This Melancholy Christmas

I tend to get a little bit maudlin at Christmas, maybe it’s because the kids are beyond kids now and the new traditions with a new partner are still yet to be defined.  It’s always been a balancing act but is even more so now in a blended family when not everyone gets along.  So we try and make the best of things despite some tension at times.  If I had a Christmas wish it would be that all six of the kids got along and things didn’t feel so uncomfortable when they are together.   Not sure whether that will ever happen.

This year though I have come to Christmas Eve with  the knoweldge that my job may not continue in the New Year.  Directors and owners are arguing over the spoils and the company direction seemingly oblivious to the fact that they have fucked up a lot of peoples Christmases this year.  Worse yet is that they have not given us the courtesy of an explanation.  I think that even if it does go forward it is not likely that many of my colleagues will stick things out.   And nor should anyone when they get treated this poorly.

So the melancholy simmers and the presents, such as they are, go unwrapped, because some of the family have missed out this year.    With no guarantee that I will be getting paid in January we have had to curtail spending so that we have enough aside to cover the mortgage.

And I have to admit this first year without Mum has things looking different as well.

I know there are people in way worse places than we are and I can only imagine their despair if these lousy feelings are anything to go by.  But this too shall pass.   The New Year will bring new opportunities and I have already started applying for other roles.   Something will come up.

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Long Awaited Update

I know I posted yesterday but posts have been few and far between this year.  Why?   Just busy and being in front of a computer all day at work means I have little desire to switch it on at home.   But time for an update.

We have bought a block of land and will be building a house at some stage in the next year.  The uncertainty is related to the time scale on the property settlement which whilst we were told it would be August now looks like being closer to the end of the year.   You can follow that journey of you wish at Destination 3977.  If you drop by there please leave a comment :).

At work the year started with me being given more responsibilities until Friday when they were all taken away from me.  Nothing to do with work performance – more to do with a person not actually taking the time to understand what was actually being done.

On an entirely different note (if you care to read it that way) I have never been one for empire building and nor have I been one to run to a boss and whinge, so I don’t have a lot of respect for people who do.   In fact, rather than not a lot of respect, I have none at all.  I also have no respect for people who point the blame elsewhere rather than take responsibilities for their own shortcomings.

Son number one will find out in the next few weeks where his next posting will be.  Of course, as most soldiers do, he is hoping it will be overseas.   I’m happy if it’s not but recognise that he wants to do the job he was trained for.

Son number two has his bed at my place now, but only sleeps in it a couple of nights a week.

Daughter number one is in Europe and in fact by the time this post appears on the blog will be in Paris.  She’s on a 10 week grand tour with a girlfriend and has so far visited England, Ireland and Scotland.

Daughter number two had her fifth diaphragmatic hernia operation a couple of months ago and is recovering very well. 

Mum has had a polyp removed from her bowel and will get the results in the next week or so.  She will be 80 next month.

Lost Job and swine flu

My youngest son messaged me today telling me he has lost his job. He rang his boss to find out where he was supposed to be working tomorrow and was told that there isn’t enough work and that he is therefore sacked. No real explanation why it’s him and not someone else although I think he has had a bit of time off lately with a virus and also having just been diagnosed with a hernia. He works as a scaffolder so maybe that is the real reason.

I told him that I will help in whatever way I can but truth is I feel pretty helpless. I have no work to give him. My lady has said that we will help financially [he has a car loan] but I haven’t told him that yet. It’s more important that he gets motivated to start looking for work immediately.

Lot’s of people have been crook at work in the past few weeks, but although Melbourne is apparently the swine flu capital of the world only one person I know of has had that illness. There is the odd person seen walking through the city with a face mask on but for the most part people are just getting on with things.

I am still waiting to finalise my new contract only because the HR Manager has not had the time to deal with it. I will admit a little anxiety over not having it in place yet, but that’s based on what happened to me last year, not because I think my position is in jeopardy.

