#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.

#892 The Last Winter Walk

It felt like so long ago since I had done this.

These were my thoughts as I walked the 10 minutes from the car park to work, just before 7am this morning. I had had the last couple of Wednesdays off, but still, the previous ones I had worked I must have had a late shift, because this walk felt like something I hadn’t done in a LONG time.

It was peaceful. Still. Few people around. Working in the city outskirts, means that even in peak hour, there is a smaller group heading off to work and going about their day, much smaller in size than if you were to go, bang smack in the middle of the city, and have to scurry about like a hamster on a wheel.

It was still dark, and yet the first light of the day was starting to filter through. The Bolte Bridge’s lights shone above the water in the near horizon. Boats slept. Runners jogged/shuffled by with earphones on. The regular café guy started opening up shop, putting on the lights inside and taking out tables. Trams whizzed by silently.

Things were happening, and life was still moving. But it was all hush hush.

It was actually, beautiful.

I pondered this as I shoved my hands into my jacket pockets, borrowing my face into my scarf. It was still cold. I knew that the next two Wednesdays I had late shifts – therefore, I wouldn’t be walking like this, at 7 in the morning on those days. Rather, my start time would be at the leisurely hour of 3… PM.

I started to calculate. If I do two more late Wednesdays, and then I’m on holidays for a few weeks… I won’t be doing an early Wednesday shift, until September.

The next time I will be walking in the morning like this, it’ll be Spring.

Oh! I realised with excitement. This is my last Winter walk for the year.

Suddenly, EVERYTHING INSIDE OF ME HALTED. My legs kept moving forward tentatively, yet everything in my head whirred to a direct halt.

Redundancy. Moving on. New jobs.

I wouldn’t be here next Winter. This was my last Winter walk to work, EVER.

The acknowledgement suddenly saddened me. Sure it was cold… but here we were, months and months and months away from finishing up, and suddenly I was experiencing one of the many ‘lasts’ that I would inevitably come across as I made my way slowly but surely, to the work finishing line.

In this race, we were all crossing the line together. We were unified in our change, but it was still horribly bittersweet.

I was immediately relieved that I had made the Winter Walk realisation. I crossed the road, and paused near my work, taking some photos.

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Those pine trees I’d complained about, when they’d replaced them with the original palm trees years ago… I’ll miss them.

That street I walk up religiously to get my coffee fix… I’ll miss it.

That view. It’s pretty darn impressive, even in Winter. Even in the dark.

Those boats. They have allowed me to daydream and ponder as they waft and tilt over the swaying waters.

Even the God-damn mirrored elevator in the building.

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Sure, I’ll miss that too. What with the bright lights allowing you to see every pimple on your face, yet with enough of a warm glow that makes you feel like you too, might be able to jump in front of the cameras and give the latest news update.

Oh, it’s beginning. The ‘lasts’ are-a-coming.

Thank God for phones. Thank God for photos.

Because the memories will always remain. ♥

#843 Beneath blue skies…

Blue skies peeking from beneath the leaves of trees:

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The pristine expanse of water, stretching out around boats and travelling up the horizon of skyscrapers, for as far as the eye can see:

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And then a bridge in lights – the glow representative of the stunning day that was, or IS.

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Noble, worthy, and wonderful things to focus on and remember about today, especially as only hours after that last photo, I went home early from work because there was a golf ball stuck in my throat.

I’m not well. 😦

I am reminded of my Mum’s words. Whenever I have expressed to her deep frustration or complaints about life, she has responded with this:

“You have to grow thick skin, and be hard, like a rock. So hard, so nothing can get you.”

This soft girl needs some thick skin then. I need it so that the ball in my throat pales in comparison, and I need it so I can focus on those blue skies with more appreciation…

 

#810 The scenic route Home

It doesn’t matter if I’ve been on the other side of town ALL day.

It doesn’t matter if I’ve just been stuck in a traffic jam while heading home from work.

Nor like today, does it matter if I’ve driven for about 4 hours and just wanna get home.

Because I’ll ALWAYS take the scenic route.

To be fair, if I take the extended freeway length and get off it closer to home, it may or may not be 5 minutes shorter. Certainly, going that way means I don’t have to get off the freeway earlier, and contend with traffic lights and 60-80 km/h traffic through Frankston and Mt Eliza…

But then I wouldn’t see this.

