Outside the Box

When we think of Nursing, or for those outside the field, Nurses, we tend to think of Hospitals, Doctors Surgeries, and Aged Care Homes. But, as my recent furor with the job  market will attest, there are plenty of unknown opportunities. I was unaware that some Schools still employ Nurses, there is the Prison system which employs on site Nurses, the Meat Works employs Nurses as I will bear witness to, along with some Mine Sites, Cattle Stations, and of course the Military. My advice to you, as the potential Graduate Nurse, or Re-Deploying Nurse are the following three things; Look Wide, Ask Everyone, Talk to People.

Nursing Imagery

Nursing Imagery

Look Wide

As I have hinted towards already there is a large and varied workforce in which to select from when it comes to Nursing. Each one has its own pros and cons, and you as the Nurse will have to weight those up for yourself. For example, I would trade salary for time with family and availability to volunteer. So a Monday to Friday, Dayshift, or at least rotating roster were you can plan more than two weeks ahead, was worth more to me than an extra couple of dollars an hour. To this end, when you have decided what you want out of the job look everywhere, even places you wouldn’t expect. Look outside of Seek, Job Search, or the local Paper, jobs these days are also advertised on LinkedIn, Company Websites, or even FaceBook. Look in places that you would not have normally considered like Schools, Meat Works, the Military. Apply for EVERYTHING as you may not be successful your first few interviews, regardless of experience.

Dreaded Job Hunt

Dreaded Job Hunt

Ask Everyone

Don’t be afraid to ask around, ask those in the field, ask your friends, ask your acquaintances, or do what I did and ask FaceBook. Whatever your tactic for this particular portion is, be ruthless. Don’t be afraid to ask people you haven’t spoken to in a while, don’t be afraid to ask people if there is a job at their workplace, ask if they have heard anything, ask if they know someone who knows someone who might know about a job. The point being ASK EVERYONE!

Social Callout

Social Callout

Talk to People

While I was looking for a Registered Nurses Job one of the things I took it upon myself to do was to email EVERY SINGLE GP Clinic in my Hometown, Rockhampton. I must have sent out 30 emails to all of the Practice Managers with my Resume and a Written Reference. Some wrote back to me fairly quickly with a Dear John email stating they didn’t have any positions at the time. I had two interviews, and a call back for a third after I accepted my job at Teys. I also applied to the Three Hospitals Nursing Pool, and directly to several of the wards. None of these places were advertising for Nurses, none of them were asking for my application, and most of them at least wrote back to me in some form or another. As I mentioned in Ask Everyone, most of the Nursing jobs secured, especially in a small town such as mine, will be by who you know. With a little bit of what you know as well. The job I ended up with wasn’t advertised, was a suggestion by a mate of mine, and started with an unsolicited email to the HR manager of Teys. So Talk to People, it may land you the job you didn’t even know existed.

Never Know Who Will Have the Job

Never Know Who Will Have the Job

These are three quick and helpful hints to assist you with your Job Hunt, whether it’s for a Graduate Position, a Re-Deployment, First Enrolled Nurse Job, or Re-Entering the Workforce after a sabbatical. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone, drop an email, post on Social Media, or do the classic walk around with your Resume. When it comes to Employment it may not come easy, you may have to work for it, but it will all be worth it once you are working in the best profession in the World.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

 

Weight Loss Since January 1: 5kg

Reason to Write

As bloggers we all write for different reasons. Some write to have a message heard, some write to reach the masses, some to simply have their thoughts written down, and some (like me) write to reflect on their life and hope that the struggles they are going through are not selfdom alone. When I started Maintain the Rage in 2017, I never expected anyone to read my blog outside of family and friends. To this day I am still surprised by the fact that several hundred choose to visit my blog on a weekly basis. But I am left wondering, what is my reason to write in the future.

Blogging

Blogging

I do not think that my thoughts, reflections, and musings will stop being my main source of material. What we indeed all go through on a daily basis is the source of much material. I feel that these reflections either need to be more targeted or have a different focus. I have been reading other blogs of late on ‘How to Blog’ and the like, and most say to have a clearly defined voice, and subsequently a clearly defined target market. Sometimes I feel I am writing with a shotgun, so to speak. I write to so many different topics, with different views, and with different audiences that some days I wonder if I will ever find my niche.

