Thinking about it…..

I Sit And Think.

I sit beside the fire and think of all that I have seen,
of meadow-flowers and butterflies in summers that have been;
Of yellow leaves and gossamer in autumns that there were,
with morning mist and silver sun and wind upon my hair.
I sit beside the fire and think of how the world will be
when winter comes without a spring that I shall ever see.

For still there are so many things that I have never seen:
in every wood in every spring there is a different green.
I sit beside the fire and think of people long ago,
and people who will see a world that I shall never know.
But all the while I sit and think of times there were before,
I listen for returning feet and voices at the door

by J. R. R. Tolkien

 

I was recently asked a question that has made me sit up and do a lot of deep thinking.

I was asked ….Who or what inspires me the most?

The poem by J.R.R. Tolkien, ‘I Sit And Think’ really sums it up well.

Originally I answered the question instinctively. My answer was very simple, I’m inspired by people who like myself have been able to ‘overcome’ severe health issues, whether on a physical or mental level, and escape near death experiences. For me it summed it what incredible abilities we all have, to fight our battles, no matter how hard they are, or what odds are stacked up against us. Then there is the question why have I been able to overcome these obstacles and fight back at my depression?

Then I got to thinking more deeply, as why I gave that answer,  or even why we have been able to overcome these massive obstacles, and I had to try to narrow down my answers and analyze constructively.

To begin with what initially became a ‘recovery tool’ about seven years ago, has gradually built up to become a passion for me, because from it, it has helped me in more ways than I ever could have imagined.

My passion for photography has inspired me enormously over the past few years. It has greatly contributed in many ways to my well-being, both mentally and physically.

There is without a doubt a form of art in photography, but for me it’s a lot more than that. Photography has taught to me to evolve, for want of a better word. It has made me understand more, become more knowledgeable and it has taught me self-discipline and in addition to this, it has encouraged me to go to places I probably thought I would never go to. It has opened up my mind and opened up my life. It’s given me a new direction and a new purpose. One of the things it has allowed me to do over the last few years is to move out of ‘my own personal comfort zone’, get back into socializing and mixing with people including family and friends. I still don’t like huge crowds especially noisy ones, it makes me nervous and anxious, but I think in all honesty it is more to do with the fact that I just enjoy peace and tranquility…..which is probably why it explains my love of nature.

On and off over the past 17 years whilst I was going through some of my worst bouts of depression and anxiety, I lost interest in a great deal many things.  With depression it affects each and every one of us in different ways, myself personally, I felt that I didn’t want to do anything, go anywhere, see anyone I stuck to the minimal basic routine of working sometime eating and sometimes sleeping, other than that I sat on my own and cried until I had no tears left to cry, and had no emotions left in me to express. Just always negative thoughts, no ambitions or interest, and no matter how hard people wanted to try to understand how I was feeling, they just couldn’t understand. The only thing I can remember ever wishing for in those dark periods of my life was an off switch so that I could completely switch myself off from my life and the world in general.

Depression is one of those illnesses you have to experience to truly understand what it does to you, how it makes you feel, including the overall effect on your ability to just function normally in life or to just live.

Once I had started in my recovery process, I got to getting back to a little bit more normality, and bit by bit edging out of my depression zone into a new comfort zone. Now I can honestly say, I have moved out of my comfort zone and have become a little more adventurous, enlightened and a little bit more confident in my knowledge and abilities. Although, I have to say there are still times I have self doubts, and lack confidence in myself.

My photography has enabled me to go out exploring, it has given me the chance to prove to myself I can do something and do it well and learn something new in the process. It has increased my interest and therefore my knowledge in nature and wildlife as well as history. they all go hand in hand, and that is what inspires me.

How many times does one go for walk or run just for the purpose of needing to exercise to stay fit and healthy?

For instance, I see a great many people in parks taking their dogs for a walk, or people going for a quick jog with their earphones in listening to music and concentrating on running to the beat of the music, some go to local parks with bags of bread to throw down and leave for the wildfowl to help themselves to. Others use park as a short cut to get somewhere else. I see a lot of ‘basic stuff’ going on, but rarely see people with real interest in their surrounding area of beauty.

Whenever I visit a park, any park, I like to take in the surroundings, listen to the birds, sit down near the lake, get close to the flower beds and have a look at the bees on the flowers, watching butterflies fluttering by and trying to identify the species. In the summer especially I enjoy taking a little picnic lunch and I like to explore the area I am visiting. All of this in itself drives my passion to take photos and capture those once in a life time moments for ever. In the past I would just simply hear a bird sound and think about what species of bird it was. Now, however, I love the opportunity to actually try to see that bird, find out where it is, and just watch it for a while, see its beauty and study its character. It encourages me to learn about its surroundings or its behavioural patterns. Just over a year ago, I persevered and made friends with a little Robin who after several weeks of patience, fed out of my hand, and did so every day for several months until it was time for him to fly off with his new little family to pastures new, however I was able to get up close to him and he allowed me to take some photos of him. A permanent reminder of just how close you can get to nature and how fortunate I was to be able to do this.

My interest in birds, wildlife and nature has meant I have been able to explore other places. I have been able to go to Charlecote Hall nr Stratford Upon Avon, and see herds wild Fallow Deer roaming freely over the acres of beautiful parkland next to the River Avon. On the same estate they also have a flock of rare breed Jacob Sheep. This year I was able to sit and watch a pair swans and their little family of  cygnets on the river looking for food by diving down into the weed, and trying not to get tangled in it.

Part of the wild herd of Fallow Deer at Charlecote Hall nr Stratford Upon Avon. They roam freely on the estate, but are cared for by the estate staff.

Beautiful wild Poppies, and varieties of other wild flowers growing all around the estate.

A beautiful Peacock Butterfly, spotted resting in the long grass.

A couple of the rare Jacob Sheep, part of a large and thriving herd at Charlecote Hall estate.

Walking up to Charlecote Hall and its beautiful estate. Sometimes the Fallow Deer graze on the grass at the sides of the path. It’s lovely to sit on the benches at watch them.

A Mute Swan tending her young on the stretch of the River Avon that runs through the Charlecote Estate.

My photography has also encouraged me to go to different places as well as return to old familiar ones. When I was very young, my brother and I would go on a coach trips in the school summer holidays with mom and dad. A couple of the places we used to go to often was in Wales, normally Rhyl or Aberystwyth, or to Blackpool to see the lights. My memories of Wales in those days were of a little seaside town, shops that sold ice cream and rock.  Beaches that were pebbles and stones and unwelcoming, as well as the unfortunate experience of it raining almost every time we went there. In my mind for many years I told myself Wales held no interest for me to go back there, neither did Blackpool.

When I was in the Special Constabulary back in the late 1980s and early 1990’s, myself and several other friends from the Specials did a sponsored charity jump and rescue in to the sea at Tenby, also in Wales, with the RNLI. I can still remember how nervous and anxious we all were, there were about 10 of us, the sea was extremely rough and choppy that particular day of the jump and we were in old police uniforms over the top of wet suits. On the morning of the jump we had thought about cancelling it, but then realising this is exactly what the RNLI do on a daily basis, it made sense to go ahead and do the jump, thus enabling us all in raising quite a bit of sponsor money for the RNLI and our maternity hospital special baby unit back home in Solihull. I do clearly remember we all joined in with a couple of hymns, Eternal Father Strong to Save…… which included the line ‘For those in peril on the sea’. And a couple of verses of Abide With Me, a last-ditch attempt to stay strong and focused. Fortunately for us, we all did the jump and were all rescued from the sea and arrived back on shore safe and sound. We went back to Tenby a few months later for a plaque dedication and cheque presentation service at the RNLI. That was the last time I went to Wales. At least until May of this year.

An opportunity came about because of my interest in birds and wildlife, it meant I had the chance to go back to Wales to an RSPB  reserve on a coach trip in May. At first I was put off  by the idea of it being Wales, the memories of those old stony, wet seaside towns came back to me. However, I decided I was going to go outside my comfort zone again, and so booked up the day trip to Lake Wyrnvy RSPB.

