Tuesday, December 22, 2009

And everything is good with the world...

For some reason, I am happy.  Very very (verging on stupidly) happy.  Why?  I don't know.  It feels as if some sort of huge weight has been lifted and suddenly there is light at the end of the tunnel so to speak.
Long term readers of this blog will know the situation we found ourselves in this time last year.  Lee was sacked from his secure (and pretty well paid job for this area) for reasons that we just couldn't get our head around.  To all on the outside, the situation was ludicrous - no evidence should surely mean no case. After all, how on earth can it be proven what one person knows or doesn't know?   But at that time the employment law didn't work in the same "innocent until proven guilty" way as the criminal law does.  They could use the "have reasonable suspicion at the time" loophole, and were able to just get rid of employees as and when they felt like it - as long as they followed the correct appeal procedure.  Around 15 employees found themselves in the same situation.  Well, it's far cheaper than making the redundancies that they had talked about less than a month earlier isn't it?  The union were of no help whatsover - yes, they would sit in on the appeal meetings doing their duty, but didn't really seem interested in actually "helping", and the solicitor said it was a 50/50 chance of the appeal going either way.  Despite the paperwork that the company provided to back up their claim being in a total mess with contradictions and incorrect dates, and actually having someone come forward to say that he had been approached and told to lie about things Lee had said - it was still only a 50/50 chance.  We couldn't afford to take the risk - finances were a huge struggle as it was, without being in thousands of pounds of debt to cover the company's expenses should we have lost.  We had no choice but to admit defeat, and it meant that we started off 2009 with a mighty gloom cloud over our heads. 
At that time I didn't know what would happen.  How would we go from having adequate money to barely having enough to cover the rent?  How long would it be before Lee would be able to find a job again?  Who would take on someone who had been sacked?  Who would take on someone with a record of  "knowing about a theft and failing to tell management" (he didn't know, but how could he prove he didn't know???)  2009 hasn't been the best of years for us, it isn't a year that I will think back on with fondness, but it is a year that has ended on a high for me personally.  For the first time in a long long time I feel fully content in heart and mind.
I have always tried to stay positive.  I am forever telling people that "positives will come from a negative" when people are dealing with difficult situations.  I'm not wholly convinced that I believed that at the time, but it has always just seemed like the right thing to say :-/  But now, I can hand on heart say that I believe.  A huge positive has come from what was a horrible predicament, and life couldn't get much better (although I wouldn't turn down a lottery win!)
When Lee was working, he worked the night shift, and the money was very good for the low paid area where we live. No where locally could compete with the wages he was getting, and although he would have preferred day work, the pay cut would have been immense. So he struggled on going to a job he hated, working nights which he also hated (he had worked night shifts for 10 years!), meaning he was tired and snappy for alot of the time at home.   Although we didn't think it at the time, being sacked was actually a good thing for us.  It has released Lee from that trapped feeling, and opened up new doors that wouldn't have been explored if he was still working nights full-time. 
Since October Lee has been studying an NVQ Plumbing course at college for one evening a week.  This has sparked an enthusiasm for life in my husband that I have not seen for years.  He is much happier, more content "with his lot", thoroughly enjoying the learning experience, and definitely less moody and a much nicer person to be around.   We can now see a future.  Lee is learning a trade, and the benefit of that can only be good.  We have been talking about business opportunities and making plans, it feels like we are starting all over again and it feels right :)  Obviously Lee is still looking for work, but avenues are opening up and it no longer feels like a hopeless cause.  Money is difficult, but we manage.  The rent is always paid, we have food in the cupboards, the bills are (just about) dealt with each month, and we all still have clothes that fit us :)  It hasn't been easy, but we have managed - that's the important bit eh?
Roll on 2010, I'm ready for you.


  1. good for you Jules, sounds like things are looking up. Hope 2010 is a good year for you.

  2. Right, when I next need a plumber I'll know where to come! I didn't know that Lee was doing that, but really glad to hear that it's going well, and lovely to hear you so happy :)

  3. What a lovely uplifting post! Our lives have gotten better for having come crashing down around us 4 years ago, but you need to be out of the other side before you are able to see the positives coming from negatives.
    So pleased to hear life is on the up and all is looking positive and hopeful. Merry Christmas and a very happy 2010 to you all x

  4. So glad to hear things have improved for you Jules, you sound so much more positive now.

    Well done to Lee too for not getting bogged down and actually doing something to improve things, that takes guts.

  5. Julia, I am so happy to hear you in this frame of mind and to hear that you and your family's outlook is now so much brighter :-)

    Yes, it's an understatement to say this has not been a good year for you guys and that is why it is truly inspiring to know someone who is living proof that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

    Here's to a happy and healthy 2010 for you all xxx

  6. I wanted to ask you about the work-thing, but I didn't know 'how' to ask. I'm really happy for you that you feel so much better!
    Hopefully there will be a nice job for Lee in 2010!!


  7. 2010 will be great for you all I just know it.

  8. Anonymous10:17 am

    Hello! I too am glad I found your blog!
    2010 sounds like it'll be a great year.
    Love your artwork - very talented.

  9. Hi! Sarah from HSB... I've got you imnn my google reader now, so I'll stop missing your posts. We need a plumber right now, shame you live so far from us!
    God bless you!

  10. I have really become inspired by your way of homeschooling today, I have been reading through some of your posts and learning in your home seems like so much fun :)

    I'm now reading up a bit more online about unit studies/themes, they're really appealing to me and I would love to find out more about how you go about it all.