Well, it’s been a couple of weeks since I moved into my own office and I’ve been busy settling into my new routine. It’s certainly a steep learning curve, and there’s plenty more things I’ll need to get to grips with in the next few months, but so far so good.
Obviously, when I’m not at meetings or dealing with enquiries I’m attempting to replicate Kew Gardens in a very limited space, much the the bemusement of visitors and colleagues alike. I’ve so far managed to fill the windowsills and have been moving stuff around to create some brand new areas where I can pop a bit of foliage and a few blooms to create a beautiful and positive working environment.
It may just be a ‘workplace’ but in my opinion, whenever it’s possible (and practical) it’s important to make the space your own, and my ‘own’ very much involves flowers.
A Professional Development course on the topic of ‘Motivating Yourself to be a High Performer’ was just what the doctor ordered after a rather apathetic start to 2016. Although I had been getting stuff done, my batteries were somewhat flat and I needed a metaphorical kick up the wotsit to get me firing on all cylinders again, and today’s session with an enthusiastic Life Coach certainly did that!
We looked at setting motivational goals, understanding performance and creating a plan of action to achieve whatever targets you set yourself. Evaluating what needs to be done, reviewing and reflecting on our own limits and being more confident in challenging yourself, were just a few of the other areas covered in this exceptionally high powered business environment, and I have to admit it really was just the ticket. When you’re surrounded by people who push you in a positive and supportive manner, it’s quite remarkable what you can actually do.
In my opinion, you can never have enough visits from your wonderful grown up daughters, which is why this afternoon was such a joy. I feel that January probably had a few more downs than ups overall, but February is looking much more positive now that I’ve spent some proper quality time with my girlies.
We drank squash and ate chocolate coated mini-doughnuts, while putting the world to rights and catching up with each others news. I’d done the typical mum thing and got them daft little gifts, which made them laugh. It never ceases to amaze me how fast the time flies by when my children come to visit and within the blink of an eye 3 hours had passed and we were exchanging hugs at the front door again. I know I’m biased, but I really do have the best kids in the world.
Well, the past 12 months have been another roller-coaster ride but thankfully there’s been decidedly more ups than downs. With rather more medical woes than I could ever have imagined, 2015 was, at times, both a physical and emotional challenge, but thanks to the support from my wonderful family and friends (and a wide variety of NHS specialists) the year has ended with a more positive outlook for the future.
Socially, I’ve been to so many new places that my geography has improved enormously. I’ve enjoyed lots of day trips here, there and everywhere, and been treated to the fabulous Britishness of ‘afternoon tea’. Further afield I’ve travelled to Wales and enjoyed my seventh holiday in the Canary Islands! I’ve been introduced to the concept of pub quizzes and have been fortunate enough to have been on the winning team on more than one occasion. I’ve accepted awards on behalf of a local community project that I volunteer for on two separate occasions and I’ve also discovered a new and exciting genre that I can merrily indulge in – Steampunk.
Financially, things have taken a dramatic turn too, with a brand new job in addition to the freelance work I was already doing. Technically I’ve successfully completed several DIY tasks all by myself and have finally dragged myself into the 21st Century with a new smartphone. I’m pleased that I managed to achieve everything on my ‘To Do’ list for 2015, so for 2016 I’ve set the bar even higher. I now begin a brand new year full of excitement and anticipation, wondering what wonderful new adventures the next twelve months will bring… Happy New Year!
A phone call from the hospital on Tuesday meant a visit to the ENT Department less then 48 hours later to ‘have a chat‘ with a surgeon about my reactive lymph nodes. Wasn’t expecting him to almost immediately shove a camera up my nose and down my throat and I have to admit that it stung somewhat. How I managed to avoid sneezing or gagging I simply don’t know.
He had the obligatory poke around and announced that he was adding me to his urgent list for a biopsy on Monday morning. Just like my GP and the cancer consultant at the haematology unit, he told me that he ‘suspects‘ a lymphoma, but the only way to be 100% certain one way or the other is to remove one of the lumps and send it to the lab.
Got to admit that it’s all feeling very real right now but I’m choosing to consider it a positive thing that the NHS is acting quickly so that I’ll at least know the diagnosis sooner rather than later. With any luck, I’ll have the results before I see my cardiologist at the end of the month. The excitement never ends…!
Get your mind out of the gutter! “Two hard ones and two floppy ones” are the words a doctor said to me this morning when I went to discuss the results of my heart scan, and she was talking about my arteries. I now have to be referred to a cardiologist for further tests, although I was warned that the local NHS waiting list is very VERY long. In the meantime I’ve been put back on statins – oh joy, the delights of leg muscle cramps to look forward to…
However, this week is all about perspectives, and while I moan about a few aches and pains I’m horribly aware that some very good friends of mine are, at this very moment, with their newborn in a London ICU waiting to hear when he will endure a complicated heart operation. I am now counting my blessings and crossing all of my fingers (and toes) for a positive outcome for this lovely family. Life really can be so unfair at times…
For the past couple of years I’ve been involved in a local litter picking project. I say ‘involved’… I don’t actually pick up dog poop and rusty old beer cans I just take photos of the area and maintain a blog. There’s a very small team of dedicated volunteer ‘Wombles’ who do all of the proper hard work and it would appear that the local ‘In Bloom’ judging panel, have just given the group not one but TWO Royal Horticultural Society Neighbourhood Awards!
This has been extremely exciting news for all involved, culminating in an official ceremony and being given our prizes by the Deputy Mayor no less. We wore our Sunday best and schmoozed with the hoy paloy of gardening circles whist indulging in tea and home-made cakes – Hyacinth “Bouquet” would’ve loved it.
The project was never created in order to gain any form of personal recognition, but to try to make the local green spaces and woodland a nicer environment for local people to enjoy. While it was, indeed, a great honour to be publicly thanked for simply being ‘good neighbours’ the real satisfaction comes from knowing that you’ve made a positive difference to your community. Kinda makes you feel all warm and squishy inside…