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Bringing issues to the surface

6a00e551f1f515883301053678c194970b-120wiMy Millie has been sick.  Most of you know she’s the alpha in my pack and it’s unusual for her to be struck down with illness.  This is a dog that will go to any length for her passion – chasing kangaroos at the farm! – and on this front she’s a high achiever if I’ve ever seen one.  She can go for 12 hours straight, dashing and darting across the countryside non-stop chasing ‘roos.  None of the other beagles are faster or more determined than her.  So what could bring her down?  Would you believe it was a tiny grass seed?

That’s right, a grass seed – probably no more than 1mm in size – was enough to penetrate her armor.  Somehow it made it’s way into her abdomen, possibly it was breathed into her lungs during one of her adventures or it may have penetrated the skin.  But once inside, it festered away over a period of several months until an abscess the size of half a tennis ball suddenly protruded from her side.

The symptoms first appeared in August and so off we went to the vet.  Millie hates going to the vet and she puts on quite a performance whenever she’s hauled in for examination.  But it was worth it: after a course of antibiotics the lump went away.  Problem solved.  Or was it?

Four months later, and the abscess was back last week.  Bigger and nastier than ever.  Turns out we’d treated the symptoms but the cause was still there, festering away inside of her.  This time the abscess popped before we got back from the farm and sure enough the grass seed made it’s way out.  I won’t gross you out with the photos (if you’re into that sort of thing you can see it at !); suffice to say it’s certainly messier when problems surface, but sometimes this is the only way to truly fix a problem.

It’s the end of a tumultuous year and perhaps there’s issues you’ve been dealing with that have been festering beneath the surface too.  I know many of you are going through restructures and major change in the workplace and perhaps you’ve been sidelined in the process or promoted without a payrise, or you’re now reporting to a peer who’s been escalated in a management reshuffle.  Maybe you’ve got clients who are looking shaky or aren’t paying.  Perhaps you’re under pressure to put staff off.  You’re possibly wishing this year was over already!

My advice is – whatever issues you’re dealing with – don’t make the mistake of appearing outwardly comfortable if it’s eating you up on the inside.  If you put up and shut up it’s only natural for colleagues – especially less intuitive men in the room! – to assume everything is peachy.

Creating an outward appearance of calm and acceptance may be the path of least resistance in the short term but in the long run it’s futile.  As your frustrations bubble away on the inside they will eventually rise to the surface and may create a nasty wound in the process.  And the longer you leave it, the longer it will take to heal.


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