Posted in Writing

A sense of ponder…

I heard this morning that she passed away.

And although she was not known to me-a story owned by others, I found myself staring aimlessly at the floor. A floor strewn with dirty clothes and a families clutter, yet a floor so desperately insignificant.

The chill in the air iced my bare feet and darkened the room. It was quiet. With absolute deliberateness I grabbed a bean bag and a cup of hot tea and headed outside. I wanted to see the world in a different light. I wanted to shake my ponder-Why are some spared when others are drowning in tragedy?

 
There will never be an answer to that.

 
I threw the beanbag down on the tiles and collapsed into it. The warmth of the sun ran right through me. It was a comfort not felt for some time, as we are usually escaping the heat in the tropics. The sky was the bluest of blue. The birds were carrying on, and everything was perfect. So spectacularly perfect-and yet not so-you know?

 
The impossibility of righting the wrongs in this world can be overwhelming yet acceptance and gratitude help us navigate our way through.

Posted in Articles, Writing

Pressure, fatigue and burnout in the caring sector.

 
 It’s a tired health industry
 I love it when my human side sneaks out from behind the façade of

 

‘organiser extraordinaire’ or ‘multi-tasking I got it all together senior nurse’ or ‘mega capable whirlwind speedy gonzales who has 3 brains and ten arms’

 

who when the truth be told, is rarely able to achieve work satisfaction, who is always drowning in the demand and NEVER catching up, and who is so burnt out she can’t even remember when the flame was extinguished.

This crippling phenomenon is not exclusive to me-It is nursing, and medicine, and other health disciplines CONTINUOUSLY battling to provide a service with a dangerously low level of skilled staff.
Why are there so few skilled staff? Because they all leave. Because they are burnt out and over worked and under valued and disrespected by patients, by other equally stressed colleagues and by the health system as a whole.

There are those individuals who always make it work for themselves of course, but the large majority persevere through their battles not making them known in view of avoiding being a trouble maker, and are largely forgotten about. Those who have real issues with work/life/balance, with bullying, and with unfair treatment, but who have no voice.

Why? Because nobody has the time or the energy to help them.

What a tragedy it is to lose so many wonderfully experienced professionals. What a shame to those entering the health industry to have so few mentors from which to learn. Those that remain are often too tired and too stressed to give one more ounce of their being to a fresh new and excited student, and that’s the truth.

So what then is the problem and why can’t we fix it?

Economics? Poor communication between hospital big wigs and front line workers? Environmental factors? (Shift work and long physically demanding hours together with poor skill mix), or is it simply a case of working in a high pressure environment hour after hour, year after long year which in effect kicks longevity in the guts?

I guess it’s different for everyone… but something that’s true for us all, is that it ain’t easy.

 
 

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Posted in blogging, exercise, fitness, Life, Physical fitness, Sport, Writing

THE PHYSICAL BATTLE OF TRAINING- THROUGH MY EYES

THE PHYSICAL BATTLE OF TRAINING- THROUGH MY EYES

Featured Image- Tom Gersekowski

Late this afternoon, I went for a run as part of my training for the 70.3 in June. You know, I probably wouldn’t have done it, if I didn’t have to. It was humid, and hot, and I was tired for the simple reason that I am always tired. I am becoming quite bored with this excuse, but a valid one it is.

As I was pounding the pavement, I found myself watching the people on the esplanade. Little kids kicking balls with their folks, people walking their dogs, and others simply lying on the grass taking in the serenity. A little mirror in my head brought attention to the fact that for a second or two, I was wishing I was one of them. One of those people who appeared to be completely happy to sit still, and smile as the world happened around them.

I could feel the sweat dripping from my arms and legs and running down my face. My breathing was controlled, and my pace was steady, but my mind was wandering. It was jumping into the lagoon pool with all the tourists, it was walking along the sand with my puppy-who was sitting at home so desperate to go with me- it was reading a book on the grass under a sleepy palm tree and it was parked with my mouth permanently perched over the bubbler, hydrating me with the best tasting water in the world. I wanted to be there. I wanted to be far away from the heat and the thirst and the sore feet and the tweaking knee and the Garmin.

Oh the Garmin.

Having a Garmin watch is like having a spy attached to your wrist. Those little numbers on its screen have a habit of telling you when you are too slow. I can hear them shouting at me like a school teacher.

“You are not trying hard enough today. You may as well go and lie on the grass and watch the pelicans in the mudflats”

But my feet keep moving…like they always have. I often wonder why I don’t just give up and turn the dial down a few notches.

Perhaps it’s because last weekend I ran 9km in 41 minutes, and I smiled when my Garmin delivered the good news. Perhaps its because when I swim, I no longer have back ache like I used to. Perhaps it is because after a training session I can stack the Cadbury drinking chocolate into a cup and fill it with cold milk and devour its contents without worrying about the consequences…

Or perhaps it’s actually because I like it.

Despite the moans and groans, I must actually like it. I like conquering the discomfort in order to be a little better than I was yesterday, even if I’ll never be as good as some. Even if I can’t compete with those around me. Even if sometimes I want to throw in the towel because no matter what I do, I am slower than those I admire.

