Riding the Wave (19/10/2017)

I’ve had so much energy recently it’s been ridiculous! I’ve been going to bed late and waking up early. I’ve been reading more. I’ve been running and swimming once or twice a week. I’ve started new adventures and have been accepting opportunities left right and centre, including making time for rest and last minute catch-ups with friends. I spent 4½hrs in Fitzroy Gardens just sitting around with friends the other day ‘just because’ the weather was good.

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Fitzroy Gardens

I reflect that success is like catching a wave. Frustratingly, I can never predict when they’re about to come, and it’s all too easy to get discouraged when good ones break so close to me – but not close enough to catch. And then one day, I somehow manage to be in the right place at the right time and everything just works. Suddenly I’m being swept up and carried away at an incredible speed. All this is not to downplay the hard work that goes in to paddling out and sitting in a good spot. The current is pulling me is so many directions that sometimes trying to stay still is very difficult. But if I’m sure of where I need to be, then it’s worth all the effort to keep paddling back when I drift away. Then one day, off in the distance I see something that looks like a lot of potential. It’s hard to tell, and you never really know, but it’s exciting enough to try and suddenly I’m paddling my little heart out trying to catch it. Before you know it it’s all happening and I can hardly believe it. It feels like a dream and I’m expecting to wake up any second.

Oh, and surfing was one of the new things I tried for the first time recently. So I’m clearly not an expert, but you know how I love my analogies.

To give you some idea how crazy the last few weeks have been let’s break up this year into pre and post October.

Pre-October:

This year started well with the excitement of a new job. I was finally breaking even financially for the first time in many years. I was pursuing different speaking engagements such as running a workshop on Perfection, at the DOJ Summer School, professional talks for Torrens University, and workplace mentoring at Australian Bureau of Statistics teaching people about the Autism Spectrum. I found a new community fitness club just round the corner that met once a week in the park and everything seemed to be going well for a while. This little honeymoon period lasted a few months and culminated in a 10 day trip to Queensland just before Easter. (where I tried surfing for the first time!)

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4WD on Fraser Island

Unfortunately, after that things went downhill rapidly and I ended up taking a month of unpaid stress leave, returning to only a fraction of my original duties. So much for ‘breaking even’ this year!

Post-October:

Fast forward a few months, and these setbacks have been completely overshadowed by new opportunities.

In hindsight, first glimpses of the wave were visible in early September, when I was invited to be on the Advisory Council for the board of the largest Autism service provider in the country. This invitation was quickly followed up by a sponsored trip to Sydney for APAC (Asia Pacific Autism Conference). This was a time where I could forge my own connections and explore new ideas that had been bubbling away for some time.

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View of Darling Harbour – from APAC 2017

October started in the best way possible. Daylight savings! The weather made a turn for the better and all of a sudden the days were long. To celebrate we went camping in Wilson’s Prom for a few days. Perfect mild spring weather! In hindsight, perhaps this was a catalyst for the change.

The following Friday I read an e-book on how to self publish e-books. The next morning (at 5am) I joined a lecture starting a free course online – Starting an online business. In the next few days, all of a sudden I was in full swing testing my new plan to teach a free online emotional intelligence course that is specifically designed to be Autism friendly. Oh, and somewhere in the middle there I also discovered a site called Patreon – where people can sponsor me to keep creating content for my blog.

To give you a sense of this energy, let me describe my day for you yesterday. I went to bed at 9pm because I’d had a big day and wanted to get a good sleep. After a brief sleep I was lying awake at 3am so decided to get up and register my business name. I did. 2hrs later I had my own trading name and website domain. I was hungry so decided to have breakfast before getting another 1½ hrs sleep – finally waking up for the day at 7:00am. With a bit of time to spare before my 9am meeting I decided to do some homework for my Groupwork course. 9am I had an interview for a Process Oriented Psychology course I plan to do next year. Afterwards, since I’m still working for the I CAN Network, I did a few hours work for them. At 11am I was interviewed for the Careers Advisers Association Conference – they needed some input for their section on ‘supporting students on the Autism Spectrum’. 11:30am I was in the car off to a family birthday lunch – a not so common opportunity to have all my immediate family present. On my way home I picked up my new passport. Oh, did I mention I’m going to India next week? Anyway, by the time I got home it was mid afternoon. So I did a bit more homework, before having a nap, calling a friend for a chat, going for a 45min walk in the warm evening air, coming home for dinner, chatting to my visitor from Denmark – housemate’s sister, and then doing another 3 hours of work setting up my Patreon profile before finally getting to bed at midnight. That was last night. This morning I was up at 7am to go for a run – only 4km, so nothing compared to my half marathon last year, but still good for me. I pray the rosary as I run and they both take about 20mins so that works out very well. This morning I have to leave the house for work at 10:30am so that gave me about 2hrs to write to you all here.

So… anyway, you can get a sense of the energy I’ve had recently. Haha.

I don’t have time to go back and edit the above too much but I should mention a few things that I realise I’ve left out.

I’m almost finished my Advanced Diploma of Group Facilitation. This was a year long course, and we celebrate with a 3 day residential for our last block in November.

Last week I was offered a facilitation gig in India. This opportunity came through a friend I only met earlier this year and could not be more perfect in terms of my ideal career path. I.e. working with organisational culture.

My blog (Aspergers from the Inside) has been going very well (now that I’m paying attention to it!). I’ve finally got an engaged audience and it’s fun to create new content and chat to people about their reactions. This Friday I’m launching the ability for people to sponsor me financially if they like so that is an exciting new step in a journey leading who knows where!

I have also committed myself to running a free 4 week online course teaching emotional intelligence. This is a pretty big undertaking and it will require the type of hyperproductivity described above if I am to succeed. But I’ve always loved a challenge. One of the reasons I’m telling you this here is to create social pressure that will force me to keep going (instead of back out) when it inevitably gets really tough and it all seems like a crazy idea. This gives me about 5 weeks to create a website, register course participants, draft all the content, run a test course with my first volunteer, then prepare for the opening lecture scheduled for the 26th of November.

I’d better leave it there for now! If you’re interested to hear more about this EQ course or anything else I’ve mentioned feel free to send me an email 🙂

Peace

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