Thursday, 23 October 2014

The Petrol Light

Earlier this year something happened that I never thought would happen. This is where you stop and think 'Oh my what could this be? Did she miss a big birthday? Did she quit work on the spot?'

Nope.

I nearly ran out of petrol.

I can just imagine all your arched eyebrows and going PEERLEASE!

But seriously I am one of, many people I hope, who refuses for my petrol to get low. As soon as it is about to get on the 1/4 full line I am in the petrol garage filling up.

It has always been in my nature to ensure things never run out. When I hear people who have had to call the AA out, because they thought their petrol would last the journey, I just think how silly?

I guess I have something chronic about me in that I have to prevent disasters from happening. When I was having counselling earlier this year I quickly acknowledged that I worry about the small details. I like to get to work on the small things, the niggly things that people don't want to do. I trust the big things get sorted out but the small things - they bother me.

Such as the petrol light.

I was driving to my friends in Kent. He lives about an hour away and I had over 1/4 full of petrol in my tank. I knew I would need to get petrol at some point but I genuinely thought I would have enough.

I had this covered. It was a small thing and it had been dealt with.

About half hour into the journey the light came on and I suddenly felt a little surge of panic. I instantly thought that I needed to get petrol. I had to get rid of this amber light. But the petrol station that was coming up was closed. 'You had to kidding me?' I thought. I was also on a part of the motorway that I had no clue as to where I was. 

So what did I do?

I got a bit of paper and covered the amber light of course. As that would make it go away! I kept looking at my sat nav and the minutes to my destination were getting less. I was acutely aware though that I was passing no petrol stations either!!!



I won't lie I was starting to panic. I was edging closer to the steering wheel as if to make my car move faster on as little petrol as it could. I kept telling myself how silly I was and that OF COURSE I didn't have enough petrol to last the journey.

Then all of a sudden - with 10 minutes left to my destination - the amber light starting flashing. I could see it lighting up every 2 seconds through the paper. 'Just great!' I thought. I was in an area I had no clue about. I was on a stretch of motorway with no lights. And now I was potentially going to be stuck on a stretch of road in the dark.

Whoop!?

So I pulled over so I could fight with myself and then decide what to do. My car was lagging and I was anxious. Do I call my parents and tell them to bring me some petrol? I had no breakdown cover on my insurance then so couldn't call them without paying loads! So what did I do?

I laughed.

I laughed and I laughed and I laughed.

Then all of a sudden I felt no panic. This was not the end of the world. I had learnt in my therapy that when faced with situations that are hard to tackle it's a good idea to make a list. The list could range from absolutely ludicrous ideas to rather sensible ones. So my list included to magic a wand and conjure up a spell to produce petrol to googling for help.

Luckily my friend text me (he doesn't drive so he couldn't help me out) and he saved the day. He used the wonders of the internet to track my location and he emailed me a map of a petrol station that was a 2 minute drive away. He was my saviour and I managed to get my car there in one piece. Despite the pull I had to drive it!

Since then I still do not let the petrol light get too low and I tell this story to almost everyone - poor buggers. But it will always stay with me for one simple reason.


'where there is a will there is a way'

I now tend to think that situations could be worse off whereas before my therapy I would always - without fail - think I'd be in the worst situation possible.

I was just amazed at how differently I handled it. On reflection the situation was not funny. If it wasn't for my friend I'd had probably had to fork out hundreds of pounds to get a person to fill up my tank. But I was okay. I was more than okay.

Sometimes you just have to let the petrol light hit empty before you realise that.

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Monday, 20 October 2014

I'm productive 24/7...said no-one ever.

We are now delving into the depths of winter where I live. The darker evenings and chillier days tend to send my productivity levels to below sub zero. I can honestly say some days would be much rather spent staying under the duvet or closing my office door at work to the ward. I find staying productive a challenge at times, especially when there are so many things I would rather be doing. Whenever my productivity levels are slumped I find the sofa singing out to me more, the sun shining more brightly to invite me outside and the notifications on my phone lighting up more heavily to check my social networking sites - again. Is anybody else in the same boat here? 


 So I've been reflecting and thinking of ways as to how I can stay productive. So I have listed 5 ways in which I try to stay more focussed. 

#1 - Take a break. 
I find this to be the most effective thing to do but also the hardest. I work on a busy ward and most of the time I have the attitude of ' I'll just do it' or 'If I just do [such and such] before I take a break.' But then this just cascades into lots of tasks being done and the break being ignored. So I have to make a concerted effort to take myself off the floor, sit down with a drink and just take a break from the ward. 


