Update on my life

Hello

Sorry for the short post. I almost decided not to post tonight. I’ve had a busy weekend.
But there were a few things people were asking about so to follow up from earlier post.
Writing project:
I met with the writers group I’m in yesterday and we discussed ways to take the writing project we’re working on forwards. For those of you who don’t remember we’re doing a group project.  So excited about that
GNR: Also I got an email and drumroll I’m in the GNR. This will be my sixth half marathon and fifth GNR. I’ve decided to use it to encourage myself to be a bit more healthy. I know, I know I’ve been down this road before.
Work: I mentioned I was being active promoting ASD at work. It’s going ok. I do feel occasionally like one day someone is going to rip a mask off my face and say “look he’s clueless” 🙂 Joking aside I feel I’m finding my feet a bit. I did have some initial trouble, balancing it with my main role but think I’m starting to get the knack of it. Funny thing about Autism and Asperger’s routines are nightmares for us to change and  try at times. Once we get into one we like you’ll have a battle to drag us out of it them though. Admittedly this may be a me response, but am sure some others feel that way. So yeah it’s going well. I have good hopes for the future.
Right that’s the little update for tonight
I’m going to confess to you I was going to do a long post tonight but am not in the right mood. Don’t worry nothing bad writing just isn’t flowing and I don’t like to force it.
Good night

My week in brief

Hi good evening

I had a pretty busy week at work.
I mentioned in my last post it was National Apprentice week. It went really well. My workplace did a number of things to promote this. On Wednesday we had as I mentioned briefly in my last post an open door evening where we showed potential employee what an Apprenticeship good do for them. We had well over a couple of hundred people turn up so a good week overall. If your interested in seeing more search twitter using the # from my previous post or if you work for my organisation search our Facebook page. So a good week.
I also feel a bit more on top regarding chairing that group I mentioned at work I just need to be more decisive.
Outside of work things are ok. I had the house to myself this weekend I went to see a band with some friends Friday and enjoyed a bit of me time over the weekend. It’s funny I always want me time. It’s easy to forget how much work it is when it’s only you. I’ve said it before my mam’s a saint. The things I don’t have to worry about on a daily basis. I’ve been thinking a lot recently about when I eventually move out. I’ve made the goal to start saving seriously and tact more care. So obviously weekends alone are a great practice for me. It’s not that I don’t do things but as I’ve said before I have the luxury of not having too. For example I can offer to help with tea, often I’m told it’s fine and I set the table or clear up after. The point is I normally have the luxury of not having to think: Should I defrost that to eat? or “Do I need to buy more of that?”  I do things I iron, take the recycling out. The point is if I lived alone I wouldn’t have a choice. So it really does make me think. I waste so much time and money sometimes. The time isn’t so bad that’s mainly surfing the net or binge watching tv.
The money though I shudder to think how much I’ve wasted over the years …Well as I’ve said I’m trying to get serious.
Was a nice weekend on the whole did Gibside Parkrun on Saturday a very beautiful place which I recommend you visit. It’s national trust but free for the Parkrun and great run local. I mention the run as my back feels much better. I mentioned in my last post my back felt bad. I’ve been wondering if my chair at work might need adjusting if my back hurts tomorrow I’ll know. So that’s my week pretty boring really but nice enough. Some week are like that. Pretty excited for tomorrow though, I applied for the GNR tomorrow I’ll know if I got in exciting
Anyway I’m going to stop now sorry for the mixed post. Normally these posts reach a natural end I seem to be going endlessly on tonight just like in real life:)
So goodbye for now

National Apprenticeship Week

Good evening National Apprenticeship Week starts starts tomorrow the 3rd January.

National Apprenticeship week is a nationwide event designed to help highlight  the value of Apprenticeship’s both to employers and to employees.

The trust I work for will be promoting this event all week search the below # over the next few days to learn more

For those of you reading this there is also a friendly contest between the North East and North West so get posting folks

#LookBeyondNE

#NAW2020 Battle of the North!

#NAW2020!#LookBeyondNE

We will be doing a number of exciting events. On Wednesday we are having an open evening. See the attached image

Some of my colleagues will be attending free career event on Saturday the 8th as well see below details  ‘Get Up and Go’ Event Saturday 8th February 2020, 10.00am 1.00pm at The Quadrant, Silverlink North, Cobalt Business Park, North Tyneside, NE27 0BY.

