Monday Meme – 6w.4

Woke at 4. Tired ever since.

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There has been some confusion amongst my church friends as to whether or not I have died.

I have not.

The difficulty with having a name as common as mine is that I share it with a number of people. Sadly, one of these people passed away recently and her death notice appeared in our parish bulletin. Fortunately, it was not me.

To clarify, I am not any of the following:

  • an American professor of metallurgy
  • an Australian indigenous author
  • an Irish swimmer
  • a New Zealand accountant
  • a finance broker
  • a nurse <- this one was a library client of mine
  • an actress
  • a playwright

…you get the idea.

I have had my Facebook business page even tagged as being a guest speaker at events overseas. I would have gone had they paid the airfare.

To avoid all confusion, please contact me if you are interested in knowing how I am, what I do, if I’m interested in speaking at an event or anything at all about me. I’m probably the best informed person on that topic.


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Games, games, games

What does it say about a person when they win Cards Against Humanity?

Probably nothing good.

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Today I went to Chermside Shopping Centre. It is huge. Yesterday was the grand opening of it getting even huger.

An acknowledgement of the traditional owners – the Yuggera people.

I remember when it was the poorer cousin to other shopping centres on the north side of Brisbane. My mother remembers when it was built.

My first job (which I spoke about a few days ago) was right across the road from this centre. At that time, there wasn’t even a food court! There was a café and a Chinese takeaway. Now, there are 2 separate food courts plus 2 additional dining precincts!!! There are now over 80 places that offer something to eat!!

I enjoyed seeing the newly opened dining precinct which also has a village green style area and a children’s playground. The layout for part of this development resembles the shopping centre that was closest to us when I was growing up. It was a village style layout with little streets and laneways. These days it’s all modernised and lost its charm. It’s interesting to see the old style coming back again. I think this means I’m officially old.

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Say it

Today I attended the funeral of someone who died far too soon. I wasn’t working at this funeral. This one was someone I knew.

His death was not at the end of some great illness. It was unexpected. It was a death that would make you think that it was desperately unfair.

In my line of work as a funeral organist/singer, I see a lot of grieving people. I have seen a range of emotions at funerals. I don’t think I’ve seen happiness but certainly there have been many who are contented and accepting. Those are usually when the deceased has lived a long and fulfilling life. There are those who have been sick for a long time and death is somewhat of a welcome relief.

Then there’s the other end of the spectrum. The middle aged. The young. The couple that died suddenly together. Those that mourn them are usually somewhere else in the stages of grief. One mourner put it very well her eulogy for her father, “I am annoyed with him. He went before I could say goodbye.”

Say it.

Say all the things you need to say to a person.

“I love you.”

“You’re my world.”

“Thank you.”

“I owe it all to you.”

Don’t let your last words be ones you regret. Say it now.

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Black hole

Today fell into a black hole. I had great plans to do things. My mother is currently staying with us while she is recuperating from surgery. My plan was to take her out of the house and get our groceries and other errands at a leisurely pace.

It didn’t happen.

We had to pop to her house for some things and we (the three generations of ladies) sat around for lunch. Sitting turned to reclining and reclining turned into napping. A number of hours later we all woke to learn that the day was drawing to a close so we up and went home.

That was the end of that.

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To catch a fish

Today I did something I haven’t done in almost 10 years. I applied for a job. And for the first time in almost 10 years I’m not even sure I’ll be considered for the position.

I set out many years ago to achieve a career goal and I did just that. I also said that I would leave my job if I had a child because I wanted to be present for that child in a way that my parents were unable to be for me. And I did that too. Now, my child is growing and thriving and showing such resilience and independence and I think it’s time I found my way back to the workforce.

Throughout my life I’ve had many jobs and a couple of careers. I’m not afraid to keep moving forward. I’m excited by new challenges. Sure, I could take the easy path and stay in the same career. I could even progress up the ladder within that career. But does that feed my soul? Does that give me the positive energy I need within me to get up each day and do the things I have to do? Will that make me happy?

My first “grown-up” job was as a personnel consultant. I was 21 and straight out of uni with a Bachelor of Commerce under my belt. I knew all there was to know about Organisational Behaviour and Human Resource Management. Yeah, right. I knew enough about enough to do ok in my assignments and exams. I was 21 – what did I know about anything?

Within 6 weeks of starting I knew I was in the wrong job. I had witnessed the most depressing side of employment and unemployment. I was working with long term unemployed people and those at risk of becoming so. My task was to diagnose why they couldn’t find work and then fix it…all within 13 weeks of meeting them. Some of my clients had never worked. Some were illiterate. Some had alcohol and drug addictions. Some had what I recognise now as mental health disorders, probably undiagnosed and certainly untreated. Some took their own lives. Others wanted to.

Then there were the women who had left work because they married. They became mothers and stayed home to look after the children. Then the children grew up. Their husbands were laid off or had died. They were left with no money and no purpose. Many had no skills they could offer the workforce. More than a few had not completed high school. They were mostly in their 40s and hadn’t worked since their 20s. The work they had done was usually retail. They’d been “shop girls”. Employers in the late 1990s weren’t looking for 45yr old shop assistants.

I know all too well the dangers of long gaps on a resume. I recall the faces of those women. By the time they came to me, they’d been trying to find work for at least a year or more. That haunting look of desperation and hopelessness. Mostly replaced by fear at the mention of re-training. Occasionally replaced with joy when I was successful in finding them an open door.

I’m dipping my toe into the water and I’m hoping to catch a fish I’ve never seen before. A new career. I’ll have to start at the bottom but I’m not afraid of working hard to prove myself. I’m hopeful that my skills will carry me through. One thing is for sure – I’m not going to let 20 years go past without trying something new.

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