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scraps from a bemused mind.

A full time mum who also works full time, a lover of coffee, dark chocolate, wine, and sunlight. A little bit of tomboy, a touch of 5 star, a smidgen of elegance and a lot of fierce.

Lonely at the bottom

So it’s been six months since I started the new gig and it’s largely a success.

All the expected challenges have been realized and the unexpected challenges are within my reach of ability.

I’ve had to swim all by myself a bit more than I thought, but I have the tendency to be able to dog paddle well and keep my head above water. And I have some marvelous support with my family.

One thing I didn’t expect though is the loneliness.

I’m one of the noisy introverts who loves their own company, but when fully charged can be egregious, but needing solitude to recharge. My low maintenance needs, high busyness and difficulty with some situations makes it hard to make friends – I have lots of acquaintances but a small number of friends.

It’s always been that way.

But I’ve spent the last 5 years in a team of colleagues. And prior to that a huge team of colleagues. Lots of social interaction (sometimes more than I needed!) and room to moan, celebrate and tell poor jokes.

As a manager of a team though, I don’t get that any more. And where that gap would normally be filled by external social networks, I don’t have that either.

Some of that is because I am studying, and being a mama and working, so my level of low maintenance becomes wafer thin.

In many ways, I’m still the new kid in town and haven’t broken through established networks to join in. And the ones I know and like are often as busy as me if not more so.

None of this is a whinge, just a reflection of the social support I obviously receive previously.

So, when study finishes for the year, I’ll work my arse off to reconnect with people and see if that helps.

Or build a blanket fort instead.

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Reflecting on the latest journey.

So in the last 5 months I have dived into a brand new and unfamiliar role.

I have left clinical nursing and I am now a nursing unit manager.

This is a completely foreign field to me and I’m not even managing in a clinical area that I am expert in.

However, like most journeys and challenges, they present significant opportunities for growth, reflection and learning.

I’ve snagged myself a mentor – we meet and have honest reflective conversations over wine and food – shifting my perspectives, allowing me to test ideas and explore new ones as I seek my own path away from the bedside. This mentor has been instrumental in helping me challenge my own boundaries about what it means to be a nurse:

‘Am I still a nurse when my role is not 100% clinical?’

‘Is it ok to have ambition?’

‘What does it mean when Clinical ‘wins’ no longer give me job satisfaction?’

These have been highly challenging for me and thank god – she has walked the same path – from high levels of competence in critical care, to Executive Director in a non clinical role.

We talked about what it meant for ME to be a nurse – why I got up in the morning.

It boiled down to some very simple premises:

1. The best outcome for each patient.

2. Developing the professionals that work with me.

3. Keep learning and achieving.

All of these are possible at the bedside. But the circle of influence is small.

However, away from the bedside my circle of influence is less laser like but covers a greater area.

So to move into those role you need ambition. And to permit yourself to still call yourself nurse when most days you aren’t directly providing nursing care.

So that’s how I ended up in my first management role. And I’m excited to see what happens from here.

What matters to me

My husband said something recently that resonated so strongly with me that it clarified and solidified ideas within me like a tectonic plate sliding into place. It was a visceral response.

The discussion was around the kids sports but it actually doesn’t matter what was being discussed.

What matters is that DH summed up our entire parental philosophy in one sentence.

“If it matters to our son, it matters to me.”

Sounds simple. Sounds obvious. But it has resonated so strongly with me, it has become emblazoned in my brain.

It’s so simple.

If it’s important to my son – then it’s important to me. Everything else we do parenting wise merely runs off this simple premise.

All our parental actions, advocacy, intervention, choices and interactions run off this very elemental philosophy.

And we can apply it in other relationships as well. But I will always apply it fully and wholeheartedly to my parenting role.

My Tribe

I’ve often referred to my friend group as my garden. A garden of friends, diverse individuals that each bring something to the garden. 

There are many types in my garden. I have shade trees that stand alone but being solidity and respite. 

I have groundcover that is everywhere and hard to kill off. I have my ornamentals that are hard work to maintain. 

I have my cactus friends – needing very little input at all but giving me great rewards when I need it. 

There are a few weeds and a few Venus fly traps too but on the whole, my garden is a wondrous and diverse place. 

Some of my greatest flowers are mostly via text. I can send out a random, not politically correct text and get back EXACTLY what I need. When I need it. In full loving honesty. 

These friends are the ones who can read tone in the text and seemingly know exactly what I mean when I say ‘fuck’. 

They have a great emoji and gif game, and bring it at all times. 

I’m appreciating them greatly at the moment as the weight of finishing one job, starting a new one, doing online Uni, and life with kids etc hits full swing. 

I have no idea how or why people like me. Truly. But I must offer something valuable to people and I’m grateful for as long as these people stay or pass through my life. 

My tribe has mums, dads and non breeders within it and to be a member my tribe you need a sense of hunour, a sense of honour and a sense of self. 

And they provide feedback for my sense of self and reward my sense of humour. 

Mummy, my hands have disappeared

For friends and family – Master 7 is FINE. I am blogging about this because the worry of the last 3-4 weeks  is over. He does not have any brain pathology or findings. I am happy to answer any questions in private messaging.

But Master 7 will love telling you about his eye test and MRI if you ask.

The doctor who gave us the results of the MRI was wonderful. It had been a tumultuous few weeks and this was the defining moment – the results would dictate what the next step would be. Master 7 had been re examined, and his investigations had been reviewed. We were moving on to the working diagnosis, and discussing what would happen next.

Master 7 had been a trooper for this whole time, being prodded and poked by many doctors, having eye tests, being late to school, leaving early and with having an MRI his biggest hurdle so far.

I was worried about the MRI – not the cost, but how he would feel, being locked in, with the noise and such and needing to be still for the best pictures.
“Can you lay still and quiet for 20 minutes? Let’s practice.”

“Why mum?”

“Well we need a picture of your head, lots and lots of pictures, to see if we can find your dizziness, headaches and eyesight problem.”

So he practiced at home and watched some videos of MRIs.

He did great, with the noise and the stillness and having his shoes off. He was most proud of the films, telling everyone that they are great pictures because he laid so very still. In fact, we were at the doctors and the doctor and I were finishing up the chat of what to do next when Master & starts fidgeting next to me.
“What’s up?”

“The doctor has not looked at my head pictures yet. I brought them for him.”

I look at the doctor, who solemnly asks Master James for the films. He pulls them out, looking up at them, making serious noises like “Mmmmm” and “I see that looks excellent” and “Oh, very nice angle”.

Master 7 beams with pride – “I laid so very still, so they would not be blurry.”
“Well they are simply the best quality head pictures I have ever seen – I can tell how hard you worked for these – well done and thank you.”

And that is when my heart broke. This boy, with his unique innocence and old soul quality was most worried about if the pictures would be good enough.

I was worried about brain tumors, Multiple Sclerosis and multiple other terrifying things to think about when you tuck your son in at night and kiss him for sweet dreams. I couldn’t help but picture the worst, and DH and I were in the middle of a dark and stormy night, wondering what might be found on the MRI, and what did that mean…..

Master 7 was worried that he had not laid still enough for his brain photos.
Moving forward, it looks like Master 7 may have a type of migraine. At least, that is what we are working on…..but first we have to have blood tests and Master 7 would like to practice this one as well – this time to make sure the Magic Numbing Cream really works!

 

 

 

Well, that is that done – 2016 edition

The end of the year is always a time of reflection, relief, reviewing and hopefully some rest as well.

I have, like many people, had a long and rugged year. Not a particularly tough one, bu it has had its moments.

From my dads cardiac surgery, to job interviews to the boys having their own triumphs and tribulations. DH completed his uni degree and I took on new roles in my organisation, totally different to anything I have every done before.

This year I have learnt new things, lost friends, gained myself, grown, let go, started things, ended things. But in all things I have chosen to be true, sincere, present and authentic.

Next year will be huge. Next years always are huge.
My eldest goes into Year 5! My youngest goes into Year 3! We intend on building a shed. The business has been launched. We are planning on a family holiday.

And I just submitted an application for uni….again….

Whatever happens, I know each event, choice and moment will be enough. I know that each decision I make will be done for the right reasons not the easy ones. I know that I will keep people by my side and lose people along the way. And I know that although I am ‘too much’ for some people, I will be ‘just right’ for the people that matter.

I am unlikely to write again before the end of 2016.