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Driving an extra 5 minutes is totally worth it. Every single time I sneak a look at the water when I drive past Frankston Waterfront – every time. I’m not the only one though. You can tell the 60km/h speed limit is as much for the water-gazers all turning around the bend in unison and getting perilously close to one another as they take longer than necessary looks upon the ocean before them, as much as it is because the road curves.

I’ve had both good days and bad days looking out towards that view as I drive home.

And each time, I am brought a renewed sense of Hope, no matter how shitty things may have been that day.

Today’s mood? Reflective. And appreciative, that I was Home. ♥♥♥

#638 Park… Beach.

I was always going to take baby girl to the park today. She had been pointing at the expansive fantasy-themed park since we moved over a year ago, and STILL we hadn’t taken her there.

It was on the edge of Frankston Waterfront, the beach so to speak, and lo and behold today was also…

Beach weather.

What to do, what to do? Well, we went to the Park…

But a Mum is always prepared. After 10 minutes of watching her sweat it out on the play ground (with me sweating it out as I followed her around), I decided enough was enough.

“Baby girl do you wanna see where the water is?”

(Does a sunflower like to face the sun???)

And just like that, we transformed. Sandals to thongs, dresses to bathers, with towels slung over our shoulders, we shuffled through the sand to the gloriously outstretched clear shallow waters that looked toward the Pier.

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We were only there for a short time – next time I will bring more meter money! – but, my oh my.

What a summer to look forward to 🙂

#594 10 Minutes to spare

I had about 10 minutes to spare.

I was at the post office a bit too early, the result of being too damn organised, and so I looked around me at the area in which my work resides, wondering how I would fill the time amidst endless cafes, despite being already-caffeinated (but first, coffee, ALWAYS) and yet not being hungry enough to call in somewhere for an early lunch.

There was no point in walking all the way to work, and then coming back…

Then I spotted sun, and glistening water, through the alleyway up ahead of me, and suddenly I knew how to while away the time…

And so minutes later, I was grateful. Generally speaking, we don’t often have the time to just sit and be in the moment, amidst the busy-ness of life, and so to be so organised as to be so early for work as to be so early for the post office, well, I was going to enjoy this moment of peace and extreme organisation as much as I could.

This was my peripheral vision… from my left

To the centre

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And finally the right

A glorious landscape of water, and boats. I sat there in the chilly air, cold, but with my bomber jacket keeping me somewhat warm as I sat close to the water’s edge on a wooden bench, just taking it all in.

The strong ripple of water.

The rowers competing against one another amidst the endless water up ahead.

The sky-scrapers.

Boats of every shape and size.

The freeway far away, with seemingly few cars, for what was a weekend day.

And then to my right I heard some noise, and coming from afar I saw a young boy with what I assumed was his little sister. I felt a pang of longing as I immediately thought of my baby girl at home, but then as this girl scooted around here and there, the boy keeping a close eye on her, I realised if baby girl was here she would launch herself into the water, and so the longing quickly passed replaced by immediate relief.

Phew.

Yet still, I kept a close eye on them as they passed me by. The boy put his younger sister up on the raised garden bed, and she ran off while he kept close to her side.

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I wasn’t with my baby girl, but I could appreciate the sweet sight of another on the last Saturday of this sunshine-y cold September morning.

And just like that, my time was up. It was 10am. I stood up, and with an invigorated swing in my step, I headed off to do my jobs.

#493 Emerging light of the shortest day

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Does that picture look like something from a science fiction movie?

In fact, I took the above photo on my way in to work this morning. I had to capture something to mark this most exciting of days, and when I saw the image before me, the soft mist turning the horizon into a hazy dream, boats still and sleeping in the foreground, while behind the tall buildings and bright red lights of civilisation, there shone something more.

Something grand.

Something promising.

Something, to HOPE for.

Because today is the shortest day of the year. From now on out, the daylight in each day can only grow incrementally, and with that increase, comes the prospect of brilliant sunshine-y times ahead.

I know we are only 21 days into Winter. However, a glass half-full sunshine loving Leo as myself needs something to look forward to, and the shortest day of the year during Winter, is about the most exciting thing to happen today.

Exciting, and gratifying.

And so it helps, it fell on a day that ended up turning rainy, grey and miserable.

But that’s ok. Because the only way is up.