar, and there were whales about 50 feet offshore, lunging and feeding. We just kept looking at each other as if to say, "This is our life. Isn’t it amazing?"

— As told to Wendy Haaf