Thursday, 28 February 2013

Watermelon juice, a job's end and a child's view

Today was the last day of my contract at work.  It heralds big change in my life.  Then I think about all the change in my job over 9 years.  It is time for reflection.  I thought I would share with you my breakfast, my thoughts and Sylvia's view of the world.

Breakfast first.  Always have breakfast first.   Of late, I have been in the habit of drinking a smoothie with soy milk, oats, chia seeds, banana and berries in the morning.  Today I was sampling a peach slice, so I kept my smoothie simpler.  A large chunk of watermelon, half a banana, a handful of strawberries and a peach whizzed up with my hand held blender.  Hmmm, I don't really need to write that up as a recipe.  It was delicious and just slightly creamy.  (Oh, I just remembered that the second glassful is in the fridge.)

Yes I made peach slice.  It is actually this plum slice but using peaches instead of plums.  The peaches had to be used.  One of my colleagues brought along a tub of yoghurt.  The slice was delicious with the yoghurt spooned over it and a tim tam on the side.  Enjoyed following a delicious beetroot, bean, walnut and feta salad served with dips and bikkies and dolmades.

So you see I have some generous colleagues whom I will miss.  And there are many more wonderful people I have worked alongside in the past.  And a few oddballs.  Thinking back about all I have seen in this job makes me feel old.  Yet I spent years bouncing around from job to job as I travelled.  I worked in a recruitment company for a while and noticed on cvs that people who stayed in a job for a long time often had opportunities.  I found that to be true.

I started my job on a 3 year contract without any guarantee of it continuing beyond that.  I accepted the job without even understanding the organisation for which I was employed (it being nested within too many centres and departments).  I had opportunities to develop skills, gain a deeper understanding of my country, work closely with brilliant minds and be involved in innovative ways of working.  It was a job of constant change and complexity.  Here are some numbers:

9 years (including 1 year maternity leave), with 3 contract renewals
8 titles I used to name my workplace over this time (depending on whom I was talking to)
7 conferences
5 cities where we held our symposiums
4 CEOs plus 3 acting CEOs
4 office moves and 1 change of building
4 different websites I worked on
3 supervisors
3 computers
2 employing organisation
2 child care centres
1 job title and yet many roles
1 peer reviewed paper I co-authored
1 induction I organised where one attendee failed to show because she had a car accident on the way to the airport.

I'd like to also count the meetings, the documents created, the colleagues, the morning teas, the interstate flights, the working groups, the drinks after work and more.  My memory isn't as sharp as it used to be.  So many memories.  So many stories.  Much has to be left unspoken. 

One big change at work was going from full time to part time after having Sylvia.  It makes finding more work harder but it also gives me more reason to spend time at home.  Her view of the world helps me see it with new eyes.  Here are a few comments from her lately that made me smile:
  • When our electricity went off a week or two ago, she asked if it was because the paint bottles weren't lined up together on our bench.
  • We were discussing kinds of boats today and she said to me, "and there are boats for mice".
  • She asked me about why we have fingernails.  I said maybe for protection and digging and then I asked her why she thought we have fingernails.  "To put nail polish on", she suggested.

So I head into a time of change, of uncertainty, of trying new things.  A little scary.  A little exciting.  Honestly, I am ready to leave this job.  I am also tired.  I am looking forward to a wee break.  But not for long.  Some work beckons on the horizon.

18 comments:

  1. change is always scary but I know you'll love spending more time with Sylvia and then finding whatever job is meant for you, next. It'll be a journey but a good one!

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    1. Thanks Joanne - I am never good with change but you are right that it gets you moving on the journey!

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  2. Best of luck with future endeavours :)

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  3. Good luck Johanna, I hope you enjoy your break and find another job that is just perfect for you.

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    1. Thanks Nupur - I am looking forward to my break and have a bit of work to do that interests me

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  4. I feel quite privileged to read this post. It is lovely. It is also making me a little sad and a little excited on your behalf - which I hope reflects that those things are there in equal measures for you. I'm really glad your first 3 year contract turned into the last 9 years, and hope that the work on the horizon brings new possibilities and opportunities that can make the next few years just as good (if, perhaps, different).

    I like the sound of your smoothie and slice too :-)

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    1. Thanks Kari - sad and excited definitely echoes my sentiments. I have had quite a few continuing jobs in the past but I left one of these to take up my contract. The contract work was far more interesting and satisfying than any continuing jobs I have had so I have no regrets. Hopefully I am in a far better position now to seek more work.

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  5. Change is good, though it's very scary...the unknown. I think Sylvia's reason for us having nails is spot on!

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    1. Thanks Miss Piggy - Change is indeed good for us even if it is difficult - is has made me start to think about where my career is headed more seriously - though I have no firm answers yet

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  6. Oh Johanna! You deserve a break! Pamper yourself, please! :) xoxo

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    1. Thanks Hannah - started my break with some retail therapy :-)

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  7. I miss watermelons, haven't had it in ages and in juice form, how yummy.

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    1. Thanks Natalie - I think that I am starting to appreciate watermelon just as summer is fading because I realise I haven't appreciated them enough all summer and I must make amends!

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  8. Best of luck in this new chapter, Johanna! I bet Sylvia is happy to have you around more. :) Looking forward to reading about your new adventures, in the kitchen and out.

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    1. Thanks Ricki - Sylvia is delighted to have me around more and I hope it might give me a bit more time in the kitchen

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  9. Oh, this is a major change! Such steps aren't to be taken easily. In German, you say that you have one laughing and one crying eye when a decision is both happy and sad. I feel similarly about leaving Heidelberg soon, although I know it's good to do.

    I loved your daughter's wisdoms. It must be great to be able to spend more time with her now. :)

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    1. Thanks Kath - I like your saying about one eye laughing and one eye crying - I wish you luck with leaving Heidelberg and yes I am enjoying some more time with Sylvia

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