Windows of compassion

We all view life through our own windows. As humans we develop and utilise so many frames of perception-whether they are; physical and sensory, emotional and mental, cultural, religious or atheist, each observation and perhaps judgement we make through what ever window or combination, flavours who we are or how we project ourself.

Physically, in my space of my current convalescence, I notice that my actual high rise apartment windows aren’t very clean. I’m not a fastidiously house proud person but I like tidy, ordered and comfortable with a touch of eclectic style. I can see through the glass, can cope with fingerprints, the smears and dusty grey concrete dust that clings to the glass, however, it doesn’t cloud my overall view of what is just. As I survey Sydney from my balcony I see an expansive, vast panorama and I am coming to terms with that my choice of physical view at home mimics who I truly am in life in a social, emotional and psychological sense.

The older I become the more internally incensed I am by the arrogance of entitlement, blind ignorance and what I increasingly witness daily as a pathological lack of respect and empathy for the notions of equality, equity, humanity and compassion by people in power or those who desire to be. We are in an age of pathetic leadership, it’s frightening to observe the shenanigans and life caricatures of the collectively ambitious people observed in the places of power, namely in our representatives or elected leaders.

I ponder whether any of these “leaders” look out their windows and notice the reality of the world they are meant to lead. Leadership is in my view always from behind and within, it is grassroots, from in the ranks and humble. Leading Is about showing empathy and compassion and helping attain goals by first of all by reflecting and considering all points of view. Many will disagree with me but it is integrity that comes to mind as I lay here recovering from injury. I have had days to think and ruminate and integrity colours every decision I have made in my life. As a seven year old I stood and resolutely faced my father, who was physically and psychologically abusive. I stood firm with the words, “don’t hurt my my mum” as his violent hand stopped short of slapping me sideways. That moment in time is deeply rooted in my psyche and memory, it was the seed of my need for justice and it was just one of many moments when I would witness the pathetic side of maleness, that was my father.

Ego, misguided personal ambitions that beget power and the manipulative twisted casting or shrugging of blame are factors that irk me. Experiences of dealing personally with many life changing and challenging moments has permitted me a first hand authority or “shoe walk” on a host of a-z experiences of human life. This female, or warrior woman has a few battle scars, a vault full of stories, and all are Netflix worthy. However, compared to so many females in our world I am blessed, fortunate and free.

I used to be politically and career motivated, desperately wanting to be a change maker. Now I just want to share my skills in who I am as a teacher, who I am as a human and who I am in my soul. I have always valued my humanity, or what I can give, far more than what I know or my resume attests. Humility is a gift and i try hard to have it shine in my actions as teacher, parent and human. I hope my greatest skill as a teacher is manifested in the passing on of windows of compassion.

I’ve evolved into a middle aged woman, who is not afraid to say she is feminist and I am more than fed up with the rampant white male sexism and ageism of our current society.

This week has given me time to be reflective. It has been a week where I experienced claustrophobia for half an hour whilst inside the MRI machine, but eyes closed deep breathing and mantras calmed the physical reactions. If you know me well, you well know I also have a fear of heights. Never will I jump out of a plane, bungee jump or abseil. So I understand that fear is something that debilitates. Being able to look through the windows of our lives, noticing, feeling and envisioning everything we experience is a lifelong exercise. I appreciate that everyone’s windows and views are different and you can only see what you visibly can. It is the the walking in another’s shoes, the focus of our eyes, the using of all senses and emotions that helps develops wisdom. The intangible will always be foreign if you only keep your view blinkered and narrow.

Day by day this year, my move and my chaotic and transformational life experiences have made me realise that my primary role in my job and daily life is to empower others to be the best version of themselves they can be. All this rambling is simply me asking everyone to stand in their own integrity and practice some compassion in your dealings with humanity.

One very long week

It’s been one whole entire very long agonising week since I came back from Perth. 7 days ago I awoke with a pins and needle like numbing in my front thigh, extreme radiating pain from my left lumbar spine and the feels of an imaginary thirty centimetre knife injury in my quadriceps area.

Having spent five days in Perth accompanying two students at a schools conference, the room I had slept in housed a single bed and a desk and barely would have scraped in one star if the NRMA had decided to rate boarding school dormitories. The paper thin wall meant the rhythmic snoring of the teacher in the room to my left had kept me awake on and off for every, single, one, of the four nights I was “at work”. The last two days of the conference I could not sit on a chair and the humble ice pack I made was a saving lifeline amongst my rapidly depleting supply of over the counter painkillers.