Writing

Writing

My life, like so many others, is a coming together of all the small parts of our days. For me that generally consists of;

  • Parenting
  • Being a Husband
  • Nursing
  • Being a Friend
  • Scouts
  • Blogging
  • Being a Son
  • Being a Brother
  • Being a Mentor
  • Chairing Committees
  • Weight Loss
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

Thats a lot of different things to focus on. For me I write about what has occupied my week, or is currently occupying space in my Brain. This does mean that for the most part no two blog posts from week to week follow the same topic. Which means I am aiming at different groups, different parts of the internet. I have found this hard. I have found that my ability to share the message is not good enough. However, I am also unsure of how to fix it.

Blog

Blog

I will continue to write about my life. I will continue in the only style that feel natural to me. I will continue to share the message as best I can, and rely on others to fill the gap and share it to theirs. I hope you enjoy reading my posts and I hope you will continue to return, don’t hesitate to bring a friend.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

Back in the Saddle

This weekend saw the return to something that I love, but needed time away from due to work, study, and mental health, and that thing was Scouts! I was taking part in an International activity referred to as JOTA/JOTI which stands for Jamboree of the Air/Internet. The weekend gives Scouts from around the world to chat to one another and share experiences. It allows the Scout to feel like something bigger than themselves. This weekend was especially special to me as JOTA/JOTI 2016 was my first Scouting event I attended, and JOTA/JOTI 2017 was the first District level event I ran.

The return to Scouts isn’t just about rejoining a great group of individuals or the ability to invest in the youth of the region, for me it marks the end of my study, the stability in my mental health, and the freedom to explore my own leadership and development. Scouts is a global movement that focuses on the growth of the youth through the exploration of outdoor activities. Funnily enough it is also for the growth of their Adults and leaders. I spent 5 years in the Navy practicing and honing leadership, Scouts pushes me to grow even further. Leading children and adults simultaneously poses unique challenges that I hadn’t considered prior to Scouts. Children look for strength, discipline, gentleness, understanding, it can take 5 seconds or 20 minutes to get a direction across. Adults on the other had to look for direction, insight, and evenhandedness. These challenges make every activity worth while.

What makes Scouts, however, is its people. The volunteers that make up the body of Scouting leaders are some of the most selfless, inspiring, and kind hearted individuals I have ever met. They tirelessly plan, organise and run camps, activities, training exercises, and meeting nights. They inspire children to bust out of their bubbles, stretch a little, and try new things. They are also some of the funniest, laid back, and brilliant individuals I have had the pleasure of coming across.

The adventures that are still to be had, will be wide and various, I look forward to the challenges that lie ahead, and the people that I will have those adventures with. Stay tuned to see the journey unfold.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

Own Company

I have had the unfortunate issue of being at home away from work. I have an acute case of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and can barely butter toast. It was therefore agreed that I stay home until it is remedied. So far we have done the conservative, today I am having a Cortisone injection, and we will see how everything unfolds from there. Anyway, as a result of all of this I am at home. While everyone is at work, school, or daycare. I have been completing small tasks as much as my wrist will allow. Unfortunately, most of the tasks I want to achieve require way more physical capacity than I currently have. This has left me with waaaaay to much time for my brain to go into overdrive, schemes and plans come out of said overactive brain some of which are probably best left as ideas, and too many hours to be wracked up on my favourite game Dragon Age: Inquisition.

Overactive Brain

Overactive Brain

Now as most of you who have been reading for a while now know, my Brain and I have a love/hate relationship. Though my brain is my superpower in many ways, when it is left alone with little stimulus or mental drain it tends to run different ideas, what if’s, and half truths. Most people, and probably a fair portion of the readers, who have depression and anxiety are well aware how crippling racing thoughts, what if’s, and half truths can be. It can take a considerable amount concentration and positive thoughts to bring you back around, if that even works. Normally, like me, you find the easiest way to avoid the negative headspace is to keep the brain active, and sometimes that involves getting off your backside and catching up with people. I know I find it hard most days, and if I don’t have things pre-planned then I will often make stories up that ensure I don’t have to leave the home. I suppose we all need to ensure we take positive steps to ensure the best possible headspace.

