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BY Amanda

07/01 Direct Link
A new financial year and once again I can feel the resolve building to make my money work better for me. I need to be more frugal and less impulsive. I need to spend less and save more. I need to eat less take aways and spend more time cooking good wholesome meals that cost a fraction of what I spend when I eat out. In short, I need to be wise. At least that's the plan before I walk out of the house and realise that once again I haven't had breakfast and have forgotten my lunch. 
07/02 Direct Link

It amazes me when people give you an impossible task, resist suggestions to make it possible and then get offended when it fails. I've been suggesting alternatives to achieve their very narrow criteria and make it workable for months and been blocked every time. Why ask me to do it if you're not going to give me any power to achieve it? It was always going to fail this way, and fail it has, and now they have the gall to be angry!!! Suddenly they're the victims and I'm the villain. I want to scream!

07/03 Direct Link
It's Saturday and I refuse to be stressed any more this week. I refuse to be angry or upset. I choose to be happy, carefree and unstressed today. I'm helping a friend with some book work and am grateful for the easy going nature of his family. As we pour over figures with the children playing around us and the pet bunny occasionally hopping in and sniffing our ankles, I bask in the peaceful, harmonious ambience and feel all the stresses of the week slowly evaporating. I really needed today. It's been better than any tonic or health spa.
07/04 Direct Link
A reasonably quiet and uneventful day was just what the doctor ordered - literally actually. I try hard not to smile when they tell me I need to slow down. I know I overdo it, I push limits I didn't actually know existed. My usual working week averages around 85 hours, this increases significantly to around 100 hours just before exams. As this is in 6 days as I don't work or study on Sunday's that makes for very long days, sprinkle family and church commitments on top of that and you have a pretty challenging workload. So, today was nice.
07/05 Direct Link
I should point out that I'm not trying to compete with superwoman. There are very sound reasons for my current workload, even though I understand its a huge task. I can be as unmotivated as the next person, and I certainly get as tired. However, I need my degree to change my career path and be able to work past retirement. At nearly 52, I just don't have the luxury of time. Thanks to my ex-husband and 2 car accidents I have no financial reserve and can't give up work yet, and so I persist.
07/06 Direct Link
Unfortunately, I have to admit that the longer I do this, the more fatigued I'm getting. I'm starting to doubt I'll have enough stamina. My health is starting to suffer and so once again I face the challenge of getting fitter and healthier with absolutely no time to do so. I don't know what the answer is, but there has to be one, and it can't be slow down. Somehow I have to build up my resources so I can work longer and harder. Unfortunately that takes time each day and time is the one thing I don't have.
07/07 Direct Link
Okay - enough gloom and doom already! I've come this far and I've come too far to stop. While I don't yet know the answer, I have faith it will come. The trick, if you can call it a trick, is to keep putting one foot in front of the other. To just not give up. I'll do what I can and make healthier choices. I'll try to find half an hour a day to do some exercise and I'll put my trust and faith in both a Heavenly Father who loves me and in myself. It will all work out.
07/08 Direct Link
There's something very therapeutic about sitting with a trusted, wise friend and telling it how it really is. Laying all the fears and misgivings on the table and then honestly addressing them is incredibly empowering. It will be okay - not easy, but okay. Plans have been made, contingency plans formulated as back-up and I feel I can move forward once again. Not that I ever really stopped, it just felt like it. Things are back in perspective and I know although it will be hard, I can do this! It's right, it's good and it needs to happen.
07/09 Direct Link
Whoever said that space was the final frontier? (Probably someone from Startrek ). I beg to differ. I believe that the mind is the final frontier. Once you've worked out the mind with all its intricate complexities and associated emotions - and by the way, the very best of luck trying to do it - then that's a far more profound discovery than anything to be discovered by a telescope or space craft. Many have tried and it feels like there are as many theories as psychologists, but while they all have parts of the puzzle, the whole picture still evades us.
07/10 Direct Link
What makes people who they are? What motives or demoralizes us? What makes one person excel in a situation and another flounder?  What makes one of my grandchildren so quiet and placid and the other so active? I have two children - one is highly strung and artistic, the other gentle, laid back and at home with nature and animals, and yet their environments were very similar. The psychoanalysts would say its our subconscious, the behaviourists would say its our environment, evolutionists our genes and the CBT advocates would say its a combination of nature and nurture. 
07/11 Direct Link

I tend to agree with the advocates of CBT; its a combination of the traits we were born with and the environment we are born into. We learn from and experience the same environmental stimuli differently depending on our personality and our interpretation of previously experienced stimuli. As we learn and grow we build upon our previous experience and how we have interpreted the outcomes of that experience. If our previous courses of action had positive results we continue to act in that way, if they result in less positive outcomes then often we will amend them. Consequences promote behaviour.

07/12 Direct Link

Its interesting that while you can choose your behaviour, it's not always possible to choose the consequences. Sometimes they are predictable, but often you are left feeling powerless as choices come back to bite you. We seem to advocate for choice very strongly these days, but we're not so eager to accept the accountability that goes with it. I used to tell my kids that its like picking up a stick - you can't have one end without the other. "If only" is such a sad phrase when you hear a friend or loved one regretting an unwise choice.

07/13 Direct Link
I sit in a meeting stifling a yawn and trying not to look bored, while those around me go around in circles trying to resolve an issue that clearly can't be resolved today. They lost me about 10 minutes ago and frankly I want to move on, but my polite suggestion is ignored. This lack of assertiveness is unusual for me. Then my phone rings and I hurriedly rush out of the room to take the call. I'm embarassed and silently berate myself for not changing its mode to something quieter. I answer the call and suddenly everything changes.
07/14 Direct Link
I've been offered a new job. Its very flattering. More money, and certainly a vote of confidence in my abiliities. It will mean I need to leave ED and I'm torn between knowing I need a change and sadness that I'll go for a while. Commonsense wins out over emotion. I agree. Then I ring my boss and try to help her overcome her emotions, and there are many - anger, oh yes there is anger; resentment, panic, confusion, sadness. My reassurance falls on deaf ears for now, this may take some time. I sigh and go back to work.
07/15 Direct Link
Another day of turmoil - I'm not sure where paradise went, but it hasn't been around my office for a while now. I'm tired of angry people and tired of temper tantrums, but, as usual professionalism and compassion win the day and I soothe and soften ruffled feathers. I try to reassure. It will be ok. They coped without me and no one is irreplaceable. Maybe I'll look back and be flattered but for now its just hard work trying to stem the hysteria. It's different managing clients for an hour to having colleagues falling apart, but we'll get there.
07/16 Direct Link
It's finally settling. Tempers are more subdued. Its not like I'm moving to another planet, just to the second floor. I haven't had time to process how I feel about all of this because I've been too busy helping other people process it. Perhaps that is a good thing. My heart is still very much here. The prospect of leaving suddenly makes everything here look a little nicer. As I walk through the clinical area, those who were once applicants are now colleagues and many are friends. I'd like to think things won't change, but inevitably they will.
07/17 Direct Link

A busy day with study and grandchildren. That's a good thing. It means I don't have a lot of time to think. I find change challenging, confronting and somewhat uncomfortable. Interestingly, in hindsight I am usually thankful that it occurred but at the time I'm definately a reluctant camper. I tend to be quite passionate about things and life can get intense, so its good to have balance. This semester I'm studying biopsychology and looking at neurological impacts on behaviour. My other subject is psychology's role in criminology. I think I'm going to enjoy myself this term.

07/18 Direct Link
I love Sundays. Its a time to recommit to those things that I hold most dear. It's a time to take a quick inventory and reassess my faith, my commitment to God and to my family. I try to find time for quiet reflection and a few moments of solitude. I don't study or work on Sundays, I don't shop because it would detract from the reverence of the day and would also mean that I was instrumental in others working. It's a time for good music, for my family and friends and for rejuvenating for the week ahead.
07/19 Direct Link
Welcome to Monday! Emotions are still a little raw and I'm building lots of bridges today. I'm training my replacement today and discovering some things that are interesting. I don't think I'm very skilled. I take what I do as pretty much common knowledge, and every time I train someone I become aware that the skills I have learned are not common knowledge. Now, I need to clarify that I'm not claiming to have great intellect, its not like I'm discovering the atom or anything, but never the less, it would appear that the skills I have are somewhat specialised.
07/20 Direct Link
Manic Tuesday, but this time with a twist of emotion as it is explained that I am leaving. I see genuine sadness on the faces of my colleagues and am reminded again why I care about them so much. It's not like this is the end of the world for them, but it is nice to know I've made a difference, and they will miss me (even if they only miss my knowledge). There's something very special about the people I work with. We're almost like a family. We have our spats, but essentially we really care about each other.
07/21 Direct Link
It's the last day of training my replacement today. I am surprised at how diverse my job is. There is no way it can all be put in a procedure manual. There is so much in my head and its all situational specific.I'm going to have to come down for a couple of weeks yet and do some ongoing training. At least its better than the training I'm getting for my new role. The girl who is there leaves on Friday and I haven't even made it upstairs yet. But am I stressing? Of course not - yeah, right, sure!!!
07/22 Direct Link
Not only am I pretending not to be stressed, but I've come to realise just how protective I am of the department and if I'm brutally honest, of my job. I thought I was laid back, but I get quite nervous about handing these tasks on to someone else. What if they don't do it correctly? Worse, what if I come back and its a huge mess? Uggghhh! It really doesn't bear dwelling on. I know it might sound silly to someone else. But, I designed this job, at least initially and it has become my baby in some ways.
07/23 Direct Link
Ok, I've decided its time to get a grip. This preoccupation with perfection is ridiculous! They will survive without me, in fact, they will do better than survive. They managed before I came and they will manage just fine without me. If I decide to go back and if there is a mess I'll deal with it then. The new job seems uncomplicated. I'm not sure if that's really the case, if the current PA just can't wait to leave, or if there are assumed skills and I'm going to discover I know nothing. Time will tell.
07/24 Direct Link

