Thursday, 11 February 2016

Exciting Times

Some of my favourite UK moments

Yet again I sit here with January over and February bowling along, finally sorting my thoughts into a coherent summary of what happened between mid-December and last week. This seems to be a recurring feature of living in Adelaide. I think this is because the Christmas break has become an opportunity for catching up with family and the emotional craziness that tends to accompany it renders me brain dead for a few weeks. I also tend to mentally want to distance myself from events until I feel ready to hammer out the words – it hasn’t helped that the past two Christmas/new year intervals have involved job news as well as family stuff going on.

That’s right, not content with the stress and anxiety caused by the 2014/15 job change I have decided to manoeuvre again, albeit this one feels instinctively more sensible than the ‘any-port-in-a-storm’ approach I took previously. I feel very lucky in that I have managed, in what is deemed a very hard job market, to find an opportunity that ticks all the boxes and then successfully land the position. I am SO EXCITED that I want to make a squealing noise. But I shall refrain.

This post was advertised before the xmas break. I took the position description with me back to the UK so I could think about the application and formulate a plan. I had that worrying, intense, DESIRE to land this role. I did not dare tell myself it was possible because nothing that seemingly perfect on paper comes easy. Instead of throwing my hat into the ring for anything and everything (which had previously been the case and led to a stressful 4 interviews in one week scenario in late 2014) I had taken on board some advice from a mentor and been far more selective. But then I read about this role and I just absolutely had to go for it. Even though it was advertised as a 0.8 FTE. 

I did the math. It was a grade higher than my current role so I knew I would not be taking too much of a hit to drop to 4 days a week. And think of the work/life balance! I had quite settled on the idea by the time I found out I had an interview. I went along to it with a determination to just take it in my stride and be me. I felt like I clicked straight away with the team and then the awful thing was that by the time I left I WANTED IT SO BADLY because of that, so I had to try and rationalise that I might not get it and would be sorely disappointed. And then, quite to my amazement, they called me that night and offered me the post. Not just that, they offered it to me full time if I wanted it.

Luckily, it seems the feeling of connectedness was mutual. They want me in their gang as much as I want to be in it. I cannot tell you how much that matters to me as an employee – feeling that you are in the right space with the right people. So, in a little over a weeks time I will be leaving UniSA for University of Adelaide. Hopping back into a CBD base with a new sense of purpose. Leaving behind the world of Research Support (I have a whole other blog to write on what this last year has taught me about that).

So, my head is spinning and I have heaps to sort out ahead of the move. I figure, then, I should probably capture some thoughts around Christmas in the UK before the chance is missed and life snowballs into the next chapter.
I already documented the hellish arrival and escape fromHeathrow in another blog post, but aside from the airport traumas the visit was pretty darn awesome. I managed to catch up with good friends and spend some great QT with my wonderful Nana, I refused point blank to turn the whole thing into a whirlwind of back to back visits and that worked wonderfully, I actually got to have some down time and some me time (mainly for clothes shopping and sitting watching films in my pyjamas with my parents).

Highlights included:
  •          Managing to squeeze 4 curries into my 10 nights back and enjoying every single mouthful of every single one
  •          Meeting my soon to be sister in law who is wonderful and cooked xmas dinner for 10 people without being stressed (she is clearly some kind of supreme being)
  •          Laughing so hard at technological woes in my parents ridiculous gadget den that I felt like I induced a hernia
  •          Christmas day family craziness – you just cannot buy that shit – with my two sisters, the three of us giggling uncontrollably at another gadget related malfunction and the resulting exchanges it caused between our beloved relatives
  •          Getting to spend some time with the older of my two sisters who was due to give birth in January, seeing her heavily pregnant made me feel so old but it was also joyous to see her and her lovely partner preparing to welcome the new arrival.
  •          Shopping like a maniac. My luggage allowance was so close to being busted on the way home, I finally have what resembles a decent wardrobe in Australia for both work and casual clothes. Man, I miss Debenhams, Dorothy Perkins, River Island etc…

So there you go. This is not the blog I thought I would be writing about xmas in the UK but it is the one I have written.

2016 is panning out to be a pretty exciting year with not just my new job on the cards but some awesome looking holidays planned later in the year. Adelaide Fringe starts tonight and we will be catching up with a lot of friends, doing heaps of socialising and enjoying the sunshine as the city enters Mad March, my favourite time of year here. We already have tickets for 4 different Fringe shows between now and the end of March so it will be a pretty busy time.

Once I am settled in my new role I will update and reflect on stuff, it’s all just a bit too vivid at the moment, here is to an exciting year ahead!