Monday, February 4, 2019


I have spent a lot of this week dealing with frustration.

Firstly, I had to get a new screen for my phone. Id smashed it when I fell over on a pebble beach last week and it was in my back pocket. On Tuesday my new screen arrived however I managed to drop the broken phone in the toilet at work before I had a chance to replace the screen. Due to the problem with the screen the insides haven’t been able to dry out as quickly as I would have liked.

I still don’t know if I will ever get back all the photos, memories, cherished videos, blog post ideas, story ideas and half completed chapters of books I am currently writing.

When this happened on Tuesday at work we had already had to deal with a work car breaking down, being snowed off after driving almost 2 hours to get to our archaeological site. Because there was so much snow around a lot of other people were in the office when we got back and it was jam packed. I often don’t deal well with tight spaces and lots of people. Tuesday was no exception. I was so emotionally and mentally drained that night I had early dinner and shower and was in bed by 8.30pm.

Wednesday was almost the most frustrating day of my life. We got to site and for the first hour it was okay because there was frozen puddles to crack and sheets of ice to throw and smash through to continue with the work. However, by the time morning tea came around, the whole place had started to defrost. Which you would think would be a great thing, except because it was clay it became sticky and miserable. Usually when a job is this annoying I put on some cheerful music or an inspirational podcast and get to work. But having broken my phone the day before it was just me and my thoughts. Me and my frustration.

It was so frustrating when every step I took meant I was either stuck to the ground so I couldn’t walk easily, or had enough clay stick to my feet it was like wearing weighted platform shoes that could have rivaled the height of the kind my sister wore in the 90s. #SpiceGirlsForeva. I even fell into the mud on more than on occasion. Pushing a wheelbarrow in that clay will now haunt my dreams… forever.

The whole day of work continued to be like this for me. Jobs that would normally took 30mins to do took 4 hours.

It was the first time I have ever been so frustrated I have wanted to weep. (Or at least it is the most recent so it sticks in my mind to the exclusion of all else). I still feel myself getting frustrated now just thinking about it. It was also completely physically exhausting. I came home absolutely knackered.

When I finally got home I managed to message my boyfriend from my tablet. My family back home in Australia would have been well and truly asleep by the time I got in from work, so I couldn’t call my mum. It actually made me more upset because I couldn’t call anyone as my phone was dead. No phone calls at all.

I have my tablet but it wasn’t then set up with anything and every app wanted me to use my phone to verify it. Talk about frustrating!

I had to figure out what to do that evening to get me out of the funk. I used a few little tips and tricks to help. This wont work for everyone. I think taking some time to get to know what helps you when you are emotionally and physically exhausted will help you.

Firstly, I cried. A good solid sob-fest. Everything I had been holding in for the last 36-48 hours came tumbling out. I must admit I was not very positive. My boyfriend G got really worried about me because I don’t usually sound so defeated or so distraught. What he did was remind me that this is not normal and therefore temporary.

When I had dried my eyes and felt a little lighter I decided I needed to change the way things were going for me. I needed to laugh, too feel clean (get rid of the mud and clay), I needed a win and I needed some comfort food.

I decided to make myself some pizza. Hangry is a new word for a reason. Dealing with the most important part first was going to help me immensely. For someone like me, who is on the Auto-Immune Protocol, making pizza is a lot more time intensive and complicated than nipping to the local Pizza place. Thankfully I had the ingredients on hands. I didn’t even feel guilty when I ate a whole pizza to myself. So, yummy comfort food. Check.

I needed to wash of the mud of the day. So I had a nice hot shower. I washed my hair and braided it when it was almost dry so that I would feel better in the morning as I wouldn’t have to do anything with it. Feeling Clean. Check.

I did some jobs I had been putting off. Like putting away the clothes drying in my room. This feels like a constant job because in winter everything takes so long to dry. I also changed my sheets and did another load of washing (yes, ruining my empty drying rack – but yay! Clean clothes). Having a win. Check.

Lastly I needed a laugh. One thing I find I watch to do this is QI. A British show hosted primarily by Stephen Fry but also by Sandi Thompson. For those not familiar with it, it is a great game show that you can watch one or two episodes of and learn something but usually laugh at too. It often hosts a great range of comedians including some great Aussie comedic icons. It has a habit of making me laugh a lot, whilst learning a heap too. Change my mood. Check.

By that time, It was bed time. So I did what I usually do, I wrote 10 things I was grateful for. This is a nightly ritual for me that helps me reframe my day. You might wonder how I could be grateful for a range of things as my day had been so…. Yes… frustrating. But it is amazing what you can be grateful for when you think about the good. Here is what I wrote in my journal…


1. I am truly grateful that I had my tablet alarm to wake me up this morning because I was able to get up, dressed and to work on time.
2. I am truly blessed that KC & I got to play with the frozen puddles because we laughed a lot.
3. I am happy and blessed I finally got my Section Photo taken because It took me all day to clean up my ditch slot and get it ready for photographing.
4. With all my heart thank you that I was helped my the Polish crew from the other office because their small acts of kindness made my day so much more bearable.
5. Thank you that we stopped at the services on the way home because I hot a hot cup of tea and that was enough to warm my frozen fingers.
6. I am truly happy that I was able to help the office staff by printing off some extra paperwork for the file when I got back to the office, because it meant they had more time for more important things.
7. I am truly blessed that I got prawns on discount at the supermarket because It meant could add them to my pizza tonight.
8. I am happy and blessed G and I could message on my tablet because I feel so disconnected from my family and friends right now.
9. With all my heart thank you for QI, Pizza and hot showers because they really help me improve my mood.
10. Thank you that I got lots of jobs done because I feel like a successful adult.

I always add a reason why I am grateful for a certain thing. Just saying ‘I am grateful for life’ is nice, but what about it makes you feel it in your bones? Or at least in your heart? Actually feeling the gratitude helps me get out of my funk.

As you can see there were good things about my day too. It wasn’t all frustration. It was also… ice cracking, hot tea, pizza, kindness from colleagues, hot showers, having a win, discount prawns, having a back up alarm clock, laughter, getting the job done, connectedness and bringing kindness to others. Does that mean I wont experience frustration again?? I wish.

Thursday could have been just as frustrating, but this time I was more prepared. Pizza for lunch( (leftovers for the win). A messenger phone call with G from my tablet. Having small wins. Making someone else’s day by bringing them a gift.

I also had several people be really kind to me which was really beautiful and unexpected. Some simply shared in my frustration, whilst others offered me use of old phones. I also got hugs from a few friends and colleagues.

Plus, I finally got a cuddle from G when I finally made it to Wales that evening under the threat of snow. And snow it did! But thankfully I got there safe!

Sometimes knowing how to get yourself out of a funk is the best skill there is. I think I am still learning to deal with frustration but at least now I have some strategies to deal with it myself.

Be kind to one another.

Love Daena

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