I’ve had a few interesting exchanges of emails with a former employer and a few more facts about my sacking have fallen into place including the fact that there were three Board members wh pushed for my removal and not one of them ever said that they had any issues with my work performance. I was also told that some of the false information that they were telling people after I was sacked was a deliberate attempt to discredit me and they have come very close to finding themselves with a defamation case. I’ll dig a bit more over the next few weeks simply because I beleive I am owed the truth.

Letting go of the Anger and Other Things

I’ll start with an updat on last weeks update – I spoke to the mother of the girl allegedly dating a drug dealer and she is making some discreet enquiries.  She was grateful for the heads up and I guess time will tell whether the story is right or not.

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I’ve been asked to run for another committee and I’m weighing it up.  I have to find the passion for the sport again.   I find that I have lost a lot of respect for people involved and although I think I can do a better job than some of them I worry about the impact on available time.  I am enjoying having weekends off and spending time in the garden.   That will likely change if I take this position on and I am not prepared to do it unless I am 100% committed.  Maybe I still need some more time away from it.   Maybe I will never fully embrace it again.

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My contract is up in about 8 weeks so I am going to ask the boss tomorrow what his intentions are.  I look back twelve months and realise how much I have learned in this role but recognise that there is still a lot more to be done.   I remember the first couple of months when I was floundering not knowing anything at all about ISO 9001 or 27001, being a novice in Business Continuity Planning and Risk Management, but as the months wore on and my background knowledge increased and I was able to call on my former experience both in the police force and as CEO of one of the largest not-for-profit sporting groups in the country, I started to realise that I could make a difference and I like to think I have.   I guess I’ll find out soon if my boss concurs.

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I do keep dwelling on anger and an incident yesterday made me think a bit more about the impact of a marriage breakup on the kids and the log term impact on them.  I won’t go into detail of the actual comments made to me here because that’ll just get me into more trouble but I thought I’d make a few general comments.

I know better than some how comments made to children can have a profound impact on their lives, as can the actions of others.   Often there is no malice in the comments and no actual forethought about the long term impact of those actions.  I started to think about what impact it may have on kids to find that their parents no longer love each other and I have come to this conclusion.   Younger kids, if they are lucky, get the unconditional love of their parents, and that love is something totally different to that of the love between a husband and a wife.  Maybe to those who haven’t gone through a marriage break up this is not something that is true.  But I think for those of us who have it ought to be self evident.

I think that kids can feel threatened by that.  For them the love of a mother and father is the same as that of the love for their brothers and sisters and it is unconditional, just like that of a parent for a child.  But when a marriage goes wrong, particularly when they don’t see what was wrong, then it is something that is very hard to understand.  Perhaps in those cases, the worry is that if one parent falls out of love with the other, it is not a big stretch to think that they may also fall out of love with their children.  They don’t understand, maybe they can’t understand, that the love is different.

It seems to me that the parent who has the bulk of the custodianship of the child has a great responsibility to ensure that the child is protected from the detail of the breakup.  There are some things that children don’t need to know and both parents should do their absolute best to ensure that kids know that they are loved by both parents equally.  If they hear criticism of one, then the fears of losing that love creep in and the kids can hang onto anger about the breakup far longer than they should.   Maybe they can never really understand it until they get older.   It is difficult for the parent who is seen as the instigator of the breakup to defend themselves in those circumstances without bagging the other parent.  And as tempting as that is at times it is far better to keep quiet about things even when it means they still cop the bulk of the flak from the kids.

Sometimes the whole truth and nothing but the truth ca do way more harm than good.  Why be vindicative enough to drag the other parent off the pedestal.   There may be a future time and place for everything to be told, or maybe not.

I know that I have often referred to Don Miguel Ruiz and his book “The Four Agreements”because it had such a profound impact on me.   Back in the early days of this blog I wrote a piece about The First Agreement – Be Impeccable with your Word and I think it applies here.  It’s an orphan piece that drew no comments at the time so I would be interested in any comments on that now if anyone has the time to read it.

I know that there are a lot of readers of this blog who have gone through marriage breakups.  Tell me how your kids coped with it and how you may have tired to protect them from the detail.

Letting go of the Anger and Other Things

I’ll start with an updat on last weeks update – I spoke to the mother of the girl allegedly dating a drug dealer and she is making some discreet enquiries.  She was grateful for the heads up and I guess time will tell whether the story is right or not.