How things can change in a few short days! 

At the start of this month I was thinking about being more frugal, more responsible with my money and had a general overview of life. Then one short phone call changed my perspective for weeks. "I'm leaving, would you be interested in doing my job?" That was it. The call lasted less than 2 minutes and my world went into turmoil for a couple of weeks. Now that the dust has settled, I'm beginning to refocus, but its taken a while, and all because of a 2 minute phone call.

07/25 Direct Link
I wish I could be less intense. There are many times when I'd like to be more lighthearted, but I can't. I don't mean that I don't have fun, because I do. I laugh a lot. But, for me, life is a passionate journey. I care about things - lots of things. I want to do the best I can at the things I choose to do, and the things I do are a conscious, considered choice. Sometimes (quite often actually) they don't end up as I had planned, but the choice to do them was most often considered and planned.
07/26 Direct Link
This month has been something of a "mind dump". I'm not sure if its worth anyone else's time to read it, but as I am sure I don't have people queueing and hanging on every word perhaps that's not particularly relevant. It's been a time of upheaval this month and I've worked though a few things and learned some things about me. Self discovery is always a little uncomfortable and confronting, but extremely interesting and rewarding. The next step is to work out the things I'd like to work on some more and acceptance of the rest.
07/27 Direct Link
Self acceptance is an interesting concept. Ellis teaches that unconditional acceptance of self and others is one of the ways to happiness. He argues that there are only 5 constants which we can judge ourselves and others on; that we are human, alive, complex, unique and fallible. Everything else changes so constantly that comparison to others is futile.

Ellis goes on to explain that this does not mean that we should use this as an excuse to justify our faults, but that we should put them in perspective of the whole persona. In essence, growth without criticism.
07/28 Direct Link
I have a need to achieve that comes partly from my personality and partly from my mother who demanded achievement, review and self-improvment. Growth is important but to never be satisfied is a tiring process that can lead to self-deprecation and despair. I've been there many times. Now I've learned to accept myself for who I am and look at the big picture. At least I try to and achieve it often.

I'll always be intense and always be driven to achieve, that's just who I am, but acknowledging that I'm a HACUF has really been liberating.
07/29 Direct Link
Well, just 3 more entries for this month. It's hard to believe that July is almost over. I'm not sure where its gone. I feel like I've blinked and jumped from January to July, and August is nearly here. That's nearly 8 months of the year. If I break it down it gets worse - by the end of this week that's 31 weeks, 217 days, 5208 hours, 312,480 minutes! Where did it all go? My mothers voice says "how much of it have you wasted?" Probably lots, but that makes me human and is downtime wasted?
07/30 Direct Link
As I think about it more, there's a fine line between relaxing or downtime and not achieving, in fact, one could argue that relaxing is achieving. It's achieving relaxation and allowing our bodies to regroup and get ready for the next set of activities. It's as important as the other achievements in our life. As someone who finds it hard to relax, its been akin to work for me and a skill I've had to teach myself. I've also had to fight the feelings of guilt associated with seemingly doing nothing. But, I do fight them and I'm winning!
07/31 Direct Link
I'm particularly unimpressed with my entries for this month. I've probably written a whole pile of drivel that would bore any reader, but, I've learned some things in this process. It's helped me to articulate how I feel about myself. I've been brave enough to write some of my fears and obsessions and I didn't realise until this month just how much I hear my mother's voice demanding I do better (there's a big difference between encouraging or even urging and demanding). I really hope I have been someone that encourages rather than demands and teaches by inspiring.