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Here once on this path love’s torment
Found me quietly pleading in fear
Then twice by this way love’s sonnet
Helped me to see my way clear
As I thrice put my case love’s comet
Struck me, rendered me seer
Four times in the midst of love’s torrent
My heart stricken by love beyond peer
A fifth run to the end of love’s gauntlet
Win or lose shapes my life on from here
Diary of a Retiree: Day 247
181 days since my last diary specific entry.
Where have I been?
I have had this question a few times. Maybe it is time to answer it. I have been in a headspace called preoccupied. A week or two ago, I had a realisation. I realised that I may have finally arrived somewhere else. Where? Well, I think I arrived at some sort of understanding or reconciliation with the fact that I no longer need to be preoccupied with the concept of working under the instruction of others. It has taken eight months.
Admittedly, particularly in the last five years or so, I enjoyed a significant degree of autonomy in my work – a very fortunate and often rewarding circumstance. On the other hand, I found plenty of reasons to be dissatisfied, especially when I felt outcomes could have been better. Instead of settling systems into place, I have seen widespread and rapid change with poorly considered impacts on work groups become the norm. The recurring, patronising platitudes and executive level incompetence I have seen offered up in approaches to radical change management have been gob smacking. I have felt stymied by management incumbents and structures that do little other than promote power plays, churn and corporate memory loss. I have seen stabilising, value adding loyalty between employees and employers evaporate.
I have worked with some brilliant people. I miss and take my hat off to so many of my ICU and HITH nursing colleagues for their enormous depth of experience, their vast reservoir of knowledge, their diverse skill sets, their advanced professionalism, their teamwork and individual initiative, their collegiality and their highly-developed sense of empathy and compassion. How blessed to work with such people! I have been Supervisor, ANUM and Educator working with some outstanding Nurse Unit Mangers and fellow Educators. Very sadly, after 36 years of working in healthcare I can’t make the same observations about the medical profession. I have worked with some good medicos, but as a generalisation, I would have to say self-serving and arrogant are still the words that come to mind. The medical culture is toxic to efficient and cooperative healthcare institutions.
So, where have I been? Coming to terms with the haunting of my working past. Lifting the weight of working to protect colleagues and patients from harm at the hands of my employers.
The frustration is fading. I am beginning to look ahead, toward the possibilities of the future. The new question is, where am I going? It feels like an optimistic one.
The misting rain as light as being
The pitter patter rain of anticipation
The sun shower rain of joyfulness
The dawn lit rain of new awakenings
The driving rain of persistent harassment
The piercing rain of pain and hurt
The bleak rain of uncertainty
The saturating rain of grief
The pounding rain of anger
The cold rain of fear and loathing
The persistent rain of melancholy
The drought breaking rain of celebration
The tropical rain of surprise and relief
The tin roof rain of night time snuggles
The slanting rain of getting under your skin
The fat wet rain of things to come
The dull rain of misery
The easing rain of hope for a day
The sheeting rain of washing your sins away
The aerosol rain that never settles
The eddying rain of indefinite endings
The ominous rain of growing darkness
The thunder laden rain of shock and fear
The storm driven rain of nature’s authority
The drenching rain of no escape
The floating rain of disproportionate outcomes
The harrowing rain of oppression and spite
The lightning flash rain of vision burned
The unexpected rain of scrambling for shelter
The flooding rain of tears
The icy rain of an unknown future
The sleety rain of chilled to the bone
The sunlit rain of clarity of purpose
The dancing rain of swirling possibilities
The evening rain of contemplation
The elemental rain of fundamental outcomes
The cloaking rain of secrecy
The wispy rain of dissipation
The hard rain of death
The transparent rain of release
The soft rain of peace
The cold can bite you here. It is sharp and crisp and penetrating. In the dark of a cloudless, moonless, star bright landscape, in the nocturnal brilliance of moonlit contrasts, in the shelter of a blackened room, it stabs through the bedclothes. It targets your knees or a hip, whichever joint is most elevated and least supplied with a warming blood supply. It ices your brain.
Then the morning comes. The frozen grass cracks under your feet. The birdbaths are glazed and crazed and the world is a wonderland of white light, of reflective crystals. It’s all worth it.
Then comes the sun. Gently rising over the tree lined eastern horizon, shafts start breaking through the cold barrier in scattered beams of raw illumination. Light sprays jump from each hoary crystal bed they touch. But just as quickly, just as they commence their flashy dance, they are replaced by translucent droplets, silvery and clear, mirroring the world around them in fresh formed globules like polished convex glass.
Then the rich, thermal bath of undiluted yellow sunshine begins. It bathes our world in a warming golden glow, washing from our memory the cold that was snapping at our heels such a short time ago. We revel in it. We revere it. We relish the transition from the sharp edged winter’s night to the slow, melting, immersive onset of another glorious North East Victorian winter’s day.