Archive for the ‘Goals’ Category

One, Two, Five and out…

Monday, May 21st, 2018

So it’s back to the drawing board for me. That old devil and I just couldn’t reignite the old flames enough for me to be able to hang in there when it was getting tough. To be fair it wasn’t anyone’s fault particularly.

I was into my third week of the commute to Melbourne. Training had technically finished but there was still no work in my designated region therefore it was a situation of going where the current work was: Melbourne suburbs and CBD. At that time I came down with what I refer to the cold from hell. It knocked me flat for the best part of three weeks, I didn’t have a hope while trying to commute. The two times I tried to go back to work during that period I was a heap on the floor by the end of the day. I was physically and emotionally exhausted. Getting up at 05:15 and getting home at 19:00 each day just weren’t going to allow me to be able to fight it off. Anxiety and Depression were having a field day with me, they may as well have been pre-emptively dancing on my grave.

To top it off, around the middle of week four, Tiggakat decided to go for a walkabout without consultation. I was shattered. She returned about 22:30 on the fourth night after she’d disappeared, thankfully as healthy as I could expect being unharmed, simply hungry and thirsty. Clearly she had a story to tell me but I was just too human to understand. She has been quite chatty since her return.

By the end of week five I had to resign. There was still no clear deadline for a regional handover of work, and I couldn’t face another commute. Even if I’d been able to pick up regional work immediately at the start of week six, I was basically too much of a physical and mental wreck to even be able to accept and manage it. They couldn’t give me a timeline and I couldn’t in return give them a timeline on my health improving. End of a chapter.

There were a few small positives out of the experience: I can say without a single doubt now that I for one am unable to physically or mentally (in particular) deal with a commute to work of that type day after day. It’s beyond me now. Additionally I did receive some money before winding up, so I’ve managed to close off a couple of large bills. So at least I’m heading forward on the basis of zero again rather than a negative position immediately. Something to be pleased about and to have brought out of it all.

It was a grasp at an opportunity that just didn’t pan out for me but I guess needed to be accepted and seen through as best I could. Now it’s regroup, get healthy again and just move on.

Still In the Game…

Thursday, February 8th, 2018

At this stage I think a quick post is necessary just so you all realise I’m actually still alive and this two month hiatus from posting isn’t more “final”. I won’t lie, it’s been damn tough the last few months: tougher than it’s been in a long time. Emotionally & Psychologically it’s been hell; I’ve been navigating some very rocky reefs just off a very dangerous coast. I don’t know if I’m out of those waters yet, but at least this week I’ve steered a more positive and productive course. Only time will tell. Time is the only true auditor of “survival”.

I have found some energy and I’m attempting to find some motivation to move on and get out of yet another crossroads where the vehicle (me) has stalled. In some ways it’s seemed like I can see the tick boxes running out at the bottom of the page for chances to start again. I will get a more enlightening post up soon, but for the moment I’ve made use of five minutes to indicate I’m still in the game.

An Emotional Shot in the Arm…

Sunday, November 5th, 2017

“Today is the first day of the rest of my life…”

It sounds hackneyed and trite. I’d be the first to say that is exactly how I have felt about that statement in the past but it’s also true. I’m not sure why (yet) that statement sounds different to me today, but I found myself saying it early this morning while making breakfast. Is that a sign of hopefulness returning? I’m not sure, but perhaps it has something to do with the day I enjoyed yesterday. I attended a wedding; not something I do lightly as I don’t really believe in the legal construct of a wedding.

I do believe in the commitment that two people can share with each other which is why I attended yesterday’s wedding. It was between two people I believe love & care about each other and they wanted to share their day with those around them that they feel similarly.

It was the most relaxed wedding I’ve been to in over 10 years. That doesn’t demean the event in anyway, it was simply a reflection of the couple and their family and friends.

Somehow though I drove away last night feeling somewhat more “lively” than I have felt in quite a while. Although I was tired at the end of the day and running on very little sleep, I found myself strangely energised by the day and the people. I caught up with some of those friends that sit in the secondary circle and oddly found myself feeling valued again. Even though I’ve not seen several of them for up to a decade, they still managed to demonstrate to me that I’d made a difference in their life and that somehow I’d manage without effort to make a positive impact in their lives. That was valuable and enriching for me yesterday: perhaps it was the shot in the arm that my emotional state has needed?

Only time will tell on this one, but this morning was the most positive feeling morning I can remember in months. Hopefully I can channel this into some positive action forward!

Lost Footing…

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

Clearly I’ve had a relapse with regard to the emotional position I was in 18 months ago and I can’t let that continue. Here’s hoping that with the financial mess behind me now I can grasp some bull by the horns and get some traction in life again. It’s been way too long since I felt on solid ground.

