20:49

Recently I have been watching Netflix’s Our Planet. It has to be some of the most visually attractive footage I have ever seen. Beautifully narrated by David Attenborough and bringing valuable lessons regarding protecting our planet.

Sometimes I forget about the wider planet due to getting caught up in my own worries and troubles, but this series has really brought my life into perspective. There is so much more. There is beauty and wonder in the world if I just open my eyes to see it. There are issues which I cannot even fathom. How little am I in this world so large?

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21:45

I had a productive day today.

I swam extra lengths at the pool to release tension. I didn’t over-shop at the supermarket as I looked in the fridge before heading out. I did my laundry and made a nutritious and healthy lunch. I thought I was going to be late for my choir session at church but I actually ended up early. It poured down with rain but only when I was driving in my car. I bought a cute sweater on sale that I had been eyeing for weeks. I cooked a Thai green curry for dinner and it tasted good. I cleaned the house and prepared for the week ahead. I watched some episodes of my current binge-worthy series and a documentary. I am now winding down in bed while listening to a podcast.

Sometimes it’s the little things which promote a sense of satisfaction and contentment.

19:59

Today was a difficult day.

I took my car to get serviced because my gears were grinding and unfortunately they were not able to fix it there. They carried out some minor service works which I had to pay for on top of my service fee. I now need to find a garage that can fix my gear issue.

This morning I lost my cousin to cancer. She had been fighting for a while with more time spent in the hospital than out. She suffered greatly and towards the end of her life she refused any more treatment. I last visited her on Saturday and it was very emotional to see her in that state. The family is comforted to know she is in a better place with no more pain and suffering.

I had to deal with an act of disobedience from a member of staff that I manage. When asked to do a task today, she said she would do it on Friday – no reasoning behind it. Eventually the order was followed after I explained reasons why it had to be done today. When faced with a snippy response, all I wanted was to send a snippy comment back asking that she follow orders. However after typing out an email I got a colleague to read over it, and they advised I amend it to be softer and to give reason to my words. In my emotional state the situation could have escalated to much worse.

I try to keep a work life balance. I was working 8 hours a day for a period of time to accommodate newer members of my team. I have since shifted back to 7.5 hours a day. Any time I stay later than my shift I try to analyse why. Was there a task I could have delegated to my team? Was there time I could have spent more wisely? Could I spread my work out throughout the week instead of condensing it? Management is a learning process and leading a team does not come easy. Sometimes it feels like there is not enough time in the day to complete my work, as well as answer queries from my team and deal with personal requests.

Today I came home feeling stretched rather thinly. There is a phrase my manager likes to use which is ‘being pulled from pillar to post.’ My day has been physically and emotionally draining, and the non-stop schedule is not something I want to continue.

I guess they call it hump day for a reason. Here’s to a better latter half of the week!

22:02

Today my cousin came to speak to me at church and said she had a small gift for me. It was something that I had mentioned a few months ago and I was genuinely surprised she remembered. She said when she saw it in the store she had to get it for me because she remembered how much I liked it.

There is a heart-felt joy when people are reminded of you in day to day things. I am very thankful for loved ones and unexpected sparks of joy!

22:55

Woah woah woah! Hold up! It’s the 31st December!

HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?!

When I think back to the past year there are so many big events and milestones for 2018. I still cannot believe that so much happened this year and all seemingly in the blink of an eye. To round off 2018 I am sat in my parents’ living room on the floor typing out this blog post. My brothers have returned to Scotland for the new year countdown and my parents have gone to bed. I am calm, collected and pensive. It’s been a while since I spent new years at home ‘doing nothing’ so this restful time period is welcomed.

However you are spending ringing in the new year, I hope you have fun with friends and family, and stay safe! Wishing everyone a blessed 2019!

22:13

This morning at 04:15 my brother came into my room and woke me up. He was complaining of a sharp abdominal pain on his right side (just under his ribs). He said he had phoned an ambulance and they would be there within an hour. I quickly snapped out of my dozy state and got ready.

