Longest Update EVER!!

Hi everyone!

I know it’s been a long, long, looong time, but . I have excuses, I promise! Mostly the whole tendinitis thing. And I’ve been busy. I have a LOT of things to update you all on! I would have written a bunch of this up before but I was waiting for my parents to get back from Italy so I could let them know first ;)

Oh, and a warning – I typed this up in Word, and at 12 point Arial it went 3 pages, so I will not be at all offended if you leave this to read at another time!!

Well, I wrote a thing about Hong Kong on the forum, so let’s start after that ;)

2006-06-03 (9)

So, I came back from Hong Kong on the 6th of June, and started back full time at work the next week (June 12th). I was still taking the same dose of painkillers the doctor had originally put me on, plus a bunch of ibuprofen. The physio had said I was not allowed to sit and type for more than 30 or 40 minutes at a time, and I tried hard to stick to it! It was hard to remember. If I forgot for over an hour my arms usually let me know! That first week went pretty well. I was careful to swap between computer tasks and non-computer tasks, and to go for a walk now and then.

The second week was not so good, however, with a bit more pain etc. I think that was mostly because the first week had gone so well I started adding in more things – and just went a little too far. However, since then things have been getting increasingly better. As of this past week, I’ve started doing household chores and playing piano again, I’m not taking much ibuprofen, and I’m only taking my morning dose of painkillers most days (not taking them at night) and I have very little pain. Most of the time it’s more like a tired or stretching pain, not a pinching/swelling pain – it’s there, but it’s not severe. The humidity outside lately had been bothering the arms, but they’re getting better with that too.

Speaking of the weather, it’s been nasty!! Hot and humid and smoggy. Ick. And seriously, as soon as it hit July, the temperature seemed to go up 5 degrees! Okay, I *might* be exaggerating there, but it’s starting to be HOT on my scale, which usually only kicks in at 35 degrees.

Something else that’s changed since hong kong is my sugar intake! Many of you know how addicted I am to sugar (literally). A while back (late March?) I started intentionally cutting back my sugar intake, as I’d become aware of the way it negatively affects my moods. After coming back from Hong Kong, however, I got serious about it. I have had virtually no sugar all month. I’ve had a grand total of four cheats, and two of them were by accident! That means no chocolate, no sweets, no soft drink, no ANYTHING! Sigh. That said, I’m really feeling the benefit. I feel physically better – I find myself actually wanting to eat well and be active. It’s kinda nice. The side benefit has been dropping a few kilos, too!

Okay, next new thing. In Hong Kong, my parents reacted to something I said by laughing and telling me that I would be changing jobs soon. Right. I’d started thinking about what I might be doing in a few years’ time – not in a panicked way, not in an I-need-a-change way, just out of curiosity. Same as when I was moving back to China and had no idea what I’d be doing next.

Apparently my Dad has the same wondering thoughts when it’s time for him to change jobs ;) Anyway, I came back from Hong Kong thinking about this and potential implications. I decided to be open to opportunities that came my
way, but not chase things. I was thinking this could mean leaving BICF at the end of my contract (comes up in the beginning of September).

So, I also started thinking that it might be a good idea to start thinking about getting a flatmate – after all the arms treatment (not covered by my insurance) and with saving for a trip to Australia (did I tell you I’ll be going home at Christmas? I’ve been asked to be a bridesmaid for the wedding-of-the-year on Dec 29th and I’ll come in a few days early for Chrissie with the family) I’ve been getting tight financially and if I changed jobs there was no guarantee it would be at the same salary level. My apartment, as much as I love it, is also it at the top end of what I can afford. I mentioned this to one of my best friends one night. She was quiet, then said “my rent comes up at the end of June” . I replied “Huh” and we sat in silence for a few minutes – then decided we could give it a go! We’d actually talked about the possibility of getting a place together earlier in the year, but it just wasn’t practical with our rental contracts coming up several months apart. Anyway, we said we’d think it over, talk about it again the next day, but by the end of the night we’d decided to go for it. A week later she was all moved in. 4 days later she left for two weeks in Cambodia! She gets back on Friday afternoon, and in another week or two will be heading to Scotland for two weeks. And then it’s a week before she goes back to work for the new semester (she’s a teacher).