Anxious Mess

Anxious Mess

The positive that does come out of having an idle mind and therefore tons of free thought time is some other plans, schemes, and ideas that make their way out. Now, some of them, OK most of them, are pretty terrible ideas like opening my own business, moving interstate, having like 7 more children, and the list goes on. However, every now and again a good idea pops up. Currently the best idea that has graced my cerebral white matter is moving to a parcel of land of 50 acres or more, building the house we want, and selling the one we are in. Now there are a lot of pieces to this puzzle, not the least being finances, timeframes, and livestock. Now this idea is not beyond the realms of possibility, and the more I investigate the idea, the more plausible it becomes. This will still be a long term project; though who knows, everything may fall into place quicker than expected.

Property Search

Property Search

The large amount of time that I do have at home, when I have accomplished all that I can, I find myself spending a majority of it playing Drag Age: Inquisition. I fell in love with this game in 2015 when it was released and I am currently playing through it for the third time. The last time I played it through was during ECT, and subsequently I can’t remember any of it. So far, I am up to nearly 100 hours of game play for this run through, and I am no where near finishing. I enjoy the game, mostly, because of the story line and interactions between characters. I also really enjoy making the decisions that sway the game and actually impact of how the world around you looks or reacts. I am also playing through again in anticipation of the 2020 release of Dragon Age: The Dread Wolf, which follows on from Inquisition. I am no way a hardcore gamer, nor am I an elitist or competitive type, I am just a casual gamer, with way too much time on his hands.

Dragon Age: Inquisition

Dragon Age: Inquisition

And that has been my week. I have an interview for a Graduate Nursing position at the public hospital today, and of course that lovely injection I am sooo looking forward to. But both are for a good reason, and both are for my future. I will see how the next week shapes up, hopefully I will find more to keep me stimulated, or I’ll design my house, pick a block of and, sort out the finances and push the plan forward. Either way.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

Berry Good Produce

In my continuing series on My Rockhampton I have decided to share the story of my local Green Grocer, Berry Good Produce. For me, Berry Good Produce epitomises the very essence of a local retailer. Berry Good sells not only his own produce, but sources the best our region has to offer. He gives the smaller producers a chance to have their produce seen and tasted by the people of Rockhamtpon. This Co-Op is what has seen the exceptionally friendly Green Grocer evolve from an overspilled Gazebo in the carpark, to a large store front with an ever expanding range of produce.

Humble Beginnings

Humble Beginnings

Mark and his team are always on hand to ensure you get the right produce for the right job. They may even lead you towards something that you weren’t expecting. On a recent visit to Berry Good I was in the market for mushrooms for breakfast the next morning. As always I had a chat with Mark as I shopped and browsed. When I got to the mushrooms he enquired what I was using them for, I explained my morning treat idea and he suggested the new local Oyster Mushrooms. Having never had them before I took Mark’s advice, as he is normally right, and I was not disappointed. The were amazingly fresh, buttery, and delicious. Mark and his team know what is best from the region and how to use them.

Local Produce

Local Produce

The store has seen an evolution from the aforementioned gazebo and the tray of a ute, to a large storefront with the evolving line of produce. This is an absolute score for the local community as the range of fresh, local produce expands to encompass everything that you could want in a staple Green Grocer, plus the addition of some of the lesser known, or at least lesser seen produce. Purple brussel sprouts, oyster mushrooms, five different types and colours of cauliflower, just to name a few of the lesser seen produce. Mark has even shared photos and videos of his personal Dragon fruit orchard on his property, this wonderful asian fruit has a sweet lovely flesh, that Mark is all too happy to share and show off. Its this kind of business that ensures Berry Good Produce will be here for the long haul.