******************************************
I’ve been asked to run for another committee and I’m weighing it up.  I have to find the passion for the sport again.   I find that I have lost a lot of respect for people involved and although I think I can do a better job than some of them I worry about the impact on available time.  I am enjoying having weekends off and spending time in the garden.   That will likely change if I take this position on and I am not prepared to do it unless I am 100% committed.  Maybe I still need some more time away from it.   Maybe I will never fully embrace it again.

******************************************
My contract is up in about 8 weeks so I am going to ask the boss tomorrow what his intentions are.  I look back twelve months and realise how much I have learned in this role but recognise that there is still a lot more to be done.   I remember the first couple of months when I was floundering not knowing anything at all about ISO 9001 or 27001, being a novice in Business Continuity Planning and Risk Management, but as the months wore on and my background knowledge increased and I was able to call on my former experience both in the police force and as CEO of one of the largest not-for-profit sporting groups in the country, I started to realise that I could make a difference and I like to think I have.   I guess I’ll find out soon if my boss concurs.

******************************************
I do keep dwelling on anger and an incident yesterday made me think a bit more about the impact of a marriage breakup on the kids and the log term impact on them.  I won’t go into detail of the actual comments made to me here because that’ll just get me into more trouble but I thought I’d make a few general comments.

I know better than some how comments made to children can have a profound impact on their lives, as can the actions of others.   Often there is no malice in the comments and no actual forethought about the long term impact of those actions.  I started to think about what impact it may have on kids to find that their parents no longer love each other and I have come to this conclusion.   Younger kids, if they are lucky, get the unconditional love of their parents, and that love is something totally different to that of the love between a husband and a wife.  Maybe to those who haven’t gone through a marriage break up this is not something that is true.  But I think for those of us who have it ought to be self evident.

I think that kids can feel threatened by that.  For them the love of a mother and father is the same as that of the love for their brothers and sisters and it is unconditional, just like that of a parent for a child.  But when a marriage goes wrong, particularly when they don’t see what was wrong, then it is something that is very hard to understand.  Perhaps in those cases, the worry is that if one parent falls out of love with the other, it is not a big stretch to think that they may also fall out of love with their children.  They don’t understand, maybe they can’t understand, that the love is different.

It seems to me that the parent who has the bulk of the custodianship of the child has a great responsibility to ensure that the child is protected from the detail of the breakup.  There are some things that children don’t need to know and both parents should do their absolute best to ensure that kids know that they are loved by both parents equally.  If they hear criticism of one, then the fears of losing that love creep in and the kids can hang onto anger about the breakup far longer than they should.   Maybe they can never really understand it until they get older.   It is difficult for the parent who is seen as the instigator of the breakup to defend themselves in those circumstances without bagging the other parent.  And as tempting as that is at times it is far better to keep quiet about things even when it means they still cop the bulk of the flak from the kids.

Sometimes the whole truth and nothing but the truth ca do way more harm than good.  Why be vindicative enough to drag the other parent off the pedestal.   There may be a future time and place for everything to be told, or maybe not.

I know that I have often referred to Don Miguel Ruiz and his book “The Four Agreements”because it had such a profound impact on me.   Back in the early days of this blog I wrote a piece about The First Agreement – Be Impeccable with your Word and I think it applies here.  It’s an orphan piece that drew no comments at the time so I would be interested in any comments on that now if anyone has the time to read it.

I know that there are a lot of readers of this blog who have gone through marriage breakups.  Tell me how your kids coped with it and how you may have tired to protect them from the detail.

Letting go of the anger

I have spent way too much time angry in the past year.  Angry with ex-employers, angry with ex-family and friends.  I’m not saying that it wasn’t justified.  In my mind I had every right to be angry with all of them.  I had wrong done to me.   Whether they would ever admit it or not, and whether I deserved some of what I got or not, I was treated shabbily by a lot of people.

