“I’m looking for the face I had before the world was made.”*

I’m coming to the end of a crazy 8 months in what has been a really interesting (and eye-opening) position as a senior consultant to the HR team of the largest Ministry in NZ. When they interviewed me for the role (and that whole story of how I got it is mildly ridiculous), I laughed at them when they told me what they wanted done, and the time frame it had to happen in. Despite my telling them they were insane (politely), they still offered me the job.

And not only did I get the project done and in the time frame they wanted, but I may have started a trend across the other teams. More could have been tidied to make this even better than what I’ve already done. But it is current. The information is easy to find. The language is clear. The thousands of staff using it have noticed the positive difference. And on Friday, as one of my last acts in this position, I’ll sign off UAT on a brand new landing page design to be rolled out when my successor starts her BAU role after Queen’s Birthday.

This position came out of the blue at a time when I really needed it. Getting over the Black Dog and Dengue, I was allowed to get stuck into the guts of an unloved behemoth of information, and make it look a little prettier. I’ve branded the new service too – with my infographics and posters gracing the walls of the various teams around the country. I’ve been a team of one with some amazing hench-people pulled in as subject matter experts from all over their new shared service model. And you know what – I couldn’t have worked with a lovelier bunch of people.

HR has been galaxies away from IT or IS, and it has been a real education. But the lessons I have learnt here, and the things I have achieved extramurally while I have been working with this group has been phenomenal. I’m going to miss these guys and gals. And while I was planning on my usual slink out without any fanfare – they’re not going to let me do that. As with all the contracts I’ve worked on, I’ve made some really great friends here. So I’ll be keeping an eye on them from a distance…

Because next week, I get to start training my very own unicorn. It’s going to be a very intensive 4-6 weeks come June and July. And I’m exceedingly excited about the project I have lined up. I’m doing a great deal of research, and lurking, at the moment. Absorbing everything I possibly can. But that is all I’m going to say on the matter until things have been decided: one way or the other. It’s more a way of life that I am used to and comfortable with. I just hope the new guys will like me… (yes, I always think that).

So while I’ve been weaving in all the ends of this FO, I’ve been looking at some of the worn bits in my life. Things I need to darn up, and WIPS that need some love. The last 3 and a half months have been very tough, and that trend looks like it’s going to continue for a while yet. In light of this, I’m actually going to adhere to that old be kind to yourself chestnut and do just that. (Yes, my insane playing with the unicorn – despite the significant demands – is actually me being kind to myself).

This means that I need to pause some things and focus on others. It has been an exceedingly difficult past few days working out just what is going to give and why. I’ve needed to be very blunt with my addressing of motives and aims. There are one or two things I need to step back from completely, so that when I do pick them back up in several month’s time, I do so with the right attitude, and I don’t lose my way again. I think this unicorn will help me with that as much as that all has helped me to this point. I need to remember what I fell in love with in the first place, and what my original goals were. The adventures are still on the horizon. I’m just going to take a roundabout route to get there.

But enough with the introspection and riddles! These past few days of agonising have also seen me visit all my knitting patterns (and there are many) and cull my stash some more (don’t gasp. It needs to be done). I have a significant amount sitting in a pile on the floor in my lounge, awaiting its fate. What that may be, I’m not entirely sure yet. I’m still pondering adding more to it. So that pile will grow.

It’s also seen some serious knitting: my old toe-up variation of the amazing Spring Forward sock has had a revival. So have my modified version of the glorious fetching. And for the Holland Road lock-in, I’ll finish my equinox.

It’s all a matter of balance and reflection. And heeding the wisest thing Polonius ever said to either of his children:

This above all: to thine ownself be true.
(Hamlet I.iii.80)

And with that, I take my leave. More on my FO’s when I have them washed and blocked.

*W.B.Yeats

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