Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A shift in direction

For all my working life I have given the best of myself to my job. At present this is causing me nothing but searing frustration, so I have decided to try something else. I'm going to try shifting that focus and energy towards roller derby instead, and see what I can achieve.

It looks like I have made the travel team for The Great Southern Slam in Adelaide in June, largely by default (not enough players opting in), but I want to be more than just a default player, I would like to be a valuable part of the team. I've got two months - let's see what happens!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Derby Love

This last week has been pretty intense. Dad came to visit for what was supposed to be 4 days but ended up being 5 due to an unexpected trip to the hospital and him being declared medically unfit to fly. Aside from that day in Fremantle Hospital, it was so great having him to stay, just hanging out and chatting.

The worst thing to see, aside from the weight loss and the obvious physical pain, are the things he's having to give up - motorbike riding looks like the next on the list. He told me that he had wanted to ride a horse again before he dies, but it looks like that will not eventuate due to a fear of fracturing his pelvis. As his bones are degrading he becomes more and more susceptible to breaks and fractures. After the hospital scare his wife has now banned him from travelling alone again, though what difference having her here on that day would have made I don't know. It really saddens me to see the things a man enjoys doing being taken from him one by one by the progress of the cancer.

Then I found out a dear friend of mine has had some terrible news about her pregnancy, which, though I know it doesn't affect me directly, breaks my heart for her. It seems a miracle that any baby is born healthy, let alone the majority of them, when there is just so much that can potentially go wrong. When it goes wrong for someone you care about it's just awful.

But this is not meant to be a sad post. We have a bout tonight - my first with the Bloody Sundaes. I was such an emotional wreck yesterday that I had a mind to call my captain and ask her to take me off the roster, especially as there's 3 girls sitting off who would happily replace me. But today I woke up and took heart from the hope that roller derby gives me. Because if I consider myself an athlete when playing derby, however amateur, then I have to suck it up and get my head into the game. And it has given me something to look forward to, something that I know will engage me and take my mind off all the full-on shit that has happened this week.

I have taken a lot of comfort from derby since moving to WA. It's great to know that no matter how shit my week has been, and how hard it sometimes is to motivate myself to go to training, it invariably is one of the highlights of the week. And whatever else is great about it, that is one of the reasons that roller derby shines in my life.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012


So, it's been a little while. Only a little one, though, not an age! Work is keeping me busy. I'm usually there for 9-10 hours a day. There's two of us doing the work that would be done by 4 or 5 separate people at the NMA. But that's not as bad as the fact that no-one I work with (with the exception of the Assistant Curator, of course) understands what dealing with heritage actually means. So I spend a lot of time simply battling for the basics. Trying to explain why fluctuations of 25% humidity in a 12-hour period are unacceptable and we should have a dehumidifyer. Why we can't use mothballs. Why we need to do Loan Agreements. The basics. And it's a real struggle, particularly when some people see the Prison as the heritage equivalent of Adventure World (if you're wondering what that is, think Australia's Wonderland, but still open to the public).

Today I left work at 6pm, which is not unusual for me, but there were a few others, usually long gone by then, still hanging around. Turns out that there was an outing to the Fremantle Street Arts Festival happening, to which everyone was invited except me, the Assistant Curator, and the two old blokes on the team. Ouch.

That kind of hurt. It takes some balls to up sticks and move away from your family and friends to a new town, as anyone who's done it would know. You have to start afresh with friendships, and it's pretty discouraging when you hit a scenario like that one. My first thought was that it was like high-school, but in actual fact that's not true, because in high school I really didn't care about my isolation. I was a misfit who was too young and cocky to give a shit, and I took pride in that. But after having known friendships and closeness with people who 'get' me for the last decade and a half, behaviour like that stings.

I was angry and upset at first, but then remembered that there are people who love me and accept me back home/s (Sydney, now also Canberra), and I am blessed to have an amazing husband sharing my day-to-day life over here, as well as a good friend from way back living here too. I need to slap myself out of my self-pity, because quite frankly I've been wallowing in it a fair bit lately!

I rememeber the first year of living in Canberra, and what a tough one that was in terms of personal development and learning. I'm hopeful that things in WA will follow the same pattern, and things will get better once I get into my second year here. Fingers crossed, anyway!