To my amazement I had the most incredible day, the scenery en route, as well as the scenery around the lake was absolutely magnificent. I saw several species of birds just a few feet away from me through the hide window. The lake itself and the area immediately surrounding it was stunningly beautiful. No more was the Wales as I remembered it so long ago as a little girl.

Looking down and across the incredible and beautiful view of Lake Vyrnwy in Wales from the Lake Vyrnwy Hotel.

Looking across and up at the hotel from the other side of the lake.

A chance to see a Greater Spotted Woodpecker up close from the RSPB bird hide window.

Another close up at the bird hide of a male Chaffinch. He was going back and forth collecting food from the feeders to feed his youngsters in a nearby nest.

The highlight of my day….we heard him several times, and then suddenly there he was, a beautiful Cuckoo. My first ever sighting of one, whilst we were walking up a lower section of the mountains to a waterfall.

It was just a few weeks later I went on another trip to Powis to the Royal Welsh Show, it was very crowded and in all honesty very commercialized, but enjoyable all the same. Normally, I would see the outline of sheep in a field from a distance. At the Royal Show you could walk up and down long pathways seeing close up all the different breeds of sheep, and could also see how their character, facial expressions differed.

In July, not long after I started my new job, I went on a long weekend coach trip ‘down south’. This had already been booked up a while beforehand. One of the places I had been hoping to visit the past couple of years was the New Forest, and I had heard of the wild ponies roaming freely in the area. In addition to this the location we were staying was a Warners Holiday Village in Hayling Island, and a couple of day trips included the New Forest on the Saturday morning, Bournemouth in the afternoon and on the Sunday a day in Portsmouth visiting the historical naval dockyard, and the highlight of the weekend was a tour of H.M.S. Victory, the flag ship of Lord Nelson. The combination of all these sights meant I took several hundred photos and as a result have some wonderful memories captured forever on camera.

 

Wild Ponies walking in the road of one of the villages in the New Forest. Of course the coach stopped and gave way to these local inhabitants.

A packed Bournemouth beach on one of the hottest days of  summer.

On board the H.M.S Victory, the chance of a life time be one of the most historical ships in British history.

At the ships wheel on H.M.S. Victory.

A piece of history, the exact spot marked by a plaque, where Lord Horatio Nelson fell and died at the Battle of Trafalgar.

Throughout this past 12 months I have been fortunate to have visited many places, odd day trips here and there including Alpaca walking, visiting Monkey Forest, Iron Bridge in Telford, Twycross Zoo, several  parks and nature centre and much more, I have  been able see so much and capture it on camera. I like the idea of challenging myself to do better in my photography by encouraging myself to go the places again and do better next time. I can now set myself goals, and make the effort to achieve them. I have learned to appreciate wildlife, nature and even history more than I could ever have imagined. there is so much more out there that inspires me and its down to my passion for photography but it is also my passion for photography that inspires my love for nature and wildlife.  Capturing the moment and being able to look back and understand something about what is in each photo. All of this inspires me….

As the poem says

and think of all that I have seen,
of meadow-flowers and butterflies in summers that have been:

Of yellow leaves and gossamer in autumns that there were,
with morning mist and silver sun and wind upon my hair.

Thank you for stopping by

 

 

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Spring at last.

What a dreadful few months this has been. Since before Christmas I have been back to fighting those darn demons again, but with spring on the horizon things are starting to look up a bit better once again. Through out these 3 months I just haven’t had it in me to write my blog, despite so much going on in my life.

The news that I was told in October that I would lose my new job, totally gutted, along with several other colleagues, it was a bolt out of the blue, and as the time is drawing ever so close to the finishing date (sometime during the first 2 to 3 weeks of April) it has become more and more difficult to comprehend what is going to happen job wise in the future. Already the job searching has begun, and last Thursday I had a job interview for what I do see as a perfect job and an added bonus it is very close to home. Just one thing, so many people have been interviewed for the position, I won’t know for a few more days yet but I doubt very much if I will get it, but at least I managed to get an interview and tried my best.

