I need to give some context for today’s blog as my learning relates to thinking about my ‘being able to see’ and celebrate while not ‘being able to do‘. The blog involves a small view of my world which leads me to some contemplations about organisational culture. Let me know what you think – send a comment.
So consider the context of this posting as I see it:
- OCTOBER – I stepped down from my role as Dean of Education, returning to my substantive position as Professor of Educational Leadership effective from the 18 February 2016. A very difficult decision to make, particularly as I think about the people I work with on a daily basis. The date of my stepping down coincides with our fifth anniversary of living in an amazing place, Adelaide, Australia. My stepping down also relates to the fact that I have been diagnosed with having Parkinson’s disease. On one hand hand I joke that I am just shaken not stirred (aka 007). This is where I learn again what I have taken for granted as a new 24/7 changing reality. For example, not being able to hold a hot drink in my right hand or not being able to read my own writing.
- NOVEMBER – I presented at the Australian Association for Research in Education which was held in Perth, the city where my daughter and 5th grand child (Ellie) lives. She was 13 months old at the time – so cuddly! So hard to leave.
- DECEMBER – I went on leave for the festive break and rested from a huge year. I eat well and slept well; 2 activities to rest the soul. During this time, we flew to New Zealand to see our 4 other kids and 4 other grand children – how precious it is to be a grand parent. Lots of time to read books, ride bikes, play shop, sing songs together, not to mention how proud I am watching my kids with their children!
- ALL LOOKS IN HAND…
- JANUARY – we went to a family wedding early January, and promptly returned to Adelaide coming down with an RSV virus (some have described it as a rhino virus). Regardless of its name, the reality is that my head has been spinning for near on 2 weeks, coughing till it hurts, sleeping upright in a chair, working my way through lots of tissues, being deaf in at least one ear daily, not to mention that I share this with Pauline. Under doctors orders I haven’t been able to return to work, to tidy up from my role as Dean and get ready for 2016. Nor have I had the clearness of mind and health to write.
TODAY, I was thinking about this context .. And I thought
- I work with many wonderful and insightful people whose take on what should be my priority at this time differs from my desire to get up and start running back to work. In their words, rest up, stay away, everything is being covered, and think health first. It goes further, offers of meals have been made; a delicious food package was dropped off almost secretly.
- I am extremely thank-full for colleagues who shoulder the leadership of our School of Education. At times like this, I see their competence and confidence in providing leadership in very complex situations.
- Being able to see the emergence of cover for me, while not being present, is indicative of the quality of our people and an expression of the nature of our School’s organisational culture, as expressed relationally. I am reminded of the tact and diplomacy of a leader with a broad smile, saying, ‘ go home, keep the germs in one place, get off your emails, leave it to us, we don’t need you’ – we laughed and I agreed. Inwardly I thought, what great people, what great leadership.
- And so, there is more time to chat with the kids almost daily, and time to Skype our grandchildren – I’m not complaining.
- And then the little black box we call the ‘plug in drug’, also known as the TV; watching sport from my sofa is like being in the front row of:- the tennis, cricket, basketball etc; whose complaining, not me.
Here are some thoughts that I am chewing on.
I am tiring. This time and context affords the space to write a long blog – just not sure who benefits, LOL
Please forgive any edits at this point, I’ll check after a nap.