So an exciting week ahead!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

New projects and why self doubt shouldn’t stop you pursuing them

Hi

Hope your all well. I’ve had a pretty busy week. I have recently taken on a few projects. I mentioned in previous posts that I’m in a focus group for people on the spectrum at work. I have become more involved in facilitating this. I have also taken on a couple of projects regarding my writing.
One of which is my cousin and I are planning on doing an event together at some point in the future. So I’ve been very busy.  I’ve also had a few other concerns. I’m over my cold at last but I have a bad cough at the still, which means I sound like I’m dying after a run at present. I also have upgraded my wardrobe recently. I hate clothes shopping but made the effort this Friday off trekking over to Dalton Park to get some new clothes for work. So on the whole a fairly busy week.
I’m quite pleased with myself for being so organised. I’ll confess I often find myself procrastinating when I have things to do. Or alternatively overthinking little details. I did get a tiny bit stressed about a couple of the above mentioned projects this week. My trouble is I start panicking and thinking “I can’t do this” It’s so easy not to take on projects and just stay out of things. It’s worth trying though. It’s like when I started this blog. Once you start a task even a little bit you feel better. The projects I was talking about with work and my cousin felt a bit new but I feel better just by thinking about them a bit. It’s also important to remember as well your not alone. It’s ok to ask for help. So whether your on the spectrum or not if your starting a project don’t let it overwhelm you just try to confident. (Total pot calling kettle black hypocrisy from me here) that may be hard but it does get easier.
By the way stick around because another post is coming in the next hour!!!

Inclusion Carousel thoughts and reflections

Good evening

Hope your all well. I’m good. Had a fairly peaceful weekend.

On Wednesday I attended an event recommended by work the Inclusion Carousel at St James. This was a day long conference designed to highlight inclusion and make people aware of bullying in the workplace.

As many of you know I’m a keen advocate of Equality and Diversity in the workplace. In fact I am in a staff network group for those on the spectrum and have recently taken steps to become more involved with  organising this. Earlier last year I received an email about this event.So I was really excited to go and see all I could. I tried to behave appropriately and gather as much info as I could

Of course me being me I:

1: couldn’t find the door as I’d never been to St James. My uncle

a lifelong Newcastle fan would be ashamed

2: spilt my drink after sitting down

Luckily my clumsy quota was then met and the day went well.

Note if you wish to share any data or see posts about this event #inclusioncarousel

Here were a few notes I took throughout the day

The opening talk brought to our attention a few surprising figures:

In the NHS: BMI staff rarely progress over a band 6

The north region is made up off 79% white staff
19% BMI staff overall in the workforce
77%  of workers are women

30% of women are chief executives

They then talked about outside the NHS:

Outside the NHS out of a 100 business’s

Only 6 were found to have a BMI chair

Only 29 of the other chairs are women

Ok I think we can all agree this is shocking. It’s easy to think how better things are clearly we have a long way to go.

There was a great talk from the Leadership Academy around Inclusion. Obviously I didn’t get it word for but they have produced some literature which can be found online Title: “Inclusion The DNA for Leadership and change” It covers: Identity,lived experience,emotions,complexity, power, sense making,ethics, collaborative inquiries.

Some more figures were brought to light:

84% of BAME staff said there were clear differences in what was said and what was done

51% of staff feel they cannot be their full self at work

They recommend the following video for further study

Ted Talk Kimberley Crenshaw Intersectionality

https://www.ted.com/talks/kimberle_crenshaw_the_urgency_of_intersectionality?language=en

Next followed a rather Intriguing talk

“How do you know if you’re the bully?”

Now it’s easy to say no of course not. I would not say I am a bully, but what do we mean by bullying?

It was mentioned that many people don’t realise they’re bullying at all. For example see below text from (slightly abbreviated)

What is behind the behaviour of the bully?

People tell a story to themselves

You need too:

Change the story

Change the behaviour

Don’t challenge the person challenge the behaviour

In other words try to change the person’s mindset

It’s good advice. I am quite often to passive I don’t like to make a fuss. The trouble is where do you draw the line? When do you stop looking at your feet and think no. No this behaviour is not right.

Its hard to say.

Here are some useful tools that were recommended

ACAS definition of bullying can be found here

https://www.acas.org.uk/if-youre-treated-unfairly-at-work/being-bullied

Chris Argyris Ladder of Inference describes the progressive process of making observations and forming ideas

https://thesystemsthinker.com/the-ladder-of-inference/

All of this talk made me think of something. It’s massively different to workplace bullying but the memory viewed through older eyes made me feel unsettled.

