#1284 Lucky 7

As I drove into work on the dreaded Monash this morning, the car slowed, painfully so… for the longest time.

There was an accident. I shook my head. I was going to be late.

As I walked into work the drizzle intensified, cascading down over my face. I couldn’t help my amused smile. Thanks for the lovely send off Docklands.

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And then as I started up my computer, two programs weren’t working… I had to call IT.

Face palm.

All on my very last day of work.

It was finally HERE.

It was the weirdest sensation. I felt anxious and intensely nervous through most of the day. Things were emphasised to me at every turn… when I went up a lift “this will be my last time travelling to level 3.” When I scraped my bowl of its weetbix residue… “this will be my last dish from this kitchen.”

When I locked my locker for the last time.

When I logged off my computer for the last time.

Even going upstairs for a break with my colleagues got me over-sentimental. I in fact stopped going up for tea years ago, back when I started my morning coffee walks instead, and then there was the whole writing-at-the-desk-during-any-break thing…

I had to force myself to breathe. Pause. Reflect.

Many things made me feel better.

Firstly, this was not I, and I alone leaving. It was all of us. Our entire department and so many more. I was the second last of our team to leave, and so many had already walked my steps, felt my dis-ease, the discomfort and the bittersweet emotions at leaving.

It had happened to ALL my colleagues. My friends.

Secondly.… well change. It is inevitable. If this hadn’t happened now, we would have all been content in just going through the motions, the routine of work that we know like the back of our hand, becoming complacent in our roles and not expanding our mind and life journey with new learnings, adventures and places to see, people to meet.

There is so much to see. So many people to meet.

Memories flooded back to me as I looked around. The people I had seen come, and go. The places where secrets were shared. The darting looks and cheeky glances. The meltdowns. The showdowns. The ups, and downs.

Almost 12 years of my life.

I got my last coffee with a colleague… and today it was necessary to get dessert. Sure I had leftover cake from the weekend at home…

But it was my LAST DAY EVER. Screw that.

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It was sublime.

As I sent off a billion emails to my personal email, going through folders and deleting files here, there and everywhere, the feeling of anxiety grew.

I was deleting, and removing any remnants of me, from my locker… my desk… my entire email account. 1000s upon 1000s made their way into the graphic rubbish can on screen.

And my anxiety grew.

I was forgetting something. I met with HR. Got my papers. Went through more emails. Checked my lists… again. Went through my empty locker… again.

I had done everything I had to… and yet there was the strongest urge that I had forgotten something.

And just like that, at the acknowledgment of my lost feeling, I realised.

I felt like I was forgetting something, because a piece of me was going to remain there, even after I walked out the doors.

You can’t just flick a switch. Walk out without turning back. Expect to not have a memory lingering. Some laughter floating through the halls.

You can’t do it. Not after so long. Not after having created some of the best memories with the best people you could ask for.

You couldn’t, just, forget.

With that in mind, knowing I was going to have to leave a piece of me behind…. I walked out.

And instead of the grey morning and drizzle I had walking in with, now there was sunshine.

There was a new adventure waiting for me.

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And it’s a bit hard for me to believe now, so early… but I think it will be even better than this one.

And that’s because of my lucky number. Numbers. Because I have lots. And it’s not just 7.

😉

 

 

 

#1283 My new furry friend

I haven’t written too much about the feline addition to our family. To be honest, I am a bit hard on Mister F.

I know I am being totally unfair. At the beginning I would constantly reference him to my childhood cat… let’s call her ‘Incredible.’ Incredible was a beautiful tabby. She was smart and friendly, with a touch of cheekiness and strong foundations in dependability, and was so obedient. Oh my. She never misbehaved or did anything wrong, and easily became the favourite cat of my parents too.

She was, quite simply, Incredible. 

She wouldn’t even meow when she wanted to be let out. You would just notice her gone, and then find her by the back door waiting for someone to come along and see her.

Incredible had a strong sixth sense too. I remember a few times in my late teens when I came home, and she was sitting on the front porch step, waiting for me to walk up even though I had been in Hubbie’s (then boyfriend) car for 10 minutes, having some kind of argument.

She sat and waited patiently.

