Saturday, September 30, 2006

A nice day for a drive

Today's forecast - 19, clear and sunny.

The boy and I are off for a country drive, heading for the regional centre where his grandmother lives. We are going to have a birthday lunch with her, his great uncle and aunt, his aunt and his cousin. His grandmother has never made it a secret that she really likes me and approves of me, and I'm looking forward to seeing her. She is an interesting woman, well travelled, and still leads a full life into her nineties. The contrast between her and her daughter is staggering. The boys mum is in her 60's, very rarely leaves the house, and has no interest in life or living. A lot of this is related to her various illnesses, but it still makes me sad for her.

I feel guilty that I'm relieved his parents won't be there today, but I know that both he and I will have a better time. We would both find ourselves watching his parents, hoping that his mother won't have trouble eating her meal, and trying to find ways to help her without embarrassing her. Then we would have to try and deflect his fathers outbursts, and translate a lot of what he says to the others at the table. Even worse, when his cousin thinks that his father is trying to grasp something, she just talks to him more loudly, rather than trying to express herself more clearly, so then he just talks to her more and more loudly, and on it goes. I could write a whole post about his parents, and I probably will, but it won't be today.

Off to get pretty now, and enjoy a day out.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Ego post.....

Since resigning on Monday, I've been inundated with emails, phone calls and visits from colleagues (although I have to admit that the daily visitors telling me I'm not leaving are getting more than a bit hard to take)

I've been really humbled by all of this, but I want to remember some of the lovely things that have been said to me and share them with you. I don't think I ever realised how much some people at work really appreciated some of the things I do.

"Sorry to hear that you are leaving us. We will miss "the knowledge and the source" of all good information! You have been excellent and we will miss you!"

"Mate, but you are an institution."

"No way?????"

"You are sooooo not allowed!"

"O.M.G!! It's going to be a significant loss"

"NNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOO !!!!! You do such an amazing job !!! You can't possibly be replaced.... !!!"


"WOAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is totally sad news. I can't believe it!!!!"

"Oh no!!! That is disappointing news to hear we are loosing you! You will be missed!"

"What am I going to do without you young lady? That is terrible news to receive on a Monday morning. You will be greatly missed."


"What the? :( Where are you going? :( What are you doing? :("

"Noooooo! Sad to hear! Such a long time, will be muchly missed."

"You were displaying a lot of warning signs. :-( Why do all the fun people always go first?"

"Leaving us?!?! Sorry to hear it!"

"Your part of the furniture, you're not allowed to go anywhere!! How dare you! Very sad news for us"

"haven't had a chance to talk to you yet, but I'm sorry to see you go. I've got to say, I've never seen anyone better at their job than you as a AM and then BC. speak soon :)"

"WTF??? You're leaving? I'm selling my shares. "

"ugh... cguptju!!! *cough**splutter*"

I've been pretty emotional all week - I haven't been able to go through more than about 2 emails at a time, otherwise the tears kick back in. If I get really desperate, time to hide behind the iPod and hit the mindless easy stuff in my job until I'm back under control. Coping by sticking my head in the sand. Not a novel strategy, and one I need to move on from.

Moving on, I've got a job interview tomorrow morning, and I've heard from a few recruiters already.

Monday, September 25, 2006

What was she thinking?

Just who do you think is going to pick those sparkly things off your back before you go to bed tonight?

If someone is going to help you by doing it, will you eat a sandwich while they do it? Please?

Update time

What a few days it has been.....

Most importantly, and the update that has the biggest impact on my life long term. I am not engaged. We do have an understanding and an agreement that we will be getting married at some point, but he wants to surprise me and go the whole down on one knee surprise proposal just to make it special. He thinks that he needs to plan something romantic and special because neither of us wants to do it more than once. It isn't my top priority to have the whole bells and whistles romantic proposal, but it is important to him to do things "properly". I can live with that, especially because we have had what I consider to be the most important conversations, and I know that we are on the same page. Besides, if he wants to do something big and special for me, I'm certainly not going to complain.

Today I resigned from my job. I feel like a massive weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I'm humbled by the reaction that I got from 7 different offices, and many of my colleagues. There have been lots of tears, but I know I'm doing the right thing. I'm going to take a few months off to really rest, and focus on me. I know I need to do this for the remnants of my sanity, and I'm really looking forward to it. Might have been a good idea to focus on me a while ago - especially after finishing last year with glandular fever and only taking a month off. Stupid. I can't change it now, but only 4 weeks and 2 days of work to go. I've already started to get job offers from competitors of my current company - wow! Talk about news travelling fast. I really don't want to start work until January/February next year. Mum thinks I'll be bored way before I run out of money.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Ooops forgot......

hwiwtstromlw is all in favour of me resigning from work. Apparently it is no fun to plan a wedding (or the 4 different wedding scenarios he has raised this week) with someone who is miserable at work. I think we missed a step, no one asked anyone any questions, we both just seem to have assumed.

