Sixth year anniversary

While away for a few day in Mount Coolum, this week, I snapped a couple of photos of these clusters of perky blooms.

Grown as houseplants in the UK, I was fascinated by the strength and beauty of these Winter flowers. The climate in south east Queensland, Australia suits outdoor Springtime flowering.

A brief Internet search revealed the following words to describe amaryllis’ symbolism: Strength, determination, beauty, success after a struggle, and love.

I have chosen the amaryllis to commemorate our wedding day, happy sixth anniversary my beloved xxx

Contrast

Expectations, unheard, unwritten, not agreed, lead to disappointment.

Frustration from despondency could result in an outpouring or inner turmoil.

Assumptions can conflict create or do secrets forge, limiting authenticity.

Living as a liar may rebellion incite or self-loathing and self-destruction result.

Saturday night shenanigans

I just entered my first ever Furious Fiction writing competition!

Garth arrived with, ‘how are you darlings?’ While lifting the wrong arm to release the overnight sleeping bag. ‘Smash’, white wine spread across the living room floor.

The elaborate soiree commenced without further incident, the remaining four guests were settled in the lounge, lit with white candles.

My husband busied himself with small talk and cocktails as I prepared the pork fillet with apples, calvados and a dash of cream. I was met with a cheer as an orange flash illuminated the adjoining rooms. Flames were sucked up through the cooker hood to lick the ceiling. This was by no means an intended flambé experience.

Cozily seated at the table, featuring blue candles, the ensemble savoured three courses plus cheese. Alcohol flowed freely, loosening tongues, spreading ruddy complexions. Afterwards, coffee and petit fours were served in the cool of the lounge.

The sharing of stories, jokes, and limericks was hushed by, ‘crash’, ‘bump’, ‘thud’, followed by loud voices, coming from upstairs.

A fresh-faced dark haired man of medium stature thumped down the stairs, closely followed by a petite pretty tousled blonde young woman. Unceasing in their endeavour, they charged through the gathering, opened the vestibule door followed by the front door, and rushed out into the midnight air.

An icy blast and the sight of the sparkling frost covered earth outside sent a collective shudder through the band of revellers.

‘Bang’, ‘bang’, taking two steps at a time, our semi-clad lodger, Lance hurtled downstairs. This hirsute alabaster skinned god stole the gaze of the room as he left in pursuit of the first two. The unsettling disturbance wound up the gaiety of the evening, guests departed and Garth bedded down on the sofa.

In the morning, Garth complained of meagre sleep due to the answering machine’s bleeping and a diatribe of messages. Lance appeared sporting a flesh wound on his forehead, dressed head to toe, in his customary black.

The shenanigans of the previous evening were revealed. Lance was asleep on his bed, he awoke to find the object of his affections canoodling with his brother on the floor. In a rage, Lance had punched the brother and pushed the fiancée across the room.

Upon exiting our humble abode, the fiancée had returned home. The brother had driven for two hours, to find his wife in bed with another man. The calls in the early hours were from the brother to Lance.

Lance asked if we had sunglasses he could borrow. He was going to the local church to discuss the wedding with his fiancée and the vicar. Lance was furnished with a discarded black pair from a petrol station. Upon reviewing his countenance in the dining room mirror, bearing in mind his life was in tatters, he said, ‘do these make my nose look big?’

The mark on his forehead? Lance had become entangled in a hawthorn bush while running through the fields.

Talk about baying at the moon!

Drain anew

Davy‘s grey clouds threaten
Gloom inducing doom chills
Darkening the soulful

Deluge then droplets drip
Dismal dampness pervades
Downcast delusions dwell

Monochrome maudlin
Doldrums drain energy
Sunshine invigorates

Living one’s purpose

Five learnings from my journey of service to others

Beware the drama triangle
Take a moment to step back, assess the situation. Are characters from the drama triangle* about to draw me in? I aim to be objective and assist participants to find a way out.

I learned the hard way, taking on the part of Rescuer often led to situations that compromised one of my core values, integrity.

Self limiting practises suck
I have often found myself tied up in my own self limiting practises due to making assumptions, skewed perception, self doubt, and misguided self reliance. This led to missed opportunities for me to assist others to develop, poorer quality outcomes and my own burnout.

Fear of failure; bunny in the headlights
I cannot overstate the sheer horror and inner trauma of being faced with the threat of not achieving a goal, in my service to another.

The worst was realised by the refusal of a stakeholder to cooperate. This brought forth significant flight or fight responses.

Having clear measures of success, being prepared for resistance and exploring collaboration rather than drawing battle have helped me since.

Being ‘helpful’ or taking over
When I first started coaching, I observed myself wanting to jump in to help by taking over. An urge, almost too hard to resist.

What a relief it was to understand the benefits of others’ active participation in decision making, problem solving and learning processes. The person being coached is imbued with freedom during the journey and has ownership of the outcome.

Resilience
Resilience to deal with this time of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. For an emotional soul such as I, it’s important for me to to not take things personally; stick my head in the sand, or become a victim.

Acceptance of the way things are grants permission to move forward.

*Dr Stephen Karpman developed a dynamic model of social interaction and conflict, calling it the ‘drama triangle’. Three participants take the roles of ‘rescuer’, ‘persecutor’, ‘victim’. I recommend reading How to opt out of the drama triangle.

Finding one’s purpose

In my early fifties, I spent years in dismal dismay, scratching around in search of my purpose. Prior to this, I seemed to be caught in the blissful raptural ignorance of youth.

Being fortunate to have a supportive line manager, I took full advantage of personality testing and coaching. Even though the purpose remained elusive, calls to the Universe for insight and inspiration were released.

Significant changes to career, house, and home state proved to be the catalyst of self realisation. The act of job seeking necessitated repetitive review, refinement, and honing of one’s resumé, cover letter, and application. This led to a need to identify the goals of the 30 plus roles, performed to date. The list was prioritised and filtered according to length of tenure. This drew together and consolidated many threads, distilling them into a single purpose.

The result, service to others. I do this by engaging problem solving, creativity, authenticity, and time management skills.

Tide of change

Once upon a time, in a sleepy street, near the brow of a hill, stood a single storey red brick cottage, bordered by hardy grassed paths.

The owner loved the home so much, they attached a sturdy white wrought iron bracket. Suspended beneath by two rings, a white oblong marker declared the house’s location.

Being a fan of swashbuckling heroes, the chosen placque featured a galleon, perpetually travelling the oceans at full sail.

Many a long year did that building provide shelter and comfort to its inhabitants. While number 37 gently swayed in the breeze.

Being but five kilometres from the city, the growing populace demanded increased housing density. Standalone dwellings were gradually consumed by multi-storey, hemmed in developments.

Today a refurbished ship 37 voyages upon a shiny new ‘boutique’ apartment block.