Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Receptionist gone...

Today at work I discovered the reason why I hadn't seen the friendly receptionist upon arrival. The office was empty (so nobody could see I was EARLY! Haha!).

After about half an hour the staff started talking about the sudden death of the receptionist on Friday night. Apprently he died of a heart attack. Nobody expected him to leave. But I will never see his friendly face again. He was physically disabled, scoliosis, but he could walk and talk- there was nothing wrong with his mind!

Just shows how suddenly life can end...

Monday, May 28, 2007

Thought for the Day

If you look for the bad in a person, you will always find it.

If you look for the good in a person, you will always find it.

It all depends on what you want to see.

It’s your choice whether the glass if half full or half empty.

Next time you find yourself focusing on somebody’s bad qualities, start thinking about their good qualities! You will not be disappointed! ;)

Travel Blog Update #4

Getting there!! :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Small Things

Isn’t it amazing these days, how one small smile or “Thank you” can really make your day. We seem to be living in a selfish world, where people generally don’t care too much about the small courtesies. We are too busy trying to get through the day sometimes to even say thank you.

People do their jobs to earn their pay, despite the environment or customers. People eat at restaurants and treat the waiters as if they are paid to be there, so there is no reason to appreciate them.

Supermarket checkout chicks…how many of them smile when they say, “Hi, how are you?” In fact, in many cases, how many of them actually LOOK at you when they say this?

My pet hate is when people don't bother to say a simple "Hi" at the beginning of a text message. How hard is that? It's like they show they don't really care, even before they begin... they just go straight to the point as if you are a machine... I am NOT a machine ;) I have feelings.

People seem to be forgetting the small things…

...and now the positive side ;)

Recently, I was at Brunettis (Italian cafĂ© and patisserie) with a group of girls, and one of them said to me, “That waiter really likes you!” and I thought, despite the fact he was Italian, and they often pay attention to young girls, I thanked him every time he cleared our table. I didn’t think much of that. But my friend said he obviously appreciated being recognised.

On Saturday I was having lunch at a Noodle Box with David… there was a mum with her 2 teen girls sitting at the next table. They seemed pleasant people, and when they left, I noticed they cleared their table in an appreciative manner. They had a paper bag for prawn crackers, and placed all their rubbish in the bag, and stacked up their bowls.
Many people don’t bother doing that.

Then they thanked the staff as they walked out.

How often do men walk in front of a lady to get through a doorway first? I can’t count the number of times a man has expected me to wait for him to go first, or to even hold the door open! It’s sad.

I was at the Hairhouse Warehouse recently when the lady who served me hardly looked at me. She was too busy talking to other staff, or looking at what they were doing. She told me the price, and because she wasn’t looking at or even listening to me, it wasn’t until then that she was aware I had a discount card… the small things…

On Saturday night I went out to dinner at an Asian restaurant with my Filippino and Malaysian friends… I was the ‘white girl’ ;) and the service was wonderful! The waitress served us with a smile every time, she refilled our tea cups…she was just NICE. Smile, courtesy… she looked after us well. In the end we gave her a tip ;)

It just makes you more aware of how much impact the small things have on our days. A simple “thank you” or even just a smile at a stranger… you never know how much people appreciate being acknowledged and appreciated. The hardest area to acknowledge and act on this is of course...in our own homes... it's an effort but it's worth it.

Being nice doesn’t seem to be ‘normal’ any more…but it sure does make a difference in our world!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Friday Funny

This is supposed to be a nice, sweet water fountain in the middle of a walkway outside a shopping strip in Eltham...
One Saturday morning we saw this and took a photo... somebody obviously did the wrong thing, but we could only laugh and enjoy the site! haha! Looks like they emptied a bottle of bubble bath in there during the night! This was the 2nd time we have witnessed this occurance! Nobody was angry...the kids had fun playing with the foam!
Our car was parked behind the top of the fountain, and there are steps beside it, so we could see the bubbles at the top before we reached the stairs!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Climbing the mountain of life

Don't you hate when you look back and see how you were so caught up in "Survival Mode" your last month was like a blur!

Just this week I have finally felt human again.
The last few weeks I remember collapsing into bed every night, only to drag myself out of bed the next morning, to force myself to go to work, and then force myself to stay alert all day... finally getting home and being able to crash (after denying myself all day!)...only to go through the same cycle the next day...and the next...and I spent most of one week loooooonging for the One day I wasn't booked to work...and by the time I finally got to the day before, I decided I couldn't cope with another day like that...so I took the free day off and forced myself to slow down and take things easy... including allowing myself to skip the gym so I could sleep past 7.30am (which I couldn't, so read in bed)!