I’m really looking forward to it! I’m surprised how much I’ve missed her while she’s been in Cambodia. We get along really well. I don’t feel weird about singing around her, either, which is a big deal! Cos I really like singing (as if you guys don’t know that!) and so it’s cool that I won’t have to worry about not wanting to sing in my own house.  I’m sure it will be an adjustment for us both but I think it’s going to work really well.

Nope, sorry, not finished yet! You might want to go get a drink or something. It’s okay, I’ll wait.

So we had a fabulous meeting of the youth leaders a few weeks back, discussing stuff for next year, assigning responsibilities and roles, all sorts of stuff. I’m going to be taking care of the youth camps – it’s not a small job, but I’m looking forward to it. The only problem is that a week after this we found out that our wonderful youth admin assistant will be leaving Beijing for good next week!  Agh! She organised half of the last camp, so that makes it a much bigger job! But something will work out – it always does ;)   At any rate, I’m really excited about youth in the coming year. We have the most fabulous kids here, and I love them heaps! It’s really great hanging out with them, getting to know them. I’m looking forward to spending more time with them all this next year – and meeting all the new kids who will invariably come along!

But wait, there’s more!

In my second week back full time, discussions were being had about who does what, what needs to be done, what’s not being done, and how we could move some of the responsibilities around. We’ve lost several staff recently, and with a hiring freeze currently in effect (long story) that meant we needed to fix some things up! After the discussion I was in about what admin tasks are being done by the different admin people, it looked as though my job would be changing – becoming more overseeing, less doing stuff for everyone, and including the office management. On Wednesday, I was in my team meeting, and a proposal for potential role/responsibility shifting of out 4 positions was put out there. The two admin roles were adjusted to look pretty much as I’d expected them to turn out. I was looking at my role and my thoughts were basically that it would be a little more challenging but not out of my depth. After explaining the four roles, names were assigned to them – and mine was on the wrong role! Basically, I was asked to consider taking on a completely new role…

Hmmm. So soon after Hong Kong… that’s a little weird!! So the next day I discussed it with two of my bosses (as did the others with proposed changes) and the decision was made to go ahead. The next day (Friday, the 23rd) the changes were announced to the staff. The man who was about to become my new boss came up to me very excited – he said that if he could have picked anyone on the staff to fill the role he would have picked me. So that was nice :) I had my first meeting with him the following Tuesday, and started work in my new job on Wednesday (the 28th). Was that quick, or was that quick??

My new title is “Impact Project Manager”. The Impact Centre of our church is the department that oversees and administers the funding of humanitarian type projects. 20% of the church income is set aside for financing these projects. My new boss is the Director of the department. I am the only other full time staff working in Impact. Part of my job will be assisting my boss as needed (admin/PA sort of stuff) but the big part will be project managing (hence the title). I will be helping projects get through the application process, getting projects into the approval process, and liaising with the Finance department to get funds dispersed. And keeping track of it all.

The director has been the only Impact staff for about 2 months now, so a lot of stuff has been put on hold and he’s all GO GO GO let’s do everything! (there is a lot of money sitting in the account waiting to be dispersed, so it makes sense). It was really overwhelming last week, but I’m feeling much more settled this week. I’m going to have to be very careful that I don’t get myself too stressed out about things, though. There will never be a point where everything is done. There will always be things on the go, there will always be things that need to be done. But yeah! I think it’s going to be interesting and challenging, and I’m going to learn a lot. The last person doing the job (or close enough to) that I’m taking on was a qualified accountant, so that alone means there’s a lot for me to learn!! But there are a lot of things that have fallen into place to make me well prepared for this. I’m excited!

Something else I’m really excited about is the visitor coming across in LESS THAN FOUR DAYS! Yay!! Nick will be over here for the next couple of weeks and I’ve been really looking forward to hanging out with him. He’ll be staying with Manda and Drew and I’ll be working part time the next two weeks so I have time to hang out. The week after that my boss goes away for a couple of weeks and I’ll be holding down the fort. but we won’t think about that right now!!

Aaanyway, I think this is already FAR too long!! Congratulations on making it this far ;)

Lots of love!



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