Monday, May 30, 2011

Winter In The Garden

As I write this the rain is thundering down outside. It has rained relentlessly all day today, and my normal view of the city from my cubicle at work wasn't. (A view, that is.) Were it not for the fact that my office is on the 9th floor there could have been gorillas in that mist for all I could tell.

Apparently we're rounding off the coldest May in 40 years in grand style.

Winter In The Courtyard - Heirloom Sweetpea

I took these photos of my sprightly new sweet pea shoots yesterday, and I'm hoping they're dealing with the beating they're getting out there. Is this what parenting feels like? The worry? The protectiveness?

Who will think of the children?

Winter In The Courtyard - Heirloom Sweetpea

I planted up two pots, one has the lovely burgundy red heirloom sweet pea Sweet Velvet and the other has a heavily scented dark crimson through to purple variety called Busbee. Both should grow to around 2m tall, so by the start of Spring I should have two tall towers of blooms.

Weather permitting.

Friday, May 27, 2011

I Am Alive

I am. Not just breathing. Not just with a heart pumping blood. Alive.

I should fill in some of the blanks on my unexpected, unplanned absence. Such a long list of "uns"; unhappy, undecided, unable. Unemployed. To name just a few.

I've come out of one of the most difficult times I have ever been through. So much unhappiness and anger, that some days I sat on the sofa (unwashed, there's another one) completely stalled. No cogs turning at all. After more than a month of this I thought "I should probably get some professional help".

I didn't, as it turns out. But I am writing this all in the past tense, so it is passed. Past. And good riddance.

By the end of last year I couldn't shake off stress and anxiety, and as the new year rolled around things seemed to be conspiring to up the ante. In late January I was fired from my job. Not retrenched. Not "let go". Not having a contract non renewed. Fired.

Fired by email in fact. By a boss who was so chicken shit, so inconsiderate and so unwilling to see how that might make me feel that he couldn't even speak to me face to face. A man who I thought considered me a peer. I still to this day don't have a real handle on the actual reasons, but I have (largely) gone past the point of caring now. It took a while.

Amusingly, and astoundingly, my boss fired me by email on a Monday and because of a busy week and a midweek public holiday I didn't read my home emails all week. I kept turning up for work, sitting at my desk alongside my boss, all week and he didn't say a thing. Not until he sent me a text message on the Friday night to tell me to read my emails. Such is the measure of the man, I figure.

So I never went back. Never said my goodbyes. Never got to give him the finger he so richly deserved. (And yes he broke the rules against unfair dismissal, and no I didn't pursue the legal action I could have. At the time I just couldn't.)

I spent all of February and much of March bouncing backwards and forwards between melancholy and rage. I ate. I sat on the couch. I cried a bit a few times. And then I decided that things had to change.

And they have. After being unemployed for about 7 weeks I landed myself a great job at a university. Working less hours, and taking home around $120 a week more than in my old job. Then about 4-5 weeks ago I decided I needed to get a grip on my depression era weight gain, and be more pro-active about my high blood pressure, and I started dieting and exercising more. I've now lost just under 6kgs and the gut is well and truly in retreat.

Things are good. I feel like I'm achieving something. Participating. Contributing. Being appreciated. And importantly feeling like I'm in control, energised and excited. Losing weight is a big part of that, and both a catalyst and a symptom of the process. I'm pulling my shit together, being disciplined, and in return I'm getting feedback and reinforcement every time I jump on the scales.

While I'm carefully watching what I eat that's not to say that I don't still want to serve up a big bowl of fuck you to my old boss. But maybe one day that dish can be served up cold.