Sleep without setting an alarm felt sooooooooo goooooood!
Apart from the fact shift work was knocking me around, somebody suggested I was low on iron... I was so tired my mum was worried... so I tested out that theory, and changed my diet slightly...and lo and behold! I felt better! Not 100% but a significant amount! :)

I've hardly had any time to "just be", so when I have managed to fit some time in, I have been treasuring the moments. Even my weekends have been full-on. I am still waiting for a free weekend to do "whatever". That would be fun :) Although I have to say, my weekend commitments have been worthwhile! Family functions all over Melbourne... my baby cousin is already 1! The 2nd youngest cousin is not even 2 and she's speaking so clearly! They're both so cute! I've seen more of my extended family in a month that in the last 6 months I reckon! It has also meant I've been travelling long distances a lot. Family makes you aware of your road knowledge! :p

So this week has been awesome! I've been feeling so much better, and have been working more solid shifts. I've still been busy, but not as much.

I finally feel like I've reached the top of the mountain and am sliding down at a slower pace :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

How your mind changes!

Last week and this week I have been working with my old clients (from my previous job I gladly moved on from), and I was thinking to myself, "Why would anybody want to work with these people 5 days a week?" and suddenly I had to eat my words... *I* used to work with them 5 days a week!

People keep asking me why I decline job offers to work with them again, and all I can say is it took me so long to leave my old job, I would be moving backwards instead of forwards...and I would get stuck in a rut I pushed myself out of!

A lot can happen in 2 years... I don't mind working with these clients as a casual now and then, but I couldn't bear seeing them full-time again. I do love to see how some of them are going, and there are some I miss a little, but I have higher dreams for myself. I came out of a pit when I left that job. It made me appreciate other workplaces all the more :) So a few days a week is fine, but 5 days would be detrimental to my sanity! ;)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Travel Blog Update #2

It's a long one! I can't work out how to change the location of the photos...
I have posted days 2 & 3. Getting there slowly ;)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

For My Intercessor Friends

Thought you might be interested in this snippet of an email from Generals International www.generals.org (Cindy and Mike Jacobs). Be encouraged ;)

"Dear Friends,
We are in a season where Satan is contending with us to try and stop us from going to the next level of faith and victory. Do not stop fighting the good fight! Hold on to the promises the Lord has given you, for favor and increase will certainly come to pass.
This is also a season of testing, and God is watching to see who will be His generals in the next season; He is raising up new leadership. Do not falter! God is looking to see who will pass the humility test as well as submission to authority. If you learn to be under authority, He will give you great authority.
Also, know there is a time of escalation coming so you must be full of the Word and full of grace to run the race well and see wealth released to build God's Kingdom purposes in your heart. Be faithful in your stewardship of finances and in time, you will see the blessing of God come back upon you in many waves".
Cindy Jacobs
May 3, 2007

...and the opposite

Today I remembered the opposite to our unsung heroes... the ones who can't cope with their children and so "relinquish" their rights to their child to the government.

It's the same thing, at the end of the day, I go home. But even if they love their child, some parents just can't cope with their child constantly in their lives.

I recall a young girl in a respite house...I remember hearing that her mum was at her wit's end and considering relinquishing... and she did. Now the girl lives between 2 respite houses...she alternates weeks until a more permanent home is found.

There is nothing wrong with this girl's personality. In fact, she has a gorgeous personality and is so cheeky...but she is also FULL ON and you can't leave her alone... when I work with her, there is always an extra staff to work 1:1 with her. Sometimes I am that staff.

It's true...at the end of the day, I go home. I don't mind working with this girl. But if I think about living with her in my home, and I can then understand the mother's frustration.

It's sad that people come to these conclusions... but in the end you have to remember that everybody is different, and some people have better coping skills than others.

I commend this parent for keeping her child at home as long as she could...it's just sad to hear these stories.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Unsung Heroes

Today I worked with some clients who have AMAZING mothers!

I worked in a Day Centre, where the clients go and participate in activities such as bowling, relaxation, art, massage, cooking, etc... They attend day centres instead of normal work.

These clients are intellectually and physically disabled... they are literally babies and toddlers in adult bodies... and their parents are aged in their 60s and 70s with no intention of stopping!

Just for a day, these people's physical needs can be tough... transferring them in and out of their wheelchairs, toileting them, feeding them, entertaining them...etc... etc... and their mothers do this every day without a complaint!

For some of these clients, their fathers have passed away, leaving them with a single mother...with soooooo much love for their child it's beautiful!

I think these mothers should be recognised more in society.
For me, I go to work, and whether it's a good day or a bad day, whether I've made a client smile or cry, whatever I have done with them that day, at the end of the day, I go home.

At the end of the day, after every shift, I go home and that is the end. I can forget about these needy people. I can relax and do what I like with my time. I have done my job for the day.

For these parents, their job never stops! They go home and they have the child to think about. They can't just say "bye" and have some time out without planning ahead.

They do so much, and they give so much of themselves... and we don't acknowledge or recognise their efforts. These parents are in their retirement years... but they have no intention of stopping. When other people their age are relaxing and accepting that their bodies are wearing out, these parents just keep going!