When I was younger I was often shy. With people I liked however I could be overfamiliar hugging friends, trying to over share with teachers at school. It was hard for me to understand boundaries. There was this one boy who rode the same bus as me. A few years younger. He had curly hair and freckles and glasses. I would often tousle his hair. I knew he didn’t like it. Somehow I thought I was being matey. Even though I hated people teasing me. Looking back was I being a bully? I actually liked the kid. I thought it was a funny thing. After all my dad held me down as a kid and tickled me sometimes.It was the same right? Wrong. I didn’t mean it like that but I bet that’s how the poor kid felt. If your reading this I’m sorry. I didn’t mean any harm but that’s no excuse.

Even now I sometimes have moments when I talk to much or banter in appropriately.  Nothing major occasions where I forgot social etiquette. Still it affects how others see you

This talk made me think. Bullying is not always obvious. That I knew but it’s odd to think maybe it’s not even meant. Maybe at times we could all take a bit more care. A good talk

In the afternoon I went to two workshops

LGBT Inclusion workshop by North East ambulance services

Achievement of this group :

During their Induction they now play a big part in the day
Last year an they held events called Lunch and Learn where they met with various LGBTstaff  to discuss their life and work
They gave their phone  operators training in the use of gender neutral terms

There is a National Ambulance LGBT network this is across all trusts and meets throughout the year
Events for the diary they mentioned
LGBT history month 2020

As many of you will know this is in February the theme this year is 12 figures.
Trans day of visibility this is a yearly day on March 31st

One final thing. We were each given a bit of string on a table were 9 card with words. For every thing you could do you had to add a bead. This really highlighted some of the things we take for granted. See attached pictures. I’ll confess I was only able to find one phrase that I could not see myself doing. This exercise puts things in perspective. How many things do I worry about that are trivial and ultimately meaningless? Obviously I do have my own issues but it’s important to remember that I’m not the only one in the world. We should always  try to be considerate. I know how difficult life can be.
The 2nd workshop I attended was “Unconscious Bios dive into your mind”

The Host of this workshop was by a representative of South Tees Hospital Foundation Trust

Aim of this talk: Explore the impact of unconscious bias on our day to day behaviour and decision making

Develop insight into your own unconscious bias.
Points raised

Our brains are hard wired to box people into categories eg

Threat——Non threat. Basic instincts evolution from when we were more basic

We may not do it consciously but we look at: Posture, gender, age, accents, intellect

And we make a decision about someone

Note: you can take a test online to asses yourself. Search

Unconscious Bios Harvard University your profile.
An example was given to explain this

The Inclusion scale shows the general response we tend to have to people at first knowingly or not:

Admiration

Acceptance

Neutral

Evasion

Hostility

Obviously this can change we were showing 6 photos and asked for our initial instinct. We then discussed why we felt this way and what our thought processes was.

It was really good but hard to explain. To be honest I think many people were surprised by their own reactions

I’ve had this both ways. I’ve seen people I thought looked dodgy and stayed clear. I’ve also been misjudged myself. Many times. Often it’s due to my face looking spaced out or expressionless in public. I can’t see my face obviously but have been told. One rage inducing person in a nightclub said I’d looked miserable all night. So yeah it’s easier to judge other and be judged than we all like to admit.If anyone is interested the host Helen is willing to do this talk at for any interested organisations: Helen.day9@nhs.net
After the last workshop we returned to the main room  where we were treated to a performance by a band. Aukestra is a band made up of those on the autistic spectrum.

Jak Dixon the man in charge was someone who I’d actually met as he used to work at ESPA a college for those on the spectrum that I went to years ago. I did not recognise him at first but thought he looked familiar. He was a lovely man he runs this group voluntarily and they were really good. If your interested search them on Facebook.

Right that’s it. Hope you enjoyed this post.

 

Too much information?

