Tag Archive for change

A new year and a free book

I’ve blogged before about Jill Bolte-Taylor.  She’s a scientist who studies the brain.  So when she realised she was having a stroke herself at a relatively young age, she found the whole thing quite fascinating.  Anyway, there is a TED talk (see below as it’s worth posting twice) and she has a book that’s widely available: “My Stroke of Insight”.  But someone recently posted a PDF of whole book to a Facebook stroke group so I’ve included that link too.


(Click if you prefer it in paperback or Kindle format.)

It’s all change at my end.

After the stroke I took three months before going back to work, initially part-time.  But I left the role exactly 6 months after the stroke. Something I never would have predicted before it.  Then I finished a Masters degree and did some freelance work.  I graduated in July, just after my house – which I rented – was sold.  So I had to make some really big decisions.  I feel the need to buy a house so I can pay it off over time and have some security.  And I couldn’t do that anywhere I actually wanted to live in the city in which I lived (as an indication, the relatively ordinary two-and-a-half bedroom house with a tiny courtyard for a garden that I lived in sold for £820k..!).  So I needed to change the way my world worked to some extent too.

So I moved to a place where I only knew a couple of people.  I had coffee with anyone that would have coffee with me.  And within a couple of months I got a job offer from a really big firm that needs a specialist in both what I used to do for a job and what I studied at university, and are willing to have me based in the city to which I moved.

Do I really want to be in that place doing that job?  Honestly, I have no idea.  Some days yes and some days no.  There is somewhere else I’d rather be but that didn’t happen; and for Christmas and New Year I’ve been back in my old city feeling no particular reason to go back to the new one much before my work start date.  But it’s city that is loveable, there are people that are lovely, and there is a salary that will work for house buying on offer.

Today I have to go see their medics, by chance in my old town seeing as that’s where I am this week.  I know they can’t un-offer me the job – the bits of law you learn are interesting! It’s because I ticked the box to say I need ‘reasonable adjustments’ which by law they have to provide.  It’s not much: a high backed chair for when I spend a reasonable amount of time at my desk, and the note that I’m going to (a) stick reasonably close to my contracted hours – not my old natural style but it’s going to be my new one so I’ll have to work that out and (b) I’m going to hold them to the offer of working one or two days from home each week.  Those of you who know me know I hate working from home.  I really do dislike it.  But I want a life outside work too and to have that I need to balance the one inside work to make sure that can happen.

In reality, everything I want to do will be compromised, of course.  But without winning the lottery, what can one do?


Six months today!

Six months ago today the stroke started, right up there in the (lovely) Chief Operating Officer’s office.

Tomorrow, I will run my last big event at work, pack up my desk, and have some drinks with my colleagues and friends on my last day with the company.

Someone from my family has been with that company for the last 43 years, with up to 3 concurrently at times, and I’m leaving.  I’m actually saying goodbye.  And I’m about to begin another new chapter.  Starting with getting on a plane first thing the next morning…

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5 months on, I’m leaving my job

If someone had told me 5 months ago that in less than 5 months time all this would have happened, I’d not have believed it.  I’ve been quiet of late because something else has been going on.  Actually a few things have been going on. but this one is announcable now.

In about 6 weeks I’m leaving my job behind.  I’ve been doing it for nearly 9 years so it’s monumental.  And, as you will have surmised if you’ve been reading this, a number of my colleagues are also my very good friends.

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Liberation from the bits I missed

My friend Andy L suggested I sent out a message suggesting more or less the email below.

I didn’t receive a single negative response. In fact, I got positive responses. It feels like partial liberation from the bits I missed!

From: [Me]
Sent: 18 January 2011 09:24
To: [An Extended Team]
Subject: Email advice :-)


I’ve now deleted around 4000 emails.  I’ve read others.  I’ve even actioned a few more.  But I’m about to copy 600 emails into a folder marked ‘should probably read’ and mostly they are from you.  It would take me an awful long time to work my way through these, so…

Could I possibly ask, if there is an email in there containing info that you think is particularly important, could you either tell me to go find it, resend it, or verbally update me over a coffee (which I’m happy to buy!)? This will let me prioritise issues the issues you think are most important while giving me time to do the work for meetings and events in the diary, which I’d otherwise have to cancel/decline!

Thanks lots for your help!!!

There is so much going on at work and it wouldn’t be at all appropriate for me to blog details, so I’ll simply tell you about the post-stroke changes/observations.

It takes me longer to walk to places, like between meetings and to the colour printer which is ages away.  Correction: it can take me the same amount of time, but if I keep powering around my head gets lighter and I feel like I’ve taken a backward leap. So I have to constantly remind myself it’s not a race and I need to walk at a slower pace. Which is oddly frustrating, especially as I keep forgetting!

I answer a lot of ‘how are you doing today?‘ questions, and I have to think ‘how am i?‘ because I’ve not considered it much until someone asks (again). Luckily my team is well over this!  But people always apologise for asking and I really don’t mind: it would be worse if they didn’t care at all!

I’m less inclined to get emotionally involved in what’s going on (or what people think) too: I’m advised by everyone else who’s had a bout of leave that this wears off very quickly, but I’m enjoying it, because I think it makes everything easier for me and probably for everyone else too.  Passion is good, but holding things with a loose grip can also an empowering thing.

So, anyway, enough about me, how are you today?

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