However, one thing is certain now in my mind, this current job I am in was not meant to be after all, and may be it’s for the best I am being made redundant. I wonder if anyone remembers the old saying, although we can’t see it at the time, things happen for a reason. I believe in this case it to be completely true. But it has given me several more months of very valid experience and knowledge in another specialized industry.

It was the first Christmas and New Year without my dad, and somehow we got through it, although it was very sad and strange not to see him Christmas morning, and then round the dinner table with my brother, sister-in-law and my nephews. It is also very strange to realize that next month, on my birthday, it will be the first anniversary of dads passing. I can’t believe where this past year has gone, it just does not seem real without him around.

The dark mornings and evenings with the dismal weekends throughout the winter months, travelling too and from work have taken its toll on my physical and mental well-being. In January I ended up with a virus that knocked me off my feet for a few days and then a severe bout of laryngitis in February. On top of all this I found out my diabetes has got worse and I am now on daily medication for this as well as new medication for a couple of other problems associated with the diabetes. Not really the best start to the year.

My daily routine starts when I get up between 5.45 to 6.00 am each morning and get ready for work to start a journey to work that takes about 1.1/2 hrs plus. This includes two bus journeys as well as waiting around time for connecting to the 2nd bus services and then a 15 to 20 mins walk down what has to be one of the dirtiest, and most dangerous roads in Birmingham which is a route to a major freight company in an industrial area. On the good side they say a brisk 20 min walk is good for you every day.  The road and footpaths are littered with rubbish that has been deliberately dumped, including large truck tyres, as well as the rubbish thrown out of the windows of speeding cars. The footpaths are blocked by trailer lorries which one has to walk into the road into oncoming, and sometimes speeding traffic in order to get around these parked vehicles. Normally I would be able to avoid this long walk and take a short cut, but unfortunately there is major bridge repair work going on which means the short cut is cordoned off until further notice. I’m guessing it will re-open the week after I’ve finished this job!

On arriving at work each day for an 8.30 am start I then have to deal with one particular male colleague who has to be the most arrogant, big-headed, loud mouthed and disrespectful person I have ever had the misfortune to meet in my entire working career. This has lowered my mood considerably over the past few months, but now I won’t have to work with him much longer which is a huge sigh of relief.  The rest of the team I work with are a fantastic bunch, and it is down to them that I have managed to survive and get through each day in this job, and the fact I have been able to learn so much about the concrete industry. Then, on finishing work between 5.30 to 6.00 pm I have to repeat the same journey back home, this time through a crowded city centre and finally manage to get home around 7.00 to 7.15 pm. feeling exhausted, but not able to get ready and go to bed because of having to have a light meal in order to have my evening medication and allowing the meal to digest before I can go to bed. If only life was so much more simpler.

This is a very long day with travelling and working in any ones book, and to do it through the winter months and through the dark mornings and nights has taken its toll on my health. Thankfully the past couple of weeks has been a big improvement, lighter in the morning when I leave home and of an evening when I leave work, which has made it more bearable and also a few warm mornings with some bright sunshine and blue skies.

The Saturday mornings I have had to work, which is one in every third Saturday, have usually been the better Saturdays regarding the weather, but because of having to be up at 5.00 am to be in work for 7.00 am by the time I finish around 10.30/11.00 am I am too exhausted to do anything, including going out with my camera. On my free Saturdays the weather has been dismal and so this has kept me indoors.

With all this going on I can understand why so many British love to go to warmer, sunnier climates during our winter months.

The last couple of Saturdays I did finally manage to get out and about with my camera, a trip to my nearest local zoo in Dudley and then last week-end to the Birmingham Nature Centre. Just pushing and willing myself to get out on both those days has helped me to start fighting back those demons. There is something about being around animals that does help to lift ones spirits. It means that with the better weather comes the chance to get out and about more, go on walks which in turn should help the diabetes and my blood pressure. I even have a couple of day trips planned. I also want to find time to relax and do some fishing in the summer months. I always used to find sitting on a river bank watching the fish rising to the surface and splashing, hearing the birds singing and the water rats and voles diving in and out, always made me smile and even gives me inspiration. In all honesty I think they all look forward to the spring as much as we humans do.

I probably say this every year, but I do love spring. It’s a new beginning, a fresh start, a colourful time of year, to see the carpets of  daffodils and crocuses rising from the ground, it warms the heart, and also allows our souls to breathe again. I realise I have a few  busy and uncertain months ahead of me, the stress of job searching, then starting a new job, working with new people, adapting to a different environment all over again, improving my diabetes, but I also intend to give myself some me time whilst out exploring with my camera, this is something I haven’t done properly for a few months.

 

Approaching Spring

Spring soon will be here
Away from the winter’s snow
Drying up every frosty tear
And causing the landscape to glow

But the shine of spring I need right now
I need all the help I can get
To wave goodbye to this past winter
In hopes that I can forget

I’ve lost all my real friends
And almost ever other friendship too
Right now I am just amazed
That I haven’t yet lost you

The approaching spring will hit restart
It’s something that we all need
The approaching spring will fix our hearts
And allow our souls to breathe

by Matt Burgett

 

Many thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

A new road ahead.

It has been a very long strange and mixed 12 months. Some really rough and tough times these past few months on a health level and with the passing of my father in April,  but also some great times on the work side, and also the chance to develop my love of nature and photography and visit more places in order to do this.

Having said that I am now at yet another crossroads in my life, and yet I am seeking a new challenge and am looking to take the next step forward. In two weeks time on August 5th my current contract comes to an end, and yet again I will be looking for a new job, to some to find a new job it’s as easy as tossing a coin in the air, but for those of us who suffer depression and anxiety, it can be a very daunting prospect.

In many ways I have been very fortunate with this current position, I have far exceeded my own expectations and discovered new things about myself in my ability to tackle and solve problems and overcome a lot of obstacles. I have been able to maintain a  high level of professionalism, Iv’e been able to do so much in-depth work, and not just doing one or two stages of a job and then passing it on to the next person to do their part, but I have been able to follow many stages of an entire process through from start to finish. In addition to this I have been able to implement several new job procedures and carry them through to prove they can and do work, and Iv’e learnt a great deal about the rail industry, and I have also been extremely fortunate to work with some incredible and wonderful people and make some wonderful friendships in the process. Overall I have exceeded my own expectations, and I believe in all honestly exceeded my employers expectations of me, and I have to say that does feel good, and it also makes one feel proud to have made such an achievement.

One thing is for certain, I do feel a little more confident about my future job than I have done for many years, that is of course providing I get the right opportunity by a company willing to take a chance and give me the opportunity to prove myself. For the first time in many years I actually feel confident in my own abilities.

I have had a great year discovering the local nature reserve, through all the changing seasons, made friends with a Robin who I called Buddy. He has in recent weeks  flown the nest with his little babies, and despite knowing I will most likely never see him again, unless we both happen to make return visits to the reserve and his particular favourite tree. I do feel very privileged that I was able to make friends, share a trust and have a special bond with a wild bird and be able hand feed him.

That aside, I have also this year had to cope with the diagnosis of  Diabetes,  problems with my kidneys and cholesterol level, another lot of surgery and then in April the sudden and unexpected death of my Father.  An extreme combination of  similar problems that 15 years ago brought to my knees, and  my first dealings with  depression, but now despite how hard it is to cope with all this…some how I have managed to cope and  I have come to realise that it is due to a combination of the right daily medication, some really incredible family and friends, the pursuance of my love of nature and photography, and a job I love doing, but more importantly positive thinking and the confidence in ones own abilities, and to try not give up so easily.

So, my next step forward is to take a much-needed short holiday up in Strathpeffer  in Scotland the week after my job comes to an end, give myself chance to recharge my worn out batteries, take in the wonderful Scottish air, scenery and hospitality, take plenty of photographs and discover the wildlife up there, and also hopefully treat myself to a glass or two of some very fine single malt whisky from that region.  But, I do realise that I also need time to think about what sort of job I would like to do next, and how to balance my work life with managing my diabetes and also prepare myself  mentally for upcoming job interviews. So who knows what new opportunities await around the next corner.