Bless him, this week would have been vile without him.

The times, they are a changin'

Not the greatest of weeks really. I've spent way more time than I want to in tears, but I just can't stop it at the moment. I need to make some changes in my life, one really big one, and a few smaller ones. I think that I need to be less passive about my life, and actually take control and some active steps.

There are some things that I won't be changing. These things will remain constant in my life:

  • hwiwtstromlw
  • My family
  • My friends
  • My hair
I don't want to be a workaholic anymore. I don't want to feel guilty about having sick leave or annual leave. I don't want to feel that I am essential for the running of the company I work for, and indispensable to the customer facing teams. I don't want to feel tired all the time because I leave for work at 7 in the morning, get home after 7 at night, and work when I get home. I don't want to find myself spouting jargon all of the time, and finding annoying workplace phrases sneaking into my unwork conversations. I don't want to leave work on a Friday at 6 knowing that I have work to do on the weekend. (Incidentally hwiwtstromlw has banned me from doing any work this weekend - my employer doesn't deserve it - bless him, and thank goodness for his perspective)

I have been worked for the same company for the last seven and a half years. When I started there I became staff member 14 or 15 - now there are well over 300. I worked hard, the hours were long, but there was a real sense of community, almost family, and working together to build this company. I've learnt so much working there, and I've made some amazing friends. The feeling of family is dying out, and so is my enthusiasm. I posted recently about losing my assistant, and before she left, my boss and her boss had a meeting with me and decided that she didn't need to be replaced, and that I could do it all, I just needed better time management. Ouch. Apparently I spend too much time talking with my colleagues and socialising. They thought it would be OK to have me backed up by another department if I was sick, or on annual leave. Today my request for 3 weeks (of the 6 I have outstanding) leave was declined, although previously approved, as it is too much to expect another team (of 40!!) to support my workload for that long. Okay. I was prepared to do the right thing by them, I even booked myself into a time management course today - I know I'm not perfect, and I can definitely learn new things, but that was the last straw.

So much of my "public" identity is bound up in my work. I'm scared. I'm about to make some big changes in my work life, so now I have to confront me. The one hiding behind super work woman. Once she is gone, who am I?

Flippantly, someone who needs to buy shares in Kleenex, and go to bed with Strong Poison. I won’t sleep with the wind gusts.

A little bit excited

I made it onto another bloggers list of links. Thanks Jelly - you just made my day :)

And I didn't even notice until after I just added you.

Spring Winds

It is 4.45 in the morning, and I can't sleep right now. I'm listening to strong blustery winds swirling around the house, and I feel restless. For as long as I can remember the blustery winds of spring have unsettled me, leaving me fidgety.

I love to lie in bed and listen to the rain on the roof, but I cannot do the same with the wind in the trees. I can hear every familiar creak of my house; the squeal of the tree against the gutter outside my loungeroom, the rattle of my back door as it fights the wind, my shower curtain rings hitting each other as the curtain blows in the wind through the louvre window, the ratatatat of my door knocker hitting the front door. All of these noises are familiar to me and are what I love about living here.

Before I turned on the lights and the laptop, I sat at the dining room window, looking over my back yard. As my eyes accustomed themselves to the half light, I could see my cat running around outside like a mad thing, pouncing at the wind, trying to catch nothing. I know how he feels.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Additions to my last post

The bit about pearls - courtesy yet another book from the Anne of Green Gables series. Who knew it would keep having an influence in my life, enough to get quoted multiple times in my blog.

Most importantly, hwiwtstromlw, makes me laugh. Makes me laugh myself silly, sometimes til I hurt. Works for me.

Because you asked...

In my last post I mentioned he whom I wish to spend the rest of my life with (to hereby be known as hwiwtstromlw otherwise I'll go batty). Oddly enough, I have mentioned him a couple of times before; here, and slightly misleadingly here. Of course, that assumes you have read every single word I've ever written on this blog. Ego, anyone?

But I digress. A little history, to clarify. In the depths of last century, I met hwiwtstromlw at a nightclub - one of his friends was chasing one of my friends, turned out we had a long history of being at the same place at the same time, and never quite meeting. We started what ended up being almost 3 years worth of relationship. We broke up, probably a year after we should have - mainly because I always wanted my own way, and so did he, and neither of us knew how to compromise, and honestly, we were both probably too selfish to even consider it. The other big sticking point was his insecurity around the difference in our sexual histories (him 1 partner - me, me 10 ish), and probably my lack of consideration of that. Considering some of the nasty things that came out of both our mouths in the last year, it is a real miracle that we ever spoke again. Probably the best example of our maturity came right at the very end, when I was waiting for him to pick me up to go the beach, he never showed, I called to see where he was, and he was wandering around his local shops, said that he didn't want to spend the day with me as I had been such a bitch the night before, I told him to fuck off and have a nice life. End of relationship.

