Mainly a week of being clear about what I wanted

a photo of me in my lounge but you can see three of me - I'm laying on the sofa reading, sitting on the sofa working on the computer and sitting on a chair meditatingA bit of a breakthrough this week – I had a meeting I didn’t want with a person I find a bit of a bully. I usually sit there and take it, even if I don’t agree with it all simply to get out of there faster, but this time I decided no. There were some very basic, practical things that were indicative of the way in which he treats people that I decided to pick up on. Oddly I don’t think many people have before.

He didn’t immediately acquiesce but I didn’t immediately back peddle so things did joltingly move forwards. I wasn’t aggressive, but was clear and direct. It felt good to not be brushing things under the carpet and actually I got out faster than usual – the opposite of what I expect. I’m going to stand up for myself more often I think.

Earlier in the summer I decided I wanted more opportunities to really shape and influence things. Change is all around in the cultural sector where I work and often its seems rudderless, and the causes I care about – equality, diversity – seem to be skipped over. So when I saw an advert drawing people to apply for the Arts Council England Northern Panel I thought I’d try to get on. Our first meeting was this week and its fascinating getting a little more understanding of the complexity of the world in which we operate.

I’ve been on panels before and I describe it like having an umbrella taken away – before, all you could see was the spokes and the fabric and you think that is as far as it goes, then someone removes it and you are staring so far up your eyes hurt and you realize that the world is a much bigger place than you first thought.

The meeting was great, the panel seems open and interesting and I can’t wait for things to really kick in. I did come away with my head whirring from all the words, strategies and politics though – and a newly charged desire to get round the whole of the North and see stuff.

What else this week? I know – working again with my infamous ‘To Do’ list (and many thanks to Sarah Pickthall for pushing me towards a fantastic article on the origins of said item – thanks lovely).

I’d been gathering a number of little tasks that would take me out of the house – drop this off here, pick this up there – you know the thing. So one day this week I grouped them all together and set out. In one and a half hours I’d ticked off 12 things from my list – a real result! A much-streamlined list remains and I felt incredibly grown up! I had estimated it would take me 45 minutes so clearly I need to be a tad more realistic when timing travel though…

Also this week I posed for a photo – or rather I begged my son to take my pic using his multiplicity technique. He’s been doing these pics for his AS photography and I really love them. He’d done a few of himself with a timer, and then one of his sister. They have the same background but have the subject shown more than once. Basically it’s a way of capturing more than one side of someone – and I love them.

Its quite embarrassing for me to admit I want my photo taken. Its fine to say ‘oh take one of me’ but its harder to keep asking ‘can you do my picture now?’ until you get what you want, especially when you are trying to persuade your teenage son off Grand Theft Auto in order to take it!

Anyway, eventually I got my time before the lens and I love it. It’s now my Facebook header and destined to be there for quite a while – and I’ve put it right at the top of the blog! I call it ‘me working from home’…

sheep on the road...A weekend away presented some fun #DoDiffDaily’s – the first being sheep herding by car when a convoy of four cars, me at the helm, met an escaped flock of sheep on a narrow road.

We wanted to go forwards, they wanted to go away from us and it was over a mile before we got to a space wide enough for us all to manoeuvre past them. Nothing better than watching sheep run though to get you giggling.

 

a hot tub outsideApart from, that is, sitting in a hot tub in the middle of a field watching the sun go down with a nice G&T in your hand and a bundle of fab mates all around you (we were at http://www.thebivouac.co.uk – I can really recommend it, they are lovely!).

The weekend away was with a collection of friends I’d done a leadership course with – we had a year of activity, meeting up frequently and now its finished we still try and meet up. It’s always hard for me to make time for stuff that isn’t immediately easy to label as ‘work’ or ‘family’ but it’s so important. It’s a way to relax deeply, and build up my resilience to other stuff – finding out how people are coping with the challenges they face, how they are rising to new heights and opportunities, and – equally important – who snores the loudest.

Last one this week was when I arrived home.  I’d not seen my computer since heading out on Friday and yet before I opened it or the post I decided to tidy the living room for an hour and a half first so when I did sit down it is to clean not clutter. Partly this was ‘cos it was in a state as I’d been away for the weekend (I look after the front room in our house, we all have a room that’s our responsibility…), partly it was because my mum is coming on Wednesday so I’ve become hyper vigilant, and partly it was a way of extending the weekend and putting off the drop back into real life for a few more minutes.

Felt good though – and the whole family noticed when they returned too. Nice to end the week feeling like a grown up too.

All my own photos (apart from the hot tub one and the sheep were taken by Laura as I was driving) and if you want to follow the blog along, do sign up at the bottom right of the screen (and if you want to find out more about me, check out my other site www.joverrent.com)

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