 

Still round the corner there may wait
A new road or a secret gate.

– J.R.R. Tolkien

Many thanks for stopping by

 

Yes! Good things do come to those who wait.

This past 12 months so far has had to have been one of those years that has been full of mixed fortunes.

Last July I landed a temp contract with Mondelez International (Cadbury Birmingham) it truly was a wonderful experience, and I am not just referring to the chocolate treats, the way of life within the working arena inspired me once again.

My 4 months with them gave me a different insight and perspective into how a business can  and should be run. It gave me a lot of valuable experience and a chance to ‘tap’ into some of my  abilities that I never knew existed. I found that I was challenging myself more and more, and for the first time in many years I enjoyed challenging myself and seeing the results. In a way those 4 months there were a bit of a confidence booster, and more importantly reminded me that given the right opportunity one can succeed.

The latter part of the year and early part of this year, due to a major health problem, wasn’t so good. The one thing I have learnt which is actually true is that the old saying ‘your more likely to get a job if your already employed’. Being unable to look for work for over a month was demoralising enough, but then being out of work for 3 months was the pits.

In March I was offered a temp 3 month contract, with the chance of it becoming permanent afterwards. More out of desperation, I accepted the job. Because I had been unemployed for 3 months and was desperate to get back into work and not allow my skills to get ‘rusty’. There were a some downsides to the job, the hours and the pay. But it meant being able to get back into work, gain some more experience and offer my knowledge and skills to someone else.

Having put my heart and soul into the job and helping in getting the dept up and running more smoothly than it was at the very start, at the end of the 3 months there was no permanent contract. for me. In some ways disappointing, but also in some ways a relief. Working in a tiny admin office, inside a huge warehouse, being one of only two females on the entire warehouse floor was not ideal. In addition to this I was being constantly bombarded by guys, all from different backgrounds etc, which proved a problem with the language barrier and understanding, most of them were young and lacking in manners and patience insisting I deal with their stock queries now….this very instant, despite already dealing with 4 or 5 other guys who had similar stock queries and already demanded my help in the same way. Some people have no patience, and I have to admit my patience was being exhausted.

Being knocked back at the end of the 3 months didn’t do much for my confidence or morale. In my last posting on my blog I wrote about my contract coming to an end, what I didn’t mention was that I had felt for  about three  weeks beforehand that I was somehow being ‘driven out’. The bulk of the transition work was now done in those 3 months, my contract had gone over by another couple of extra weeks, but I noticed one or two things were happening that were making me feel ‘uneasy’. This was not any form of paranoia, it was simply things that had come to make sense, changes going on and so on. In short I was ‘sensing the lie of the land’ to coin an old expression. At the end of the 14 weeks I was advised I was no longer needed. Realistically they were not prepared to change me to a full salary, which was going to be quite a bit more than the agency rate I had been on all those weeks.

Once again I found myself out of work, and wondering where to go and what to do next. On the evening I lost my job, I found myself emailing a contact at one of the agencies who I had dealings with. She had set up an interview for me last November when my contract at Mondelez finished. (I was interviewed for a job in Coleshill on the morning of the same day that I was later rushed into hospital,  feeling extremely unwell and ended up having emergency surgery later that same night) Even though I was offered a second interview for that job, I had to pull out. But my instinct was if any one could get me a job interview asap this contact was the one I needed to get in touch with.

Come the following morning (Tuesday) I had a reply email from my contact, followed up by a phone call, and within a few minutes  I found myself being asked if I would like to attend an interview in Kings Norton, not too far from where I live. She said to me funnily enough we were talking about you yesterday, referring to a colleague, and said that I would be the sort of ideal person this company in Kings Norton were looking for, but she already knew I was working a temp contract, so had decided not to contact me. However, fate often plays a hand, and it was very strange how all this happened in the space of 24 hours and suddenly I was on my way to a job interview.

