Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The end of 2008 – A time to reflect

As nurses and midwives we are use to the word reflect. To reflect according to the Collins thesaurus means to; consider, think, contemplate, deliberate, muse, ponder, meditate, mull over, ruminate, wonder and cogitate. Of these words, I will contemplate the year just ending and ponder the one we are just about to embark upon.
I will start with Christmas, I love Christmas. There was a time when I lost the Christmas spirit and that was once my children were grown up, it is just not the same, without small children and that’s where the grandchildren come to mind. To me Christmas is about a spiritual essence, it’s about children, making wishes come true, believing in make believe and Santa Clause. It’s about families, cooking, eating, drinking, sharing and yes the occasional disagreement. It stands to reason when you get a large group together, someone is going to fall out even if only for a moment, this is human nature; the trick is not to let it get to you and move on. I get tremendous joy out of preparing the Christmas feast and then watching everyone enjoy the gourmet delight.
A famous chef wrote “the peak is neither eating nor cooking, but the giving and sharing of food. Great food should never be taken alone. What pleasure can a man take in fine cuisine unless he invites cherished friends, counts the days until the banquet, and composes an anticipatory poem for his letter of invitation?” – Laing Wei. The Last Chinese Chef, Peking, 1925.

I have touched on some of the issues of this year in my previous blog – for me this has been a year of tremendous workload both professionally and on the home front. Therefore some decisions had to be made to reduce the workload and have more of a work-life-balance. Secondly we, that is my husband and myself have to concentrate on a healthier lifestyle, as Ian’s health is of some concern, that means we have to find 30 minutes a day for walking. Once you begin to reflect on the year it becomes clearer which direction you need to take and then you are able to outline clear objectives for the coming year. I have been on holidays since the 19 December and my main objectives for this time was to do those mundane jobs around the house that were beginning to really irritate me that were not being done, like – clean the venetian blinds, sort and paint the pantry, re organise and paint the laundry. I know they sound as if they are not important, but this goes to show you that importance is only measured by the need of the person wanting to do the chore? I am relieved now when I look out my bedroom window that the blinds are clean, and when I open the pantry door that everything is in the right place, this may sound anally retentive but to me it is important, therefore I have to find the time to fit it in. My home runs so much smoother now for me. However, I was tempted to spend this time updating a program for next semester but I chose not too as my home needed the attention more. The work will always be there, but my home is my place of refuge so it needs to be in order for me to be comfortable. It’s all about choices!
I have not fully decided on my objectives for next year yet, my first thoughts are to concentrate on a healthier lifestyle, that is, reduce my stress levels, 30 minutes of exercise a day and smaller meal sizes. I want to spend quality time with the family especially the grandchildren. I will be publishing several articles this year and picking up my PhD. As for the rest time will tell.

What do you have planned for 2009?
Do you find reflecting on the previous year helps you determine your objectives for the coming year?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I’m back, the marking is complete, the semester is over.

I am back blogging; I have been so busy with clinical work, marking papers and off course fitting in the family social life. November and December has been consumed with marking and at last it is all completed, hence the blog.

I have also had to make some changes to my working life, a decision had to be made as my work load was too great and I was finding I had very little work life balance.
I have decided to move totally to university life and maintain possibly one clinical shift a week or fortnight. This had been a difficult decision to make, however to maintain my sanity and family life something had to give. Maintaining two high level positions within different intuitions’ is difficult, it is a balancing act and 0.5 in each place equates to 1.5 in the real world. I am hoping now that I will have more time to devote to one place and more time to promote midwifery.

This has been a challenging year in more ways than one. We had our major trip to Europe which incorporated the ICM conference a fantastic experience for all of us. I also went to Singapore teaching again.
Our family has grown this year with three more delightful grandchildren and our youngest daughter has finished her first year of University and is starting her first real relationship – all big steps, oh I remember it well, oh so long ago!
We now have 7 grandchildren (ranging from 8 weeks to 4yrs old), believe me it keeps us on our toes.

I also feel have achieved much this year in both work places. In my clinical area we have introduced the self directed fetal monitoring package which I feel will enhance the midwives knowledge should she/he need to use a CTG and it will be a way of maintaining knowledge if you require it.
Through the Australian College of Midwives (WA Branch) we have disseminated information relating to the ANMC updated Codes, also keeping members updated on information relating to National Registration and we have conducted several seminars throughout the year.
My university work has progressed in leaps and bounds this year, I have updated my unit and have had raving reviews from my students regarding this, which is always good. At the end of each year I have a look at how to move forward in the New Year.... I will soon have to make a decision relating to my PhD as it is on hold until May 2009.....
I am pleased with my blogging; however, I have found it difficult to maintain the pace over the last two months as my work load has been so great. I will have to review how I proceed with my blog in the next few weeks.

I am enjoying my break now (hence the blog) and looking forward to Christmas and reading a couple of novels.

I will take this opportunity to thank all my readers for your support and wish you all a very happy, safe Festive Season and the very best of health & happiness for 2009.

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