reflecting on the past month

The last few weeks at work have been particularly challenging. All of August was challenging.

I’m not sure if I’ve ever been so stretched and so exhausted in all my working life so far. Operating on not enough sleep, I’m surprised I never had more than one large coffee per day. There were probably one or two days I didn’t have any.

But changes are happening, improvements are being made, and overall I’m still pretty optimistic. Some would say it’s impossible for me to not be optimistic, regardless of the situation or objective outlook. Continue reading

adrift

As we enter a new year, and a lot of people are contemplating what they want to achieve, what they want to change, or what they want to keep and nourish; I, quite honestly, feel a little lost. But maybe not so much lost as “adrift” or “suddenly aware that I’ve been adrift for a while, riding the gentle waves of a lake, no longer sure what shore I left from or which bank I need to go to”.

Of course, there’s nothing inherently wrong with the situation – there’s no storm brewing, no predator beneath the surface of the water, no structural problem with the boat, or shortage of supplies – but I feel a little adrift. Continue reading

learning how to learn languages

Every so often – maybe when I’m feeling like I need a bit of inspiration, or I’m just feeling bored and listless – I watch TED Talks. Usually these are TEDx Talks but they’re more or less the same thing. Usually I watch talks about psychology and human relationships, or about behaviour and the way the brain works; but a couple of weeks ago, YouTube was suggesting some talks about learning languages.

As you may or may not know, I’m currently in the process of learning Persian (AKA Farsi) and also kind of re-learning Mandarin, so when I saw videos like “How to learn any language easily” pop up, I figured “why not”. I used to be quite wary of these talks because I thought they would just tell me to spend three months in whatever country speaks the language I’m learning, and I’d miraculously master it (obviously I can’t just pack up and move to Iran or China for three months); but I had spare time that day, and I figured it wouldn’t hurt to watch one talk, and see if it offered anything worthwhile.  Continue reading

someone new

This has been a bit of a weird day in which I didn’t really feel like doing anything at all. What I ended up doing, mostly, apart from eating, was reading journal articles and getting CPD points, which isn’t something I usually do on days when I’m lacking general motivation (it’s not even something I tend to do on days when I do have motivation).

I did some leisurely reading too, though. Just started One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (by Ken Kesey). It’s one that I’ve wanted to read for so long, so I’m glad I’m finally getting around to it.

I’m going to blame this general lack of motivation on the beginning of summer. Yes, it’s that time of the year again… That time when the temperature is regularly above 30 (talking Celsius here – I wish it was Fahrenheit), the humidity becomes stifling, and every second thought has something to do with rain or cool breezes or air con.

I could also just be tired because I went out last night to see Hozier at River Stage. It’s quite a nice venue (my first time seeing a concert there). The forecast kept saying there’d be storms or at least some rain, but luckily it held off the whole night – pretty much until I got home. All the lightning seemed to be happening out west, which meant there was this lovely light display in the sky just above and around the stage. It was pretty cool.

The concert itself was pretty good too. Admittedly, I’m not as familiar with Hozier’s music as I am with The Script or Maroon 5, so I wasn’t as psyched up this time, but I was quite pleased overall. The support/opening act, Rhodes, was also pretty impressive. He’s possibly the best support act I’ve seen out of all the concerts I’ve been to.

If you haven’t already guessed, “Someone New” is my favourite Hozier song. Also really like “Work Song” (which, despite the name, doesn’t seem to have anything to do with actual work). There are others I quite like but I really cannot remember their names right now.

Hmm… Maybe I’d benefit from an early bedtime tonight. Then again, maybe I could just put on some music and not worry about bedtime. It is the week-end, after all…