Six days, Three events!

I know posts have been few and far between lately but life sometimes gets in the way and in general things have been going well.

However, What a busy few days we have had! First it was the Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence awards on Friday and Denise’s work, Arbor Guy, were on the list of nominees. It was a very grand affair and we made the most of it! The event started for us at 1.00 pm when we arrived at the Badger Sett for hair, makeup and champagne. It didn’t disappoint in any way, all five ladies were given five star treatment and the champagne helped us along. After getting into our frocks were picked up at 5.00 pm in a Hummer limo and taken on a scenic tour via Canal rocks for photos to the venue which was The Caves Road Collective. After canapés on the deck we went to our table for dinner and the awards. Arbor Guy picked up the award for the best business with over 11 employees which was very exciting. The dinner was excellent and we danced until midnight when the limo took us back to the Sett. The partying continued back there and we retired in the small hours. I had a job to do the following morning so weren’t able to sleep in but it was an all round excellent evening.

Next on our list was Monday’s drive to Perth to see Suzi Quatro in concert. Suzi was one of my favourites back in the seventies and at 69 still as good if not better. She bounced around the stage like a 20 year old and really entertained us, she’s such a show girl! It was a long night but worth every minute, my ears were still ringing the following morning but we thoroughly enjoyed it.

Fast forward to tonight and my debut into after dinner speaking at the Busselton Rotary club. I have to admit that i was nervous and not really sure what sort of reception i would get but I needn’t have been, it was awesome! There were a couple of moments when i thought my emotions were going to get the better of me but I managed to hold it together, well almost! What a lovely group of people, i sat next to a man I’ve known for a few years and has known me as Robin and Stephanie, he told me that he’d never known anyone command such attention with their story and by the number of people who came to me afterwards and congratulated me (hugs galore and meaningful ones at that from both men and women!) i think i was a hit! I really need to get the book out now to keep the momentum going, I’m not sure i will sleep too much tonight!!!

Professor Riseman and self care

Some weeks ago i responded to invitation on the Transwest Facebook page by Professor Noah Riseman who is doing a project on transgender people and their journeys. He was looking for candidates in WA to interview and i thought it a good thing to be involved with. I didn’t hear anything for a few weeks so thought it must not have happened. Then I received an email from him apologising for the time it had taken him to organise his trip over from Melbourne where he is based working for the Australian Catholic University. I must confess to being a little confused about the whole idea of a catholic university doing a project on transgender as they are openly opposed to the whole idea, this became more confusing when taking into account he is originally from America and has a Jewish sounding name. However, i was still open to talking to him and I’m really pleased i did.

The interview took place in Perth on Sunday, i had enquired how long he thought it would take, he was a little vague but said he thought two to three hours depending on how much i like to talk!. Now, knowing my propensity to talk especially about my journey i had in mind it would be on the longer side not the shortest and i was right. The recorded interview lasted almost 4 hours and we talked for quite some time both before and after it. He told me a little about the project itself and what he hoped to gain from it in terms of an understanding of how a transgender person’s journey goes and some of the many difficulties we encounter. He wanted to interview people from all states as the facilities and services vary a great deal from state to state. He seemed quite surprised that i had received such amazing care while living in a fairly rural area. We spoke at length about my reasons for firstly having my surgery overseas and secondly for choosing America and Dr Kathy Rumer as my surgeon. The vast majority of people he had interviewed chose Asia for their surgery.

All things considered i felt it had been a very worthwhile thing to be involved in. He gave me details of a couple of other participants who he felt would be good contacts going forward. He also gave me some tips and encouragement regarding the book which were much appreciated.

The other thing i want to mention today is Dr Sarah Moore’s September Self Care Challenge. I am so enjoying the meditation classes which Sarah recommended and am still happy to confirm that meditation, which I practice every single day and have done since attending the Dunsborough womens meditation circle for the first time almost 4 months ago has given me the ability handle the pain resulting from my surgery in a different way. I haven’t needed opiate painkillers since attending my first class and although I don’t fully understand how it works, I don’t need to, it just works for me and I’m very thankful to both Sarah Moore and Sarah Roach who runs the classes

The self care challenge seemed like a very positive next step and although there were some difficult challenges i have thoroughly enjoyed it. Ironically it was some of the seemingly easy challenges which i found the most difficult but it has taught me that self care comes in many different shapes and forms. The big challenge for me will be putting a little time aside each day and continuing the ritual but it doesn’t need to be a long time. Even 5 to 10 minutes is enough to check-in with yourself and re-connect with the inner you. I can’t begin to imagine how much work Sarah put into running it but it has been an real eye-opener for me and I am very grateful indeed for her care.