Know your worth

A few months ago I took this leap, it was a giant leap for me. The quiet, nervous, insecure and sometimes funny and noisy girl in the office put her hand up.

And so I started another job, I still do the same old job which is still pretty cool and demanding, just that now I have second role in the organisation – one that is close to my heart.

I now work in an art gallery too!

That’s just the best thing to say it literally made me smile as I typed it out.

So what does that mean for me and my career and my passion for art?

Well it’s more work, it’s demanding and sometimes it’s overwhelming.  Like juggling or chasing my tail. But I’m loving every moment of it. I don’t know why and I don’t know how but almost fours months into it and I am coping and managing it.

What this means for my art life is that I get to feed my creative soul; I am surrounded by beautiful art work all day long. Inspiration inhaling – not to copy them but to learn from them. Every day that I take a walk and look at the same paintings I see something different. It doesn’t matter if I paint a painting I’ve seen or my own painting twice as long as I use my voice to paint my story and my feelings.

I also get to control my environment, my space and to feed my imagination.

This journey has taken me out of my comfort zone into an unfamiliar space. A friend called me brave and daring when I told her last year what I was about to start. Me… being brave?!

I haven’t felt like this in a long time…

Today I feel confident and proud of what I have achieved in these four months, the progress has been slow but I know I bring years of calm experience, knowledge in dealing difficult situations and people. Work ethics, loyalty & perseverance. And I know I my worth.

In the words of one of my favorite artists

Why on earth would I work in the same place for so long?

Oh my word, why on earth would I work in the same place for so long? There are so many good reasons why you shouldn’t stay in the same company too long, all documents and articles with career advice and career improvement say that gaps in a CV can hurt you, but long-term employment at the same employer can also be perceived negatively and can hurt you more than those easily explained gaps.

People say that if you stay long enough it means you either found a good employer and enjoy what you do, or you enjoy your comfort zone too much, you are not a risk taker and you have no special skills?!

But in my circle of friends (outside my company) and friends and colleagues (inside my company) they have all worked for the same employer for 30 years, 22 and 18 etc. Very few people I know have been in the same company for less than 10 years, so it seems to me that at least in my little circle I’m not such a weirdo. Being loyal might be old-fashioned and if some believe that loyalty is old-fashioned they probably think the same about faith and honesty and respect. It’s not something I’m going to hide, at my age I have acquired a particular set of skills ( 🙂 ) it’s called principles. With some good old things called loyalty, honesty, faith and respect.

141103_a18661-600So why did I stay in the same company for 25 years? Yeah that’s right, this month I celebrate twenty-five long years in the same blue bank. In the beginning I stayed because I really loved it. I was young and busy and always learning and I truly loved my job.

Then I got stuck in a rut and I started hating it, I hated the repetitive work, the month ends and then starting all over again with new a month only to get to another hectic month-end and the stressful – do you balance and did you make the deadline? I hated my current boss. At that time I went to two external interviews, one was not successful the second one was but that implied travelling to Sandton. Even today if you ask me to drive to Sandton every day I will cringe at the thought and say; no, there must be something better. Years ago the thought was beyond scary and after sweating at the interview and feeling relieved that someone else wanted me I felt bad saying; no thank you.

So I stayed and some days I hated myself and so many times I cried….but then one day I got out of my comfort zone again and I applied for another position within the company and I made the move! It was the best decision I could have made. I still believe that today. And that is how I reached this landmark of 25 years.

Why I stayed and what I have gained – Reputation of Dependability staying with the same employer for many years has made me dependable. Strong Work Relationships I have created strong and long-lasting work relationships and many good and close friendships over the years. Benefits of course we do have special job benefits, we might moan about them sometimes not being enough but actually they’re not bad and they do exist. And then there’s growth and learning. Stability worrying about next month or next year? That kind of stress is something I could not deal with and it would have ruined my health and life. For me this journey has been a good one and the right choice.

In March this year a young friend and colleague had a stroke, it came as a huge shock to all of us she is in her early 30’s and if there were any warning signs she missed them or she didn’t know what to look out for. She has been recovering slowly and will be back in the office later this month, she is also a personal assistant like I am and during the time she has been away her boss has kept her post open. She tried to manage her busy work schedule with assistance from one or two other PA’s in our area but all the time she kept that position open and didn’t look for a temp because her girl would be back. She had to come back. This is the type of consideration I think you only get if you have been in the company for a while. I guess it also helps that it’s a huge company so there are things in place to look after staff…but I still thought this was admirable of the director to wait all the time while being positive that her PA would be back soon.

And so I say to myself, oh my word; “25 years long service award, how amazeballs is that!”

I’m so happy that my company rewards staff and recognises loyalty and so the award $$ I’m getting this month is going to be part of something so memorable and so special for me and my husband I can barely wait and contain myself. So much excitement.

