MIKEY’S PERSONAL BLOG 165, August 2019

On Tuesday afternoon, Mum and I attended an information session called Making The Connection held at Balla Balla Community Centre in Cranbourne East. As we were walking toward the entrance of the venue, we bumped into an old friend of ours, Julie. She used to attend the weekly ADAVIC Anxiety Support Group with us a few years ago. She is also a qualified meditation teacher and runs workshops on mental health issues. It was an unexpected surprise but a very pleasant one as she is a warm and empathetic person. https://www.ballaballa.com.au/programs-activities/health-and-wellbeing/

Today’s workshop facilitated by Troy Macris (City of Casey’s Mental Health Team Leader) explored several discussion points including: Why relationships are important? What makes a good relationship? How to manage conflict in relationships? According to research, healthy relationships can improve our immune system, reduce risk of mental health issues and lengthen our lifespan. After doing some brainstorming on the white board, Troy discussed the 3 essential elements needed for a good relationship: Genuineness, Acceptance and Empathy.

Lastly we explored the area of conflicts in relationships and ways to manage them. People approach conflict in either a “tug of war” fashion (wanting to win or prove that they’re right) or “burying their heads in the sand” (hoping the problem will go away). Both of these approaches don’t work because there’s no resolution and people end up dissatisfied. It’s often something I get stuck on myself because of my lack of confidence and social skills.

The best strategies to use when managing conflict includes:

  • Trying to stay focused on the issue, not the person involved
  • Taking a break and returning to discussing the problem when things have settled down
  • Reflecting on what needs we aren’t getting. What needs to happen to order for your needs to be met and have the conflict resolved?
  • Communicate to the other people using “I” statements such as “I feel…”, “When…” and “I would like…”
  • Trying to put yourself in the other person’s shoes (practicing empathy)

On Thursday night, Mum and I went to see The Australian Beatlez play at Mulgrave Country Club in Wheelers Hill. If only I were able to defy the laws of physics (sorry Brian Cox) and invent a time machine to transport me back to June 1964 and see the actual Beatles play at Festival Hall in Melbourne. However, this tribute band was able to provide a very decent substitute. I happened to be tuned into the radio station 3AW when this show was advertised and I was determined to book myself a ticket. https://beatlez.com.au/

I’ve been a fan of The Beatles since I was very young, first hearing about them from their 1968 animated film Yellow Submarine. I was instantly transfixed both by their music and the members themselves. It’s only been quite recently that I’ve decided to thoroughly rediscover their entire back-catalogue of music as well as their solo releases. It’s difficult to pinpoint a reason why I love The Beatles so much.

They were the pioneers of modern rock music, constantly pushing the envelope and experimenting with their sound. They somehow juxtaposed catchy songs with often deep lyrical content based on social and political issues, personal experiences, spiritual beliefs, romantic relationships and the like. They could be simultaneously serious and silly. And releasing 13 studio albums in the span of 8 years was a monumental feat especially back in the 1960’s.

Being my first time seeing The Australian Beatlez play, I really had no idea what to expect save for a handful of Facebook posts and photos. The first half of the show saw the boys rocking those dorky bowl-shaped hairstyles that the Liverpool lads were famous for as well as black vests and ties. Even more impressive was the fact that they imitated the original Beatles accents, mannerisms and names (John, Paul, George and Ringo). The jokes and banter in between songs was very entertaining, making references to their performance on the Ed Sullivan show and feature films A Hard Day’s Night and Help!

As for the songs themselves, they covered a very wide spectrum of tracks from The Beatles discography from Please Please Me to Abbey Road. Obviously, being a two hour show, they could only play so many songs but the selections were varied and enjoyable. I was pleasing to see how well they were able to harmonise together, including familiar ad-libs and screams plus the guitar solos and samples sounded very authentic.

During the second half, the guys changed into their brightly coloured Sargent Peppers costumes and focused mostly on tracks from the Revolver album onwards. Overall, this was a fantastic show. They don’t sound exactly like their original counterparts but to expect them to would be highly unrealistic. Hence why they’re a tribute band but one that has clearly done their research to deliver an enjoyable and memorable Beatles experience.

Set List: A Hard Day’s Night, Please Please Me, She Loves You, Roll Over Beethoven, I Want To Hold Your Hand, Please Mister Postman, All My Loving, Twist and Shout, Do You Want to Know a Secret?, Help!, Day Tripper, We Can Work It Out, Nowhere Man, Drive my Car, In My Life, Sargent Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, A Little Help From My Friends, Yellow Submarine, All You Need Is Love, Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da, Here Comes The Sun, Taxman, Birthday, Back in the U.S.S.R., Come Together, Revolution, Hey Jude.

On Friday afternoon, I had my NDIS Plan Review meeting held at the NDIS office in Narre Warren. I was generally feeling pretty organised for this and yet there was still an under-current of nervous tension lurking inside of me. I think it’s because I really don’t like being put in the “hot seat”. The office has now been permanently moved into 68 Victor Crescent so this time it felt more official and proper.

Today Mum and I were met by an NDIS worker named Alana Sattler inside a small meeting room. As expected, I was asked many questions about my first plan: How was the process for you? What service providers did you use? What worked? What didn’t work? Have your goals changed since last year? Luckily I came prepared with handwritten notes, service agreements and emails. It was still tough having to explain myself to her but I think I did a reasonable job.

There’s always that concern lingering in my brain, all the uncertainties and unknowns (What if I forget to ask something? What if I don’t know the answer?) but for the most part, Alana made the process very straight forward for me. I guess the biggest thing for me is being able to continue to make progress: become more independent, increase my confidence, health and well-being, fitness, community participation, employment opportunities, making friends and personal development to create a better future for myself. https://www.endeavour.com.au/media-news/blog/ndis-plan-review

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