Good evening

Tonight’s post will be brief
I was out with a friend today as they had a birthday yesterday. I talked about one of my New Years resolutions to spend less. Quite a bit. Earlier today I spoke to my uncle. I had sent him some videos a while ago of a online comedian I like. He said they weren’t really for him. I did wonder that after I sent them.
I seem to have trouble keeping my filter in check some days.
its not uncommon for those on the spectrum. It’s manageble.
It’s not something that really bothers me but has got me in hot water over the years. Saying the wrong thing.
Not reading the room.
I’m sure many people on the spectrum reading this can sympathise.
Its not always easy to join a conversation is it? So you pick a comfortable subject.
Happens with family too.
I remember as a kid I was always babbling about this and that my poor Mam.
The trouble is when it’s at important times. I know I was distracted easily at school, bless the teachers being so patient. Sometimes at work I have to be reminded I’m chatting or oversharing. On the whole I do feel I’m better these days. It’s what I think of as a leftover habit. When I’m feeling particularly happy or stressed. Nice to know young me is still in there
Well good night sorry for short post

An overreaction

Good evening
Tonight’s post will be brief. I was actually going to write this earlier in week but as I have had a cold did not feel in mood.

In December I signed up to the Great North run reminder service. Basically you can’t just enter the GNR. It’s so popular you have to queue online and you get put in a ballot giving you a chance of getting in. You don’t know if your successful for a few weeks. Till they tell you. It’s like a raffle for insane people who like running. Like me
Anyway I signed up to be reminded when the ballot opened so I wouldn’t miss my chance before it closed. It opens in January even though race is much later. So you may be asking what this post has to do with autism? Patience. So I was at work Monday and a colleague mentioned he was doing 6 miles as training and was in the ballot. I said it hadn’t opened he said it had. I then said “I don’t believe it. Stupid website. Why do I bother signing up for a reminder service if it doesn’t work. I checked this morning ” not my exact words but you get the point. I was mad. My colleague Becca said I should relax So I let it go as I realised I was being a bit immature. When I got home I saw this email:

“Thank you for registering your interest in the
2020 Great North Run ballot…
The ballot is now open, and it will

Traffic to the website is expected to be high so we have implemented a queuing system, but please don’t worry as you have over a month to register your place in the ballot.

So if you don’t have time to wait in the queue today, you can always come back another time before 9pm on Sund

This came while I was at work. Sometimes I get annoyed with myself. I’ve came on in so many ways why do I get so impatient and leap to conclusions? It’s like when ever I get a vague text I think. What’s wrong? I need to not overthink so much and be more patient.

Welcome to 2020

Good evening

As promised this weeks post will be about the new year welcome to 2020. I have made some resolutions. I’ll be talking about them in a bit. First New Year’s Eve. I hope you all had a good time. I had a somewhat mixed day. I created an event on Facebook and asked if some people wanted to do a group run. They did and we had a fantastic turnout. Later that same day I went drinking and stayed out till after 2am. So basically I’m undoing all my good work!!! Seriously though I had a wonderful time stayed out and saw in the New Year had a drink with friends. Spend New Year’s Day with family.
What could be better?
The run I mentioned went really well. A huge turnout and we all had a good Catch up.
A funny thing happened after the run. I had one of my moments. I was in a local cafe near where I lived. We were having a coffees before head off and I was given the wrong change. I was to nervous to ask for it. Why? Because I was worried about being called a liar or being cheap over £2. Ridiculous. I don’t know why I worry so much. That story isn’t really on theme with the rest of the post but seemed to good not to tell. Funny how you can switch from confident to unconfident.
As I said I went out later that night. The fact I did that shows how far I came. I used to feel terrible if I wasn’t home on New Year’s Eve. In my last post I mentioned adapting to routines changing around Christmas. Well for years, I was convinced I’d be letting people down by staying out. A few years ago I was at a friends. I’d planned to stay a couple of hours and see in the New Year with Mam. However time went on and it was  11pm. Suddenly I realised the time and panicked. I had to get home. Why? Because I was always home for new year. I thought Mam would be hurt. So I rang for a taxi and just made it home. Mam was very confused as to why I’d not stayed at the party. So am I it seemed so important at the time. What did I think would happen? That it would invalidate all the closeness we had? So the fact a few years later I can go out on New Year’s Eve says a lot.
Anyway the bit you all came for the resolutions. Now I’m aware many people see these as silly but well it can’t hurt to have a bit of focus. So here we go.
1: manage my money better. Won’t go into too much detail about this. Suffice to say I haven’t always been sensible. I’m going to make more efforts in future to curb unnecessary spending and hopefully get something behind me. It will also give me a bit more security in the future. So I’ll do my best
2: weigh loss. I’ve written about my struggles with this before. I’m planning to get back on track starting tomorrow. Eating healthier and cutting out extras between meals.
3: Be more assertive. Sometimes I let people boss me around. I’m going to try and speak my mind more. What’s the worst that can happen? It’s like the thing with the change in the cafe it’s a confidence thing. Also by not asserting myself I give the wrong impression. So this is one to work on.
4: work on my writing. This is something I do every year. I write creatively a lot. Very rarely do anything. I mean I’ve entered the odd contest. I also attend loads of writing workshops. However there are loads of things I NEVER do. I’ve been showing magazines, links to stuff online. I need to follow stuff up.
So there you go those are my resolutions and a few anecdotes. Sorry if this post is a bit all over the place. Improve blog I’ll add that to the above
Happy new year to all of you hope 2020 is good to you 🥳