To cut a long story short, success! I had the interview, which is to cover a young lady going on maternity leave, to have twins. The contract is for about 12 months as a logistics administrator. The work is very in-depth, but is more about quality rather than quantity, which suits me perfectly. I am one of those people who prefers to go at a steady pace and gets things spot on, rather rush head in and make mistakes. I spent the following 2 days on the employers site training to see if I was happy to do the work, and once again I found  I was challenging myself, exploring my abilities and going beyond my known limits.

The real challenge came when after just a few days of training, Sophie (who is having twins) started her maternity leave on Tuesday of last week and I was doing the job on my own on the Wednesday.

Yesterday, I was given a contract letter to sign which from next week takes me off the agency books puts me onto a company contract with all the benefits and salary that goes with this role. What happens in 12 months time when the contract finishes and maternity leave is over is any ones guess, but for now I look forward to this very challenging and so far enjoyable job. The UK team who I will be working with consist of just six of us, and the company Railtech Uk Ltd, is part of the Railtech International France, who are specialists in their field.

In addition to all this, I have a great excuse to make sure I always have my camera with me, I am literally just a five-minute walk away from one of several openings into the Kings Norton local nature reserve, This is ideal for me if I am early in the morning, or fancy a relaxing stroll in the evening after finishing work, and I have been somewhat impressed by the different species of birds, butterflies and even dragonflies I have seen since walking through there in the past two weeks, this place is absolutely awesome and inspiring. I will soon be able to post up some of the photography I have already done in the reserve.

Yes…..good things do come to those who wait, and things do work out for the best in the end even though at the time we don’t see it.

 

 

 

Things Work Out

Because it rains when we wish it wouldn’t,
Because men do what they often shouldn’t,
Because crops fail, and plans go wrong-
Some of us grumble all day long.
But somehow, in spite of the care and doubt,
It seems at last that things work out.

Because we lose where we hoped to gain,
Because we suffer a little pain,
Because we must work when we’d like to play-
Some of us whimper along life’s way.
But somehow, as day always follows the night,
Most of our troubles work out all right.

Because we cannot forever smile,
Because we must trudge in the dust awhile,
Because we think that the way is long-
Some of us whimper that life’s all wrong.
But somehow we live and our sky grows bright,
And everything seems to work out all right.

So bend to your trouble and meet your care,
For the clouds must break, and the sky grow fair.
Let the rain come down, as it must and will,
But keep on working and hoping still.
For in spite of the grumblers who stand about,
Somehow, it seems, all things work out.

Poet: Edgar A Guest

 

Many thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

Bitter sweet!

Life had been a little bitter for me in the 3 months whilst I was out of work, but then when I started my temporary contract of employment with Mondelez International at Cadbury’s in Bournville, Birmingham…..the sweetness returned once again 😉 and that is not just in reference to a sweet chocolate bar.

I am aware I haven’t written any posts recently, but my job has kept me so busy and fulfilled. And I have to admit that when my contract with them is up in November, I am so going to miss it all so much, unless I am fortunate to secure a permanent post within the company, which I do hope so……but only time will tell.

My experience with this company has been nothing short of momentous. The experience and the knowledge I have gained has been incredible. It hasn’t been so much a job, but more a way of life. I have met some fantastic people and made many new friends, and in such a short time learnt so much about this massively global company and what it represents.

I can remember thinking when I first started working for this company, it would simply be interesting to see how that one yummy  bar of chocolate is created, and then ends up tickling  our taste buds. What I hadn’t realized was just how much work goes on behind the scenes in numerous departments to ensure totally that each and every bar of chocolate is a perfect product of enjoyment. I have been incredibly surprised to find out just what is involved in ensuring that all their products are looked after with such dedication to ensure it reaches the consumer in absolute prime condition and can therefore be enjoyed at its utmost in those few moments of pleasure. And this is not just down to bars of chocolate, Mondelez are responsible for so many other brand names of foods, and each and every product has the same incredible level of dedicated service and the highest level of care from choosing its producers, through production, even wrapping and then storage and transportation, right up to the moment it reaches us the consumer. Nothing is left to chance, everything has to be just so perfect, so that you, me and millions of people around the world can enjoy their favourite snack.

