It is well past my bed time and yet the urge to write pervades my attempts to sleep.

It has been a long time since I wrote a proper post. Several times I have considered writing one of those “This is my last post” posts but I know, inevitably, I will be seized by the urge to write again several days later. Thing is, having lived vicariously through others as I got more and more unwell, I took life by the horns [pondering 1 – where did life get horns from] in February this year when I returned to work. It’s been go, go, go ever since. [pondering 2 – how is is that it seems that time speeds up as we get older?]

I committed (or limited myself) to three objectives this year – working hard at the place of employment following their tremendous support through three rounds of surgery; giving my all at the (hospitals) Trust as a governor; and helping the NZ Labour party get expats voting. It’s been swings and roundabouts but all three have consumed my attention in 2011.

There’s much to share on the latter two – our cultural shift and organisational change campaign at the Trust, for one, is the most exciting thing I have ever worked on. I spend a day a week or thereabouts (in hours) on work for this role, by choice entirely – many governors would not. There have been a lot of opportunities and I am finally learning to ration my time and activities, although only because my diary in October and November has forced me into learning to say no. The work excites and challenges me – we are, with every step, improving the experience of patients and staff. We are beginning to understand what great care looks like. I am surrounded by passionate, caring, engaged governors, patients, managers and clinicians who want things to be better. I am learning more about myself, more about what I want to do/be, more about the things that drive me. I could not ask for more.

I ended up as a governor because, at the very core of it, I got sick and that made me angry, sad, frustrated, exhausted and sore (so sore). It’s that bigger picture – God is good – story. [pondering 3 – how do we learn to see the good in the bad when it’s end-of-life stuff?] My life this Nov/Dec is a dramatically different picture to Nov/Dec 2010. The change, how far I’ve come, makes me tear up. I have life back and I love it. [pondering 4 – how do I learn to keep hold of this feeling?]

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