Tuesday, September 26, 2006

3rd place/exceptions/tolerance

So I'm back from a week in Windy Wellington. It was a good experience and I would go through it all over again- but maybe not til next year! It was stressful and absolutely draining but fun. After a 3 day cook-off, I managed a bronze medal. Yea, I'm pleased but not stoked...I really wanted to win it. However, I knew gold was out of the question after day 3 was over so I was only wanting to place.

It's taken a while for the brain to recover; yesterday was hard! Even driving was a mission, it required A LOT of concentration. I'm coping better today. So I'm back to work tomorrow. *groan* Unfortunately, I'm back to nite shifts. That does suck but not as much as being rostered on for a Sunday nite! I'm really annoyed by that so hopefully I'll be able to sort it out when I get back tomorrow.

A few things have cropped up since being back from Nationals and it's caused me to reflect on the exceptions (or lack of) that we make and level of tolerance we have for others. (I'm not going to elaborate on what it was that happened that brought upon this reflection coz there is no need to. )

How do we determine who are the people in our lives that receive more grace than others? What makes them more special or deserving? Is it because they have shown us the level of tolerance that we show them, if not more? Or is it because we crave acceptance from the other party(s)? What is it that drives us to crave that acceptance when that really isn't all that important in the wider scheme of things?

Some things to ponder on...

Sunday, September 17, 2006

SkillEx Nationals

Well....2 days to go before I fly down country to the capital for 5 days. Why? I'm the Auckland representative for the Cookery category in NZ's Largest Trade Skills competition. I'm heading down with 17 other competitors from other trades + judges & chaperones.

It's both an exciting and nerve racking time for me. I'm stoked to have won the Regionals and qualify for Nationals. But I am also really nervous-coz there is a certain sense of the unknown (that I don't handle well) as well as expectation (both from myself & my lecturer).

Competing at Nationals isn't just a competition for 1st, 2nd or 3rd place, it is a competition to qualify for the Worlds. A chance to compete against the rest of my peers from the rest of the world. A chance to compete at an international level.

I want to win Nationals not to say that I'm better than everyone else and that they suck. I want to win it for the sole purpose of wanting to compete overseas to see what others are doing outside of NZ. To see where I stack up against others my age, those that I will be in competition with in 5-10 yrs time when we start owning our own businesses. And just the experience of being able to go overseas and compete.

So this last few days leading up to Wednesday are all a bit insane-trying to pack for the comp but also trying to organise the week after I get back. It'll be stressful but hopefully I don't drive myself silly coz I really want to do well and win over the 3 days of competitions.

No doubt I will be making some phone calls and sending many txt messages while I'm away. I'll be needing the support and company (even if it's via technology and not in person). I won't see many of you for a good 2 weeks, so I'll let you know how it goes when I get back.

Monday, September 04, 2006

house sitting/weird week/sneaky friends/new series

It's been about 2.5 weeks now that I've been house sitting for the Jones' with Rebecca. I'm totally loving it! Another 1.5 weeks to go. What I enjoy most is having a space of my own (even if it's only for a little while). I guess the only thing stopping me from moving out of home at the moment if the almighty $$$. Oh well...Hopefully by next year it'll happen.

The past week has been much of a non-week, thus making is weird. It has been exceptionally quiet at work, even on Fri nite, which is our busiest nite! On Monday, I had my hair done. The lovely Katie came by for dinner and then we spent the rest of the nite in front of the TV doing my hair. Tues nite was spent catching up with some uni mates over dinner in Mission Bay. It didn't end so well when we had to send one of the cars to the doctor! So it was one car between Ian & I for 4 days!!! Man, was that annoying...Anyhow, Wed was a typically long 17ish hour day which started at 5am for work and ended at 10pm ish after heading home from training at uni. Thursday was a nite of 'getting straight & dealing with reality' for Jean at Melissa's. It was that nite that I was given the official ban from any work-including cession related matters-on Saturdays. I tried so hard to weasel my way out of that but it was never gonna work. Worth a try though...Then it was up early Friday morning for training and then straight to work til 12am! Another long day. Saturday was another early morning (there goes my one sleep in a week) for training and then a nice evening at the Powell/Ritchie's for their house warming. I didn't do any work or cession related matters......Except for one illegal txt! :D I forgot and it needed to be done so, I did it.

It doesn't sound like much of a non-week for most people does it? But it was for me. Not so much that I was still running round trying to get things done despite not having enough time but more in the sense that there was no major dramas, esp comparing the past week with a couple of weeks ago.

Which brings me to Sunday...Boy, do I have very thoughtful, lovely but extremely sneaky friends! This Sunday was my rostered Sunday on worship as well as chow. However, at 1.30pm on Sunday, I received a call from one half of the Powell's to say that they are giving me a nite off so I need not worry bout trying to work round other stuff to be able to sing. Then they suggested that I give those who were on chow duty to say that I wouldn't be there til 5.30pm. Me being me, I politely agreed but at the same time trying to see how I could get out of this little plan of theirs. So we hung up and then started battling with myself about whether or not I was going to give in to the Powell's or say "stuff them and I'm going to church early".

Agreeing with the Powell's plans meant that I had to make a bunch of phone calls to a whole bunch of people so that they could pick stuff up from me coz I was gonna take it all with me when I headed down early. And I knew that that would cause me some amount of anxiety.

But despite my natural instincts, I decided I'd give in to the Powell's scheming and make the phone calls I needed to make to organise a nite off for me. And it was rather stressful at times but I can proudly say that I handled it better this Sunday than I would have 6 months ago. So after stuff got picked up, I headed out for coffee with a friend I hadn't seen in a while. (I had to some how occupy my time or I would have gone insane, literally!). After that I headed off to church and arrived at 5.15pm. It was hard enough getting there at 5.15pm so I wasn't gonna try and make myself be late. And the rest of tea nite involved me fighting the urge to help out. I even left before any cleaning up was completed!

So this weekend was the first real weekend off Jean has had in many years. It was hard giving in to someone else attempting to organise my life but if they didn't do it, I wouldn't have had time off. I would continued chugging.

Which brings me to our current series that is running at cession: Winter Spirituality. This has been a tough series for me-dealing with the issues of life & God when you are in the absolute pitts. Rather timely for me considering my current frame of mind and the haps of the past month. Each nite has seen me in tears, trying to deal/face with what I'm going through at the moment. The first nite I was able to bring myself to take communion but I haven't been able to since. Why? I don't know...Maybe coz I don't want to admit that I need help. Maybe I don't' want to allow God to weep with me. maybe I can handle it myself and it'll sort itself out eventually. Maybe even if He can see the pain I'm in, why not just make it easier for me.....?

I guess these questions are what make the current series so hard for me. I very often have mental arguments with God bout what is going on around me. And most of the time I think that if He just did what I said He should do, it'll all be fine an dandy. But obviously it never happens coz I apparently don't see the bigger picture and don't know any better.

but how are you supposed to know any better when you feel like crap, the whole world seems to be against you and life just seems so unfair? Is it fair to reason with a person in that mental state? Will they even hear you out to start with? If they do, how often will you get a well thought out, rational response?

When you are in the right frame of mind and thinking rationally, you know that things eventually work out, that they happen or a reason, that you work through the had times, you have friend around you etc etc etc. But don't you doubt that sometimes? Even just a little?

Just some random thoughts running through my mind while I'm in this transition stage of crappiness to numbness to trying to resume normality.