No more house hunting

The number 28 takes on more significance in my life after we purchased a new house this past weekend.

It’s the ‘next’ step in our current journey kicked off more than a year ago when I embraced my redundancy, changed careers, and shared the journey with the family.

Change can be big and scary, but nothing worth fearing if you communicate and share your thoughts and those of the others invested in the change with you.

I hope you are all well, and I promise to post more now the ‘house hunting’ period is complete 🙂

The next phase of my life

Many times I have spoken to people I’ve asked them what they’re doing about changing their situation to overcome boredom, laziness, stifling work environments, toxic friendships, and many other ‘ills’ people often complain about. One of the pieces of advice I often share with them is that they are the common denominator in everything they do, say and think each and every day, and they have the power to change things – should they want to.

Today, I start my new job. But before I get into it a little more, here’s a quick summary of where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing the past 3 months.

I was made redundant from my former employer after a 17 year stretch, where I began as a humble  Technical Support Engineer eventually to become a Learning & Development Business Partner. The ‘writing was on the wall’ that eventually my job role would disappear, so the redundancy came as no shock to me and I embraced it fully. In the past 3 months I have caught up with many friends, family and acquaintances, I’ve relaxed, participated in my youngest son’s Year 1 class, done the school drop-off & pickup, as well as stay in shape by running or cycling. I’ve been loving each and every day and doing things I’ve wanted to do as well as doing nothing. It’s been wonderful!

But back to today: I start out in the Hospitality/Food & Beverage industry. As a waiter. 🙂

Yes, that’s right – If I’m to become a wonderful asset to my new company (which is my #1 goal) I need to learn this industry from the ground up, and that starts today. I do not know how long the journey will take or where it will lead, but I cannot wait!

I’m not sure what to expect, but believe it’ll be a day of learning, brain-sapping, nerve-frying excitement, apprehension, concentration & exhaustion wrapped into one period of 10 hours starting this afternoon.

If you need to find inspiration to change your life in any way, feel free to use me as your inspiration or to ask me any questions in the comments below.

 

Freaky Stuff Happens

As some of you will know, my planned trip to New Zealand to celebrate my 10th Wedding Anniversary was thrown into chaos due to the Apocalyptic elements of Sydney weather early this morning (SMH article, Flickr photostream, BOM warning).

Whilst at the airport, the Air New Zealand staff did the best they could to explain the situation (in essence, no planes landed in Sydney to take passengers to NZ…simple really) due to limited visibility over Sydney. Our first flight (7am) was cancelled due to engineering issues so were provided a meal voucher to the food court (awesome!) and put on later flight (9:30am). At 7:30am it was apparent nothing was coming into or out of Sydney; the 9:30am was cancelled (due to weather) + the best we could do was call Reservations and make changes. I had confirmed seats on the same flight on the 24th, so decided to go home and make alternate arrangements for the rest of the trip.

Whilst on the phone with United (as the flights were booked through United, not Air New Zealand), I got to speaking to a lady by the name of “Chen” who helped me change my flights, and she was so lovely asking if it was OK to put me on hold many times. (Of course it was OK, I have worked in Customer Service and know how things work), to which I joked “sure it’s OK, I’m not going anywhere yet!” We got to chatting and I said to take her time as I understood there are delays in making changes and I didn’t mind waiting, at which point I asked her “how are other passengers/callers handling things?”

“Grant me the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, courage to change the things we can and the wisdom to know the difference”

She said it’d been quite a tough morning as the majority of the callers were screaming, mad, angry and frustrated that their plans were thrown into chaos as well. I explained to her that Freaky Stuff Happens beyond our control, and getting mad at others over stuff you can’t control is stupid. I explained that I had time and wasn’t going to get mad, and wonder why others would get in such a way over something they can’t control. She replied “thanks very much for sharing that with me, it helps to get through the day to hear such kind words”

I believe I helped change the way her day will pan out, But wonder where other peoples’ heads are? When the Freaky Stuff Happens, knowing what you can control and what’s beyond your control should help you best direct your energies to achieve a resolution. Screaming at customer service people over the phone for no Freaky good reason is pointless, damaging and unproductive.

To anyone out there in a customer service role ‘affected’ by today’s Freaky Stuff, I wish you all the best to get through the tough day ♥☺♥.  To all people inconvenienced by today’s Freaky Stuff, revel in the different day this is turning out to be, and don’t turn into an ugly zombie!

Changing Habits – Days 2-4

This is an ongoing experiement to change some of my habits, initially through relying more on my left hand to perform many tasks I’d usually do with my right hand. You can catch the first part (+ some great comments) in my Changing Habits – Day 1 post.

I have not had much trouble switching to my left hand, but am having to fight the compulsion for the right hand to take control – I’m finding when I don’t focus on the task (i.e. let my mind wander onto one of the many other things I think about), the right hand creeps in like a burglar just lying in wait to steal your goodies!

My exercise in eating is not a problem, breakfast is slower now (which is a good thing as I was gobbling down my cereal too quickly), teeth brushing is still awkward, I have yet to try writing/painting with my left hand (or either foot, for that matter – refer to the comments here for more info)

One thing I can do very very well is use my knife in my left hand – because I always have! When we were growing up, my brothers and I realised that the fork was the most powerful weapon to fend off other people stealing food from your plate – you’d want to arm your strongest hand with the fork to perform the task of defence, should a stray hand wander across your plate. I will endeavour to switch this behaviour around and use my knife/fork the ‘correct’ way to help break some habits and form new neural pathways!

This long weekend will provide some non-work activities for me to continue the experiment and broaden my habit-changing experiences!

Oh and the zucchini seeds I popped into the ground are starting to sprout! 🙂

Changes whilst donating blood…

I donated blood today and noticed a number of changes (it’s been 70 days since my last donation…)

  1. The donor consent/medical history form has changed (it now asks if you have ever been out of the country)
  2. There’s a sign asking you to contact the Blood Bank should you feel unwell, nausea, have diarrhoea, etc. within 7 days after donating blood (in the past everything focused on events prior to that donation)
  3. They now use a different bandage and different tape (thinner and weaker). When I asked the nurses why they changed, they muttered that it’s ‘likely’ to save money – ironic when it was explained that they now needed to use more {of both} than with the older products.

One of the nurses asked me how come I noticed so many changes, and upon a quick think (because I had not consciously thought of this in the past) I put it down to being more observant of things being different. We discussed the fact that change is required to keep things moving/progressing, but change for changes sake, or change for such a one-dimensional aspect (saving money without factoring in the increased usage) is just ludicrous. The staff won’t thank management for it, if anything, it will drive a wedge between them and management.

I wonder how many ‘upper management’ decisions truly encompass the views and inputs of the people using the items on a daily basis? Will the Blood Bank truly save money with decisions like this? How many other false prophecies are being played out every day in companies, large and small?

I’m all for change but like to know that consultation and communication are included as part of any decision to make changes (for whatever result).