Christmas past and present (a late post)

Good evening Happy new year and a belated Merry Xmas. Ok this post is a late Xmas one so having touched on New Year I’ll leave it till the next post.

I’ll start of by apologising for not posting in a while. I meant to. Someone at work even suggested doing a post on the day itself. Time just got away from me.
I hope you all had a good time. I love Christmas. Even though it’s different now I’m older. Nevertheless I enjoy it immensely spending time with my family, giving gifts. Food too, lots of food. Chocolates, turkey left overs….sorry what was I saying again?
Yes I do love Christmas. When I was younger  I would generally spend the morning downstairs with family exchanging gifts and chatting. My relatives would come we we’d have dinner. Later in the day I would lock myself in my bedroom for a bit with my new book or game, emerging now and again for catch up’s. I would always feel a bit guilty, however people understood I wasn’t being unsociable it was just how I was. I think I was being too hard on myself. After all it’s not like I spent no time with the family. In my head I felt I might hurt people’s feelings. Other than that Christmas is filled with lovely memories. When I was little me and my sister would get up and open our stockings together,there would always be a bag containing our gifts. The night before we would hang stocking and leave, carrots and milk out. Due to my Asperger’s it was hard for me to let some of these things go. Often people on the spectrum struggle with change. I remember feeling sad when my sister didn’t want to get up early. Though it was 6am in her defence. I still did the stocking for years even when I knew the truth. Just because. It’s funny how hard it can be to let go of things. You know what though? Some things are better as memories. It can never be exactly as it was. Never feel the same and that’s ok .New memories come along though. I’ve seen my nephew have his first Christmas, he’ll be four this year. My sister does elf on a shelf with him. That’s where you hide a toy elf around the house and make the child think he moves. I helped with one it was hilarious I made it look like he had been stealing chocolate by placing him near my advent calendar. So funny. The point is Christmas is still enjoyable immensely. I played board games with my family this year, my brother got cheaters monopoly (that’s a thing now google it) and it was great. Me and my mam gave each other Christmas Pyjama’s one tradition I’m happy is still going strong. We had a laugh as I had brought her a nice pair of bottoms and two nighties. My mam doesn’t wear nighties to bed, I had mistaken two long nighties for t-shirts. Apparently I did the same thing last year. I have no memory but that sounds like me. She loved the bottoms though. I got and gave some lovely gifts. I think on the whole I hit the right tone with my gifts. So a great Christmas
Sorry for the rambling nature of this post.
I’ll see you all again Sunday where I’ll list my New Years resolution. Good night folks

I need to trust myself

Hi this is my 2nd post of the night. I’ll keep it brief as I don’t want to go on to long this close to Christmas. Recently I commented to my Mam that I had made a suggestion via someone else. I had asked them to say something as I did not think I would be taken seriously. When asked why I did not know. I thought it over and realised whenever I make a decision I always second guess myself. I worry about making mistakes,causing offence. I actively ask others if I made the right choice. So how can I expect to instil confidence in others with that attitude? It’s silly because people do take me seriously. I know lots of other people from my open mic nights for example who are pleased to see me and vice versa. I often make a good contribution at work too. So where does this come from? I know as a kid I often said the wrong thing. Or rather what other kids perceived as wrong . I specifically recall once recall innocently asking another kid what gay meant at age 9 on a bus. He laughed so hard at me. This wasn’t the only thing other kids judged me for. I tried to talk about stuff I liked but didn’t always have a response. So obviously I worried about what I said. Which just shows kids can be awful.

Also I do at times say the wrong thing in error. I’ve talked before about saying the wrong thing. (see post I don’t mean to be rude) I think I obviously don’t always trust my own judgment. I seek clarification and  I talk to much. Hoping someone will “You made the right choice” This is a habit I’m trying to curb. It’s a false state of mind I have a lot to be confident about I just need to remember that. I can make my own choices.
I don’t need to get constant validation.