Tuesday, December 18

Time for some Christmas cheer!

It’s hard to believe Christmas will be here a week from today.  The last couple of months have simply flown by.  Despite being officially unemployed there have been few truly idle moments.  In fact, I’m beginning to wonder how I ever fitted in a 50-60 hour working week.  If stop to consider the last few days I’ve found myself meeting headhunters, helping Garry with his company website, hosting Christmas lunch for his family and working on my interim consulting business.

I’m pleased to report that my business is off to a promising start.  Thanks to the presentation I gave at World PR Forum in Melbourne eight quality business leads have already materalized.  If these convert into real billing work I could find myself busy four days out of five during the early months of next year.  The level of interest has been rather surprising which probably indicates how detached I’d become after 15 years sitting inside the same organization.
Unfortunately almost every headhunter says this year has been a shocking year for the recruitment industry.  Despite the OECD’s strongest GDP growth figures, a safe haven currency and declining unemployment figures business sentiment in Australia had fallen to the same level reported during the depth of the GFC.  I continue to be mystified by the perpetual reticence and mild despondency of Australians given the relative strength of its economy.  Negative media spin on every economic subject, coupled with the ongoing trials and tribulations of a minority Federal Government, are progressively taking a toll on the nation’s collective morale.
On a more positive note, as I mentioned, we hosted Garry’s family for an early Christmas lunch on Sunday.  The weather dawned bright and warm.  You already could feel the sun’s intense heat radiating through closed window blinds during breakfast.  Temperatures ultimately peaked in the low 30s, before clouds began gathering for light rain shower late afternoon. 
We assembled our popular banquet table on our main balcony and enjoyed a delighted lunch under the shade cloth.  Garry prepared a spectacular leg of ham, while I dazzled the crowd with my famous cheese board and a couple of Summer salads.  I even put my hand to a delicious trifle for dessert, laced with brandy custard and Bailey’s Irish Cream.  As expected, we ate far too much and shared plenty of laughs.
With one family Christmas behind us, we have one to go.  Garry and I fly to New Zealand on Saturday to join the rest of my family for a final reunion.  Sadly, Christmas this year comes with a poignant mix of celebration and sadness.  Dad’s health continues to decline and the end is clearly approaching.  After much debate and discussion the family moved him to a retirement home last Friday to ensure he receives the best possible care. 

They've reassured us that keeping someone with Dad's challenging health complications at home simply isn't viable anymore. He now needs at least two full-time carers on hand 24 hours a day; each properly trained to nurse an increasingly immobile man. It’s heart-breaking to know this is his final home. 

However, Mum has done a sterling job caring for Dad at home this year. The medical staff are full of praise for her efforts. She has given Dad the very best of care, keeping him safe and in familar surroundings, far longer than anyone thought possible.  Often to the detriment of her own health and well being. I salute her.

Finally, with things so uncertain, Garry and I have cancelled the short road trip we’d planned around the central North Island.  As I reflect on my father's situation the misguided woes of Australian business leaders swiftly pale to insignificant. Life is far too short to be worrying about "what might happen" when our national economy remains the envy of the world.  It's time for some Christmas cheer!
UPDATE:  5:30pm
Just as I was about to put this post to bed, a headhunter called to touch base.  II’s been encouraging to see at least four firms actively connect me with on a regular basis while others warmly respond to every update I share.  They say the job search process is often a waiting game, tempered by irregular bursts of unpredictable activity.

No comments: