When it doesn’t work … what then

It is amazing isn’t it we go along for great periods of time working at things to achieve outcomes and some of these take years. We can work at being married, being a parent, a friend, a sister, a mother and though at times we faulter and feel like failures we know these are the things we love and enjoy so we move on from the times it may seem hard.

These are things that are everyday and only feel like work when it does get hard, what about life’s intrusions such as work, there is paid employment, volunteer ‘work’ and then there is the slog of daily activities that lead to being paid, in the case of farming there is periods without income and then periods with income, selling crop and animals is cyclic and not a weekly or monthly income. All farmers wait for better prices, sometimes they come sometimes they don’t.

What if you get to the stage where you know you’re doing it wrong, perhaps that’s harsh, as there is no such thing as wrong, it’s should be called different. Once you get to the point where there is no outcomes most change tactics and farmers are experts at this, they really are. I am amazed at their strengths, tenacity and ingenuity and most perseverance. Their ability to assess, nurture and move on in agriculture, I believe there is not another job in the world that is more difficult. What they do grows things, feeds other people, it keeps animals alive in times of drought and without farmers where would be get our industries from.

When most people come to the point where they know what they are doing needs a change in direction, do most people do this or fall back onto the defensive, “this is the way I have always done it so I’m finding people who will support this.” I am guilty of this in past careers, move on rather than adapt and change, moving the country has given me a different perspective, I HAVE to adapt to environment, employment opportunities (where there is none) and outcomes on areas I assist in. I don’t believe I do much work as I don’t value my own contribution to farming, I can’t see deliverables and this may be a wrong assumption. I know my husband thanks me all the time for what I do, but as a person we value ourselves on the income we provide to contribute to our households and I haven’t been able to do this for a long time.

Do I stop now what I am doing and move myself out of my own way and into paid employment? I have retrained albeit in an industry I never thought I would go (Beauty) and whilst I enjoy what I do , it really is the ‘nice’ career and not really mentally challenging. Do I keep going and work with people that can’t deliver back to me? I think I am a good change agent, I take people on face value and am finding that we are poles apart, what I need now isn’t where they are at.

In my network I have many a strong highly educated women that through no fault of their own find / found themselves redundant and all by other women. It is astounding that we don’t support the sisterhood, women in power seem to get rid of those that the feel ‘threaten them’ rather than nurture and support. Is there an industry out there for women who can but are held back not by men but by other women? I believe so, but how does one break this cycle when even the retiring Gail Kelly – selects a male to step into her shoes rather than the woman who sat alongside her and supported her?

It’s one of those days, where I know I’m going to have to change tactics and advance myself or I am going to be doing laser hair removal on every bikini line in the district…

The Christmas break up

It;s that time of the year isn’t it? Where people who can take holidays do, office parties, Christmas lunches and shopping. It’s a great place to be if that’s your thing, taking the last working day to have a long lunch or just a short lunch and having a couple of drinks with the people you spend most of your time with, whilst you work, if you’re lucky the boss may even shout (pay) and then allow you to go home early. I love this sort of thing, in my medical rep days, we all use to meet at a pub and lunch together, all those reps that worked from home and didn’t have colleagues within the same state met and we lunched.

It is an opportunity to share the highs and lows of the year, to wish each other joy and to get to take a break. I miss this and I suspect many people do, to some it gives them time to spend with families and enjoy the weather and plan for the coming year, for others it represents periods of forced loneliness. Some people suffer at this time of year and dread it, some may feel totally trapped at home and work was a relief to go to, where others may find that distance – through changing states or countries for work or families them just that little bit more homesick.

For others it represents nothing but a day in the year, looking at farmers it is not a pleasant time of the year, it’s hot, it’s humid, we wait for rain as the land dries up and so too does the feed. It is now time to check stock daily for water problems, feed hay out, check fire fighting equipment is working  well  and having plans in place to try to get out for Christmas day knowing that it is only a 24 hr stop over “just in case”.

Doctors, nurses, police and service station attendants all work rotating rosters and are on duty as well, my Huz favourite saying is “weekends and public holidays are only for the general public.” This is true for all farmers, there is always something that needs doing and they don’t get paid for it. Working for somebody even the government gives people an income and on the public holidays, penalty rates, so for the 8 hours people miss out on being with family it’s not so bad (I was a nurse and did many a night duty over Christmas so I could see my daughters delight on Christmas morning). No one pays the farmers an hourly rate for their hours of work and dedication.