That said, the end of last week and the weekend just passed was the most hopeless and emotionally debilitating period I can remember over the last two years. I have no certain idea why and that’s concerning because it seemed to come from nowhere and I really was struggling to stay afloat. I spent hours on the phone with friends just to hang on. I really hope that was some incredibly obscure and unlikely set of circumstances that’s done & dusted now because I’m pretty sure I’d be underwater if I had to try and stay on top of that level of psychological blackness for a couple of weeks continuously.

Anyway I’ve shortlisted some tasks this week to try and prevent slipping down to that level again. Hopefully that state will not reoccur before I find my feet again.

Monday Morning Gratitude List…

Monday, March 20th, 2017

Many years ago when I was first getting clean it was suggested to me that I might make a “Gratitude List” for times I was feeling somewhat negative about things in general. Last night I woke up in the middle of the night with that thought in my mind again. So I suppose it might be meaningful to do so again.

  • I’m MOST grateful for having friends. I mean REAL friends, not the fictional Social Media “friends”; friends who exist in real life, have physicality. I don’t have a lot of friends, I prefer solid, deep friendships to the casual. My friends provide emotional support, love, entertainment and a solid grounding to life. They’re priceless, they are the real wealth and richness in my life.
  • I’m grateful for my family. Although clearly as dysfunctional as the best of them, they’re still there for me in the hardest of times, and despite my foibles have learned to take me as I am. My parents have managed to provide me with a solid idea about the profoundness of ethics and values, and that people MATTER. They provided me with a good education and taught me the VALUE of education and knowledge.
  • I AM grateful for living in Australia. Despite my many misgivings about where our country is headed as against many other countries I do believe we still have a chance here to not repeat many of the mistakes that I see other countries making.
  • I’m grateful for my good physical health. I believe having good health is so often taken for granted and it’s only when you know people for whom it can’t be taken for granted and see the devastating impact on their lives that it occurs to you how easy it is to lose it.
  • I’m grateful for a solid education that taught me the value of continually learning.
  • I’m grateful that there are so many people still out there who are willing to stand up and advocate for the weak, disenfranchised and maligned within our world and remind us that there is not justice for all, that there is still much to be done to achieve a better world.
  • I’m grateful for the artists in the world showing us wonderful new ways to see the world around us.
  • I’m grateful for my cats. They keep me sane when no-one else can.

I’m sure there’s more, yet that’s as much as I can see today.

The Dead Marshes…

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

I can’t say it was a great weekend of activity, although I did help a friend out with something that’s been holding her back from getting a lot of work done. It’s good to know you can help friends and receive the simple joy and satisfaction that comes with that and the recognise the appreciation and thanks.

Outside of doing that, the rest of the weekend has been spent examining and reorganising my plans for the coming few months. Financially things are just limping along, but it’s not the money so much as the disintegration of the faith in myself and my skill set that’s more concerning now. I know rationally I have a huge range of skills. However at the moment they’re not being used to their full potential. I can see this, but have been feeling at a loss about how to kick start the process again. The vain hope of getting a job again that will use these is solidifying into a figurative concrete wall, grey, uninteresting and unattractive.

Coupled with that is a major lack of motivation for anything, it’s debilitating. It’s not accompanied by the profound Depression that I was feeling 18 months ago, but somehow this is more insidious. The subtleness of it is what’s most concerning. So today I’m spending time regrouping myself mentally and strategising a fresh path for the next 3 to 6 months.

2017 is Out of the Blocks…

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017

Well so far I’m managing to stay positive and trying to do my best to use my time productively. Sleep is still an issue, not so much getting sleep, just a matter of when. But I’ve stopped worrying about the when and just make sure I’m getting enough and not too much. Then I just make the time awake as productive as I can towards achieving my goals for the next few months.

A Personal 2016 Summary…

Saturday, December 31st, 2016

If I was to sum up the year that’s pretty much now past, I’d have to say it’s not been the best of years for me. That said, it’s certainly not been the worst of years, it would have had to be a total train wreck for me to think that of it. There have been the usual mix of positive and negatives, highs and lows.

Amongst the highs would be knowing that my friends definitely care about me. All my friends have been very supportive of my situation even though it’s been to a large degree of my choice by leaving work. They have easily recognised the Psychological issues involved and not one of them has devalued me in any manner. It’s been fantastic to feel that support. I’ve clearly chosen my friends wisely. Hopefully they all feel the same.

Also travelling to NZ for both pleasure and business was absolutely awe-inspiring and definitely life enhancing. Even though in many ways we (Australians thinking about New Zealanders) think we are similar, for the most part I think these days we’re not! Geography is our most common factor. New Zealand as a community seems to be moving forward both economically and socially moving forward, whereas Australia seems only to be running backwards at a great rate. Our Politicians and most of the businesses in this country are hell bent on turning our country into a “Mini US” that seems to believe it’s citizens are an inconvenience at best and disposable at worst.