My ex-employers breeched my contract, breeched their legal obligations to me as a terminated employee, breeched their own code of conduct which stated that they were to treat people with Honesty, Respect and Professionalism, lied to members about my departure and used deceptive and misleading conduct in hiding their decision from me for at least two months.    There were meetings with people I used to work with where they were told that I had lied about having a three year contract and that in fact my contract had expired.  

People within the industry with whom I had job interviews told me they were told that I couldn’t handle my staff – my answer to them was to ask my staff if they enjoyed working for me, and to look at the awards that the organisation had won over my period of time there and then to ask themselves the question about whether I could handle staff or not.  I have a reasonable idea who was saying these things and I have no respect for that person any more.

For much of the year I felt like I was treated like a dead man by people once close to me.  I was seen and ignored in public places.  People turned away from me rather than acknowledge my existence.  Everything seemed to be a constant battle and none of it was resolved or capable of being resolved.

I was very lucky to be given an opportunity to work in an area I had little experience in and struggled to find my feet for the first few months.   It was only as I got to know my new workmates and started to gain some of the background knowledge that I was missing, that I finally felt like I was making a worthwhile contribution.

And always the anger was boiling away under the surface.   Friends set me adrift, the vindication of my self esteem by excelling in my profession was left behind with the sacking and the self doubts were allowed to creep in.   The good things that were happening were sometimes masked because the anger hid them.

And many people who knew me in my old role were complaining about the direction my old work had taken since I left.  I wrote that off as people telling me what they thought I wanted to hear for a while, but not one single person has said one good thing about it to me since I left.  But hearing those things just fed the anger.  I thought I’d done a good job, and you wonder why, if that was the case, that people not only decide to get rid of you, but do it totally behind your back.  I was warned in January last year that moves were afoot to terminate me but two things made me take the warning with a grain of salt – firstly I had two years to go on my contract, secondly I had the word of a supposed friend that he wouldn’t go behind my back.  I have since told him that if ever anyone asks me if he was a man of his word I would tell them no.   Pity is that it was the second time he had broken his word to me, I should have learnt from the first time.

But I have come to the conclusion that I have to let the anger go because it is wasted.  I can change neither what was said and done, nor can I be responsible for the actions of others.   To take those actions personally is foolish.  If those people had a problem with me then it is their problem and only they can make it right.

So in letting go of the anger let me grab hold of this prayer attributed to Reinhold Niebuhr –

Grant to us the serenity of mind to accept that which cannot be changed; the courage to change that which can be changed, and the wisdom to know the one from the other.

To New Beginnings!

Letting go of the anger

I have spent way too much time angry in the past year.  Angry with ex-employers, angry with ex-family and friends.  I’m not saying that it wasn’t justified.  In my mind I had every right to be angry with all of them.  I had wrong done to me.   Whether they would ever admit it or not, and whether I deserved some of what I got or not, I was treated shabbily by a lot of people.

My ex-employers breeched my contract, breeched their legal obligations to me as a terminated employee, breeched their own code of conduct which stated that they were to treat people with Honesty, Respect and Professionalism, lied to members about my departure and used deceptive and misleading conduct in hiding their decision from me for at least two months.    There were meetings with people I used to work with where they were told that I had lied about having a three year contract and that in fact my contract had expired.  

People within the industry with whom I had job interviews told me they were told that I couldn’t handle my staff – my answer to them was to ask my staff if they enjoyed working for me, and to look at the awards that the organisation had won over my period of time there and then to ask themselves the question about whether I could handle staff or not.  I have a reasonable idea who was saying these things and I have no respect for that person any more.

For much of the year I felt like I was treated like a dead man by people once close to me.  I was seen and ignored in public places.  People turned away from me rather than acknowledge my existence.  Everything seemed to be a constant battle and none of it was resolved or capable of being resolved.

I was very lucky to be given an opportunity to work in an area I had little experience in and struggled to find my feet for the first few months.   It was only as I got to know my new workmates and started to gain some of the background knowledge that I was missing, that I finally felt like I was making a worthwhile contribution.

And always the anger was boiling away under the surface.   Friends set me adrift, the vindication of my self esteem by excelling in my profession was left behind with the sacking and the self doubts were allowed to creep in.   The good things that were happening were sometimes masked because the anger hid them.