They're amazing. I don't get the chance to meet many of them, but what I read in their children's daily diaries and just the lunches they have prepared for their children, and the clothes they are dressed in... these mothers are AMAZING!

Monday, May 7, 2007

Train Tales...

I took a train into the city on Friday... had a really tiring week where I was forcing myself out of bed, and then forcing myself to get through each work shift... and my body clock was CONFUSED by all the crazy shifts I was doing...so I took Friday off and slept til about 7am, read in bed til 8.15 (then felt yuck for staying in bed!) and just cruised through the morning... making myself take the day slow, even though normally I would be frustrated by getting to the the city so late... (I did go out earlier and run some errands beforehand)

I left around 1pm to catch the bus to the train station. Normally 10am would be the LATEST I would leave without feeling like I'd wasted the day...but it was a deliberate slow day! :)

I hated the train ride...the people in the carriage... apart from chewing gum being on all the seats (not used to that!) and the 'vibes' from the other passengers didn't make me feel safe...

A little girl was on the train... I didn't look at her because her mum was horrid...obviously a lady with a sad history and no real hope in life... she was rude to other passengers...abused one quietly spoken man... I saw he was black, like a tall African man. I didn't look because it all happened behind me... but I heard her say, rudely, "If you say 'EXCUSE ME' I'll move them for you!" - it seemed she had blocked the walkway with her bags, and was abusing the man for carrying out his RIGHT to walk... He said quietly and shyly, "Excuse me" and she let him through. She was a sad lady...she spoke loudly so everybody could hear...attention seeking and so RUDE! At one point she yelled something like, "If one more person gives me a dirty look...." forget the rest! I think everybody wanted to thump her, and when they alighted, we all relaxed... poor girl who has no idea her childhood could be so much happier... she was pretty well behaved though :)

Sad... I stopped reading my book, stared out the window and prayed...

On the way home, I wanted to read my book, but I kept feeling a strong "NO", so I didn't. I could only look outside the window because I felt God didn't want me reading this book in the presence of the lady sitting across from me... it was a book called, "Religion is for fools" - and I just felt a strong conviction not to get it out of my bag because this lady would take it badly... I don't know why, I just know I wasn't allowed to read in front of her... Normally I wouldn't care, but with a title like that, maybe she wouldn't have understood... I may never know why I wasn't allowed to read, but I have no regrets for following my convictions...

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Butterfly Girl: Travel Blog Update


Humble Blog?

Since installing the "StatCounter" I've been awed by the number of people I don't know who have viewed my blog...and how many people from AROUND THE WORLD have found me... From the USA & UK to Chile and Spain... wow!

I never expected to see so many strangers finding my writings... hope you enjoy what you see :)

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Travel Blog Update

Day 1 is blogged! :)

Woohoo! :p

My tendon is strengthening! I’ve managed to spend most of a 3hr shift on my feet this morning, and then burn off 330cals at the gym with NO pain!!!! A “good” day would be 260cals! Yay! I’m getting better :)

Now a 5.5hr shift to go…split shift. I did a 6.30-9.30am shift, and have a 3.30-9pm shift to go. I love going to the gym after a morning shift. In a way I get it over-and-done-with and arrive home feeling more refreshed… THEN I have a shower :p

After snapping my achilles tendon I was forced to minimise my cardio exercise and stay off my feet… it was frustrating because I’d worked my way up to high cardio levels… now I’ve been working BACK up to where I left off… I couldn’t use the xtrainer…I managed to stay on for 4mins…5mins…8mins…10mins… now I can do 20+mins again! Being stuck with the bike for 20+mins is so boring after 6 months! :p

I went from deliberately using stairs to deliberately avoiding them… I learned how disgusting lifts are in shopping centres… dodging the urine and covering my nose… disabled people really have it tough… but I can use the stairs again now :)

It has been a loooooong healing process… my overseas trip helped strengthen…but it’s still not 100%. Its getting close!!!!!! :) :) :)

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

You can't forget Kew!

Haha! Today I worked with my old clients again...the ones I gladly left behind... the ones who make you feel ICKY and when you get home you MUST have a shower...

But despite their yuckiness... it IS nice to see them again from time to time... just not ALL the time like in the past! I remember a lot of their 'perks'... like one today who is new to the centre... I got her singing because I remember she loves 'singing' particular songs...

Which reminded me of a few weeks ago when I parked my car at IMAX in the city to meet the girls at Brunettis (fancy Italian coffee bar and cake shop)... as I was walking away from IMAX I heard SCREAMING... and I RECOGNISED the screaming! I could tell you the name of the person and describe her... but I didn't SEE her. I DID see the van she was sitting in, and I saw the staff - an old colleague with the bus... so I knew it was her... and today I saw that staff picking up other clients with HER in the van. She confirmed it was them at IMAX!

My job is like being a parent... you work with clients for so long, you know their sounds instantly... you could be in a crowded place, but you will always recognise the voices/sounds...

HAHA! I don't miss working with these clients, but I do like to see how they're going from time to time ;)