You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2010.

There much talk about the ‘Corporate Jungle’ and how to survive. Fine and dandy.

What I’m looking for is some kind of guide to stumbling through the nightmare that is a large government organisation without  sinking into the bog and slowly suffocating.
If you thought this post would have the answers: sorry, can’t help you! I am fumbling through the muck myself.

In the past year I have moved into ‘middle management’ at my organisation, and I find that the higher I go, the deeper my cynicism and fatigue with the whole system. Seeing how it really works is terrifying!
So when I’m unable to function because incompetancy and dishonesty has waddled up and slapped me in the face *again* these are some of my coping mechanisms, feel free to try them if you like:

  • read food blogs, like Joy the Baker or The Julie /Julia Project (now a movie, the original blog is still fonking himilhilarious and also contains many gripes about working in government, plus butter)
  • tweet it out
  • office stationary origami- I like to make pinwheels out of coloured postits
  • have a really big cup of tea and take your public service right to a 20 minute rest break

The trick is to distract yourself, remind yourself there are better things in this world and shake it off. Then look at the best way of cleaning up the mess and making sure it doesn’t happen again.
You could try to stab back or just give up and decide it’s not worth trying in this place anymore, but that, my friend, is the express ticket to becoming the same bureaucratic moron who just drove you nuts.

The last resort, if you just can’t take the crap and can’t turn off your brain, is best phrased in the advice given to me by a HR manager (on her last day as she flew the coop) “Get out! Find a secondment and walk away before you go crazy too!  This place is full of crazy people, and they aren’t going anywhere!”

Jumspstarts that revive my shrivelled mind:

  • French Earl Grey tea. I could sniff this stuff all day long. If angels farted this would be what it smells like
  • Big blue skies that go on forever
  • Winding roads through rainforests or bush
  • Those yellow daisies that grow by the side of the road and in fields
  • Watching guinea pigs eat – squee factor of 50+
  • The Psychedelic Furs

When my mother died a little while ago the house was innundated with flowers, most of them lilies, being the flower associated with funerals and death. I have to say I am not a great fan of lilies to begin with, and a houseful tends to get on the nose. As DH said one day when he walked through the door- ” did someone burn plastic in here?”

Perhaps they make a good metaphor for life and death, as they start looking strong and vibrant, but when they die they don’t dry and fade, they rot. Fast. Usually leaving a few stains for good measure.

So while I was mourning surrounded by floral tributes to decay and death, I really appreciated 2 wonderful bouquets I received from mum’s friends which made a far better tribute to the passing of a beautiful life, with not a lily among them.

The first was an amazing bunch of long-stemmed pink roses from a friend who runs a florist that specialises in roses (here’s a plug, they are wonderful). They smelled (or smelt? the dictionary seems to think either or) glorious, and lasted a long time, slowly fading away. Their soft beauty was a real token of life’s transience, in an uplifting way.

The other beautiful bouquet came about 3 months later, excellent timing in fact. When Mum died it was so busy packing up her things, planning the funeral, talking and corresponding with people, staying upright, that I didn’t have much time to be really sad. It hits you a while later when everything settles and you realise that the ‘event’ is over but you now have to live with this hole inside you for the rest of your life. So these delicate hydrangeas were a gentle breathe of relief.

Needless to say, if someone you love dies, I sure as hell won’t be sending you any stinky lilies

2010 is the year of rebooting my creative self, who has been on hiatus for a couple of years now.

Life came up and booted me on the bum, and my creative well burbled ‘I’m not taking any of this shit, I am an artiste‘ and dried itself up.

I certainly never stopped appreciating beautiful things, but was quite content to look, touch, taste, smell, hear and marvel, but that has been it

No more! I am splendiferous, and I will…

  • learn to weave
  • push myself to grow and create
  • stop using patterns (or modify existing ones)
  • embrace my stranger urges
  • no longer be afraid, or tired
  • leave things in my head
  • post once a week