WEEK 30 – THE SLIPPERY SLOPE

WEEK  30 –  The year 2016 has drawn to a close,  where has it gone? Tomorrow we celebrate New Years Eve and welcome in 2017.   In the world of numerology  2017 is an auspicious year as it is represented by the figure 1.

One is a special number, it is the harbinger of great achievements and positive steps forward.  I could do with some of that, what about you?

One is a number of significant strength. It can turn dreams into reality. A powerful force that produces results one that does not accept there are limitations and will not allow anything or anyone to limit its potential. One is aggressive providing the drive and energy or creating and producing.  Wow, bring it on.

What’s this got to do with writing your story?   Well, everything because it is human nature to procrastinate and writers do this better than anyone else.

Our challenge then for this week is to look at some of the blockers and hurdles in our lives that have held us back or squashed our dreams.  Then to flip the coin and look at the positive drivers in our lives that push and support us to live life to the full.

I will start with the positive side of the coin.  I am so lucky to be surrounded by people who care for me and support me. For an only child, this is a bit hard to take at times as I am a bit selfish in many ways and tend to make decisions without considering the needs of others.  I have always worked on the premise of not asking permission but, doing what I want and seeking forgiveness if it goes pear-shaped afterward.  It works for me most of the time.  My poor husband is the one who cops it the most.

It usually goes like this;

drak-yerpa-meditation-caves-been-there

“Hi Hun I am going to the Himalaya’s for 3 months in March ..that OK?”    or …

“Hi Hun we are moving to Queensland I put in for my transfer today.  Guess we’d better see about packing and a moving company.”    it gets better …

“Hi Hun I have decided to go to Uni to complete my degree” and four years later…

“Hi Hun I enrolled today in my post graduate studies to do my Master of Professional Practice Creative Writing”

I am guessing by this time you are either laughing madly or wanting to reach out and strangle me.

I am lucky I have the best partner in the world who says …

“You are doing what…OK if that’s what you want”

Sometimes he says a lot more but I won’t write any of that here. I am saving that for my book.

On the other side of the coin, the hurdles.  When I was young and at school, the only two careers that appealed to me were nursing and becoming an archeologist.  I failed my Leaving exam, year 11 as it was in those days. Being stubborn and proud at 16 going on 17 I was not going back to repeat a year of school. I got on the phone and rang around to find out what I had to do to become a nurse. Uni was now out of the question. I applied for and was accepted into nursing training at a hospital not far from home. I couldn’t start until I was 17 and three months in the coming April.  It was  December and I was firmly told  I had to get a job. I did and began working for Haley School Wear at 160  Swanston Street, Melbourne.  The company had been in existence since 1922 and is still in the same building today. I was employed as the junior. Every time I see “Are you being Served ” I remember Haley School Wear. It was not a big firm, but very staid from my point of view as a 16-year-old in the 1960s.  They were kind to me and I was probably the worst junior they ever had. My role was to do the sweeping and dusting, make the morning and afternoon teas, get the lunches. Package and invoice the order parcels and take them to the post Office in Degraves Street for posting.  To do this I had to go up and down in the rickety, rumbling,  creaking old service lift and through the alleyways which in those days were rife with rats and their progeny are probably still there today.  I survived and presented myself at Preston and Northcote Hospital  (PANCH) in  April 1967 for induction into School Sixteen, General  Nurses Training.

panch2                                                preston-and-northcote-community-hospital-1958-1998-2panch3

This is where the hurdles come in. I was strong willed, 17, educated by the Sisters of Charity, lived at home, an only child.  In the days of dinosaurs,  we (student nurses) lived in the Nurses Home. My room was  Room 13 on the third floor facing Bell Street.  It had a bench for studying a chest of drawers and a single bed, a chair, and a wardrobe.  This was to be my room for the next 3 years. We were not allowed to live out, be engaged or lock the door to our rooms. Our phone calls and mail were monitored and the hospital took its position as “in loco parentis” very seriously. Weeknights we had to be in by 10 and weekends by 12 and that meant a late pass and coming in through Casualty and signing the leave book.  I loved my time at PANCH  and I was a good nurse,  but towards the end of my first year,  I ran foul of rules and regulations.   I broke the rules and was asked to leave. It broke my heart and I took a long time to recover. There was no appeal, no union, you broke the rule you were punished and that I surely was.  It was not the end of my nursing career but that is a story for another day.

Now it is your turn to remember the highs and lows.

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