Saturday, November 30, 2013
I don't have too much more to say, or indeed, too much more I *can* say without being repetitious or inappropriate. Well, I could tell you that my beautiful 4 year old vastly enjoyed We're Going on a Bear Hunt this morning at the Arts Centre; what a fantastic kids' show it was, we highly recommend it. Or I could tell you that we spent the rest of the day at my Mum's having my Dad's birthday celebration, but that I was so tired and wrung out that I fell asleep on my Mum's spare bed at 2:30 and didn't wake til after 4. I could bore you with how ridiculous my life is at the moment, but I won't.
We have our traditional tree-raising, house-decorating and cookie-making Christmas prep afternoon tomorrow, and I will pull together a post on that at some point in the coming week, because it is the one post of the year that my interstate relos and friends look out for and read / share. Other than that, I'm going dark til Christmas. I won't say *no* posts and *no* Twitter, because I can't call it this far out, but certainly it'll be sparse and scanty around here, and that's OK. If you read me over at The Shake, I'm also on hiatus over there until 2014; sometimes life and work, between them, call for the sacrifice of hobbies temporarily, unfortunately.
I hope you all had a good November, particularly those of you who did NaNoWriMo, and I hope that December treats you kindly. Catch you on the flipside...
This is post 30, aka the VICTORY POST, in NaBloPoMo. I'm glad I stuck with it, and I'm glad it's done!
Friday, November 29, 2013
Thursday, November 28, 2013
This is the second time I've delivered this workshop. The first time, back in October, it went well, but yesterday went, if anything, even better. The group was engaged, enthusiastic and seemed very happy at the end of the session. (Their feedback forms certainly supported this good vibe!) I was on game - I spoke well, I was able to pick up on the interests of the group and shape the training on the fly to suit them, and as a result of doing the training, I have established connections into areas of my organisation that I have hereforeto not been able to get access to.
I went to the workshop not in the best mood. There were Reasons for this, but I literally pulled myself up and said "You have to put all that away now" in the lift as I was riding to the relevant floor of the building. The amazing thing is that it worked - in fact, it did more. Not only was I able to focus on my trainees and deliver them a useful session, but the very act of willing myself into doing it actually lightened my overall demeanour and helped me gain some better perspective on other things.
It's partly that I really do enjoy training, if I'm well prepared - I think I'm pretty good at it, and I find it very satisfying. (So much so that I have not infrequently wondered if a future career turn might not land me in a training role of some kind).
It's more than that, though. It's the thing that we all talk about with kids, especially toddlers, but seem to forget applies just as much to ourselves as adults, and it's this - redirection is a powerful tool for breaking negative loops, be they behavioural or psychological. An early and much-respected manager of mine once told me that when you are feeling angry, frustrated or overwhelmed at work, the best strategy is: Stop. Breathe. DO SOMETHING ELSE. Nothing productive comes of activity fuelled by those negative mental states, and much can be gained by turning your mind elsewhere and focusing on something about which you can be positive.
Of course, when I returned in the afternoon to the Reasons, they were still there and they were still real, but they did seem more manageable and I was able to address them more effectively. All thanks to being forced by circumstance to redirect my own attention :-)
This is post 28 in NaBloPoMo. 28 down, 2 to go!
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Actually, that's a misleading title, because I don't know how to motivate myself out of a stress funk when there is no real end in sight. When there's no daylight to be seen, my instinct is to roar then snore - to flail about wildly looking for a path through, and when one isn't forthcoming, to curl up in a ball, withdraw, and basically try to wait it out in the hope that time will cure the problem. Neither are helpful responses and you will be unastonished to learn that neither are particularly successful in remediating high stress situations.
I should point out here, it's sustained stress without respite in view that I find hard. I worked my arse off in November and December last year too - probably even more hours than I'm working now, or at least as many - and it was hard and I got tired, but I didn't feel so completely overwhelmed and I know why. It was because I knew that it was coming to an end on 31 December and that I would have January off, and then start fresh with new projects in February.
This is not the case this year, and indeed it is not even like I can look forward to a slow start for 2014 - a major, high pressure project, which has to be delivered by the vast team of me, myself and I, kicks off on 6th January, the day I get back from my two weeks off.
Look, there are pros and cons both ways. Uncertainty of income is sucky when you freelance, and I missed having colleagues (clients just aren't the same). But one of the distinct pros of consulting is that it makes it much easier to practice passionate detachment - to be committed to doing the best work you can while understanding that this is not your baby, ultimately.
I need to learn that skill, here in the land of salaried people.
This is post 26 in NaBloPoMo. 26 down, 4 to go!