There’s a lot been going on lately, and have to confess that my laptop playing up, the screen cracking and my iCloud having a wee life of it’s own, I’ve not been able to share life as much as usually do. Life over the last year has been incredibly busy, and last week marked a year since I got the call to invite me for an interview that has caused life to do the complete 180 I had been waiting for so long.
Please don’t misread that last sentence. I don’t believe the idea that life is all about luck. I wasn’t sitting on my butt waiting for something to come along. I was going to work, I was applying for jobs and at times I tried to keep studying…but I had so much rejection and it really takes it’s toll. As does living hand to mouth and never knowing how many hours work you are going to get, knowing if you take a holiday you are losing out on pay, being afraid of going to the optician, the dentist, not being able to pay a mortgage, losing friends because you can’t afford to socialise in the way they choose to. Knowing that every month you are away from the career you worked for is making it even tougher to get re-employed back into it.
There’s a lot of lucky people in the media who like to give inspirational interviews saying how they’ve worked hard and it’s not about luck. Well, quite frankly my experience tells me you need both.
The last 10 months I’ve worked in two jobs that I felt hugely passionate about. It’s not been all rainbows and kittens. First of all there’s the guilt of feeling like giving 100% to one is taking away from the other. Second is the exhaustion of trying to work flexibly to do both well. I naively thought that working full-time would give me my life back. It has to an extent, but actually there’s parts of the previous 10 years that I probably took for granted.
If you look at the friendships I have made in the last 10 years, a lot of people my own age and life stage aren’t a huge part of my life anymore. Mainly because I couldn’t go on big group holidays, go drinking at weekends and all the rest. For the last 3 years I worked pretty much every single weekend. The people who were around when I wasn’t working were people who were free daytime on weekdays. And they tend to be folks who are retired or stay at home parents. Hence, all the kids in my life.
Cue last summer, when all of a sudden I was only free on weekends. Add to that a late finish on a Friday night so would often be peeling myself out of bed on a Saturday. Sometimes if it had been an eventful shift that would still be playing on my mind and I wouldn’t have slept much. So Saturday was all about recovery! There’s been no play dates over breakfast or lunch. There’s been no meetings at the Zoo when my friend and I have been excited at opening the curtains to discover it’s not freezing/windy/bucketing rain. I miss it. I’ve been so lucky to have that time with my friends’ kids watching them grow up.
However, in January, I started getting my act together and booking in time with friends further afield. In February I decided to book an extra night in London to see my friend Judith and we discovered that Robert Pattinson actually lived 100 years or more and was painted by one of the Impressionists and was featured in an exhibition at the Tate Britain.
And though we booked it a year and half ago, I also decided to take my time in London again when Ruth and I finally got to see Hamilton.
This experience really needs a post all of it’s own. I’ll pop that on my to-do list. In fact today I’m with Ruth at her home in the West Midlands today because we accidentally ended up with two sets of tickets, so we’re going to see it for a second time this week. This time her friend Claire is coming with us. 🙂
And I followed this up with a couple of days with Nicola, Ben and their incredible son (my second godson). Unbelievably littlest godson is walking and talking. We went on a train, he introduced me to ‘Foffle’ (Waffle the Wonder dog), his “chuck” (toy kitchen) and I’ll be forever known as ‘Yaa-Yaa’. They also introduced me to this amazing restaurant called Bill’s in Marlow when we were on a wee day trip. I was craving one the other day so badly I almost hopped in my car to drive all the way down there.
Though I’m still nervous to book annual leave and take holidays as I feel horrific guilt and anxiety when I’m not working, I have booked to take a week off to do Surf Camp again. I’m hugely happy to have my friend Craig back this year and not only will be leading worship we’re also going to be archery instructors (!). I managed with a little bit of difficulty to pull myself out of bed on a Saturday to drive us up to the SU centre in Kinross where we were trained by a coach from Scottish Archery. We aren’t quite at the level of Merida yet, but by the end of the day we were at least hitting the circles on the target. I’m also hugely grateful that I got the chance to do this with the young people at my work when I took them on a residential weekend – so have got lots of ideas for games to use from the instructors at Rock UK! I’m hoping the rest of Craig’s clan are able to visit as they are another bunch of friends I’m missing since working full time.
I became a member of Stenhouse Baptist Church.
And haven’t been back to church since that happened due to being away for work (and struggling a bit with endo/IBS symptoms). I’ll hopefully be back next weekend though.
I’m also getting better at dragging myself out of my hotel room when I’m in London for work. And when you’ve got pals like Judith who have such great knowledge of the cheapest things to do in London, which lead to seeing views like this…
…you realise that you are so incredibly blessed.
There’s one last bit of news. I’ve actually left one of my jobs. It was a decision that fell into place, happened very quickly but was totally gut wrenching at the same time.
I’m now full-time in the other job and very happy with that, but it doesn’t mean I’m not missing youth work hugely. I sat on Tuesday afternoon almost waiting for young people to wander into my office room as they usually do when I am in the youth work office on Tuesdays. Last week has been hard getting used to working from home all the time, and it’s going to take some readjusting and getting used to. However, I’m also really happy to have some long-term stability for the first time since I was at university really.
And so that’s you all caught up on the BrunetteKoala life.