Saturday, 1 February 2014

January Blues (Skies)

How is it February already?  I've been here over two months?  How is this even possible?

The longest I'd ever been away from home before (out of the country, that is) was 31 days, and yet I suddenly realise it's been 11 weeks and I feel ... content here.  Mind you, that's not to say I haven't just had a rough couple of weeks where I was starting to wonder if I was cut out for this!

At home, I have a corporate job, which whilst not fascinating, I'd like to think I'm pretty good at it.  In theory, this job - here in the Alps - should have been a cake-walk by comparison.  And a cake-walk it has not been.  In technical terms, the work may be simpler, but it seems to come with a set of challenges all of its own!

I've found working alone for so many hours really, really hard ... proving I'm very much a social creature at heart and thrive on collaboration, even if I do need time out to be by myself every so often.  Being given independence to work alone once in a while is a gift .... having it enforced turns out to be a bit of a nightmare for me though!  And managing people??  Having to drag work out of them when they think they have other priorities that are more important ... I always knew I liked being self-reliant in my work, and I think this goes to prove why!  At least, when I haven't done something critical, I'm the only person holding up myself, but it is sooooooooo frustrating when you can't get started because someone else hasn't given you what you need, and then you also get the blame for not managing it better.  Arrrrrrrgh!

BUT.  A big but.  That was a couple of weeks ago, and through perseverance, sheer bloody-mindedness and pig-headed stubbornness (and some VERY late nights), I've kept going and found some ways to make things easier.  Having a structured timetable helps ward off the incipient feelings of laziness that threaten to over-take you when you work in your bedroom and are surrounded by the interwebs and the demon that is Facebook.  Setting an alarm in the morning forces you out of your idleness (and your bed).  Delegating and making the reps do some of the work for themselves shows them how time-consuming things can be, why it's important they do what they're asked to and also streamlines the process.  And last week finally felt better - like maybe this is worth it and the downside of work doesn't outweigh the good stuff.

Away from work, in that precious stuff called Free Time, life is also pretty good.  I was pretty damn ill for a couple of weeks with tonsillitis and a chest infection combined - it's not recommended but turns out to be a pretty good weight-loss tool for the simple reason that it hurts to eat.  And if you do manage to eat, you inevitably end up coughing and choking which leads to a more painful throat. But hey - I'm finally starting to feel better!  Whoooop!  I'm still hacking a cough every so often and blowing a fantastic amount of snot from my body but I don't feel like I'm dying (or want to die) and that alone is enough to make me feel better about life!

My skiing is .... improving?  Hmmmm, I'm not sure that's the right word, but the progress of speed over style continues!  I switched to some more advanced skis the other day which are pretty fun, and then got taken down an absolute bitch of a black run on Wednesday which has left me decidedly bruised.  But not broken.  I hadn't done any black runs yet this season, and had only done 2 before ever, so this one probably wasn't the best one to start with as "moguls" doesn't begin to describe it, but I got down it (after literally about 8 falls, one crash into a tree, an incident with a bush, landing upside down in deep powder and losing 2 skis and 1 pole), and whilst I was frustrated at my lack of ability, I wasn't scared!  Result!!

On other days, when the conditions are right, we've started playing in the powder and little bits of off-piste, and I've been trying to teach myself to ski switch (backwards) - I can get into it, but am too chicken to maintain the speed to get back out again .... something to work on.

Socially, things are great fun, although I've chosen to have a bit of a quieter week this week and stay in and watch Game of Thrones in bed instead of go out drinking .... I know! Rock.  And.  Roll.  But good for me.  One probably shouldn't drink every night of the week, you know!  There has been stupid fancy dress though (all for charity!), and I can tell my confidence is on top form, because a couple of years ago you'd never have caught me dressed up like this and loving it completely:

Or shamelessly instigating this kind of nonsense:

One area where my confidence still lacks is, of course, the tricky field of warfare that is Men.  Naturally, I can't talk to the guy I quite like - that would be ridiculous!  He might even find out I like him!!! So clearly, I ended up taking home the very cute, but very young (for me) French snowboarder  who'd been pursuing me all evening instead.  Yes - I'm that special.  I think I need to work on that!

Or you know, not, because I'm quite fond of my dignity (hah!!!) and I have to live in the same village as these people for another couple of months.

Oh.  Dear.  Lord.