Improve your reality or lower your expectations…

‘Habits like blogging often and regularly, writing down the way you think, being clear about what you think are effective tactics, ignoring the burbling crowd and not eating bacon. All of these are useful habits’ – Seth Godin

I’m not normally a fan of reflective summary posts. Actually, I’ll rephrase that, I love reading other people’s (Chloe from New Girl in Toon does a regular round up of her adventures which I eagerly await every month). That’s mostly because other people have way more exciting lives than I do and your average monthly round up for me would be; pub, pub, running, x-factor, pub, running, pub, which would get very tedious very quickly.

Recently however has been a little different in the crazy world of Newman and I wanted to take a moment to talk about some of the life changing events that have cropped up over the last couple of months. And before I go on I want to make clear that this isn’t a ‘look at how amazing and successful my life is kind of post’ most of the things that have happened have been a product of a lot of hard work, blood, sweat and literal tears. This is more of a reminder that it’s really easy to get bogged down in the negative and the mundane but actually, cool things do happen from time to time if you keep your head down and keep plugging away. And they should be celebrated; even by an eternal pessimist like me.

New Job

20171016_081228

In the back end of August I was interviewed and offered my dream job. Still within the NHS bur moving away from PA work, which I’ve done since  I left school at 18, and into a more engagement role which will also involve lots of report writing and content creation.  As someone who has found their passion in writing and creating this blog only a few years ago, being offered this opportunity to get paid for what I love to do is an absolute dream come true. It’s a total career change and it will be a challenge stepping out from the support staff role I’ve grown so used to (expect a post on my imposter syndrome coming very soon) but it was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down and I’m so excited about a brand new challenge.

Great North Run

You can read a more detailed review of my GNR experience here, but needless to say this is something I never thought I’d be able to achieve. Running does not come naturally to me and the constant training, particularly towards the end, really started to get me down.  I was really pleased with the time I completed it in and all the support I got on the day and through sponsorship was absolutely overwhelming. Now that it’s over though I have a massive sense of achievement and I’m even considering doing it again next year with my bestie Angela.

Fitness

If the post so far hasn’t ventured unto the self-indulgent then strap in because it’s about to! One of the happy side effects of training for the Great North Run is that I’ve managed to lose quite a nice amount of weight and toned up where I’ve never been toned before; namely, my legs.  Thankfully running 25 miles a week has gotten them into a shape and for the first time in my life I’ve been able to wear skinny jeans and jeggings without looking like an overstuffed sausage. And that’s a massive victory for me. On a slightly more serious note it also means I’ve managed to build up a level of fitness I never had before and I’m determined not to lose that now GNR is over.

Meeting my hero

To top off my 6 weeks of life changing events, in the middle of September me and my friend Emma won a competition on Instagram to meet Jaret Reddick the lead songer of one of my favourite bands; Bowling for Soup. Despite some slight ‘rock n roll admin’ issues which meant we almost missed him for the meet & greet, we were able to get some pictures, get some stuff signed and have a quick 5 minute chat with him and he was a really lovely guy. He probably the most famous (in fact the only famous) person i’ve ever met and it was really great that he was so normal! I never win anything either so the whole thing was so surreal, especially with all the other mad stuff that seems to have been happening recently!

So suffice to say 2017 has turned out to be a year when loads of stuff has changed, can’t wait to see what happens next!

What If? – 30 Day Writing Challenge #11

I made decisions that I regret, and I took them as learning experiences… I’m human, not perfect, like anybody else’ – Queen Latifah

I try not have regrets and i very much believe in the saying that every decision you make was the right decision at the time. The one thing in my life that I do from time to time think ‘what if’ about is training to become a nurse.

220px-NHS-Logo.svg

I had an interview at Northumbria University in May 2000 under what was then called Project 2000 which was a drive to get more people as trained nurses in the NHS. This meant that you got paid to train and spent 80% in a hospital and 20% in a classroom, as opposed to the degree which was 40% hospital and 60% classroom. The Interview couldn’t have gone better and a few weeks later i received a letter with an unconditional offer (meaning it didn’t matter what results I got in my A levels, they wanted me anyway).

Problem was, I was still only 17. Project 2000 had two intakes; one in September and one in March, because I only turned 18 at the end of July, they thought I was a little too young to start training in the September so they deferred me to the March. That was fine, it just meant I had to find something to do with myself for 6 months until my course started.

In that 6 months I found a full time job working on reception at the local newspaper and with that full time job, came a full time wage. The intention was always to work until March then start my course. But as time went on I started to enjoy being in the adult world, having a well paid full time job and i’ll admit it, I liked the money. Stories from my mates at university didn’t fill me with much jealously, I had just as good a social life as them with my new work colleagues and I had money to burn. So when February rolled around, i was sent a letter from the university asking me to confirm i still wanted my place, and i turned it down.

I’m a strong believer in fate and the fact that I’ve worked my way up the corporate ladder in administration within the NHS makes me believe i was always destined to work in healthcare and for the most part, I love my job. I know if I started training now, I would have to do all the crappy night shifts and work over Christmas and miss friend’s weddings and all that stuff. By big ‘what if’ is where would I be in life if i’d been accepted on the September intake? By now i’d have paid my dues and done all those crappy shifts, would probably be quite senior and i’d look a bit like this:

cedcd7df6d131815de

Suits me right? Blue always looked good on me. But as I said, it was the right decision for me at the time; I just couldn’t imagine giving up what I thought was going to be a career in journalism, and all that money, to go back to studying so soon after leaving school. So in that sense at least it’s a ‘what if’ that was my own choice. I could have been a nurse, i just chose not to.