23:40

Today my company made the decision to close and go to lock down.

No working from home, no checking emails, no need to travel to work, and no work-related thoughts.

More time at home, more social-distancing, more time for other interests, and more time for family.

That feeling of uncertainty has never felt so strong. The world is currently a scary place. New guidance and advice comes out everyday in regards to how we can live our lives. I urge everyone to keep themselves safe and also those around them. Together we can consciously make an effort to tackle this head on.

21:45

Yesterday I had a heartfelt catch up with one of my friends. We went to a cafe and chatted until the cafe closed. Admittedly it was the first time we’ve socialised outside of church one on one, however we talk quite often over messages. While our conversation topics were light for the most part, she asked me some questions which I found that I had never really considered before. I am particularly private but I felt relief in unburdening some of my inner thoughts and turmoils.

Throughout my studies and work life I have always worked the same. Work hard, concentrate, and focus until breaking point. Everything simmers underneath the surface until it eventually spills over. I find that this is a really unhealthy practice. Although I never consciously do it, events always seem to pan out this way. I am slowly learning to confide in others whom I trust, and to release tension in ways that work for me. While these steps may seem little, they have been huge leaps in my working practice. My mind is less heavy and my feelings are more free. Sometimes all you need is a listening ear and someone to enjoy the quiet with.

22:09

Yesterday I pushed myself to see a group of friends who I haven’t seen in a while. These friends are easy to get on with but are much more extroverted than I am – which is why I do not see them that often. As a keen introvert I tend to shy away from large group hang outs and opt for smaller group occasions instead. A larger group can be mentally draining and takes more effort on my part to ‘fit in’.

The initial group of 15 was difficult to get used to. I felt like I was quiet and not really a part of their conversations – like an outsider looking in. However as the night went on and I spoke to people on a one-to-one basis, I felt more relaxed and at ease.

One friend (who I have always connected to a little more) took the time to catch up with me which made the social situation a little less daunting. He also remembered a fact about me which I didn’t even know he knew! I questioned how he knew and he gave the reply, “Everyone knows this about you.” It was such a small and passing comment but it really resonated with me. It was actually a compliment in disguise. It was a reassurance that I was not forgotten despite my absence from frequent social gatherings. It was a detail so small, yet it was comforting to know that people remembered that about me.

As the night went on, the numbers of the group dwindled down and we started to reminisce on memories. I had settled into a safe space with people I was comfortable with, talking about how we had all grown together and come so far. We ended the night around 1am (noticeably later than my usual early bed times) and went our separate ways. I left the gathering with a warm feeling in my heart – I had pushed myself into an uncomfortable situation and prevailed.

Getting out of my comfort zone is a challenge but the biggest obstacle is actually my own thoughts. There is always a ‘what if’ thought. A pessimistic thought that suggests something could go wrong. A daunting task in front of me that I can’t achieve. But what if it goes right? What if I can achieve it? I like to think that I can encourage people but when it comes to myself I struggle. It may not be easy but getting rid of the negative thoughts is the first step to success.

20:43

There has been a lot going on in my life that I wanted to reflect on but have felt like I never had the correct head space to do so. After a particularly testing day I truly felt like I could have snapped at any point. Sometimes when things go wrong I fail to see the bigger picture and let my emotions get the better of me. Even little things can trigger a sigh of disappointment or a pang of irritation, however I am trying to learn to be more accepting of both the good and the bad in life.

My manager occasionally reminds our management group that ‘you cannot control bad news or problems but you can always control how you react.’ As my manager is quite into her motivational quotes I took what she said with a pinch of salt, however I can see the relevance of that phrase to not only my work but all aspects of life.

Yes, my train was cancelled and then the next one was delayed. But would getting angry or annoyed have helped the situation at all? There is a storm hitting the UK so I endured winds and heavy rain all day, got splashed by a bus not once, not twice but three separate times. Was I vexed? Slightly. However I accepted that the weather was miserable, my clothes would dry and carried on with my day. I also thought ‘it could have been worse.’ A change in mentality takes the negativity out of a bad situation. Acceptance is key; it’s how we move forward and learn to grow.

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?

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!

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.

21:34

Today is my WordPress anniversary! I’m not entirely sure how many years ago I started running this blog, but I am definitely proud of how far it has come. While I find myself with less words to write, I am thankful for an open yet safe space where I can share and relieve my mind.

This week of work has sped by! April has always been a ‘nothing’ month for me. In education days it was the month of Easter break and revision for exams, however now it holds no significance. Work life remains work life. As April comes to a close I wonder what the month of May will bring!

22:03

Some things from recent days:-

  • Winter has totally dried out my skin and I have itchy patches of rash on my body. I am so frustrated by it!
  • I  caught up with Gotham season 2 and started watching Daredevil.
  • My whole work team got ill and we took turns having days off. We have all made a full recovery now.
  • I am craving some good quality sushi (take me back to Japan please!)
  • My nose is very sensitive to strong smells and I will cough and splutter when I encounter them.
  • I started taking driving lessons! It is something I have always wanted to do but never had time to in my student days.
  • Soup is not a viable option for my work lunches, it leaves me so hungry by the end of my shift…
  • I can now play a musical instrument! It used to be one of my biggest regrets that I did not learn one when I was younger so I am happy that I have changed that.