I remember another time in my early teens, when I came outside to the back step and started to cry. Something had made me very sad. And she just stayed there with me. She didn’t meow for food. She didn’t do anything to suggest she wasn’t aware of my state of being… rather the way she went silent, sitting by my side and just being there, showed to me that she knew.

She was there for me.

It was a very hard day when I realised she wasn’t eating. I immediately knew something was up. A vet visit discovered a tumour, and it had spread inside of her. She was subsequently put to sleep.

My childhood best friend of 11 and a half years was gone.

I can then be forgiven for taking so long to get another cat. 16 years in fact.

I didn’t realise how much of Incredible was still in me. How much of her I still mourned when we got Mister F.

Mister F would jump up on the island bench… repeatedly – “Mister F! How dare you! Incredible never did that!”

Mister F started scratching our couch – “Mister F! Stop it! You’re so stubborn! Incredible always listened to us!”

Mister F would not eat, shock horror, cooked chicken – “If Incredible was here, she would smash your meal! You don’t appreciate good food, pft.”

Chicken was Incredible’s favourite.

But I’ve realised I have to lay off Mister F. I have to give him space to be his own cat.

I have to give him space to be his own kind of Incredible.

Today he showed me something that twigged something deep inside of me. I had come home upset about something, and sat on the couch quite despondent… he reached his paws up to the couch, before jumping up next to me.

He didn’t just stay there though. He went further, placing his paws on my legs, as if to say “hey, I’m here.”

I pet him. Sure this cat wanted attention. But again and again he came back, resting his paws on my leg, and I couldn’t help but think, ‘there’s something here.’

Just like that day on the back step with Incredible, now I could see Mister F’s sixth sense… there was something incredible happening.

Mister F was there for me. And he got in quite close, leaning against me as I sat there, thinking.

We can’t all be Incredible. But in Mister F’s case, I think he is on his way to becoming Mister Fantastic.

#1277 Hidden work emails

The end, is nigh.

At my work. I don’t even want to say anything too soon for fear of things getting dragged out further, but let’s just say my time at my current place of employment… well it won’t be so current anymore.

I am ready to move on.

A couple of months ago, perhaps not so much. I was feeling very bittersweet about the whole thing, wondering what I would do after it all (uh, write more?!) I was questioning my future, and was thinking about the people mostly, those I had made memories with for the past 11 and a half years.

But as the weeks have gone by, and many colleagues have already left, along with the fact that we are still here 4 months after we were meant to have left, a total of 18 months AFTER being told about our redundancy… well I am ready.

I really truly, think I…  AM… READY.

There is barely nothing to do. We are hanging around at work waiting for problems to arise so we can fix them, before the official migration interstate happens. And as we wait, we… do what we like.

Today I was getting ready and sorting my things by going through emails. Not those work-related, tips on how to write a resume and grab the attentions of your preferred employer emails…

Rather the emails I’ve been sending and receiving for over a decade, between me and my work friends.

What a time warp. So many things have transpired and gone down and exploded and sailed, all with a lot of cat photos, food porn and plenty of coffee walks in between. 😉

So I have collated a few of those cheeky work emails for you to read and hopefully enjoy, even if you have no idea what or WHO they are about…

work emails that happened when we were supposed to be working,

when we were supposed to be not listening, and

when we were supposed to be not talking.

And before any potential work friends of mine meltdown when they see this… RELAX. I am only repeating on here MY WORDS. Only.

Still, they paint a little story. Read on. 🙂 (Photos included were actual photos included in original emails)

 

“I think I need to try all their pastries… just to makes sure they’re up to scratch, u know”

“He WAS chirpy today! OMG you’re killing me!”

R things progressing?

How the hell will I wait ’til thursday to find out?

Oh oh! I’m parked at remand, maybe u can move ur car when I leave 5:10???”

“Yes!

What would you say if I told you I brought you in a donutella? Would you like it now or after? ;)”

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“OMG yes just in time for as this audio assault arrives beside me”

“Please don’t feel pressured… I understand.. if u wanna say something im totally here (!), but if u feel uncomfortable I get that too.

But I am here if u get the urge to say something. Hey u could also say something really vague and let me interpret. Lol

Joking joking. Or am I ?;)”

“No problems! Even if u wanna wait until the day to confirm, up to u 🙂 when it comes to coffee and catch ups I say yes very easily and quickly lol”

“I don’t watch the Voice but I saw bits of it on Sunday and everyone was raving about how amazing Ricky is, if I was on that show and he turned around for me, I would throw myself on him!”