Berry Good Produce

Berry Good Produce

Berry Good Produce has become the life blood of fresh produce for Parkhurst and its surrounds. With a variety wide enough to ensure that all needs can be met, and produce fresh enough to actually last longer than 3 days, Mark and his team have a good thing going. I would encourage everyone, if you haven’t already, stop in on Mark (he’s the one with his face on the sign) or anyone from his team, have a chat about what local produce is doing well this time of year, and stock your fridges and cupboards with the best, freshest produce available.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

 

Dear Reader

Dear Reader,

Whether you are a long term subscriber, or happen to chance your way to this post, you will soon realise this is not a blog with a singular goal. It doesn’t inspire people to reach their goals, it doesn’t give hints on how to succeed, it rarely gives people a laugh, and it is not in any way a large scale influencer. What it is however, is very real, very open, and sometimes very raw look into the life of the author of this letter, Luke Sondergeld. You may not agree with everything he says, you may not like everything he says, but if you have found yourself here there is something for you.

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Now you should know that Luke lives for his readers. He is checking in more times a day to see what his readership is doing, engaging with everyone that comments on social media, and on the blog, and loves hearing feedback from readers about what he has written. Does that mean he is fishing for the 1 million subscribers, No. If only one person reads his post for the week, but that one person is really and truly impacted, then he considers it a job done. He values every single person who comes across this blog. He values every comment and every share. He loves to interact with the readers, it is after all what gives him purpose.

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The topics that are shared are very real at the time of writing. If you are reading a post from May about weight loss, that is because he was trying to loose weight in May, if you read posts from last year surrounding suicide and depression, that was the very real struggle that he was going through. Every week is a snapshot of what is going on in Luke’s head at that very moment. Even this letter. Luke is striving to engage with his audience more and more, so what better way to achieve this then by literally writing a letter to them. Some of the topics and conversations can be very raw, especially the ones surrounding his mental health. Take the time to read these posts, but don’t see them as a pity party, they are there to normalise an otherwise taboo subject.

scripts-handwritten-notes

Now that you are armed with the heart behind the posts it needs to be considered, what now? Well, for the most part, keep reading. Keep reading the posts as they come out. Take the time to go back and read the ones that you missed. Engage with the post, even if it was from two years ago, every comment gets a reply. If you get something from a post, or think of someone who will, don’t hesitate to share it, that share, may reach the one person who needs to read that post, hear that message, see that plight. In short, continue to Maintain your Rage.

Luke Sondergeld

The Barbecue Box

A little over 3 months ago I wrote an article called My Rockhampton in which I shared some of the things that, to me, make Rockhampton the place I love. Well, I have decided to start getting a little more specific in what I think make this city so great. I will share, on no regular interval, the cafe’s, restaurants, retail outlets, butchers and many more places that make Rockhampton the brilliant place it is. Today, I am going to focus on a nearly unheard of restaurant near the CBD called The Barbecue Box.

The Barbecue Box is located on the corner of Bolsover Street and Archer Street, diagonally opposite the “Target Centre”. The place itself is clean and tidy, the tables aren’t too tightly packed together, and the Korean BBQ tables were new and immaculately clean. As soon as we entered the building we were greeted by the waitress, who showed us to our table, gave us our menus and offered us drinks. The menu was quite large, it comprised of Entrees, Rice Dishes, BBQ, Deep Fried, and Sizzling options. There was also a Take Away menu which offered what I presume to be their hot favourites. The prices were reasonable with entrees tallying around the $10 and mains hovering around the $15-$20 per person price point. Drinks weren’t unreasonable, I have certainly paid a lot more for a lot less, and they offered some more traditional drink options, which was nice.

Deep Fried Sushi

Deep Fried Sushi

Now onto the important part, the food. For an entree I picked the Deep Fried Sushi. I couldn’t pass it up for two reasons; I am a sucker for good sushi, and they deep fried it so I was both intrigued and salivating at the same time. It had a reasonable price point of $9.90, and I assumed it would be something attune to 3-4 pieces of sushi in some kind of batter then deep fried. Oh how wrong I was. As you can see from the image above, it was not simply 3 or 4 pieces, it was a whole roll of sushi, over 15 cm long, and covered in a deliciously light crumb/batter. The sushi was amazing. It wasn’t oily or saturated like one might expect. The rice still stood on its own, the Korean beef was to die for, the kimchi scattered throughout added a nice piece of heat and wonderful crunch. The batter/crumb was light enough to not stand out, but had enough body to still offer the resistance and snap one would not expect from Sushi. The bar had been set pretty high with this as an entree.