The start of my back problems began on a Tuesday in class a month ago. A simple lean over a seated students laptop screen, where I pointed to the requirements of a question, caused me to be stuck in a downward pointing salute to a John Travolta Saturday Night Fever pose. With hesitance, I tried to move my spine back to a state of no pain, and looking back, yes, I should have filled the work cover notification injury form in that afternoon. Instead I went to a staff meeting, popped two panadols and soldiered on. Returning to work on the Wednesday after a painful drive from home, tears erupted once in my staffroom. I left and went home, and headed straight to the physiotherapist seeking relief. A day later I attended my doctor to follow up, obtain a necessary medical certificate and stayed home and rested. Two weeks at work of careful standing, limiting my movement, sensible choice of shoes, physiotherapy and exercises all followed to land me, exactly where I am now, flat on my back, in pain and on the receiving end of absolute silence from my workplace.

If you have ever seriously hurt your back you may be grimacing with muscle memory, if you haven’t, you will be rolling your eyes. I get your scepticism, that was me before I succumbed to pain worse than you imagine. Unfortunately, I’ve had a workcover insurance claim before. A mild traumatic brain injury in 2015, sustained in China. It was serious, a fluke of an accident and my case was open for fifteen months. I know the perils of having to prove injury and that the effects of brain, neck and spine injuries although not visible they are extremely real in pain and debilitating. I have dealt with the ignorant judgement of others and the system of seeking approval for every single required appointment. I have endured the arrogance of an independent assessor- a doctor trying to assess that I was at best conning the system, only to discover that I had more serious injuries than first diagnosed.

So, this time round, I didn’t want to pursue my injury as a Workcover claim. I was told at my workplace that I had to, yet the silence from my workplace and the insurance agency has sent a message that I will interpret to mean. They. Don’t. Get. It. Yes, it’s school holidays and there are a million reasons why my affliction has not been important to anyone but me. However every inflated doctor fee I am paying as it’s “workcover” will need reimbursing, I will have to endure continue proving that my back pain means I cannot sit, only stand and lie, and that my leg paralysis and increasing nerve affected numbness and loss of leg strength is a scary thought. Soon, later today I hope to have the confirmed results for my pain, yet until my next appointment is approved, and finally get a claim number- I just have to wait.

You might think I should just take myself to hospital- I would if only I had a claim number. All I can imagine is that Catholic Insurance, is obviously very busy.

Ch-ch-changes

img_0689With apologies to Mr Bowie who I fortunately, heard and sang along with at my first ever stadium sized concert back in my final year of high school, on a steamy perfect summer afternoon in Sydney. It was 1983, the Serious Moonlight tour, and packed shoulder to shoulder I was close enough to visibly admire perfection in the god like strutting Bowie. Thirty five years later that concert is still a favourite, a true standout in relation to a multitude of concerts that over a lifetime I have attended. Perhaps being my first experience of singing along with a musical icon the memory is elevated in my vault of great times, beyond all others, the aura of that evening is still palpable. I had always desired to see the iconic Bowie again but sadly for all in the world the incredible Mr Bowie is floating somewhere in his own universe

As much as this piece of writing could be a written tribute on how much I love David Bowie, it is not. Changes or my capacity to face the strange, is the melody I have playing in my head. Just having made a huge city change to work and home in 2018, the well meaning people whom I dearly love keep telling me that change has been needed and that it is good for me. In their minds, or more precisely my perception of their words – they, think, I’ve been stuck. My mother in her ignorance of who I am, imagines and believes that as I had lived in my home, which was a constant for 24 years, somehow my staying put physically, translated into that I was not able to cope with change. I love my mum, but she headed off on a finding herself pilgrimage via Byron Bay when I was 19 and forty years later, is still running from herself and continuously moving house. As much as struggle has been thrust into my life, often through the actions of others, I seem to have some golden halo that has been somewhat a saving grace in helping me navigate a less than straight forward life.