“How’s your coffee today? Mine is really good!”

silence human

“I think I dreamt about u again! But u know when u feel like someone featured in ur dream but u cant remember any detail? Like that”

“Ok…. Well think of it as a cry out for help, where you can help a poor Mum who has had very very little sleep get some sense of normality back in her day with some caffeinated goodness.

And, if that fails, here is Ricky Martin: (this is not the same photo, but meh)

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In not knowing who to post for you, I’ve just thought to go with who to post for ME, lol!”

“Let’s be honest, all you’ve been eating is herbs today, so you can totally have more sweets”

“By the way i’m nice and warm now after my big cap!”

i want coffee cat

(And I end with my favourite exchange…)

“I can’t remember what we used to call the greasy ogler, so I’ll just go with greaseball.

He walked past me this morning (past Xs desk) and I looked up with a normal smile because I SERIOUSLY DIDN’T KNOW HE WAS WALKING BY! And he did that flick of his head where it was as if he was gonna look away but then quickly turned back because he saw I smiled. I was so bloody disgusted and upset that I let him think I was FRIENDS with him.

Then he just walked by again, totally looking the whole time as if waiting for a smile. Because I’m actually sitting here doing work rather than ogling people in the office (like, honestly) I didn’t notice him ‘til the very end, but thank God I only looked up with a fairly serious look.

I notice only him on his own around lately, so I hope his horrible posse has dismembered.

Ugh.

Hope you have a nice greaseball-free day!”

Ahh, memories. 🙂 ♥♥♥♥

#1254 The first production

Hubbie and I are always telling baby girl she can pick any extra-curricular activity she likes… like sport, or a musical instrument.

But tonight another area of possible interest emerged…

Because tonight, baby girl was a penguin.

She was in her Madagascar school production 🙂

She had no leading role. Cuter though, she was part of a whole swagger of penguins (more like, a waddle) and they were all dressed in black and white, wearing white vests with ties, and orange hats on their head to serve as beaks.

Oh my. How my eyes welled up.

They came on stage twice during the show. We found her amidst the groups, pointed and clapped and cheered. At the end of the show the entire school came onto the stage, and the preps were at the front, youngest as they are…

And guess who was clear and centre in front of us?

Our ♥

I tell you, watching her perform her moves, sing along with the group and make out the actions, looking out into the crowd while beaming happily, my heart actually SUNG.

My eyes welled up so much, I could barely see. Hubbie and I waved at her excitedly. Blew her kisses. Gave her plenty of thumbs up.

And I couldn’t help but be transported to when I was 16. Sure, a tad older than baby girl. But I was in year 10, and remember being part of about 7 acts for our end of school revue.

I remember the buzz clearly. I remember the feeling of excited anticipation as people rushed behind the curtain. It was dark, and it was all happening in a frenzied quiet.

It was magic.

I remember that fondly. Sure I never went into that line of work, but I developed a tremendous amount of respect for those that do, as I got a taste of it myself… I felt what it was like, to be a performer. Where the world is your stage…

I don’t know what the future holds for baby girl. But I do know that she had a great time tonight, and that is as good a start as any to start creating good first-time memories… ♥

(waddle waddle waddle).

#1250 The different ways to appreciate my friends

A recurrent theme for me in this gratitude blog is in finding different ways and discovering various angles in which to appreciate the same thing, place, event, food… or people.

And in life, it is common that you find yourself repeatedly thankful for the same thing, many times.

Consider it something truly special, if you find it. It’s not repetitive or mundane.

It’s magic. Blissful. Electric. Beautiful.

To find yourself anew with wonder, happiness and a heart full of love, at the same thing again and again… it’s a blessing.

And so again tonight. Dinner out with friends. Maybe not the number of us that there were meant to be, so hearts were missing… but the hearts there were full of love regardless. ❤️

And how do I pinpoint, and make notice of the different ways in which the night made me smile, filled my soul with joy, and truly made me appreciative of the night?

Well, straight off, Thursday night out. It’s practically still mid-week, and us mums were rocking it, school routines and all waiting for us the next day.

Stuff it.

Nothing says ‘stuff it’ better than a mid-week cocktail.

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Stuff it.

And then there were the moments. The constant talking, how silence DIDN’T fill the air…

The coriander.

My name in their drinks.

The spiciness.

How nothing else was open after we ate, and yet we idled about walking from one place to the next, biding time, while we talked to our hearts content.

Or how we stood talking for half a length of a movie outside the cinemas… just chatting, laughing and sharing stories.

Or how we talked a further 20 minutes in the middle of a vacated shopping centre as we said our goodbyes.

And then said some more…

And so you see, it’s all these things that made this night with old friends so unique. And actually, it isn’t at all common, no matter how many times we catch up, where we eat, who is there, or what we do.

It’s in the memories shared with those you love, and that is always special.

Look after your friends. Good ones are hard to find.

 

 

#1237 Revisiting sweet strawberry memories

It took me a long time to work out if we should go or not.

But this morning, 2 hours before the session was to begin, I quickly logged onto the website and booked a workshop for baby girl.

I knew it was going to be sunny, and I knew the day would be good.

Deep down, I knew.

Because although this was baby girl’s first time at Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm, she had kind of been before… when I was only 4 months pregnant with her, in my tummy.

Back then it had been strawberry picking season, and I had picked loads to take home and DEVOUR.

Today we were in off-season, so instead, baby girl made an enormous chocolate shard. 🙂

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It was a school holiday activity. There were kids all around the room, with melted chocolate on their plates, adding mini marshmallows, little chocolates, coconut, honeycomb and cocoa puffs to their giant freckle creation.

Into the freezer it went, coming out all hard and ready to EAT!

More than the fun chocolate activity, for me was going to a place that we had been to so many years before, and which held such fond memories of a really exciting, happy, and hopeful time in our lives.

Nothing has changed.

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The strawberries may be covered from frost in the far distance, but we are…

forever excited,

forever happy,

forever HOPEFUL.

And the sun shining down on us today proved that more than ever.

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#1214 The cycle of work and life

In this last month or so at work, we wait with nervous anticipation at the sole mercy and direction of management, as to when it will be our last day.

EVER.

Our job responsibilities have started migrating interstate – people will be starting to do our job, over there, in a number of days.

The countdown is on.

And today a work colleague observed something. She commented how our workload was reducing slowly, and in no time it would be the very small workload we used to have back in the day, when we first walked through those doors, many years ago.

A small workload, minuscule, compared to our job today. Weirdly, we observed that as we are nearing the end of our work days, we are coming full circle.

It isn’t just the workload though. I realised that not only were we going back in time with how much (or should I say, how little) we were meant to be doing… but we were also going back about a decade, to the same group of people.

Because those who had come after me, were already gone. Going. They had taken early leave… found another job… or left conveniently right when all of this craziness began.

Leaving me, and the original crew.
Those who were there when I arrived. Those who came shortly after. Those who were in other departments, but ended up joining ours over time.

It was going back, to the good ol’ days.

And although I share some special friendships with those who have already left… there is something nostalgic about walking out of those doors for the last time, alongside those you walked in with.

I know, it will be hard.

I say that I can’t wait to turn my back on the Docklands Winter and never have to work within its windy grasp again… but on that last shift, I will pause, and look at the water shimmering amidst boats in the morning dawn, and reflect.

I know I can’t wait to never have to set my alarm again for the insane hour of 5am… but come Wednesdays, and I’ll be wondering where all my colleagues are.

And I know I can’t wait to move on, and go onto bigger and better things… because I know they are waiting for me…

But it’ll be terribly bittersweet. I have been there for over 11 years. About a third of my life. And the friendships I’ve made, the drunk stories from Christmas parties I can tell, the gossip I’ve been privy to, the big news items I broke, the laughter, emails, in-jokes, work lingo, industry speak, insider knowledge, hour long d&ms, and the 45,721 coffee runs I’ve walked…

I know I will cry. People might put on a show and act like they don’t care.
But I do. The people and the memories will be with me always.

And so, it makes sense that at the end of the production line, we are slowly heading back, to day 1.

And with all that said… I don’t mind if they drag this out, just a little longer.

I will stay. I will wait.