Friday, August 30, 2013

Ready aim FIRE!

 theBoy (1) has trouble aiming his wee and has a tendency to splatter the floor around the toilet.

theWife put a toilet training device in the toilet. It's a plastic stem that hangs at the back and at the end of the stem, just above the water line, is a black circle. If you wee on the circle then the black circle turns into a picture. 

I'm not sure if he's seen it yet but I've seen it for I aim there too; it makes me stand over the rim and reduces the chance of my own droplet splash. 

The picture in the black circle is a train; a wee train. 

The train is also small (2). 

UPDATE: The toilet training device has twice now fallen into the toilet water. Maybe some sort of life vest?

(1) Mostly theBoy ... mostly.
(2) Mostly small ... mostly.

Some minor bumps on the road back

I've been back at work for a few days now, on reduced hours, and I've started to get into my new work. Only I've been so used to operating by myself for a decade that I've forgotten what it's like being in a team environment. I've also experienced some micro-managing on what I am supposed to do which irks me a lot. 

But that's to be expected, I was in essence my "own boss" for workflow for my core role for so long that to run into road blocks and to go slow to meet the needs of others is annoying. Though the project is showing signs of some chaos, with some people unable to go the full length of time and even my assigned work changing within two days of assignation. 

I know this role I am in is for a few weeks but as I rode my bike yesterday I couldn't but help fixate on the dumb stuff I'd seen being done, and that in essence we were replicating information already available and tests elsewhere. So as I rode this debate went on inside me, the efficient low echelon super competent in me screaming to write a SWOT paper to demonstrate greater efficiencies versus my reasonable desire to simply treat this role as a "do it while I am there as directed and leave the workplace behind when I go home each day". 

As I changed my contact details on the system I couldn't but help note that the sub groups—where you list who you work for—listed on the directory were dated. I was forced to pick a sub group closest to where I lived, even though that was still wrong. The directory offered feedback and so I immediately went into gear to show a screen shot of the wrong names and then a link to the organisation chart that gave the new names as well as spelling out the new names below that. I was already to send it off when I realised I probably should swing the email past the head administrator of my owning group because I didn't want to piss people off. So I emailed it to them, explaining the issue, and giving a draft email to send to feedback outlining the changes needed. All up it took about 25 minutes to organise before I pinged the email off. 

So my nature of trying to fix things in my workplace is still there. I see broken, dated and stupid things and my instinct is to offer help to get things repaired or improved, or to even just go off and organise the fixes myself. And it's an instinct that will always be with me as it's always been with me, even as a child and when I first entered the Public Service. However I have to make sure not to assume burdens like I did before because that will just slam me back to the mat. I can't be an Atlas, I just have to "interfere" in moderation. Choose easier fixes instead of all fixes needed. Easy fixes like the directory getting updated.

Ah, the hour of work attendance approaches. I must away to my new workplace, one infused with wellness and far better working conditions.

We ride! 

(Gallop, gallop, gallop, gallop)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

I'm in the shed

Outside it's raining intermixed with hail. The sound of their fall on the roof is pleasing. 

Go rain meets hail sound!

Uh oh, that's thunder. Time to unplug


Monday, August 26, 2013

The 2013 election

I've mentally stood outside the incoming election. Before I'd follow every twist and turn, poll trend or other. But now ... it doesn't seem to matter as much.

I chalk that though to the selfishness of a man trying to get well. As in I am still recovering from my insanity and severe anxiety and depression and emotionally investing in an election with a doom-laden likely outcome is just too much for me to take. So I am watching on, from a distance, like a researcher viewing toddlers through one-way glass.

Needless to say I want the ALP in; I will always want the ALP in. Because fundamentally the ALP is about decency; opportunity to resources to develop and grow and a safety net for those that fall. The coalition is a Tuna Mornay, a bolted together collection of the barking mad and the simply mean. I know to condemn them all thusly is stupid and pointless. But at their heart the Coalition is the party of the individual over the collective; that somehow individually acquired wealth best sits with the individual instead of money to a common purpose for a greater good. 

So I hope Rudd gets in, and if he does it will be a squeaker. I hope that the ALP can best the negatives against them like the Murdoch lock on the print daily market and its ability to drive commercial media narrative. And I wish Julia Gillard was still running, though her ability to use her future office to great good must have been a part of her decision process not to. Julia Gillard did her best to maximise opportunity and to set up social engineering mechanics to improve the Australian community. So I wish her the best for the future; like Paul Keating, though her time in the top job was short she did a fuckload with it. 

Anyway, bring on the election '13 and let the votes fall where they may.

Note to self

If a dish has the word "butter" in the title presume said dish has dairy in it...

Toilet and extreme incidence of stomach pain fail.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Well I have to say it's pretty neat

It's a weird thing to be self-actualised yet suffer the physical side of anxiety. I know I am well upstairs and that I have accepted myself for both the bad and the good but I still get these stabs of yuck; pain skittering across my shoulders including a sometime bone-on-bone sensation like barges grinding in the night. 

