When I tell my family I am going to recharge, they know that means I will be plugging my neurostimulator into the wall and getting the battery back to 100%. I’ve mentioned the neurostimulator for pain management in previous posts, and here’s how I described it in my article Details Optional:
A neurostimulator is an implanted medical device that delivers electrical stimulation directly to the nerve, interrupting pain signals before they reach the brain. It is a small metal box with two leads emerging from it, fine insulated wires that conduct electrical impulses along either side of the nerve. You can feel it through my skin. Stroke your hand across my abdomen—flesh, flesh, and then recoil in shock at the hard metal underneath. No, it doesn’t hurt. It tingles. I recharge it regularly with a hand-held programmer against the skin. My mum is a cyborg, my son says.
Over the last month, I have had the opportunity for recharging of a different kind, despite the shocking covid case numbers in Sydney that have impacted family, friends, neighbours and colleagues. The outbreak made for a quiet holiday spent walking, swimming, reading, napping, watching, eating and playing. Here are my favourites of what we enjoyed:
- Playing Sushi Go, Menagerie, Wordle
- Reading When Things Are Alive They Hum, Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray, The Bass Rock, Widowland, After Story…
- Eating BBQ lamb chops, wild rice salad, rice paper rolls (thanks to friends), smoked salmon bagels…
- Watching Worzel Gummidge, 199 Little Heroes (5 minute episodes that follow children around the world on their way to school), The Mysterious Benedict Society, Bump…
- Buying new furniture and renovating and reorganising our home
- Swimming at the dog beach
As always, I want to take the holiday feeling into the working year. This New Yorker article on slow productivity offered a timely caution against inflating workloads and the role of managers. And, on management, Sandra Jones and Marina Harvey make the case that living with covid makes distributed leadership imperative in higher education. At a farewell for a colleague who is moving to another university yesterday, I was reminded of the importance of collegiality, critical thinking and constructive dissent. My goal for the last couple of years has been to amplify others; I plan to continue this and make these values to my priorities. I will keep you posted on what it looks like in practice.