ImaWestie

Raising little Westies, and life as parent of a special needs son

Tag Archives: work-life

More milestones

I’ve been taking a few moments to review what I’ve written in the past, to think about, what I should be writing about both in the future – and right now. Because of course, right now will bridge what I have written about in the past, with what I want to write about in the future.

Of course, I will continue to write for myself. And hope that some of you out there will find value in what I am writing.

I’m not sure how normal this is, but it would really appear I must have a whole bunch of drop-in-once “followers” because my follower to like ratio is really quite terrible. I passed both 1000 likes in total, and 100 followers, within the last ten days. Over on other social media, I am back onto Twitter more than I have been for a while. While I’m not adding my own photos, I’m certainly active following other users on Instagram, and I’m making an effort to remember to use Facebook not as myself but as my page.

But, if I’m not sure why I’m online… is it still about Autism, or not? … then there remains somewhat of a problem.

If I’m here to be a consumer. That’s fine.

I think, though, for better or worse, there will be some politics flying around this space for the coming few months.

Local to my current home, and my intended home, and more broad election theme coverage (such as the National Disability Insurance Scheme, should any candidates or party mouthpiece bother to mention such a thing). Role on September, so I can return to normal scheduling!

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Capital idea

After somewhat of a break, I find myself back in Canberra.

My work here resumed part way through last week. My break was longer than I had hoped for, but not quite excessively so.

My kids have returned to school.

My wife is looking to broader opportunities at work.

My work… well, it’s mayhem.

I’m at a bit of a stage where I am rethinking the frequency of my blogging. There was a definite stage there where it felt a chore not a means of reaching out, communicating or expression of my thoughts and feelings.

I’ve been very interesting in following #Auspol on twitter since Julia Gillard announced the impending Australian Federal election which is due in September this year. This seems directly related to the mayhem at work. I’m a bit sick of hearing about Modern Families. Great TV show, I’m hoping it disappears as a slogan, though.

So, while I’m back… I dunno if it’s “blog a day” back, but yep… I’m back.

Success in 2013

This year the 21st century becomes a teenager.

The teens are typically troubling times in most of our lives, with a lot of change and that’s how I’m feeling at this point. I’ve turned 40, and I’m looking at a year ahead with some uncertainty about how I will be able to measure my success.

I have some aspirations, but if I look closely at them they are routes to success not success in themselves. I need to look more closely at why I want these things, and identify what it is about them that marks them as signs of success. Many of the things I am striving for are intangible, which exacerbates my issue.

The whole SMART concept seems to be heading out of vogue

Maybe. Maybe my success will be achieved when I can drop the whole SMART attitude to my personal life? It seems to result in more concrete results, results that I know when I have achieved, results which I can help my family to celebrate.

I am very outcome focussed in my career. I really enjoy jobs where I have targets identified and where I can look to some kind of scorecard and confirm that “yes, I’m doing my job.” Yet, it seems I may be on a path to deviate away from that kind of work at the moment.

So what might be the outcomes rather than the indicators of success for the Westies for 2013?

  • Continued increase in the range of situations where Bob the Builder Fan can resolve the issue through verbal communication
  • Complete the assessment process for Magpie, to either confirm there is a need for a treatment program… or not?
  • Ensure that Princess P completes primary school ready for high school – both intellecutally AND emotionally. Given that she will be amongst the youngest students in Year 7 at the start of 2013.
  • Support Bec through training, work experience, volunteer work, so that at the end of 2013 she has a clearer understanding of what her future direction should be
  • Have a house that is market ready. But given what’s across the road, whatever I do to my own house might not mean I have a great circumstance to sell it in (honestly, clik that link and see on A Current Affair what I have across the road from my house).
  • For myself… be in a job which is covering my cost of living – with a better idea of what that means if it is another contract role – with a suitable buffer to allow relocating my family out of this suburb if that’s what makes sense in 10 months time.
  • And again for myself, have committed to commencing (if not completed) additional study which will help my future career. At this stage, Business Analyst or Project Manager certification, or possibly an MBA.

I think those things are still specific enough, without being so carved in stone that there is no room for an alternative solution I haven’t considered yet.

Food for future thought.

New Years 2013

Resolutions for 2013.

  • Become less unfit. This is not “become super fit.”
  • Drink less, and have more alcohol free days.
  • Work toward relocating my family to a new city in time for school year starting in 2014.

That’s it.

PS. Yes, this is last night’s blog.

The Bourne Legacy

I absolutely love the whole Bourne series of films. They do a fantastic job of setting a stage within a very close-to-real universe which could believably overlap with the one the rest of us happen to inhabit.

Then along came The Bourne Legacy.

A fantastic cinematic experience with a great cast, and a great storyline. Without going too deep, it just happens to be very similar to the movies that came before. It relies on those movies to set the scene. But if you think your experience with the earlier movies is going to tell you everything there is to know about The Bourne Legacy … well you’re in for a shock. You may even get upset that it’s not what you were expecting.

Just like getting on an airplane bound for Rome, and hopping off in … Holland?

Or expecting that your experience with previous children – maybe even children with a disability – will prepare you for a child with Autism.

Taken as an experience on their own, a child with Autism on the most part is a joy. One that may be a lot of hard work. But in the main, Autism itself does not preclude a full enjoyable relationship between child and carer. Let assumptions based on other children assume control of the journey though, and everyone involved will become confused, upset, and possibly needlessly angry.

Enjoy the movie you have. Stop wishing it was a movie that was never made.

Stretching

Lizzie… on one of her cleaner moments!

Today was a bit of a big one at Westie Central. For the first day since I came home from working in Canberra, Bec had to work, leaving me with all three kids all at once. Which of course is a Big Deal for a dad, even though I’m one of the first to say if they are my kids it’s parenting not babysitting.

There has been far too much electronic time happening in our place since Christmas (or even since Magpie’s birthday). Yesterday I thought that Bec’s return to work was a perfect opportunity to do something about that. So the kids were put on notice that once I returned from my own run, they would be coming with me for a run. So I ran my lap of the suburb, did a few chores and we hit the pavement.

There is a very convenient landmark which is almost exactly 1km from our front gate, which is right on the path of a running track. So all of us headed for that landmark (it’s a bridge), me leading he way with BTB Fan and the dogs. Given the dogs had already finished about 8km, Howie was still eager to go while Lizzie was a bit over it. Yet in only a small fraction longer a time than my standard time, there I was at that bridge with BTB Fan and two dogs.

About a minute later up came Princess P.

Several minutes later again… Magpie finally staggered up. Grumbling about not being at home.
My understanding is the run home was quicker by all parties – except me, who at this point was pushing 10km for the day, and had mown the lawn as well…

Hitting the pool

Later we headed off to the pool. Both Magpie and Princess P had been told point blank that they would be requried to swim a lap of the full size outdoor pool, because with all the pool time they have had they have spent none of it improving their swimming. I take responsibility for that, but I will reqiure them to put some effort into improving the situation in my own way, if they don’t fix it themselves.

This was accomodated quite readily by Princess P. But somewhere it seems the message had not filtered all the way into Magpie’s head.

As a result… he was less prepared than I had thought he was.

So I had my first in-pool meltdown. In front of some of his school friends, as well as a lifeguard…. Which ended with him swimming his first ever lap of the Olympic pool, back-stroke. Well done mate! At which point I told him that he needed to do it “freestyle” (meaing “front crawl“), and we had another meltdown. In the pool. But again, I perservered, and he swum the lap in the stroke I expected him to use, albeit freaking out and grabbing the lane rope every three to ten strokes.

At the end of it all, he was glad he’d done it, though.

Later, I went through much the same with my littlest Westie, “swimming” (with me supporting his hips) two lengths of the outdoor childrens pool.

Not the best trip to the pool for us. We had been going so well before Christmas, too, but with our routine broken… it was as good an opportunity to establish the routine I need these kids to follow, if they want me to take them to the pool every day while it’s hot and I’m not working.

Stretching our boundaries will bring some growth. One way or another.

My second Fitness blog

My second Fitness blog.

Westie Fitness

So far I’m still in my first week of training. It has been rough!

My thighs are killing me! The temperature has been swinging like a pendulum, hot now cold and raining. My technology assistance has been a bit sporadic, I started with one app which let me down – not only the app but also the support. However, Map My Run has been looking after me quite nicely. So far I have tracked my run “around the block*” twice with that application and it’s served the purpose splendidly, as well as helping me track my cool-down walks, my trips to the swimming pool, and my swimming sessions.

However, one of my swimming sessions had to be cancelled – due to the massive storm we experienced on Christmas Eve, the outdoor pool was closed in case of lightning, while at the same time the indoor pool is closed for repair.

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Launching Westie Fitness

Westiefit BlogAfter some mild experimenting with apps, I worked out that my own fitness is important enough that I should microblog, photograph, and full on blog about it.

Yesterdays post really belongs in the final category. I would really like to rabbit on about fitness enough that doing that here would probably be distracting or annoying. So… I’ve launched my fitness blog at Westie Fitness. So far it’s off the ground with an About page, and not much else.

So I hope I haven’t caused too much rucus with my app experimentation. From time to time there may be an announcement about the other page… but it will be low key!

Runkeeper – an iPhone app review

T

20121223-134104.jpgToday I set out to make good on some poor habits I have been living to over the last ten or so months in Canberra.
While there has never been a problem with the food I’ve been eating, my activity levels in Canberra were far lower than up till the end of 2011. So I thought I could employ some tech to help put my body back to normal.
First cane a surprise that I’m no heavier than I ever have been, but the waistband of my pants says that’s because fat is bigger than muscle.

I went to the apps store and downloaded RunKeeper, and found it to be easy to set up a profile and navigate. I went for a run and found it easy to use, and the voice prompts were enough to motivate more effort than I had been putting in.

Then I got back home.

I wanted to tweet about my running.
I ended up logged out, which is no big drama. Except it wouldn’t let me back in, and even though it has sent me one email it tells me that my email address is not registered.
Not only that. Their help page says to report this, I should submit a ticket.
Which requires of course that I log in …

Fail, guys. It was good till you locked me out but now it’s just dead storage on my iPhone.

End of the world

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Today, as predicted by the Mayans, the world ended.

Not only for me, but for many of my colleagues in Canberra. Today, regardless of how much of the job remained yet to be commenced – we were directed to down tools and return home.

At this stage for most of us it seems there will not be the same job to come back to next year. For some of us there may be a new job in much the same team. For others comes the chance to “pursue other opportunities”. Yeah, right, as if any us wish to do that at Christmas?

For a second year running, I am facing Christmas “between jobs”. This year I am better prepared.

Four days, and the countdown is on.

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