I’ve also managing to hold onto the house for at least another year. That’s been another positive milestone for me this year and a very pleasant surprise considering the economic pressure. It seems that originally buying at a price that took into account six to twelve months possible unemployment was a very sensible move.

As I said before, it’s not been all roses and chocolate. I suppose, although there are times I wonder talking to others, that no regular income this year again has been the most difficult and challenging part of the year for me. There’s no doubt that having no regular income in Australia (yes first world problem) is an unpleasant thing to stay the least. It certainly clarifies the mind with regard to Social Justice in this country: there’s very little! I know in many other countries it could be much worse but then that doesn’t justify it. Again in some other countries it is much better. Australians as a whole need to take a long hard look at what they want their future communities to be like because at this stage the outlook is extremely black.

However that said, I’m seeing the year out on a high and I believe that 2017 will be a better year for me to reflect on when its 31st of December rolls around.

To all my friends:

Thank you for your wonderful care and friendship, I hope I am always able to respond in kind.


May you all have a Happy New Year.

Monochrome No More…

Saturday, December 31st, 2016

I’ve at least got the glimmerings of hope that the New Year may not be as hard as this outgoing year has been. There’s not necessarily anything earth shattering that’s happened over the last week to make me feel this way that I can pinpoint. Christmas was uneventful, but not unpleasant, and that’s about the best I hope for Christmas. Not being a Christian, it’s a day that only has meaning by the fact it’s the one day of the year I’m guaranteed to spend time with my family at my home.

There’s no immediate signs of any work of a regular sort at the moment, it’s certainly the worst time of year to hope for that sort of change. However surprisingly there are a few jobs that I can and should realistically apply for and shall. There’s not much point in saying anymore on either of those at this stage since the last 12 months has really been a bit of a “non event” as far as such expectations go. If something more than a “thanks but no thanks” eventuates, I’ll be willing to say more on that aspect of my life. What’s more of interest immediately to me is the new found enthusiasm I seem to have found for life and facing the days.

I’ve always stated that “I’m not a Coder’s Arsehole” which is really my way of saying that I’ve not considered myself interested in Programming. The reality was that while I didn’t start a B. Comp. to learn to code, initially I did find it interesting and at least for the first few units managed HD’s. But as life’s pressures mounted and I found myself working a full time week and balancing full-time university my interest in Programming drastically evaporated. I was really far more interested in other aspects of I.T. and didn’t really anticipate working in that area of Computing. Programming had not really been in my skill set prior to University, and it seemed to me that those that were great at code already knew how to code before they hit University. That said, Fifteen years later, I find myself with a renewed interest in Programming not sullied by the Lack Lustre opinion of what a Degree (or two) is worth in the real world now.

A couple of seemingly unrelated and small conversations and some unexpected circumstances have caused me to re-evaluate my attitude and my “willingness” to apply myself to programming. It’s just possible that I might be able to generate some income by raising my skill set back up in this area. I have the time, oodles of time at the moment.

There’s pressure for work, but NOT really any pressure to do programming just to get an assignment done. I’m exploring it in the way I’ve explored anything that’s interested my in the past, and usually that means with great gusto! It’s probably more a surprise to myself than anyone else that I am actually enjoying re-teaching myself to code. Admittedly, technically at the moment I wouldn’t call it true programming as I’m starting with HTML 5 & CSS(3). However I’ve drafted out a rough plan of seeing how I got with this for a month and if the interest is maintained and my skill level grows in the manner I’m used to seeing when I apply myself to something with my natural enthusiasm for new knowledge, I shall try my hand at Programming for Apple OS & iOS and also revisit “C” Programming and Programming in C+(+). I have no great desire to throw myself into C# again, but it’s not impossible.

It seems to me a good counterbalance to the Photography and may pull me in a bit of money creating Websites or maintaining them.So through no great effort on my part it seems that 2017 may be brighter and more colourful than I was imagining a week ago.

30 Days and Counting…

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

Well I can barely credit it being December now. It’s not so long ago I was still getting organised for my NZ South Island trip! There’s been quite a bit happen over the year I guess, but unfortunately it looks like I’m seeing the year out with out any supplementary work to assist me. I’ve stopped worrying about that for the moment as my experience has been that there’s rarely much work around between now & February. So rather than worrying about lack of income for the next two months I’m simply going to focus wholly and solely on new avenues for the Photography business. I’ve been chatting with some friends tossing ideas around and otherwise mentally preparing for round three which hopefully will see a better next year.