We waited for 30 minutes and there was no sign of the ambulance. My brother was clearly still in discomfort and was resting on the sofa. Whilst we were both relatively calm I started getting more anxious and paced about from window to window, looking out for the incoming ambulance. At 04:50 the ambulance arrived and we went inside to get checked.

After the usual questions and checks were completed, my brother was given some morphine to ease the pain. He started to feel a bit disorientated but soon we were on the way to the hospital.

We arrived at the hospital at almost 06:00. My brother was wheeled into the hospital on a chair and we were assigned an examining room to wait. A student doctor came to do a check up but seemed very unsure of himself. Another doctor also came to look at my brother’s condition but seemed to think nothing of the symptoms and thought it not serious. We were assigned another room and paracetamol was given to help with the pain.

At around 06:30 the student nurse came back to do a blood test. He joked about missing the vein and having to repeatedly stab patients. My brother and I didn’t think it was funny given the situation. The bloods went off to be analysed and we waited for the results.

It got to 08:10 and we still hadn’t been informed of anything. My brother had fallen asleep lying on the trolley and I had dozed on and off. I also contacted our mum to inform her of what happened and stayed relatively calm so not to freak her out. The blood results came in about 08:20 and a consultant told us the blood results were normal, and there was nothing to suggest internal problems. The verdict was ‘non-specific abdominal pain’. The consultant talked us through the possible reasons for the pain and what to do if the pain recurred. At this point my brother’s pain had subsided considerably. By 08:35 he was discharged. Thank God he managed to rest more during the course of the day (as did I) and ate a little.

One of the doctors commented on how calm my brother was throughout the whole process. This also led him to believe that it was nothing serious. The whole experience was a huge learning curve for me, not only into how the medical care system works but also of how I deal with emergency situations. I kept my calm in the ambulance by reassuring my brother and also saying prayers in my heart. Had the sirens been blaring and the ambulance been going faster, I would surely have been more panicky. Luckily it was early morning and the pain was bearable.

In emergency situations always remember to be logical, prepared and informed. We both managed to stay calm, I packed some food, water and an external phone charger in my bag, and I took a photo of the medication my brother takes. Though I certainly would not like to experience the situation again I would like to think I could handle it well.

20:31

November has always been a nothing month for me. It’s always been a month where nothing much happens, a month that I could happily skip through to get to the end of the year. However, this year it holds a dearer place in my heart.

I got promoted!

Applying for an internal position is just as nerve-wracking as an external one. I had two interviews: one with my manager and the other with the regional director for Scotland. My manager works with me on a close level so the interview was more of a detailed chat about the role and expectations. The thought of the second interview caused me to lose sleep. Having not interviewed anywhere in three (plus) years made me rusty.

I hadn’t even thought about how to answer questions they might pose or how to portray myself as a passionate and driven individual. I prepared as best as I could and tried to relax before going into the room. I thought hard about the questions I was posed and collected my thoughts before giving coherent answers, expanding where necessary. I came out of the interview unsure about how it went, especially because I knew the reputation of the regional director as being quite tough. Nevertheless over a week passed and due to my manager having a sick daughter I didn’t hear anything about the job.

  Last Thursday morning I got an email from my manager (who was in a different office that day) telling me to call her as soon as I could. I automatically panicked. I thought that could only mean bad news. Imagine my relief when she told me I’d gotten the job! I had never felt such a sense of relief! It was like this huge weight lifted off my chest and I could breathe properly for the first time.

Starting in December I will become a team leader. My current team will now have me as their boss. It still feels surreal! As the youngest but longest serving member of my team the promotion came as a surprise to some. I have my reservations about leading a team of seniors but am confident that I will develop skills and grow along the way. Here’s to more happy news and memorable Novembers!

21:10

Where is 2018 running off to? As the months sprint past it seems strange to think how long a year felt back in my years of studying. Term time seemed to last forever and even the long holidays would drag out. In my working life everything seems to be going in fast forward. A Monday ends before I know it, then suddenly it’s midweek, and then somehow it’s already Friday? I find myself not having enough time to get everything done in a day. I find myself scrambling to work harder and more efficiently to fit everything in. I need life to slow down a little and let me catch up.