Change is the only thing that is constant in our lives. Everyday and every year of my life I have faced change- contrary to my mother telling me that I am afraid of change- I need to proclaim very strongly and loudly, I definitely am not. My relationship with my mother is complicated to say the least and today I sit professing to myself that her circus is for her to deal with. The monkeys on my own back need shaking off and again I will cope admirably and with the determination and fortitude to climb my own mountains I do always revel in the view. Having travelled alone, raised children alone, and nervously stepped outside my comfort zone every single day of my life, I have realised that I am in fact good at change. Anxiety has been a constant companion in my life and I have worked incredibly hard to manage its sometimes debilitating hold. How I managed to is attributed to having a constant, a base. My home has been a cosy cocoon of familiarity that allowed me to successfully navigate so much change seamlessly. Nature, sunsets, the mountains and the beach are for me grounding sources and living without these has made my days a little tough.

Truth is I have faced a life of continuous change, most often without a partner and someone to bounce decisions off. I hope you can hear me roar as life for me is about to change again. This time the melody is to the tune of- I have no idea where I will be living or where I will be working and even and the prospect of standing on the abyss of change is liberating. The best things are those we cannot ever imagine and to quote Bowie- I’ve turned myself to face me and yes time has changed me.

Crossroads

I wish I was standing on a corner, perhaps in Winslow Arizona, or locally I had hoped to explore the avenues and beaches of beautiful Huskisson but my body has other plans. Instead I’m standing gingerly on the concrete platform of Lewisham station on an hours adventure to pick up my new glasses in the city of sunny Sydney on rugby league Grand Final day. Not that I follow football but the number of supporters I see in Roosters jerseys prompts me to think that home team grand final day support is starting early. It’s Sunday and I’ve just fuelled myself with a well earned coffee in my battered keep cup. I’m caffeine loading and layering upon prednisone, Mobic and some other codeine medication that is working hard to numb pain in my usually reliable body. I have iced my leg and back and fisiocream has been lathered into my left side like it is moisturiser, invading all my pores. To look at me my aura is calm, or so the yogi who served me coffee said- the drugs obviously agree with me. The cocktail of prescription medications are necessary to cope with the ails of a profused disc in my back and a femoral nerve compression.

The intersection I am at in my life really is just one of many crossroads faced in these past few years. My body is telling me I need to slow down and cannot keep going the way I am. My spine usually supple, strong and flexible, has served me well. I used to swim, was long ago extremely fit, and these past few years yoga has become my exercise of choice. I’m hypermobile and my body has always stretched easily- limbo competitions used to be a breeze. At 52, my body has carried, mothered, protected and launched three amazing children into their own unique adult lives, my legs have held me strong whilst I guided hundreds of students into careers whilst carrying out my vocation. This year has been tough, emotionally and mentally and now the physical challenges are manifesting, yet I know it is all comes down to growth, renewed wisdom and making decisions that mean I need to look after primarily myself.

Reflecting on the why of my physical pain as I grip the yellow pole in the rattling city circle train, I surmise and look backwards on my history of challenging years, noticing a pervasive cycle. 1984 was a tough year, it was the year I left school and studied a Bachelor of Science, that I loathed. Completing that year at university was needed to keep the peace with my mother and I wasn’t living my life but another person’s expectation of me. I drifted into subsequent years, changing my course, establishing a career, married my childhood love, owner built a house and started a family. If I thought life was challenging early on in my young life I had no idea what would follow. 1994 was as a second time mum, in a new town hugely challenging and 2004 was a depressive and emotionally  exhausting marriage breakdown year of blur, thankfully I had two remarkable female friends who saw me through the darkness of those years and are still in my life still today.

The trilogies of 1974, 1994 and 2004 are novels in themselves. One day I hope to pen in true colour all the stories – that are amazing yet heartbreaking at times, all have made me stronger, thankful and compassionate. Trauma  and overcoming it have been a huge part of my life, yet I’m not a victim but a survivor. I often question why is it that my life is so full of challenge, yet I know the gold in my life shines so brightly. The gold at the other end of my challenge pendulum – is the love of three children who have given me so much joy. Being adopted meant having a family of my own was my first genetic link to what many take for granted- familial soul.

Sadly, I didn’t have a father who loved and cared for me as his own, I was an estranged daughter not of my father’s flesh and this early lack of familial belonging in my life has been repeated through predictable scenarios. The long ago husband that I so naively loved was not my protector but a wolf in sheeps clothing. I still hope that one day in the future I can rely on a man to be there for me but I am expert at standing on my own and facing life as a strong independent woman.

The crossroads I am facing, require a strong spine, although I have made no firm future plans I know I cannot keep living life in the manner that I am. My soul needs to be filled more than it is. Visualising a future life for myself through new lenses is essential, hopefully once I sort my spine health I will be travelling without too many forks, crossroads and the cycles of challenge will finally lessen.