Two quotes I really like –

Loyalty is a two-way street, if I’m asking for it from you, then you’re getting it from me. _ Harvey Specter

Because that describes me perfectly

I see life almost like one long university education that I never had – everyday I’m learning something new. _ Richard Branson

Because…you shouldn’t think you know everything, you don’t. You are always learning and don’t judge those that never went to university

So if you are in a good place, stay, and stay for as long as you want….

A real duck of a day

Oh so the week ending on Friday the 8th was just a crazy week, aren’t they all the same? Yeah but some are ok, and not quite as stressful or busy. Believe me when I say this particular week was just crazy, I was so glad for Friday afternoon…and so the new Monday promised to be a better week.

But Tuesday evening I tripped and fell in the house in my slippers on the way from the sofa to the kitchen (go figure, I always hatted the kitchen). And as I have a history of injuries with my feet and have broken my left foot with a very small fall a few years ago, also at home in slippers (don’t blame the slippers).  I knew that this was no joke and nothing to smile about or shrug off. It was damn sore and I was half crying half moaning for my son to help me, got myself back on the sofa and he brought me two ice packs. I sat there very still and shivering until I found courage to go to bed. Aaand I prepared a hospital pack just in case it was needed.

Wednesday morning we went for x-rays and the good news was that there was no fracture, I still left the pack at home in a nice corner just in case. The rest of the week was spent at home in a moon boot or air cast (let me know if you need one for fancy dress party) with my foot up waiting for the swelling to go away.

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Today I went to the office for a few hours in the morning there was work stuff to take care of. Firstly my boss was flying off to UK and her visa was still not approved! The day turned into total madness around this visa and the possibility of cancelling the whole trip.

Anyway so I had to go back to the hospital today to check on the swelling and possible ligament damage. Ouch. I finished my appointment and was waiting for hubby to fetch me.

During that time I was busy with messages to my boss and a friend, all about work or the visa. Somewhere in the middle of this I sent my boss a message that was meant for my friend. One of those messages that’s kind of sort of about someone else in the office…  *frown face*

That’s when I said “oh duck!” “oh duck!” a few times, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry or both, the security guy that stands at hospital entrance was like; “mummy, you ok?” “Oh Duck!”

While waiting for hubby and I knew it could take some time I decided to have a bite to eat. I was halfway through my sandwich when he arrived and I had to run out with half the food hanging out my mouth. Literally. Oh yes I paid before I started eating, that was the only food I had all day….arrived home ready to eat a horse, then I remembered we don’t have horse and I’m vegetarian.

It was just one of those days!!  But it’s over now, foot is on its way to recovery no huge damage or surgery needed and the bad days and stress days are over. I declare that from today I will have ridiculously amazing days.

In the meantime my boss received her passport in her hand with the visa stamp at 17h05; her flight was leaving at 19h30. And the message I sent? I apologized for it and she said; “ha ha no worries – some things stay between us”

Sjoe what a relief!

Here’s to a  ridiculously amazing week and no more ducks!

It must be a mistake

Last month I blogged about the ½ ply toilet paper at work – Change in the office – well today my friend walked over to my desk with this….

A piece of 2 ply real puppy (Baby Soft) toilet paper. It was in our loo. OMW!  I can’t believe it, none of us can!

It must be a mistake…let’s see how long this lasts. For now we are just laughing about the new discovery and the surprise 😀

It’s the small things that count.

Kindness and Friendships

I don’t know how to say this, you had to be there to see it so you can fully understand it. On friday I saw something really special in the office that made me stop and think about friendships. It was a real selfless act from someone who is expecting nothing in return. It had us all in tears, girls love to hug and cry. But how often do we see selfless random acts of kindness? So often we judge others and we dwell on the negative for so long that we don’t see the small positives. The flames are so tiny that we don’t even notice the light, and eventually that light dies out but if you nurture it and give it some attention, that little flame will turn into something quite beautiful and bright.

Imagine this ….

A good old friend is going through a really tough time, she is in a bit of trouble and doesn’t know where to turn to for help but then help did come very unexpectedly, right there on friday. Now she feels so bad for having to accept it.

I can’t go into more details but lets just say that when you least except it God does answer prayer and He does so in His way in His own time. He sends the oddest person (the one you least expect) to help you or save you.

I need to remind myself to stop judging, I must not be impatient, I must be more forgiving, I should keep my friends close to me & treasure my friends too; they might one day be the ones that come to my rescue. Dont take things for granted. Always look out for those little lights around me they are special. Miracles do happen and lifesavers still exist. There are people out there that have a good heart, and what really matters is what’s in the heart not what’s on the outside.

That random act of kindenss put us all in a mood for a blessed weekend and who know’s if that won’t snowball and turn into something bigger for all of us.

Wherever there is a human in need, there is an opportunity for kindness and to make a difference.

_ Kevin Heath