And many people who knew me in my old role were complaining about the direction my old work had taken since I left.  I wrote that off as people telling me what they thought I wanted to hear for a while, but not one single person has said one good thing about it to me since I left.  But hearing those things just fed the anger.  I thought I’d done a good job, and you wonder why, if that was the case, that people not only decide to get rid of you, but do it totally behind your back.  I was warned in January last year that moves were afoot to terminate me but two things made me take the warning with a grain of salt – firstly I had two years to go on my contract, secondly I had the word of a supposed friend that he wouldn’t go behind my back.  I have since told him that if ever anyone asks me if he was a man of his word I would tell them no.   Pity is that it was the second time he had broken his word to me, I should have learnt from the first time.

But I have come to the conclusion that I have to let the anger go because it is wasted.  I can change neither what was said and done, nor can I be responsible for the actions of others.   To take those actions personally is foolish.  If those people had a problem with me then it is their problem and only they can make it right.

So in letting go of the anger let me grab hold of this prayer attributed to Reinhold Niebuhr –

Grant to us the serenity of mind to accept that which cannot be changed; the courage to change that which can be changed, and the wisdom to know the one from the other.

To New Beginnings!

Letting go of the anger

I have spent way too much time angry in the past year.  Angry with ex-employers, angry with ex-family and friends.  I’m not saying that it wasn’t justified.  In my mind I had every right to be angry with all of them.  I had wrong done to me.   Whether they would ever admit it or not, and whether I deserved some of what I got or not, I was treated shabbily by a lot of people.

My ex-employers breeched my contract, breeched their legal obligations to me as a terminated employee, breeched their own code of conduct which stated that they were to treat people with Honesty, Respect and Professionalism, lied to members about my departure and used deceptive and misleading conduct in hiding their decision from me for at least two months.    There were meetings with people I used to work with where they were told that I had lied about having a three year contract and that in fact my contract had expired.  

People within the industry with whom I had job interviews told me they were told that I couldn’t handle my staff – my answer to them was to ask my staff if they enjoyed working for me, and to look at the awards that the organisation had won over my period of time there and then to ask themselves the question about whether I could handle staff or not.  I have a reasonable idea who was saying these things and I have no respect for that person any more.

For much of the year I felt like I was treated like a dead man by people once close to me.  I was seen and ignored in public places.  People turned away from me rather than acknowledge my existence.  Everything seemed to be a constant battle and none of it was resolved or capable of being resolved.

I was very lucky to be given an opportunity to work in an area I had little experience in and struggled to find my feet for the first few months.   It was only as I got to know my new workmates and started to gain some of the background knowledge that I was missing, that I finally felt like I was making a worthwhile contribution.

And always the anger was boiling away under the surface.   Friends set me adrift, the vindication of my self esteem by excelling in my profession was left behind with the sacking and the self doubts were allowed to creep in.   The good things that were happening were sometimes masked because the anger hid them.

And many people who knew me in my old role were complaining about the direction my old work had taken since I left.  I wrote that off as people telling me what they thought I wanted to hear for a while, but not one single person has said one good thing about it to me since I left.  But hearing those things just fed the anger.  I thought I’d done a good job, and you wonder why, if that was the case, that people not only decide to get rid of you, but do it totally behind your back.  I was warned in January last year that moves were afoot to terminate me but two things made me take the warning with a grain of salt – firstly I had two years to go on my contract, secondly I had the word of a supposed friend that he wouldn’t go behind my back.  I have since told him that if ever anyone asks me if he was a man of his word I would tell them no.   Pity is that it was the second time he had broken his word to me, I should have learnt from the first time.

But I have come to the conclusion that I have to let the anger go because it is wasted.  I can change neither what was said and done, nor can I be responsible for the actions of others.   To take those actions personally is foolish.  If those people had a problem with me then it is their problem and only they can make it right.

So in letting go of the anger let me grab hold of this prayer attributed to Reinhold Niebuhr –

Grant to us the serenity of mind to accept that which cannot be changed; the courage to change that which can be changed, and the wisdom to know the one from the other.

To New Beginnings!