August 24

( image removed)

What do you see when you look at this picture? A student, artworks, a trainee chef, a young woman? I see resilience and the face of Australia. The story of this young woman, is the story of determination and a desire for improvement. I know just a little of this young woman’s story. She is from Iran and I can only imagine how tough life is for her, learning in a language that is not her own and struggling to make sense of a curriculum in Year 11 that at times is enormously irrelevant. She likes Hospitality, Business Services and Art. She struggles in all subjects but can feel more achievement in subjects that allow expression in a form other than essays. My belief in this young woman and her future is why I do what I do each day. She is the face of a changing Australia- whether our youth are refugees or displaced or have diverse needs, teachers are the people who each day have enormous impacts in the life of our future Australia. On a day that many politicians exhibited ego and dysfunction I humbly reflect on my role and that of my colleagues. I am proud that so many of my colleagues are change catalysts in this world. My days in Western Sydney have demonstrated to me that small persistent supports, daily conversations and actions can lead to enormous gains in well being, continued learning and improved self belief. Scott Morrison PM hopefully you see the importance of multicultural Australia, as you proclaim, and set an example of leadership and stability at least until the next election.

The deepest sighs

Embrace the fear, dive into the unknown.

Find meaning and light in your life and unwrap the firecracker in your soul.

Discover the spark of physicality that is missing, lost in an abyss of a tucked up life.

Lift yourself out of the hole, let your hands grasp and scoop the crumbling earth of the ever caving in self imposed walls.

It is in your nature, flick the mud off, wash away the dirt and barriers.

Paint and photograph the world, design and write, create beauty and chances; smell the hint of change.

Everything is simple in your heart. Make the unbearable bearable but carefully listen intently to your deepest sighs.

Soothe

As she hung and pegged the mundane family washing on the line the sun rays burned onto the nape of her bare neck. She rejoiced in the warmth and familiar feel of it’s pleasurable stinging. It’s soothe was like a hug and as the faint breeze fluttered the clothes, she inhaled the familiar spring scent of new growth and a wafting of jasmine filled her mind with positive thoughts.  The earthy sponginess of the grass under her feet grounded her and it was these moments of completing seemingly mundane tasks in the presence of nature that calmed her soul. The aqua sky overhead was iridescent bright blue. She craved that summer feel and a bodily connection to the earth and it was the simplicity of spending time in nature doing simple things that she knew she loved.

The line in her head was from a song and although the tune was rattling in her mind the line ‘you don’t know how much I love you’ was the only bit she knew. God, she hated how she couldn’t remember the melody or tunes to songs and matching lyrics. She smiled to herself as she pegged out the last of the washing and bent to scoop the basket, that had for years been carried back and forth from laundry to the backyard line. Her rapidly ageing weathered hands had toiled non stop over the years, not just with housework, but gutter cleaning, tiling, building and work chores and had naturally progressed to retire from holding once growing small hands that needed guiding. She decided to just sit on the steps. No one was home nowadays, there was a complete eerie silent peace within the house, where once children had played electronic games with neighbourhood mates, pirouetted on pointe shoes, practised trumpet in the morning sun, played charades and created talent shows and built dining room table cubby tents with sheets. The silence held pleasant ghosts of vanished childhoods. Suddenly it had dawned on her that being mindful was now an absolute priority in life.

Ain’t it a shame that the memories of life in her house, all the lines in her head of conversations and the thousands of musical tunes and words she knows she can write are lost to the confining restricting foul world of dollar chasing everyday work. The memory of the warming feeling of the sun at the aged and imperfectly strung washing line is something she craves. The smallest things do bring joy and as she decides to change her life once again and her soul knows she is making the right decision for her.

A is for anxiety

It has taken me a while to accept, but YES I can say I do suffer from, with a capital A – Anxiety. I have inherited what I consider a genetic disposition towards this mental illness but admitting it to myself is life changing. Owning it and disclosing it to others is huge. Challenging it and staring it down is where I am at. It is mild, not debilitating but a hinderance to me fully living my life, and it is an ever present weight that permeates my world and for years, my entire life I have wrestled with it. From spending lunchtimes isolated in the toilets when I started high school, to having it’s noxious grip take hold when I have to do anything new or different.  It does pause my ability to live life in a fully engaged manner and it does affect the quality of everything I do. Many think I’m extroverted and would laugh at the idea of me claiming to suffer from anxiety. I am in fact an introvert- I can hear those I know laughing, spitting their coffees out, and telling me ‘you are SO not an introvert!’  But truth is, I am. I have done the muscle, working hard to not let anxiety affect the overall quality of my life for years. Yes, I travel on my own and can front up to job interviews, try new classes and generally throw myself into life and anything I can. But what occurs before I get to the Hip Hop class, the airport and front up to the interview, is the capital A stuff.

I realise I have suffered from the effects of anxiety my whole life and it has not gone away.  If you do not suffer from it you will be hard pressed to understand the strangling effect it has on so many things, especially the joy of life. My son rides a motorbike and when he rides it, it sends my anxiety off the Richter scale. He tells me to stop worrying about him and if I could I would. Out of sight out of mind is the best way for me to cope with my generalised anxiety disorder, that and deep breathing and rationalising with myself and telling the voice in my head it is being unrealistic. The noisy roommate in my head never shuts up. Calming my constant mind chatter is a full time job. When I sleep I’m not anxious and I know my anxiety is only mild, so I can understand how strangling it is for anyone who suffers it on a greater scale. I have learned to practice being mindful and to try and live in the moment. Yoga, walks and lots of self talk help hugely. Retraining my mind and taking a chill pill is where I am at.

Part of my anxiety problem is my ever thinking analytical mind combined with a huge slab of not seeing myself as worthy, chuck in genetics and a mixture of growing up in an environment of domestic abuse, mix it with a toxic divorce and my overachieving personality and voila, hello Madam Sometimes Anxiety.

I have a tendency to catastrophise scenarios that make me anxious but on the flip side of my personality I am balanced, patient and calm but mix or combine my catastrophising with stress and recurring loss and it makes me fearful. I am beginning to see that I’m a bit Jekyll and a lot Hyde and maybe anxiety isn’t my biggest problem.

Socially I get anxious and it is debasing. Learning to not care what others think of me is my big ticket to overcoming some of my issues. I surmise and psychoanalyse my past fifty years of life and I see that it is the lack of support and my being able to depend on someone that is one of the biggest triggers of my emotional anxiety.

I have climbed mountains to achieve what I have in life and a year later reading and editing this post I can say my anxiety is still hanging around my neck and each day is a struggle but I ain’t letting it stop me from living a life I love. It does however slow my life down and with acceptance of the weight Anxiety bears on all aspects of my life I just carry it with me like it is one battle scar of the warrior woman that I am.

Opportunities

It’s mid winter and I have escaped the grind of Sydney and my ball and chain shackled daily work life to relax, eat fantastic food and sightsee in steamy, historic quant Hoi An plus spend highly anticipated time with my adult daughter. My beautiful, talented eldest daughter is one half of a partnership of love, aptly professed to be  a partnership  that is ‘accidental nomads’. When your daughter falls in love with a young Francophile, who is a JCVD lookalike, in Sydney, and his tourist visa ends, you know that their life and love partnership will become nothing less than complicated. A few months apart and some life and country rearranging, somehow they have made long distance love work, albeit in Vietnam.  The colourful images of their daily nomadic lifestyle acutely resembles the idyllic pages of a glossy travel magazine. Sun and beach shots, cute morning coffee stops, iconic French and Vietnamese landmarks and a stunning Sydney coastline showcase the life of two twenty-four year olds living life day by day, whilst stumbling through how to spend the next few years in a long term relationship when their homelands and families are on opposite sides of the world. They both desire to progress in their careers and the Franco is to  complete a Masters in France.

All three offspring I have raised have taught me a thing or two, in relation to living in the moment. It was my expat daughter who held my hand, rather than me holding hers, as we darted across chaotic surging motorbikes and scooters, through the horn symphony of a busy Danang intersection. It is often my adult children who unconsciously guide my decision making now in my fresh new empty nest stage of life and I am thankful for their insight and intelligence. Living and working her way between France, Australia and Vietnam with not a permanent job in site I can only admire the young woman who I have raised solo as a single mum.