Yesterday watching my face-book news feed of my city friends having Christmas lunches and parties made me feel melancholy, wanting to be part of it, knowing I wasn’t. What I am not is not ready for Christmas this year, I have not planned as well as I have every other year, I feel very naked of gifts, there is nothing wrapped under my tree, it’s weird. There must be others like me, work from home, live in the country or city, no work colleagues, that want to have a lunch to celebrate the end of the year? Perhaps over the next 12 months we should start a network and plan one, a meet up, a chance to wish each other well and raise a glass to a year almost gone (and for me to travel to the city to Christmas shop). Next hurdle New Years Eve…….



saying yes when you meant to say no

I have always thought I was a strong person but at some stage in my life, I can’t even recall when i started doing it perhaps I always did but I can’t pinpoint the incident when I said yes and knew I meant to say no. I have thought about it a lot as I sometimes feel I could kick myself for putting me in the situation where I don’t want to be. It’s terrible and I am sure I am not alone with this practice. I hear this voice coming from my mouth that says yes and my head is saying no, sometimes the action is there as well, it is not a nod of the head but a shake as you hear yourself saying yes. There are pages and pages on this topic in google so it must be that we all do it at sometime in our lives.

I find myself in a situation where most times I can now use the distant card (300km from CBD of Adelaide) to beg off from doing things I don’t want to do but sometimes distance is also the reason why I can’t get there and feel I miss out. But I wonder sometimes when I feel at a low ebb or happy to connect with someone who I find myself saying yes when I KNOW I meant no. We all strive to maintain friendships and business connections so sometimes we are calculating in our response of saying yes. In this instant it is to further a career, get out of a rut, expand our lives or just generally to increase our profile,

In a social setting or in the art of getting acceptance we say yes. There are many parents on their children’s school committees that I am sure that are there as they want to say no but feel a duty to the organisation that is looking after their child or children or want to help smooth the way through the years of schooling by getting involved so say yes. Being part of a group or committee makes saying yes a bit more pleasurable and it is important to children that parents are involved in the school, I remember doing canteen and the delight on my daughters face when she saw me there. By being involved in groups or organisations means a different network of people.

In doing what I do for the Keith Hospital I have been asked to do many things, be media spokesperson for the group when we have protested. I have been asked to take on tasks that have put me front and centre of the Keith Hospital campaign. I have organised and rallied groups to keep our campaign alive and in the forefront of media and the general public. Though our fight is still ongoing and getting desperate daily we are slowly sinking into an abyss that may or may not lead to extinction. I am fighting to fight as hard as I can to prevent this happening but it may be futile. In doing this it puts you at risk of criticism, personal attack, back stabbing and gossip. It is not a nice place to be and it is slowly wearing me out. I have been asked to run events when I have no clue and wanted to say no but felt obligated to say yes. It has done me no favors, it has made some ungrateful and selfish.

We have a new CEO at the Keith Hospital who started this week and I am quickly growing to like him enormously. I find him approachable, he sits in his office with an open door and is inclusive and consultative in his manner. I am currently acting DON (Director of Nursing)  which was one of these I wanted to say No but yes came out of my mouth. It has shocked some in Keith as many are unaware I am a triple certificated RN currently (very slowly) doing my Masters in Health Admin and still practising.

I have been invited to a Business Development Meeting with a friend who does Amway and found myself saying yes when I meant no. Luckily for me it is the same time I have to run a daughter around to one of her friend’s wedding. But here I sit knowing this and can’t bring myself to call my friend and tell her. It is not her fault it is mine, it is nice catching up with her as she has recently moved back from Kangaroo Island but it wears me out. I don’t want to sell Anyway it is one of those party plans that puts people off side. But that is a topic for another day. I hope this week I can say no more times than yes but smoothing the way is a priority when we need to keep the Keith Hospital alive. So when I ask for help, send someone from your organisation to the Arkaba Ladies High Tea, April 20th 2012 details at http://www.keithhospital.com.au/