These past twelve months have been a little up and down. On the positive side I’ve enjoyed not one but two fabulous, luxury holidays in the Canary Islands but I’ve also said sad farewells to a couple of very dear friends. I finished a fixed-term contract for a Social Science department, where I would have loved to have stayed, but within weeks was offered a brand new position with a massive Computer Science department on the same campus. I’ve also seen a lot more of the NHS than I anticipated, however I’m hopeful that 2018 will see a significant decrease in medical appointments.
This year I enjoyed the company of an old mate who stayed with me during the summer. It was good being able to share some quality time with her and we spent many an evening putting the world to rights. My gorgeous daughters remain, as always, my raison d’être and I’m eternally grateful for the wonderful friends who are always there when I need them.
In July I was privileged to attend one of the annual Graduation ceremonies at the university where I work, and I’ve now decided that in the summer of 2018 I will finally put on the full Harry Potter outfit and officially collect my Social Science degree on the tenth anniversary of my own graduation; which I was unable to attend back in 2008.
There’s been many highs, a few lows, but I’m extremely optimistic about the future and I’m already looking forward to whatever exciting new things the next twelve months will bring…
“And there’s a hand my trusty friend!
And give me a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.”
It never ceases to amaze me how fast social media trends come and go. Long gone are the Myspace days and even Friends Reunited fell by the wayside, however, I’m trying my best to remain ‘in the loop’ as social media skills are highly transferable in the workplace nowadays.
I must admit, that conversations with my tech-savvy daughters about what’s currently in or out of favour is a bit like navigating your way around a foreign country with an extremely limited knowledge of the language, but I’m doing my best to keep up.
Alongside the essential Facebook and Twitter accounts, plus LinkedIn, Google+, Youtube, WordPress and Blogger, I recently found myself signing up for Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr. It’s now becoming so time-consuming updating everything that I’m having to use a social media management tool! On the bright side, that’s another new ability to add to my technical expertise…
When you work for any organisation that’s remotely Governmental, the minute something kicks off in the world; let alone anything as ‘exciting’ as an unexpected General Election; you find yourself surrounded by people busy giving television interviews and having articles published here, there and just about everywhere. As the person responsible for the department’s social media, amongst other things, it’s certainly keeping me busy at the moment that’s for sure.
It’s a good job I don’t get starstruck or I’d never get any work done these days as my office seems to be attracting all and sundry. However, if any of these academic ‘celebrities’ ever decides to get a bit above their station, I will simply remind them that we’re all pretty much the same underneath… as I show them for the umpteenth time how to use the photocopier…
When you work in an inclusive environment, which caters for individuals with a wide variety of lifestyles, it’s nice to learn a bit about the more complex choices some people make. This explains why I have just attended a highly informative workshop on transgender issues, with the emphasis on relationships, work and emotional problems experienced by transgender people.
Today’s trainer was Leng Montgomery from Stonewall, with guest Jamie Raines, who featured on a recent Channel 4 documentary called ‘Girls to Men‘. It’s a complicated topic, full of potential social minefields, but in this day and age we should at least try to understand those who choose a different way of being. Very thought provoking…
I appear to have lost it somewhere between the middle and the end of July.
Juggling work schedules, a hectic social life and numerous NHS appointments has certainly been keeping me very busy these past few weeks, but now it’s all caught up with me and I need to slow down and allow my body, and mind, to recover ready for when I have to return to the cancer unit to be told the results of my biopsy.
The good news is that I’ve now got the stitches out of my neck, and with the dressings finally off I can begin boring everyone rigid with the phrase “Wanna see my new scar?!” Every cloud has a silver lining…
It’s not easy dealing with unexpected medical woes while trying to avoid taking any time off work, not to mention maintaining a busy social life, but somehow I’m managing, despite undergoing more tests and xrays. An emotionally challenging appointment with a lymphoma consultant this week means I’m now on yet another list; this time waiting for biopsies. Well, that’s something new and ‘exciting‘!
I’m fully aware that I’m extremely lucky to have the support of my wonderful friends and family during this particular saga, who cheer me up when all I want to do is mope. Endless blood tests have made my veins a tad sore, but thanks to ‘Team Karen’ I’m actually in a really good place mentally. I’ll give you all a great big hug … once my arms are better.
Now, my birthday is looming and someone mentioned cake…!
When your hobby is entering online competitions, by the law of averages sooner or later you’ll win something. Of course, most of the time your ‘fabulous‘ prize will turn out to be the DVD of a movie you have little or no interest in watching, or a CD of a band you can’t stand (this is where Ebay or Cash Converters comes in handy), however, if you put the effort in and don’t lose faith you might just get something marvellous through the door.
In recent years the odds of winning anything at all have been slashed by the introduction of social media into the equation, but the old cliche still stands that “You have to be in it to win it.” If you’re prepared to accept that there are no guarantees with this pastime, and simply look upon it as a way to fill any spare time you have, you’ll eventually be rewarded handsomely for your efforts.
I now can’t wait to start spending using my new, three-figure-sum gift card – yippee!!!