Daily I am astounded with the creative and intellectual talents of the three young adults I have raised and the way they all choose to live life. First it was my son who left the normality of life in Australia to live and work as an Architect in a foreign non-English speaking architectural design practice. Sink or swim and he naturally and seamlessly swam and thrived. There are many lessons I can learn from my carpe diem children. Most significantly is the notion to listen to your heart not your head. Nothing is guaranteed, life is short and sometimes it is riddled with moments of adversity, challenge and loss. Just make the most of every opportunity. Youth does not seem to be wasted on the young folk I call children.

Three years on from a traumatic brain injury and I can finally say I feel like the courageous brave go getter I was prior to my accident. I have lived and survived a life of hurdles. When I reflect on the amazing achievements of each of my children, the glow emitted from my heart and soul is equal in measure to every  sacrifice and challenge I faced. It is however, time for me to give myself what I most desire, time for the indulgence of personal opportunities. Life is full of possibility and I am seizing the day, listening to my heart and mapping new paths that I trust will take me to a path of bliss.

A year of interviews

For the past year I have been casually and secretly applying for a new higher level job and the reality check is I have had more interviews in the past year than in my life and haven’t yet landed my ideal prized new job, perhaps because I’m not male, the wrong side of 50, am not ambitious enough or too humble and “fail” the desired ideal candidate test.

The universe I believe, in my just chuck it out there non chalant approach to destiny is setting up the parallel need for inquiry or investigation in comparison to my lack of finding the right partner and thus ending my single life.

I have had more interviews than dates and it is getting to be ridiculous! The time it takes to prepare the job application, write the letter, research, prepare and eventually submit the application, plus wait to find it if I’ve been shortlisted,  then mentally prepare and organise my self and obscure my absence from work,  sit through the interview and wait to hear via phone call, or receive the email,  or letter that reads,  ‘dear x, we wish to advise,  blah blah blah,  you have been unsuccessful on this occasion, more blah blah blah, regards x, is Just, too, much!

These letters or emails have further extended my ability to deal with an almost decade long lack of dates and the the ultimate in non date styled rejections. I am not ugly, far from it, but I must be intimidating, give off a not intetested vibe or maybe I’m just too out of the realm of being in tune with the date world. Fronting up to a range of interviews I have experienced awkward talking circles, a few formal board room questioning panels, one intimate lounge style chat interview complete with lollies and the most fascinating, a very delayed round table presentation interview on a table built for 2 not 4, where earlier I observed in the corporate foyer an identical style ‘Devil Wears Prada’ episode starring the company CEO as none other than ‘Miranda Priestly’ . I decided as I waited for my interview that I would not take the job if offered it. The slogans and public philosophy did not align with what I had just born witness to, thankfully I didn’t get the job.

I am the ultimate professional, highly skilled with not one but three university qualifications, a diversity of knowledge, leadership capability, business experience and I am bloody good. If I don’t make the change now frankly I think it will just get harder as I edge further into the 50’s. I am finding I am part of the demographic that is invisible – female, over 50 and divorced. Half the time I am sure I am judged as not suitable because I’m over 50 the other half because I’m single or female.

As a strong independent capable woman I have raised three kids solo, worked full time, studied, run a business and dealt with several challenging divorce, court, custody and legal battles all whilst working and parenting on a shoestring budget plus weathering the emotional roller coaster of divorce.  So when the question is asked- “How do you think you will cope with the challenges of the job?” I smile and recant that I have managed enormous challenges and that my capability, qualifications and skills as well as my personal approach to life, ensure I am more than experienced with challenge. Humility it seems, is not a great asset, and when the interviewers or selection panel are male, married or ageist, I believe they have limited perception of how tough it is as a single female who hasn’t climbed super high on the career ladder, because she has chosen to deal with the Everest like challenges of supporting and parenting three children through school and university whilst doing post graduate study, whilst not only holding a full time job but ensuring that my teaching and my team I work with is first rate.

To be honest arriving at interviews and answering an hour worth of probing questions is less harrowing than meeting an on line anonymous and highly overinflated date.

As I sit, sipping a wine and typing on my phone I am sitting in a St Kilda wine bar, alone, amongst many other solo guests. A platinum blonde, the cool African American looking dude, Mr middle age black shirt guy; we are all sitting listening to bad bar music, which is comparable and only slighter better than shopping centre music. ‘Stay, the reason is you’ ….. is warbling, and all I can think is flee.

With my year of interviews over, the new job started and this dated post resumed, I really need to examine whether I have the energy and motivation to walk the talk and strive for a position I deserve or just find a date, settle down and Netflix binge. I hope at least one is possible in 2018.