Bi Bim Bap

Bi Bim Bap

For the main I wanted something a little more traditional, something that the chef should be able to do in their sleep, something that would stand out and say “This is The Barbecue Box, you will be coming back for more”. I decided the $16.95 Bi Bim Bap would be up to the task, and I wasn’t disappointed. When the bowl hit the table, I will admit I was a little disappointed. I am a large guy, and as such tend to eat fairly large serves, even if I shouldn’t. The bowl that laid before me, and the one photographed above, seemed a little small, more of an entree serve than a main. Nevertheless I gave it a go, and gave it a chance. I was not disappointed. The beef was tender and juicy, the kimchi offered a breath of heat and freshness, the rice and sauce that was intertwined was delicious, even the egg on top was a beautiful and perfect sunny side up. I couldn’t stop eating, even after getting three quarters of the way through and realising just how deceptive the bowl was, I wouldn’t put down my spoon. It was amazing.

All in all the experience of The Barbecue Box was amazing, I instantly wrote a review on their Facebook page to share my glee. I came home to my wife and told her about the restaurant and what it had to offer, and we agreed we would have to return for a Date Night in the near future. If you are in Rockhamtpon and looking for somewhere to eat that is delicious and not too expensive, look it up.

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/The-barbecue-box-317504395581977/

Website – https://the-barbecue-box.business.site/?m=true

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld

No payment was made to Maintain the Rage or any of its authors for the publishing of this post.

2nd Year

Well I thought the First Year went by quickly, it seems as if I blinked and the second has disappeared. I thank everyone for coming on this journey through depression, weight loss, nursing, parenting, and life as a whole. It has meant so much to me that you have decided to come along for the ride.

Second Birthday

 

Firstly, the numbers. In the past twelve months I have written 67 posts, starting with Quoth the Raven and ending with this one. I have written about my success, my stumbles along the road, and the treatments I went through to save me from myself.  I began to share about my struggle with weight, and the steps taken to change the image that was in the mirror before me.  I explored more of my own struggle, ideas behind death and the nursing implications, what it is to father someone who is not your biological child, and a pictorial view of the town I love so much. From these posts, and many more, we can sum up the year with some key numbers;

  • 64,659 Words Total
  • 696 Words per Post (average)
  • 139 Comments
  • 348 Likes
  • 6,288 Views, of which the top five countries were
    1. Australia
    2. United States
    3. Canada
    4. United Kingdom
    5. New Zealand / India

These are just the figures from the Maintain The Rage website and do not account for comments, likes and shares from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, or Reddit.

When I started Maintain the Rage I had the intention of sharing what I had learnt, my tips and tricks, and general advice. I quickly realised that I would immediately be thrown into the Do these five things if you want to be rich, successful, and sexy category. I shifted to sharing about my life, not in an attempt to illicit pity or praise, but to show that you can do all the things you want to do, to juggle the different activities, work, school, family, and life, to show that even if your are struggling, thats ok. I hope that this has been a well received shift and that I have made the right choice. But judging by the reads and conversations with people in comments, direct messaging, and face to face contact, I am going to say it was the right move.

For the future of Maintain the Rage I am going to stay the course, I will continue to share my journey as a Parent of both a 1 year old, a 3 year old, and a 16 year old, my life as a Nurse, my journey through life with my Wife, my Scouting life, and my struggles and successes with depression and anxiety, and the victories and struggles through weight loss.

I thank everyone of you who have come on this journey with my and hope you have enjoyed and taken away something from the posts. I encourage all of you to ask me what you want to hear about, and what part of my life you are curious about. I also encourage you to share this blog with family and friends, not for mere likes or views, but so we can expand the community that Maintain the Rage has and continue to share together.

Thank you again,

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld