20 September 2014

Our Grand Design update

House Plans with Measurements[11] Earlier this year I mentioned that we will be embarking on some renovations at home and that we were waiting for approval of plans from the council. At the time, I was a little optimistic and believed the plans would be approved late in April. April came and went, and our architect only submitted the plans for approval early in May. Six weeks turned into four months, but finally, we have council approved plans, which means we can now go ahead and get the rest of the bits in place for the bank to release the bucks. We will be signing some paperwork with the attorneys this coming week, and then we should be good to go – providing our contractor still has capacity to take on this job.

We started this process just over a year ago. If all goes well, we could possibly start building before the end of the year. We each have a picture in our heads of what the final picture will look like, which has kept us going through this period of waiting – I just really hope it will be able to sustain us through the oncoming chaos.

On travelling for business

WP_20140913_088 Something I hear often recently is what a jetsetter I have become and often the comment has a slight undertone. A mix of awe and jealousy. What a glamorous life I must lead now, with flights to distant locations and hotel stays and restaurant dinners.

But travelling for business is nothing like travelling for pleasure.

The first time you stay in a great hotel is, well, great. You marvel at the luxury wrapped snugly in your fluffy hotel gown while possibly eating the overpriced nuts from the minibar. But the marvel fades rapidly after the first Skype call home and soon the hotels become a blur and you miss your own bed like it is a missing limb. And when you travel for business, you typically don’t get to experience the sights your exotic destination offers, because, surprise, you’re working. And because you’re away from home and your own stuff, you may even work a little more than you would when you are at home. Because travel for business can be lonely.

You do find things to keep yourself busy with. Most hotels have a gym, so many use this time to improve their health. Even I’ve started doing some exercises at night in my hotel room – I’m not quire ready to touch equipment used by others. I’ve also been able to catch up a little on my reading, as I have fewer distractions. Mobile hobbies are important.

After a while, I crave home cooking, even my own. I tend to avoid going to restaurants by myself, especially the hotel restaurant, unless I have no other option. Because eating by yourself can be miserable, and I’d rather be miserable in my hotel room wrapped in the hotel gown, feet snuggly in the hotel slippers while pounding away at my laptop getting another hour or two of work in.

I do, however, try and make a point of giving myself a little bit of extra time in the nicer places, so that I can go see some sights at least. Like these:

Sunset in Camps Bay

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The Harbour in Hout Bay

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2 September 2014

6 months on

A short six months ago I started my dream job. And yet, it feels like I've been at this for years. I really cannot believe that it has only been six months. But then, I've been busy.

In the past six months, I have

  • visited a bunch of different cities and a bunch of different customers
  • made a bunch of new friends, not just locally but internationally too
  • attended a crud-load of training, both online and in person
  • taken a truck load of photos
  • read a bunch of books

And it has been a little unreal. My brain feels full all the time, and I honestly cannot remember what it was like to work at my previous employers. I also only vaguely remember the stress I felt before. I am not saying I don't have stress now, but it is very different stress, and mostly, the kind of stress that I am good at dealing with. And while it is taking me a bit of time to get used to the travel – well, the being away from home part of the travel – I am happy that it means I am able to read again. I have read more books this year than I have probably in the last ten years.

Here's to the next 60 years...

12 August 2014

There’s no sunshine…

I woke up this morning to the news of Robin Williams’ passing. Suspected suicide. And I was devastated.

I have written about Bipolar Disorder from time to time. About what it is like to live with it. And that has always been my mantra. I live with Bipolar, I don’t suffer with it. I don’t let it define me.

And, as many do when they are diagnosed, I also found some people to look up to. To inspire me to continue when the black dog chases me. To help me make sense of this chemical imbalance in my brain that seems to affect every part of who I am. A quick Bing will return a long list of celebs that have admitted to ‘having’ Bipolar, and Robin Williams is one of them. And I looked up to him. Because he was a survivor. No matter what this disease threw at him, he pursued his passions and his brilliance shone through his darkest moments. He was an inspiration.

And when I saw the news, I broke down. Because if, after so many years of surviving and inspiring, the black dog got him. And if it could get him, then how do I stop it from getting me?

So excuse me in my little shallow moment as I shed tears for a man I’ve never met.

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