Monday, 29 January 2018

It all starts with that one step...

Yesterday I took the plunge and bought myself this:

It's basic, but it will do for now.  It can count my steps and track some of my activities and that's really all I need.  So last night I spent setting it up and getting to know my new friend. 

Tonight after work I jumped at the opportunity and my youngest and I went for a run / walk - week 1 of the couch to 5km programme.  I don't know if she will continue doing it with me, but it is a good place to start. 

It did confirm though just how very unfit I am and just how much work lies ahead of me to get to my goal.  But every goal started with that first step.  And I did it.  Even though I really didn't want to do anything after a long day at work and even though it is super hot at the moment.  I did it. 

We did just over 3km and was very much a run / walk.  5 minutes to warm up, then slow jog 60 min, walk 90min and repeat a number of times and then cool down for 5 minutes. 

Sunday, 28 January 2018

It may not be easy, but it will be worth it...

So much has happened since my last post.  I settled into an amazing new role and have now been there just over 6 months.  I have an incredibly supportive boss, a team that feels like family and wonderful benefits (like free lunch four days of the week) and growth and development opportunities.  Initially I doubted myself all the time.  Was I worth it?  Did I deserve to be there? When will I be caught out?  But finally I feel like I am at a stage where I feel comfortable and that I belong and genuinely deserve to be there.  I have so many facets to my role.  My role range from being a PA to website updates and updates to our LinkedIn account.  I can do some analysis work and create dashboards and plan events.  Really it is all my interests thrown into one job.  And I love it.  I actually genuinely love it. 

Last year I had the opportunity to take the kids to Japan and that was such an amazing holiday.  It was completely out of my comfort zone to do something like that all on my own with the kids, but it was wonderful.  I will have to do a proper post on it at another time.

In December Paul fell off his bike and fractured his hip (again) which meant we had to put our Australian holiday on hold.  Was incredibly disappointing, but a chance to re-evaluate and to re-set goals.  And I may just have accidentally promised to enter the World Masters Mountain Running Championships with him in 2019.  So that is close to 10km up a mountain...  I have so much work to do because right now running 100m is too much effort for me and 10min on the exercycle nearly kills me...  I am about 30kg overweight.  And I have a LOT of work to do with my mindset.

But, I am determined to go with him.  And secretly I want to give him a bit of a run for his money haha :-).

So some of the focus of this blog will be about that.  To track my progress.  When my daughter was diagnosed with cancer (many years ago now), that was the reason I did the whole blogging thing.  I wanted to be able to look back and see that it wasn't all difficult and all sad.  And I think I will need to do it with this journey too.  Be able to look back and see it wasn't all impossibly difficult all of the time.  That I did lose weight, that I did make progress with learning to run - not only the distance, but also to run faster.  Heck - I want to have a real chance here.

So right now it looks like the 2019 event will be in Italy in September 2019.  This means I have just over 1.5 years to get ready. 

My motto for this will be "it may not be easy, but it will be worth it".  Italy - here we come!

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Life is really good today

Throughout my career I have worked with so many different managers and leaders.  Some were managers because of their title.  For some reason and somehow they managed to get to that senior position of authority.  The trouble was they didn't know how to lead people in an effective "same page" kind of way.  They didn't know how to make people want to work hard and work well.  If you asked them their vision, they really couldn't give you an answer.  These were the managers that believed they needed to be the "boss".  They needed to dictate, to micro-manage and that through this style they could "demand" respect.  

It doesn't really work that way.

People did what they asked, but not because of respect.  They did it because it was expected of them.  If you asked these managers what really motivated staff, they really had no clue whatsoever.

The ones who I really loved working with were true leaders.  It wasn't about them having all the glory and being the "boss".  They empowered, they coached and mentored, they built confidence and trust and they showed a genuine care for you as a person.  I had a voice.  I was given the opportunity to share my opinions and ideas.  They are the leaders who are very hard to leave and honestly you work hard because you want to.  

In my previous position I worked with somebody who was very much a coach and mentor in everything she did.  I learned so much from her in my time working with her and I really miss working with her.  My current position has not been the best fit for me and I am finding myself surrounded by these manager-types rather than genuine leaders.  

Today I was made a really exciting offer for a new position.  It was quite a lengthy interview process - first a brief telephone conversation with one of the assistants.  Then I had a meeting with the manager who this role would report to.  The next step was a Panel meeting and finally a coffee meeting where I met some of the team.  Meeting all these people, seeing them interact together - you get a real feeling of genuineness, of caring for one another and of a positive and empowering culture.  
I wish I could be honest with whoever comes in after me because I was caught by surprise and a lot of information was not shared with me - information that really would have mattered to me in my decision-making.  But unfortunately I will not be able to, heck I was not even allowed to tell my team (reporting to me) about my resignation and my boss did this behind my back when I went out at lunch time.  But anyway, just another 17 more work days and then my new adventure can begin.  And what an adventure it will be.  I am so excited I can hardly contain myself.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

A little reminder to myself

I went back to some of my entries I wrote on this blog and then decided it was time for a fresh start with it.  There is no denying that the last number of months have been hard on the work front and it affected me in a big way.   I started doubting myself.  I blamed myself for my poor decision-making and felt guilty that I was not happy.  And I felt trapped to the point of wondering if life was worth living.  But then I thought to myself that I deserved more.  I deserved better.  And nobody had the right to have that sort of negative power over me.  I read a post recently by Simon Sinek and he said that job satisfaction is a right, not a privilege.  And I agree.  I owe it to myself to be be truly happy in what I do and to be truly valued for what I bring.  My decision-making only has to focus on me.  And as scary as it might be, if it isn't right, then I should leave.  Simple as that.  I am grateful to a number of people who I regard as friends and mentors.  People who didn't look at me funny when I finally had the courage to tell them what things were like and they gently guided me through my decision-making process.

So when I looked at some of my previous entries there was a lot of emphasis on what went wrong in one situation (it wasn't the only one), but is it really worth it to have such a focus on the actual details of the situation?  No it isn't.  So I decided to remove my previous posts and start again. Over time I will write posts on some of those aspects but as an informative topic rather than a "I feel sorry for myself".

I pride myself in my ability to mostly be positive even when things are not all that good.  Even when life hands you challenges you didn't see coming and weren't prepared for.

As a family having had to deal with child cancer - I can honestly say that was one of THE most difficult and challenging times I ever had. At the age of four, my daughter taught me to keep smiling no matter what.  My daughter taught me that life was worth living despite having to deal with cancer.  My daughter taught me you only focus on today and you don't look to the past.  Now 10 years since her diagnosis, there are still days every so often that are hard, where you start thinking "what if?".  But I am grateful to have reached this point.  I used to wonder how having cancer and the lengthy treatment (and isolation) would affect her as a person.  I can hear her and her friends (who came for a sleep over for her birthday) giggling in the lounge, being typical teenagers and I know she is just perfect.  Cancer (as much as it can have power over our lives and our thoughts) wasn't able to have any control over her.  It didn't affect the person she was, is and will continue to become.


This image serves as a reminder to me that my issue is just a small speck in comparison to what my daughter and our family have been through.  We got through by focusing on each day as it came.  This is my approach now as well.  I don't know what my next step will look like, all I know is that the current is not right for me.  I read a book once.  I can't remember what it is called, but I distinctly remember that the doctor told the parents "you can only make decisions with the information you have right now".  And as I go into this next week, that is what I will keep telling myself.

I am worth it.  I deserve to be valued even if my part might not seem the biggest or the most important, I do play an important part.