A Different Perspective From The Frontlines

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I was feeling a little (okay, a lot) sorry for myself today. I work alone. When Chris is travelling, I live alone. And I often want to do things and can’t find someone to do them with so I end up doing things alone.

All the while I have friends on the other side of the world that I’d love to be spending time with and vice versa.

Not unlike other days, I reached out to a few of them. Phoned one, no answer. Phoned another, she was sleeping, Got on messenger and chatted to one who was also feeling a bit down, but we both felt better after connecting even ever so briefly.

The “Doing It Different” for today comes from the more detailed messenger conversation I had with a long-time friend. While having the discussion wasn’t different for us – we still chat often enough and see each other when in the same country.

What was different was the incredibly moving perspective I gained from having this discussion.

My friend is one of the many people who in just about every country around the world goes to work, and in so doing, actually works for all of us. This person is one of the collective group we refer to as, “emergency service personnel”. These are the men and women who are police, firefighters, ambulance attendants, 911 call takers, dispatchers who are on the front lines protecting us from and helping the rest of us deal with, danger and harm.

But where do they go when they need protecting?

There is no doubt that this group and doctors and nurses probably have the toughest of jobs. On a daily basis, they get glimpses into the underbelly, into the lowest and worst of humanity that they just can’t “unsee”. The irony is that many of them, like my friend, are motivated by, and shining examples of, the exact opposite. They are good, loving, helpful people with big hearts, who want to make a difference, who want to save a life, who work every day to make this a better world for the rest of us.

I’ll bet people in this group often see and deal with more unpleasantness in a day or a week, than the rest of us do in years, if not throughout a lifetime. And the rest of us usually don’t even give them a second thought… until, of course, we need them!

Hopefully, most emergency service workers can deal with most of what happens on most days. But there are times, where it all becomes far too much for their big loving hearts, too much for their broad responsible shoulders, too much for them to handle, times when it all goes horribly wrong.

Sometimes they get very broken by their jobs. Their lives, relationships, routines, all get tossed upside down.

And the rest of us, go on our merry little ways, just assuming that they will always be there to serve us, protect us, help us, direct us when we need it.

But at what cost to them? What happens when they’re the ones who need the help?

From my discussion today I learned that my friend after dealing with a particularly tough few years, personally, was doing her job, and that day came for her.

My friend is both a 911 (000) call taker and police dispatcher and has been doing this for decades.

One night last year, she took a call that changed her. In the middle of her shift a call came in that would catapult her into a hurricane of emotions, that would be that extreme call that led to one bad thing after another – one that would send her to the place where should would, in her words, “Lose her shit!”

The caller had dialled 911. My friend took the call. The caller said, “I just killed my family.” That information alone was enough to send a person to the edge, however, she admitted that this had been bad enough, but the push that actually sent her over, came later – after dispatching police, she stayed on the line with the caller. She spoke with him, giving him instructions, and the line remained open and she heard the police arrive. Then she overheard officers tell the man to hang up from the 911 call.

But, he didn’t just click the phone and end the call. He came back on the phone with my friend and said, “Thank you for helping me.”

Let me repeat this. In the course of a few minutes, she has just heard from the same man, “I have just killed my family.” And, “Thank you for helping me.”

If this isn’t a glimpse into the complexity of humanity I do not know what is.

I cannot properly articulate everything that hearing this story has stirred up in me, but I know one thing for sure.

We owe our emergency service workers a HUGE debt of gratitude. And we don’t think about, talk about, take care of, or acknowledge this debt nearly often enough.

I am going to make a public pledge that whenever I can from this day forward, that I will make an effort to be far more aware, far more supportive, and far more openly thankful to each and every one of them, for we would be lost without them.

So thank you to my dear friend for sharing your story. I hope that you heal and heal fully. I hope that you get the help, support, and love that you need to be whole again.

I am honoured that you agreed to let me tell your story, I am hopeful that you will be able to return to your prior glory and I am blessed to have you in my life. And I am proud of you and the work you do.

We should all be grateful for those around the planet who face the front lines and protect the rest us so we can go on with our lives.

Perhaps our lives will include a little more acknowledgement and gratitude for the fabulous job you do for us every day.

Maybe that could be YOUR “do it different” someday soon.

Haven’t Done This In Years!

I heard about this role a few days ago and given it was just part time and that I’m all about doing things differently this year,  I thought I’d toss my hat into the ring.

I got a call and today I’m off for my first actual interview in years. Regardless of how this works out, it was a great experience and yes, I did something very different today.

