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Train of Thought...
July 2003 - Balance.

Holidays! Ahhhh!! Last month I was fortunate enough to spend a week in the South West of WA. My wife, Lata, yes she has finally been able to join me, and I headed South for some time out.

The grandeur of the forests and the rugged beauty of the coastline blew me away. It seemed as if elements of New Zealand and the U.K. had been mixed together and given a very Australian stamp. Many of the country roads were not unlike the lanes of Southern England but instead of hedgerows there were Karri, Marri and Jarrah towering overhead and brilliant red ribbons of soil either side of the bitumen. The forests were light and airy compared with the darkness and denseness of the New Zealand bush. And yes, there were even some sheep around! It continues to amaze me how different Australia and New Zealand are in terms of geology, flora and fauna. It was a pity, though, that the food and wine were so good - at least at the few(?) wineries we stumbled across! The increased weight in the car returning home (now there's an admission!) wasn't just the shopping!

One intriguing aspect of our trip was that I was quite happy to kick my shoes off and do nothing. Normally I am wanting to get out and see things, visit attractions and explore places. I am not sure whether this change was due to my increasing maturity, adoption of the WA lifestyle or simply exhaustion. The important thing was that I really enjoyed just sitting back passing the time reading, biking around the forest where we were staying or simply daydreaming while the birds squabbled overhead and the kangaroos hopped past. Bliss!

Switching off is something that I have found increasingly difficult to do as the years zip by. In Wellington I got to the stage that a two-week holiday comprised a week switching off and half a week getting psyched up to return to work, leaving little time for R&R. STUPID!! It was not a case of not liking my job, but rather losing the balance in life, or, as some less kindly souls might suggest, losing the plot. It is easy to see from where I now sit, but it was not easy to see from within the battlefield.

Time out to think and to let the battle scars of day to day work heal is very important. Without time to heal we leave ourselves open to lesser assaults causing greater damage. If you are too busy to take a break and have too many deadlines crowding in on you, then you need lessons in time management, the arts of prioritising and being assertive - or is it that you lack confidence in your team so don't delegate?

Sadly holidays must end but the memories will continue. The return to reality has been tumultuous with car and house hunting. By the time you read these thoughts Lata and I will be ensconced in our new home and have our creature comforts from Wellington around us again. Finally we will have escaped from the Limbo we have been in for 9 months. Sorry fellow Sandgropers, you really are stuck with me now!

If Winter is getting on top of you at the present time, treat yourself to some time out. You will be surprised how easy it can be to chase away those Winter blues if you only give yourself half a chance.

'til next month,

Kevin

July, 2003

kevin.gain@health.wa.gov.au

 

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