Saturday 30 November 2013

CSI Challenge 100 - Change

The colours this week were a challenge for me with so many shades of grey.  I have a self imposed ban on buying new paper for the rest of the year and had to rummage through the dregs to create this page.  I had a smidge of an idea to begin with and then, as so often happens the page took off in the opposite direction and created itself in a tizzy kind of way.  Soooo not my personal taste, but there it is!
The background paper is by Teresa Collins, it has palest grey pattern which doesn't photograph well.
The largest piece of the banner is Prima and the dotty piece is My Mind's Eye.
A prima mask created the texture and some gelato muddled over the top created the yellow.
The photo frame is cut from My Mind's Eye, "Chalk Studio".
The wooden typewriter is by Studio Calico.
Stripes - On the flower and the Prima paper
Wood - Typewriter
Border - Punched

I went to the Journal Sparks site and was inspired by "Death does not have to be physical - what else feels like death"?

In the middle part of my career, I worked in a private school which educated more than 1,000 students from over 40 countries. 30 of these students had profound disabilities. I had been the School Nurse for 15 years and loved the environment and the students.  The role was varied; caring for borders far from home, attending to first aid, dispensing medication, suctioning tracheostomies, treating children with Diabetes, and Asthma, as well as managing other medical emergencies.

When we had a change of Principal and Accounting staff, severe budget constraints were imposed and it was decided that my hours would be cut to half time.  Despite written concerns from the staff and parents, the decision was set to be implemented the following year.

Apart from the financial difficulties this would cause me, I was shattered.   I felt abandoned, disenfranchised and mortified; as though all the systems I’d put in place to care for the students, the dedication to the College and the extra unpaid hours were worth nothing.

It was a deep wounding to my self worth and identity.  “Who am I, if I’m not the School Nurse?”  The whole existential question whirled around in my brain until I thought it would explode. My heart ached for the students whose needs would not be met with a half time Nurse.  My gut churned with anxiety about how I could re-create myself if I chose to resign.   There were very few opportunities to work in schools. Who would employ a middle aged woman, no longer current in acute nursing care?  It truly felt like a little death; bleak, black and hopeless.

Fortunately, I had long service leave in the last term.  I spent five weeks in Africa, connected to the beauty of the natural world. I was able to distance myself from the politics of my workplace and made the decison to resign from my role, trusting the universe to provide, which it did.  I was able to retrain in another field of nursing and was very happy in my new role in Pathology for the rest of my working life.  

If you've survived to the end of this post, well done, give yourself a reward like a trip to the scrapbooking shop.


  1. I find this page very special (and really don't know why it is not your personal taste...). I love the punched border (so elegant!) and the banners. I also love the way you used the gelato and the flowes chain.
    And what a story! you have such a talented story teller! one can dive into your stories. You were so brave to take that decision to resign, and I'm so happy that it took you to a new and good path.
    Love this page!
    (BTW, how about entering it to the 'Change is Beautiful' challenge at Inkido? You still have one day to enter it, should you decide to join.)

  2. Your layout is beautiful.. that is one of my favourite punches you have used around the edge and love the design of the photo and banner.. and I really appreciated your journalling too.. when one door closes another one opens!!

  3. make me laugh your quirky posts...! This is a gorgeous page, love the punched border and your journalling, along with the framed photo and sunny blooms! Always super to read your journalling and certainly gives us an insight into your life, which is really appreciated! I think you did a great job with the colours and is a classic, beautiful page! With regards to a rewarded trip to the Scrap shop...I did that on saturday morning and can't even tell you how much I spent...well maybe...BUT my husband will never know!!!!! ;-)

  4. Teehee!!! Any excuse to go scrappy shopping, LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!! I think your 'story' posts are some of my faves....obviously cos I love a good story with a happy ending!!!!!! And you look sooooo 'in charge' - in a NICE way in the photo:):) Just lovely:):)

  5. Helen, I agree with you these colours were a bit of a challenge for me to. I love this layout that you have created. My immediate impression of this layout was - serious, which hit me as I was reading your journalling. It has a sense of sadness and severity about it which for me was perfect given the topic. That is such a beautiful photo of you I love it. I could feel the turmoil of emotions reading your story, it is never easy to deal with that kind of thing, but I can't think of a better place to go and lick your wounds. Africa does have that effect. I am glad you found solace here and was able to go back and do what needed to be done and I am even more glad that it led to better things for you. A wonderful story that took me on the roller coaster ride of emotions. Love this.

  6. This is just Gorgeous...I love it!!
    Love the punched border, the gorgeous framed photo, love the texture and soft coloured layers behind the photo....Thanks for sharing this story with us. xx

  7. Not only an amazing layout but an amazing story too!! Last year I spent just one week in Bali & it was enough to set my head straight on some very important things too - that also changed the course of my life! Amazing how that works!!