All Aboard!

itWhen Chris travels for business, it’s usually the same process on departure day. I usually get up with him, even if it’s really early, the luggage is loaded into the car, and I drive him to the local train station where he takes the train directly to either the international or domestic airport and he’s on his way to his next gig.

But, today was different. Rather than fly to Dubbo, he decided to take the country train out of Central. Of course, it takes a few hours longer, but it’s much cheaper and he tries to reduce his travel costs wherever possible Plus, the trip provided him with some uninterrupted work time to be productive and the opportunity to enjoy the romance of the rails.

I was happy to drive to him to our local train station. But, this time, I didn’t just drop him off. I got out and rode into the city to Central Station where his train was waiting.

We said our goodbyes and then I logged my 12,000 Fitbit steps around the city for a change of pace. That was then followed by a morning coffee catch up then back home.

I guess you could say that we both did things differently today. I think this practice might be catching on!

In fact, you could even go as far as to say that others are jumping on board the DID-train.

To that, I say, “All aboard. The more the merrier!”

 

 

I Was The Client Today

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A website is always a work-in-progress so, today I spent some time updating my business website…lindajohannesson.com/

I always seem to be doing this for my clients, but I rarely get the time to make changes to my own. Yes, I suffer from a classic case of “shoemaker’s children”.

I had a few hours not committed to clients this afternoon so I used them selfishly. I updated my plugins, changed some things, added new links and massaged a few of the words around a little. It was nice to be my own client for a while today. That was definitely doing things differently!

I still need to make a few more updates like creating a better page structure and adding some video and a few more portfolio images, but it’s definitely getting closer to how I want it, but I’ve actually allotted some time over the next few days to doing this so my website will be ready to march into March.

I have to say that from the days when I first began using WordPress, it has continued to evolve and improve and has become such a powerful platform that remains simple to use. So, a big shout out to WordPress for making this so much easier than it could have been.

 

Three Cheers For Three Changes

Perhaps three little changes add up to enough ‘doing it differently’ for one day.

First off, I changed the lock screen on my phone and my Facebook cover photo to this colourful shot I took today – bright, vivid colours make my heart sing and give me energy and verve. This image definitely does the trick. I can’t stop looking at it.

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If you know me, you know I take A LOT of photos. I usually edit them in Photos on my iPhone, but today I did this in Google Photos instead and then created an album for all the great photos we took at Beryl’s 85th birthday celebration today at Hazelhurst.

Here’s the album if you’d like to take a look:

https://goo.gl/photos/Aj5zopmq4ykJMysg6

The third thing I did differently today was to skip dinner. I don’t usually skip a meal (obviously), but seeing all these photos and the videos from the previous few days has hammered home the point that I really should do this more often.

So, no time like the present.

How many things did you do differently today? And, what were they? Do you change, create or skip something?

 

 

You Say ‘Tomato’, I Say ‘Tomato’

Regardless of what you call it, this gorgeous summer fruit is one of the most versatile. You’ll see it in appetisers and sauces, salads and jellies, or served up on its own or paired with fresh herbs or fragrant cheeses. The tomato is tops for this foodie.

I love them! I love them all.

Whether they’re beefsteak, cherry, jubilee, kumatoes, roma, or any variety really. I’ll eat ’em.  Whether they’re red, orange or yellow, purple “black” or green, I will try and probably love them all.

So, it only made sense that if Sydney was having a Tomato Festival that I’d be there.

Today’s DID was me attending my very first celebration of the tomato.

It was no La Tomatina (on my bucket list!) but the Tomato Festival Sydney 2017 being held in the glorious Royal Botanic Gardens made an effort to celebrate my most favourite fruit.

There was the tomato-inspired long lunch (wish I had bought tickets), and there were foods and sauces to sample and buy to take home,  there were a few hands-on activities, workshops, cooking demos and a variety of stalls making up a produce market. There were a few activities for the kids and some competitions as well. You could buy tomato plants and fresh herbs too to take home and grow yourself.

I did expect to see many more fresh tomato varieties available for purchase from local farmers – in fact, I expected to see lots and lots of these, but this is where the festival came up a little short, in my opinion.

All in all, it was a lovely Saturday morning out with a fellow foodie friend. Good company, almost 10,000 steps taken out in the glorious sunshine walking through this beautiful park alongside one of the most magnificent harbours in the world, all to celebrate the humble tomato.

There are times when I feel so very blessed to live where I live. Today was one of them. Thanks Kim for accompanying me on this Saturday morning’s DID. I hope you enjoy your purchases as much as I anticipate that I’ll enjoy mine!