But the incidences of peak experiences, those moments of feeling one with all, are the reward. Today I stood in my yard, bare-chested and barefoot, drinking in sun as the chill of cold lawn nipped at my feet. The noise of traffic near and far, a drill in the distance, a bird over head and then flown between me and the shed and the sky a blue, oh such a blue that its blueness is, well, I have to say blue. 

So, yeah, that is pretty neat. I have the yuck of the ouch but I know that will pass, but those moments of self-acceptance and knowing I mattered, that I mattered, keep coming and it's an awesome thing to receive. 

I can now look back at all the shit parts and declare them to be the carbon that made me steel. I learned a lesson from every fail and I corrected when I could. I cared about what I did and I cared about the people I looked after and those around me. I've done more positive in the workplace action than any person I can think of and I did all that feeling like a big beardy blob man with furtling eyeballs. 

Well no more of that, let me tell you! 

So I judder and spasm, tic and I grimace. But I do so chortling like Muttley because I've had a ball my entire life.

My body continues to delight me with development of oddities. The weird popping noise sound my knees make—my physiotherapist said they were likely nitrogen bubbles—is now made by my shoulders as well. Another kick in the teeth of my childhood dreams of Ninjadom. 

You know what? Odd body that's still kicking on despite near death at birth—and so many times after that—is accepted, large cyst on my calf and all. 

A pleasant afternoon for the win.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Steady as she goes, Mr Sulu

I'm now back at work. I'm in a new area far away from oldwork—and as luck would happen I am sited in a building I've worked at before, a building which was built after the turn of the Millennium. I kept walking around on the days I was at work marvelling at simple things like electrical sockets at desk level—for your charger or additional IT hardware—and recycling bins that accepted cans in addition to paper. Basic office fundamentals which I did not have in the last workplace. 

That and the person sitting next to me was the person assigned to help me with the administrivia of landing in a new building such as parking and passes. Thanks to her assist I was fully under way by the second day. 

The difference of that experience, of this office life, to that of my last place is akin to a first world megalopolis versus a village of dung walls and straw rooftops.

My project supervisor couldn't have been more welcoming. Her keen interest to help, to be there for me was again a diametrical opposition to my last workplace. Where in oldwork all those above me viewed me as irksome, annoying and draped in work they didn't want to do. Because there I was piping up about about building health and safety fails or violations of rules and procedures committed on a semi-daily basis and they did not like it. So they actively bullied me and undermined my sense of worth, in addition to openly disparaging the very slice of the Australian public our organisation was designed to support. 

I couldn't have asked for a softer landing back in my organisation—and my support team of theWife and two dedicated support people to ease me back in are there for me and have been there for me.

So it's steady as she goes. I have substantially arced up fibro, my old ladies of fibromyalgia, with horrid muscle spasms and twitches across my shoulders and guns a churn with roiling pain, but that will pass. Because the lingering dross of oldwork is nearly done and then I can sink my teeth into a role that allows me to help. Because helping people and social engineering for wellness is what I do and it's what I've always done. 

Wellness for the win. 

UPDATE: 'We're on a road to nowhere' is playing as I blog. I hope that's not synchronicity.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Damn you, Aquabats

So far it's going okay

I've been back at work for a few hours at a time in the last few days. I'm on a graduated return and slotted into a short-duration project.

So far it's gone suspiciously too well. For example, I got my parking sorted with minimum effort and the card worked right away. There are power plugs at desk level. The printers on the floor were already mapped to me when the network detected where I was. 

Also the person assigned to help me with new building admin has been tremendously supportive and helpful. 

I met my old boss who is now my new boss+++. He looked the same only thinner and more-ritzy; he wears a tie now. I thanked him for picking me, because, despite my initial hesitation, the project I will be on will be useful work. 

It was stressful shifting five months of email out of view, and oldwork failed to delete me from group addresses so I got the sting of seeing, if only for a moment, recently broadcasted correspondence.

My therapist said to take 10 minutes out at the end of each hour and leave the workplace. Go outside, go listen to something fun, go for a walk. To remind me not to fall into the old ways of super work and to give myself resilience and strength. Since I needed to go to my car to get my license plate number for my parking authorisation I sat in the driver's seat and blasted myself with Heroes from The Pick of Destiny.

I couldn't have expected a softer landing so I can accept the minor pains and irritants that come with this transition like resolving the last of the IT business of oldwork. Because the transition will end and I will be well and in a well place. And I'm blessed too with a support team, friends and family helping me as I come back.

Wellness for the win.  

UPDATE: I should note, however, there is substantial uptick on the physical side. My old ladies—my fibromyalgia—has flared and flared badly with attacks that spawn a cry of pain. I try not to, because it's depressing to hear a man say "ouch" all the time. But, yes, some shockers. My support team of mental health wellness peeps said this would happen, that I would experience anxiety on my return and, most likely, they'd express themselves in the physical. For while I logically know I am well and in a well place my animal brain, so wounded from before, is cringing under the house like a snake-bit cat. But this won't be forever, this is just for now. It's like a vaccination to prevent greater damage. 