#2 - Take a break from social sites.
This is a must do! Sometimes social networking sites are just a distraction. I now on purposely lock my phone away at work so I am not inclined to check it. I find if I am checking my phone then my focus is away from work, and that's not good.

#3 - Relax.
This is waaaay easier to type than it is to actually do. I think mainly because we all relax in different ways. I really like to listen to music and read. I also have a meditation app that I listen to when I am struggling to sleep. As much as it is to 'be on the ball' all the time - what's a good nurse that is tired from thinking and doing too much? So I make sure I have some me time when at home so I can at least try and have a good balance.


#4 - Shut the door.
I think this is a very powerful thing to do but hard as well. At work I have a little office space to do my administration/managerial work for the ward. I often keep the door open so I can listen out for patient call bells, phones and also to show my team that I am visible/available. However, there are some days that are manic and I can't be as productive as I want to be with all that there is going on. So what do I do? I walk into the office and close the door. The sound of silence can be so cathartic, and it allows myself the chance to collect my thoughts and head back out onto the ward a lot more focussed. 

#5 - Give myself credit. 
This sounds a bit absurd doesn't it? But sometimes I feel like I focus and question so much on what I should be doing or haven't achieved, which gets me down, that I forget about what I have done and who I have helped. So I try to tell myself frequently, when that negative lightbulb pops in my head, what I am doing well at. I think giving ourselves credit for what we are doing for others and ourselves helps increase our self esteem. This allows me to be way more productive and adds a little spring in my step.


So those are my tips to how I stay productive. I am sure you can find many other great tips over on Kabbage - a company that provide small business loans to increase productivity. At the end of the day we need to focus on being productive instead of just busy!

*All views are my own. I have not been compensated for this piece of writing.

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Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Dad Tag

I was recently tagged by a you tuber to take part in a Father meme that has been circulating. I thought it would be fun to talk about my Dad for a change. We may not have the strongest of father-daughter bonds but it is special to share a little of him on here. Below is the video I filmed in my garden. Enjoy!



I tag all who are reading this- it be awesome to hear your answers!


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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Hiatus

I've decided to take a little break from social networking. As much as I love it, it can also act as a distraction.

In recent weeks I have noticed I have become a lot more lower than normal. I don't think it helps that things ended with a Jack, a guy I was seeing the past 6 months. i know heartbreak is a bugger at times and it has left me feeling very empty.

I have also noticed that I am not looking forward to things as much and I have been a lot more negative of late. I think I really need to go back and re-evaluate things before things spiral. I have had a chronic fear that I will 'relapse' back to how I was last summer.

I am trying so hard for that not to be the case.

But I am accepting that this could happen too.

So I think a break is in order so I can try and get back on track.

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Friday, 26 September 2014

Tobago

I returned home from Tobago two weeks ago and it still feels like a distant memory. It was my first time going to the Caribbean and I LOVED it.

I have never been to a place with blue waters and white sands. It was just idyllic to relax in. Tobago itself is such a lush country. It is green everywhere, not at all built up and the people are so kind. 

One of my favourite days was going snorkelling in the waters at Crowne Point. They have the Caribbean's largest coral reef there so it was so good to see it.

So pretty!

Our hotel was pretty basic. When choosing holidays I don't really feel the need to splash out on a hotel room since I hardly spend any time there. However, the hotel did the most amazing cocktails!

This was Pigeon Point beach. It was so picturesque! We were so lucky with the weather. It reached 35 degrees most days.

This was Nylon pool in the Caribbean sea. It is a place where 4 different currents meet in the middle. It forms like a little whirlpool at night and during the day it becomes 'No Mans Land'. This is where it forms a big sandy mound in the middle of the sea. It was so neat (and bizarre!) to just stand in the middle of the ocean!

I found the locals to be really friendly. We went to an event called The Sunday School Trip - it is a party in Buccoo and the locals invite the tourists to come along. They play steel drums, dance and have bbq's on the street. It was nice to take part in something local! We were only there for a week so we tried to do as much as we can but the main aim of the holiday was to relax, read and have some me time. If I was to return to Tobago I would try and visit the Atlantic side as we heard it is very different and it also has the rain forests that side too. Since going to the Caribbean I now have a huge desire to see more of the islands. It was such a nice way to spend the week!


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