Looking back now, I think that we were both more in love with being in love, and having a boyfriend/girlfriend, than actually being interested in each other as people. As for liking each other as people, and caring about opinions and thoughts - forget it!

In the 12 months or so after we split, we started to actually have real conversations and got to know each other much better as people, and caring about each other. I was the first person he called after his fathers stroke, and his mothers heart attack. He was the first person I called when I discovered I was going to be a big sister again, when I got a promotion at work, whenever anything big happened in my life. One of the best things that happened was that he suddenly discovered reading, which has been a passion of mine all my life, wasn't so bad, and raids my bookcase at least once a week. We seem to have finally mastered communication and compromise, and have successfully negotiated 2 overseas trips and quite a few within Australia without major fights or nastiness. Most importantly, we seem to have got past pretending everything is good all of the time, and work through differences together, and can compromise.

We have both dated other people, and I think have both suffered from comparing them to each other. In between, we have probably been what can best be described as best friends with fringe benefits (and the fringe benefits do keep getting better and better). hwiwtstromlw said last week that he has realised that he doesn't want to see me with anyone else, and is much happier when I am with him. I'm glad he finally caught up - I've been there for at least a year. Let me tell you, there have been many tears and much sadness over that.

His friends have accused him of being committment phobic, and I have too. Not in relation to myself either - all of his girlfriends over the past few years. On Saturday he asked me whether I would prefer an engagement ring or a deposit on a house. How much does he think engagement rings cost? Honestly, I don't really want a big flashy engagement ring, I think that if it came from him it could be from a vending machine at the supermarket. Okay, slight dramatic over exaggeration (is that tautology?), I would like something nice, but I'm not a fan of diamonds. I don't remember where I read it, but I have always liked the idea of pearls, even though they are supposed to be for tears, after all, I shed tears when I'm happy and sad.

I trust him with my life, and know that he knows me better than anyone, sometimes better than I know myself. If I have had a bad day spending time with him is like sinking into a warm, safe, comfortable bath, where I feel secure, protected, and part of a team. He isn't always the most "romantic", but tends to show his care and concern in more practical ways; not letting me change lightbulbs if I have to stand up on an unstable chair, washing my car for me, showing up with a home cooked meal when he knows I've been working too hard and can't be bothered facing the kitchen to cook for just one. Even just the little things like opening doors for me (and he never did that for our entire 3 year relationship). I love that I can still shock and outrage him with some of the things I say when least expected, I love that he gets angry and upset over insults to me, but still lets me fight my own battles.

I'm pretty proud that we are both so much nicer to each other now, and that we have come so far. We still have a stack of practical and logistical issues to deal with, especially around hwiwtstromlw's family situation (works part time, primary carer for his parents), and dealing with my lovely, yet infuriating family.

*apologies to cmhl for stealing her acronym style - it was just the easiest way to do it

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Sweetie Darling

Jellyhead started me thinking today about pet names and terms of endearment. I've got pet names that I use for all of my family, and many of my close friends. My sister can be called Chooky, Ceiling, Strudel, Bruce, Smee or Rudy. I have brother known to many as Grub, and to some as Fleabag. My other brother is often called Rhodendendron, Warren or Rodey. I've heard my mother called Hilarious, my aunt called 3LO, my stepfather called Chucklepops and my dad called Red.

More than that though, I tend to use terms of endearment for some of the people I work with. At the moment I seem to be calling most people bloss, which has caused some raised eyebrows when I've called one of the boys that in the middle of the room. A couple of people are still getting hon, hun or honey, and there are a couple of babes in the mix too.

I'm trying to think just how many people I have called by their proper name this week, and I'm struggling to think of one. I abbreviate my boss's name, she abbreviates mine, people with short names are made longer, people who should be respected (ie the CEO's) are abbreviated to their initials, or a corruption of their surname. The boy I'm currently text flirting with (long story) is known by a corruption of the abbreviation of his surname. (sorry convoluted I know!) He whom I wish to spend the rest of my life with gets called, and calls me a variety of pet names, and starts worrying when I call him by either his full given name, or the commonly used abbreviation. I have to admit that I look around when he calls me by the commonly used abbreviation of my first name too.

Is it a typically Australian thing? I don't know. I know that my New Zealand and English friends struggle to get their heads around it the most, until they have been here for a while. I'm always relieved when simultaneous translation is no longer required.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Consumed by blogging...?

Apparently my blog owns 12.5% of me. I'm quite relieved, I was starting to think that it was consuming more than a bit of my time and life. Yes I know that this survey may not be the most scientific way of checking, but it will do for me right now... Now, if someone can do a survey on all the blogs I read each day, I might have a slightly different result.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

I've worked out who will win the 2006 AFL Premiership

Yes, I'm going out on a limb here, but I think that Melbourne will be the 2006 Premiers. Yes, I know that only one game in the finals has been completed, but I think I've worked it out.

In 2004 Port Adelaide won the Premiership. To get there, they had to defeat St Kilda and knock St Kilda out of the finals.

In 2005 Sydney won the Premiership. To get there, they had to defeat St Kilda and knock them out of the finals.

Last night Melbourne defeated St Kilda and knocked us out of the finals. So following the theory that when it isn't all about me, it is all about my football team, Melbourne will be the 2006 Premiers.

Yes, I'm going to feel mighty silly if they get knocked out next week, but I'll deal with that should it happen!

Friday, September 08, 2006

When I grow up ....

I want to be Renee Geyer

She is awesome. I was at the Countdown Spectacular tonight and she just held the audience in her hands.


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Have you looked down the back of the couch?

How very careless of me, I've lost my assistant at work.

Why do I feel so relieved? I was so excited when I was told that I was getting an assistant at work to alleviate my workload and let me focus on the fun stuff of my job and really grow and learn more in my job.

Honestly, I wasn't that impressed with the hire my manager made to be my assistant. I thought that she was over qualified to do the job, and was just using it as an escape hatch from her previous role within the company which I knew she hated. I much preferred the other candidate.

She started really well, and was bubbling over with enthusiasm, and really eager to learn. After 3 months though, my stress levels were going through the roof. We split the workload so that we each had clear lines and differences in responsibilities, so that there was no confusion. There were constant omissions, no interest in meeting deadlines, and no initiative or willingness to take responsibility for any decisions or actions. I spent a lot of time fixing mistakes, and apologising to frustrated internal and external clients. Not fun. After 5 months - migraines, lack of sleep, and a whole lot of tears.

When she resigned on Monday, I'm sure that my blood pressure dropped and I know that my stress levels did. I've slept better the last 2 nights than I have in weeks, and I'm so much happier.

At the same time, I'm thinking a lot. Am I such a control freak that things have to be my way or not at all? Am I so hypercritical that I always focus on the faults and never on the positive? Could I have done more to keep her motivated and engaged, or did she check out a while ago, and know that I wouldn't let anything go wrong because of my pride in the job being well done... Do I have problems trusting others to do the right thing by myself, themselves, our clients and the business? With the massive expectations I have for myself, do I expect everyone else to live up to them or instantly condemn them or write them off as not as committed as me?

This is really confronting stuff. I don't think that I'm perfect (okay, maybe....) but I'm dealing with issues I've been hiding from for years, even though some of it has been mentioned in previous performance reviews. I think I need to have a pretty long session, either with someone from HR, or my manager. The scary thing is that the more I think about this, the more I suspect it applies in my personal life as well. Ouch.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Happy belated birthday

On Tuesday, my right hip turned 6. I've been thinking about what has changed in my life since then, and what has remained the same.

My friendship group and socialising has changed a lot. I spent over a year on crutches, and I'm still surprised by the "friends" that only wanted to spend time with me in nightclubs, and didn't make the effort to return my calls or come to visit me. Not surprising, these people aren't part of my life anymore. The people I am closest to now are the ones that visited me in hospital regularly, and made the time to come and see me at home until I could get out a bit more. Real friends.

I am much more content on my own now. I can happily spend days by myself without needing human contact or validation. I have to be careful though, otherwise I can get to Monday morning without seeing anyone since Friday afternoon. Perhaps I could go off and become a hermit.

One of the best things about the time spent in hospital, and the time spent recuperating is that my relationship with my family really improved and is much stronger. I had had a pretty rocky year with my family before this happened, and this definitely made a difference. There is no way that I could have got through this without my family, especially my Mum. I had just moved home, and am very lucky that I had.

For those of you who are wondering, I had an aneurysmal bone cyst at the neck of my femur. The growth of the cyst meant that I had a broken leg (and had been walking on it for some weeks), and also a broken hip. The surgery involved a bone transplant, multiple screws and plates, and a scar caused by 60 odd staples putting my leg back together. Nice work by the surgeon though - it has faded so well that the scar is only obvious by touch. Lowlight - having the biopsy through my groin done twice cos the wrong needle was used. Although pethidine afterwards = good! Highlight - telling people I was going to rehab.

Friday, September 01, 2006


blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. That is how I'm feeling today, and most of this week. I'm working on a post about why, and hopefully that will help to lift it.

Enough about my mood, how are you?