The HR Juggler

Day 17: Celebration and The Living Dead

Posted on: December 17, 2013


Day 17 is a collaborative post by Jemma O’Reilly (@JemmaOReilly1) and Simon Stephen (@SimonStephen109), both relatively new to Twitter and to my timeline :).

Artwork for today (and every day!) is by the brilliant Simon Heath.


We are two #ukemplaw and #connectinghr twitter types and the opportunity to be part of the Advent Blogs this year seemed too good to miss.  We decided to do a joint blog as that seemed fitting giving the collaborative nature of Social Media.  We also work together closely and our respective families are close so we often spend time together at weekends too!  However we are two very different people and we had different views on what to write. So this has ended up being in two parts. Stories and stakes? Here are our thoughts.

On the 18th of December I (@JemmaOReilly1) am 1 twitter year old. I shall celebrate.  Not only have I contributed to my first blog (this one) I am thankful for what twitter has brought me this year. It has been an entirely new experience and I am still finding my feet.  Yes there has been some law along with (however dull it might sound) the opportunity to exchange views and ideas with other lawyers over a year that has presented significant challenges not least in terms of access to justice in the traditional courts and elsewhere. I got my appraisal feedback on twitter. I have also had the pleasure to be involved in an exciting new project where my twitter connections and the real life connections I’ve gone on to make have proved crucial.  The other side of it has been the people I’ve met, worked with and tweeted along the way. There are too many of you to mention but thanks to you all – it’s been fun.  The highlights include hilarious discussions about body parts, a bit of zombie planning and legging it through Euston to catch the last train: the tweet ups really aren’t to be missed!  On that note, for someone who can be quite shy at first, it really is lovely to greet people as friends even when you are meeting in real life for the first time. The things I have experienced so far have really shown me the power of social media and those connections at their best. I hope that continues into next year and I look forward to it. I think birthday cake is in order (any excuse)…over to @SimonStephen109.

I can’t match Jemma’s tweet up experiences so I thought I would go with the stake angle. Whilst mulling over what to write all I could really focus on was vampires. This was neither a particularly Christmas theme (although my son insisted on going to his school’s Christmas fair as Dracula) nor one I could talk about with any personal experience.  It did however remind me that over Christmas last year I was pretty worn out – to the extent that I was told I looked like the living dead. It was probably true.

Why? It had been an incredibly busy year. I had worked really hard and achieved a lot.  I had dedicated a lot of time to being a father to my young children (who could do with dedicating more time to sleeping). I had also invested a lot of time and effort into ‘extra-curricular activities’. My work and social diary was full of great stuff and I was always busy – after all spare time was time to fill and make the most of. I don’t make New Year resolutions but in the early part of this year I did promise myself one thing. I would look after myself and get some colour back into my cheeks.

I decided that it was time to stop trying to do everything the world has to offer. I was always at it. Work hard? Check. Try and do 3 different sports in the week? Check. Spend evenings completing another ‘classics you must read before you die’ reading list? Check. Sundays doing long distance cycling events? Check. Saturdays out with the family? Check. Compiling lists of everything else you want to do? Check.

It’s been difficult, actually it’s been really difficult because it’s not how I’m wired, but it has been surprisingly rewarding. I can really focus on what matters – both inside and out of work. I have space to breathe and time to enjoy having a family. I can now read for pleasure, rather than purpose. I am also getting so much more out of work and hopefully putting more back in. I have time to read my twitter timeline and benefit from what it tells me. And perhaps most surprisingly I’ve also done my Christmas shopping before Christmas eve.

So we end with a thanks from us both.  We hope all of you get some time off doing things that you enjoy and we look forward to reading all about it.

2 Responses to "Day 17: Celebration and The Living Dead"

Thank you Jemma and Simon for your posts and welcome to our #Adventblogs! Thanks to Alison and Simon as always. Both the blogs echoed what a lot of us have experienced in our lives recently so thanks for sharing and hope to know you both a bit better over the coming year. x

[…] Post number seventeen is a double hander from Jemma O’Reilly and Simon Stephen with Jemma celebrating her first year on Twitter and Simon celebrating a return to the land of the living. A little vampire at a birthday party seemed appropriate. […]

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