In addition to all this, I have found that for the first time in several years my mind has become significantly challenged in the work I do on the Co Pack  admin side of my job, this in itself I have found challenging and rewarding and has been part of the experience of helping me enjoy this job and indeed my life in general.  With depression, your self-esteem and confidence have a nasty habit of dwindling away to nothing, other times it can drop like an exploding bomb through a building by being wiped out ever so quickly, so in effect every day you survive becomes a challenge in itself………just to simply  carry on surviving. But these other challenges in my job, have served to remind me that I do have the ability and now a little bit  more confidence in myself. I have proved substantially my competence at doing certain things and carrying out certain tasks with a great team of management and colleagues, tasks I have never done before but have proved to others, and more importantly to myself that I can do them.  I have become more aware and understanding of why conformance plans and KPI reporting are so vitally important. I have also developed a much more intense understanding as to why planning production so far in advance is so vitally important to production of goods at the correct time, and everything that is involved behind the scenes, including ensuring the product itself has the correct wrapping on it.  The work may sometimes be repetitive, but it also ensures one never becomes complacent. I love the way this company does business, it is so open, which in this day and age is so refreshing to see, it is one of the few organizations who truly value its customers as well as the people who work for them. Oh, and I must not forget to mention they really do produce some delightful and fantastic snacks and food products, after all we are ALL entitled to enjoy moments of pleasure and joy.

Last week I had an appointment with my GP, the usual check up on my medication and to see how I am coping, even she had noticed a change in me from my last visit before I got this job. Once again we briefly talked about the chance of being eventually able to reduce and come off my meds. This would certainly be a challenge for me, but we both agreed it would be better to wait a little longer. Once this job contract does finish, unless I am in the position of walking into another job straight away, then we both know I am in for a very rough ride again. And so yet again, I will have to postpone reducing the higher dose of anti-depressant, before finally, I hope, completely do without them entirely.

Talking with one of my managers yesterday, he asked me if I was ok, I mentioned to him that I had panic attack a few nights ago. It had left me feeling somewhat physically and mentally drained.  It was about  the sudden realization that my contract was coming to an end, the lady whose job I have been covering will be coming back from maternity leave in a few weeks time, and my time in the job would be up. It hit me out of the blue, where do I go from here and what to do and what do I do next? Despite proving myself and my abilities as one individual within this job role within this global organization, it now means I have got to go through a period of uncertainty in applying to other companies for jobs. I have been promised an excellent reference, which is great, but the problem lies out there again with the job agencies and the companies who pick and choose a small hand full from hundreds of applicants. This means for every 50 to 100 jobs you apply for your lucky to get noticed enough to get just 1 or 2 interviews. Presenting yourself and handing over a glowing reference and being given a job offer is one thing, but just getting to that particular stage in this day and age is another story. In the meantime I have got to try to stay positive.

So unless a miracle does happen and another job becomes available within this organization in the next few weeks, then it looks like I am going to have to re write my CV from scratch and re invent myself….and so there sits another challenge for this weekend for me. Anyway I had best get started 😉   in the meantime, its time for some chocolate 🙂

 

 

 

Have a great weekend everyone, and many thanks for stopping by.

Allow yourself a few words of wisdom.

 

Allow Yourself 

Allow yourself to dream,
And when you do dream big

Allow yourself to learn
And when you do learn all you can

Allow yourself to laugh
And when you do share your laughter

Allow yourself to set goals
And when you do reward yourself as you move forward

Allow yourself to be determined
And when you do you will find you will succeed

Allow yourself to believe in yourself
And when you do you will find self-confidence

Allow yourself to lend a helping hand
And when you do a hand will help you.

Allow yourself relaxation
And when you do you will find new ideas.

Allow yourself love
And when you do you will find love in return

Allow yourself to be happy
And when you do you will influence others around you.

Allow yourself to be positive
And when you do life will get easier.
                                                                                                     

Catherine Pulsifer.

 

Have a great day everyone, and many thanks for stopping by.