The thought of giving up on finding the ‘best of me’, makes me feel as if I am on a downhill slope, as if the best of me has been and gone. So I must pound the pavement. Because the truth is, I never want to let go of growth.

The best of who I am lies in tomorrow’s challenges, because that is how it is for me. And as long as my heart desires new experiences, there will forever be a reason to put one foot in front of the other.

I might be 43, but life ‘aint over yet baby.

Posted in blogging, Life, Stories, Writing

Unseen and Unheard

Why have I not been writing? Good question. I have been wondering that myself for some time, and I’ve come up with nothing solid. No simple lightbulb moment that’s hit me in the head and said “oh that’s why”.

Writing is like breathing to me. Essentially, mandatory stuff to keep me alive and well. However, for some reason, the urge I once had to express myself was replaced with a preference for silence. A silence within me that smothered the words and the stories and the desire to share.

Was I sick of the sound of my own voice and inflicting  my repetitive personal thoughts onto all of you?

Was I concerned about judgement, disapproval, or the misinterpretation of my message?

Perhaps it was a combination of all of the above with a bit of fear and a bit of “what is really  the point?” thrown in.

Those who know me have born the brunt of my writing inactivity with a bombardment of new hobbies, adopted by my restless self to fill the creative gap. However like a dog begging to be taken for a walk, the words in my head would tug at my fingertips in desperation.

The fear of exposing my personal thoughts to the world was repeatedly superimposed on me by more than one source.

“Don’t air your dirty laundry in public”

“What is wrong with you?”

However that fact that I listened, is what stopped me writing in the first place. Ironic? Terribly. However as soon as I began hesitating before putting pen to paper, and as soon as I ceased being myself as a result of others opinions, judgements or expectations, I realised I needed to re-examine my sense of self and my reason for writing in the first place.

It is all over, when you change yourself to suit others-bottom line. FORGET IT! It just doesn’t work and pretending, is incompatible with happiness.

All that is uniquely YOU is lost. All that is SPECIAL is buried deep underneath sensitivities and self doubt and all of that ridiculous rot that has absolutely no place in the real, honest, raw world. The world that adores us for who we truly are. A world that pains for less plastic and more of the real deal.

What is writing anyway? It is simply connection.

Sometimes words connect, and sometimes they don’t…

What I have learned, is that when they do, it’s not only magical, it’s important. Connection is what keeps us alive. It’s what helps us  feel understood, and validated and loved and valued. Cliché cliché cliché , bla bla bla…but I’ll be a monkey’s uncle if I ever, ever, forget that again.

For any part of you that you willingly share, be it only a part, will resonate with those that it is designed to reach, and that is all that matters…

So why did I stop writing?

…because I lost sight of what was important to me.

Are you unsettled?

Re-align your vision, listen to your own voice and allow yourself to re-discover who you are, what you need, who you want to be with, and what is truly important;

TO YOU.

Unseen

Posted in blogging, Deep, Life, Writing

Winning the battle

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WINNING THE BATTLE

~Nicole Martin

I am sitting here in silence and darkness and strangely I am still alert.
It’s very rare that this happens at this time of night without me instantly fighting sleep-life is never predictable.
It’s like the hammer has ceased banging my head into the ground, and I am able to reflect without distraction.

The boys are all asleep-it’s been a long day for them. I ran around earlier and put clean sheets on the beds, closed all the windows and turned on the air conditioning. There is something about making the environment nice for my boys, that is quietly satisfying as a wife and mother. Not sure what that is, or where it comes from. Instinct?

Perhaps it’s the feeling of tucking them in, and knowing they are safe and resting comfortably under my modest little tin roof, that draws out the deepest, most raw sense of security and relief within my subconscious me.

Relief that we’ve all been blessed to get through another day.

Relief that I’ve managed to drag my way through work and school lunches and dishes and school bags and dirty clothes just well enough for all to be content, whilst they rest under warm doona’s in the crispest of sheets in the coolest of aircon, in a blissfully unconscious and unbothered state of sleep.

I stare at them.

Look at how tightly closed their eyes are. Look at their little heads soaking up the softness of their pillow below. Look at their hair, all young and thick and all over the place, falling as it pleases, and resting exactly where it lands.

They breathe softly whilst their now big boy bodies concentrate on growing into men. I bought them that bed, and those pyjamas, and that pillow. I am proud that we as parents have managed to do that, when we had no idea what we were doing-at first. I am relieved, that despite the challenges we have faced as parents, and all of the problems we never managed to solve, they have grown up anyway, and they’re ok.

And now I will join my boys and share in their journey of subconscious bliss until tomorrow. When it all starts over, and the wheel once again groans and then quickly gains momentum, turning in time with life. All are forced to jump aboard and fend for themselves dodging obstacles, passing through fields of yellow daffodils, collecting money as they pass go, and heading to jail in times of bad luck.

But the wheel will always stop. Giving us time to reflect on the chaos, and allowing us to realise that the peace that happens every now and then, is the result, of winning the battle.