Be safe, be happy in your skin, and be you.

Much love to you, my reader.

 

Again with the Brave. 

Today is the day after Trump was elected (!!!) President of the United States of America. I have so much to say on this topic and yet, it’s really all irrelevant. And not what this blog is about. Trumpiness is for another blog post, another time. 

I’m in another new role now, non clinical and totally alien to what I’ve done before. And it’s great. It’s ALL new and unfamiliar and I’m trying to uncharacteristically embrace it. 

Now, in the next 10 days I have 3 known occasions that I will need to: 

1. Completely and utterly believe in myself. To the point of arrogance. 

2. Back myself and my experience and abilities 100%. 

3. Not allow my self doubt to dictate terms. 

4. Prepare for failure. 
The first of which is an interview. Which requires a 5 minute presentation to a panel and the questions. 

The second is I’m presenting at a Australian College of Nursing Conference to about 30-40 nurses on Leadership!

The third is the launch of Vital Training Group. 

They all occur in the next 10 days. 

So, I need to not only bring it, but own it and spread it all over the place. 

I’m the Queen of under promising and over delivering and of modesty about my achievements and it has been a disservice to me, especially recently, so this is BIG. 

So, I’m being Brave and Bold and Brilliant for the next 10 days and then I expect ill spontaneously combust or turn to ashes and compost! 

The power of words

When I was about 8 years old, I was asked by my teacher to come up to the blackboard (one with chalk and those wooden dusters and lots of broken chalk bits – you know the ones that took up a …

Source: The power of words

Born this way

What do Eminem and Lady Gaga have in common?

A couple of their songs are both routinely going around in my head as some kind of melting pot mantra or anthem. Neither song would be a autobiographical anthem for me but both would be part o a sound track to my life. I am not sure who would play me in the Off Broadway stage adaptation of my life, but I hope they can master the One-Eyebrow lift I do when communicating.

Image result for raise one eyebrow

I have had facets of me challenged lately.

Too loud.

Too good.

Too intelligent.

Too busy.

I’m actually surprised that nobody has called me too sweary…yet! 

Apparently for some friends I am too loud when I am excited.

For some work peers, I am too good at my job. Which makes them feel bad.

For some people, I am too intelligent for them, which makes them feel bad.

And for some friends, I am too busy for them. Even though I am never too busy for people. I am busy, yes, but too busy? No.

These things hurt. Being told that a part of you that is either intrinsic, irrelevant or holds no value in your overall humanness makes you feel devalued, frustrated and downright cranky.

But, if I want my self to be the best I can be, therefore allowing me to perform at work the best I can, and perform as a mum – encouraging my children to be the best that they can be, then I need to be ME.

Yup – I can be loud. But I am also considerate, humorous, honest and generous.

Yup -I am bloody good at my job. My patients, colleagues and the organisation that I work for benefits from my proficiency at my job. I also happily teach anyone who wants to learn.

Yup – I am intelligent. And well educated. And my friends, family and clients benefit from it as well. The intelligence I was born with, the education I went out and got for myself because I wanted it.

Yup – I am busy. Life is short, and I want to fit in as much of the important stuff as I can. I have never been TOO busy for anyone who is important to me. I have never waved my busyness around like a banner of brilliance. But I make it perfectly clear to people that:

  • I am busy.
  • I do not trade my time with my kids for people unless it is warranted.
  • I get to decide what is warranted.
  • I do not have justify myself to you, but I am more than happy to see what we can make work.

All of the things mentioned above are not actually about me. They are about them.

So I am not sorry about being loud – I will stop apologizing for being me from today. I don’t mind modulating my voice for suitable events, but I will not change who I am for you.

I will not apologise or accommodate your feelings around how good I am at my job. That job is my work and passion. It feeds, clothes and houses my kids and makes a huge difference in peoples lives. I am good at it. I am also more than happy to teach you if you want to learn.

Yup I am intelligent – deal with it. I am also well educated. See above.

I am not sorry for being busy. I am sorry you feel bad about it, but many, many people know how important they are to me without my altering my schedule.

 

I am no longer sorry for being too much. I am no longer sorry for being me. I know this will take practice, and I know it will still hurt when people say these things, but I am no longer rounding my edges off – because it means I will lose my edge.

I was born this way.

Deal with it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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