Pain ebbing soon for the additional to previous win win. 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

It finally happened!

If we're out on the weekend, say at the mall or what have you, and I have my weekend edition of The Sydney Morning Herald, then I like to leave the portions I won't read in a communal space, like on the table at a food court or tables between shops within a mall's lane. I just keep the main paper, Spectrum, the News Review and Good Weekend colour supplement. 

Today's SMH purchase was from a petrol station and I rejoined the rest of the posse at a nearby cafe-within-a-bigger-shop. I left the discards, like the business section and travel, atop the wooden rim of a planter box. 

And then ... then it happened. A beautiful man—with his toddler and baby—actually took up the proffering to a nearby table and leafed through my remnants, coolly sipping his cappuccino through ruggedly unshaven ringed lips.

Hooray! It finally happened! Someone in-took my remnants!

Mikey, giving back to the people since the last Millennium.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Summer of George!

Well it had to come to an end sometime. Yes, my Summer of George, my newly bestowed appellation to describe my time away from work, is passing with the season as I return to the workplace. It will be an eased in return—like lowering oneself into a hot bath—and it’s in a short-duration team role that will have a productive outcome; i.e. it’s useful, meaningful work I will enjoy.

While I’ve not officially returned I did meet my new team-mates and got an overview about the project. Interestingly a superboss was at the meeting, a superboss that came across as smart, capable and approachable. It was such an antithesis to what I endured before my collapse that I have to confess at being taken aback. Like it was a trick or something that the superboss actually seemed to be an outcomes focused person; i.e. wishes to produce tangible results through policy and information development. Hang on a second—ouch!—no, I am not dreaming. 

Later on we had lunch; the superboss and the team. We chatted about this and there was a real warmth around the table. And it seemed to me that we were all excited to be part of this project instead of having the more typical reaction of ‘woe is me!’ from being or taken off-line from normal work.

Of course, I no longer have normal work and thus a project is ideal for me. 

One of the team members is someone from my old area, but it's okay. She's a good egg that tries her best and does meaningful work. We didn't discuss oldwork, and I plan on not doing so, though when my team mate mentioned one of the three managers that did a number on me a little part of me winced inside; like a peasant hearing the devil's name said aloud. 

My Summer of George was the longest break I've had from study or work in my life. It was a time needed for healing—and for sleeping with 20 hours asleep days not uncommon in those first weeks. I'm still on doubled medication and I'll be headed back to my lovely therapist once I've had a week or so back of part-time work and gotten back used to things. I crashed and I crashed badly but thus far the broader workplace has supported me, giving me leave to recover as well as excellent care and attention from case managers and rehabilitation providers. They've been there for me while I've been gone away and they're there for me know as I come back to work. And of course I've got the bedrock support of family with theWife being the rock—as usual—and theBoy trying to cheer me up with antics and or fun.

There was one small speck in the ointment, though, however those worries have passed. One of my new bosses in my chain is a former boss of mine, before I was transferred to another part of the organisation. My experiences under him were mixed, he did support me and get out of my way in regards to my work, though I got smacked by higher up bosses and he should have been a meatshield for me when that occurred. But, as my therapist said, that was years ago and it was when I did my incredibly hard but unusual—for the Public Service at least—job. And as theWife says I tend to hold myself—and others—to a higher standard of behaviour than I should. I know it's weird to say it but dedication, loyalty and attention to detail and the rules make me an unusual Public Servant in that I have done, and likely will do, stick my nose in other people's business because I make it my business to do so. 

Soon the last lingering acts to resolve oldwork will be done—the purge of correspondence during my time away and accounts that I ran. I will be born anew, a spanking shiny soul in a new suit, Thetan-style. I did at least try to get health and safety looked at, using the relief of my collapse to seek redress for those left behind. I didn't get much of what I wanted out of that process but I will have at least forced oldwork to commit to fix one or two elements that seriously got my goat whenever I saw them—and I could only see those glaring failures as an example of how little oldwork cared about me and my colleagues. 

But that was old Mikey in oldwork. I am a new Mikey, self-actualised, sure in knowledge of his worth and capacity to give. And I have totally lucked out in landing in a project that has a good purpose. I couldn't ask for a better regeneration than that. 

And I suppose that's what it is—a regeneration. My avatar, my old me in my old position is gone and a new Mikey—who looks fabulous and has really taken to middle-aged balding in a great way—is here. 

Hmm, I'll need some question-mark themed apparel...

Tonight at dusk theBoy and I played on the trampoline, the half moon in the darkening sky above us. We made a two-tier snowman out of a big and a little space hopper ... then we tummy squished him. Take that, stupid snowman!