Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Re-thinking; new directions, new challenges, new adventures...

It's been a funny ol' day.  One of those days when things don't go the way you hope or expect them to.  One of those days when plans get thrown up into the air, and you have to take stock and re-evaluate your plans, thoughts, and ideas.

Regular readers of the blog will know that my husband lost his job a short while ago.  After 18 months of unemployment, somebody finally put faith in him and offered him a job that he really enjoyed.  The actual job wasn't the enjoyable part, but the people involved in the business treated him like a member of the family and he was happy and relaxed there - not to mention the joy he got from someone believing in him again.  Then circumstances changed, and the business was forced to consider going into administration - laying off the workforce in the process.  My husband had been in work for just 3 months.

Today we had plans to put a few finishing touches to the newly decorated rooms.  You know the kind of thing; neatening the painted edges, hanging pictures, rearranging ornaments, etc.  We did make a start, but knew that just before lunch husband had an appointment at the Job Centre to start the claiming process all over again :o(  That played on my mind for much of the morning and I just couldn't focus on the jobs that needed doing.

The appointment time arrived, and I decided to go along for the ride (so I could mooch around the shops whilst husband was doing the important stuff).  Tiegan joined me, and we wandered around picking up a few bits and pieces - including a fabulous Art book aimed at children from the Oxfam book shop, I love it!  I will find a link to it and do a review very soon.  My husband came and found us, and the appointment hadn't gone well.  He has been put back to where he was 3 months ago - as a level 4, long-term unemployed claimant.  He was really hoping that wouldn't happen as it means lots of hoops to jump through regarding courses to attend in the vague disguise of 'helping' him find work, as well as fortnightly mandatory meetings with a company paid to supposedly help people find work.    I won't go into details of why we found them so unhelpful last time - that posting would take days to write - but let's just say our experience of the 'help' (that is as I've said, mandatory) on offer was that they were next to useless.  As a quick example, on one occasion husband enquired if there were any courses in training for a trade (plumbing, electrics, joinery, etc) available for him to attend whilst looking for work.  He got told that there was absolutely nothing like that available without him paying around £1000 in fees - he could go and re-do Maths and English with ease for free, or go on a fork-lift training course (which he has done before and it didn't seem to help with the job searching very much), but nothing that would set him up for the long-term future.  Never one to be defeated, within half an hour of leaving the office, husband had got in touch with the local college, headed off for an interview, and that same afternoon was offered a fully-funded evening course place to study NVQ level 1 in Plumbing.  Why wasn't this offered by the 'mandatory help' company?  Fortunately, husband passed the level 1 course with ease, thoroughly enjoyed it, and has successfully obtained a place on the level 2 course to start very shortly - we have just paid the couple of hundred pounds exam fee :)

Anyway, that all aside, the negative result of today's job centre interview has enabled us to have a serious re-think.  Husband set up an interview with someone regarding self-employment this afternoon, and came back from it feeling really positive and full of ideas and enthusiasm for heading off in a new direction.  As much as I love the positivity - I feel drained.  Life really is a roller coaster of so many up and down emotions right now, I admit to having moments of struggles - but the moments of joy are still out-weighing them, don't worry :)

I decided to spend the afternoon having a therapeutic declutter and rearrange.  This time I focused my efforts on the dining room - which had until today also been my craft room.  One of the decisions that was made today was in regard to my paper crafting - I'm giving it up and selling some (but not all!) of my crafting stuff.  My heart just isn't in it any more, and I never seem to have time to fit it in.  I've got so much crafting stuff just sitting redundant around the house, it's such a waste and a clutter!  I'm also being pulled in another direction very strongly and have decided that it's time to go along with my intuition and heart for once instead of my head.  I've resisted it for too long, and for the wrong reasons.

So today the dining room has been transformed back into the dining room / office space / "school room".  The phrase "school room" is very loosely used, really it's just the area where many resources are kept - we don't 'do school' - but I like how the space looks.  It will be even better when the ceiling is repaired and we can get down to the much needed re-decoration!  I shall see about sharing photos with you tomorrow - just need to finish things off organisation wise.

My lovely daughter Chelsea cooked dinner for me in the chaos, and with a tummy full of yumminess, I went off for a lie down to gather my thoughts - I ended up asleep for just under 3 hours - whoops!  I did feel much better for it though, head clearer and in a better place.

Buckle up and come along with us for the ride!  Lots of change and exciting times ahead....


  1. It can be really scary when life keeps throwing challanges at you and nothing seems settled.......we were in the same position as you at the begining of this year,my partner lost his job, which he really loved. He was lucky enough to find another job recently, but at a greatly reduced income. He's not very happy there and has been considering self-employment..... I hope it all turns out ok for you, good luck,
    florrie x
    florrie x

  2. Wow Jules ... so much to think about, no wonder you needed to put your head down for a few hours.
    I can sympathise with your feelings about the company that 'supposedly' help to find employment for people. "Worse than useless" is my personal opinion and I could regale you with several instances to qualfy this comment but you probably wouldn't want to know.
    Anyway ... sounds like you and Lee are finding your own way and it goes without saying that I wish you every success with whatever paths you choose.
    Sorry to hear you have decided to put your papercrafting in the 'pending' pile for the moment =( but understand you have other fish to fry and it makes sense to whittle down your stash and make some cash for the time being at least. Am always on the lookout for a bargain and would appreciate the heads up when you have a list of what you're selling. Can guarantee a loving home and all that *wink* LOL!
    I have every confidence that whatever your heart is telling you to do will be the right thing for you ... if for no other reason than it will make you happy.
    As for buckling up ... well I ALWAYS 'Clunk! Click! Every Trip' when I pop by so don't worry your pretty little head about that LOL!
    Take care and hugs to you and yours as always.

    Max's Craft Creations
    Bah! Humbug! Challenges DT

  3. Hhehe, it seems everyone is having musings and re-evaluations at the moment :-) Something in the air, perhaps - it is a good time of year to nuture new plans.

    And..... I notice you artfully bypassed mentioning what this new direction is that you're being pulled in...... hope you're ready to share soon, I'm simply gasping of curiosity! Seriously I am! :-)
    And good luck to your hubby with his new ventures too :-)

    Have a lovely evening, my dear.


  4. Why are you giving up paper crafting? I thought it was your passion.

  5. As I commented on F/B - so very sorry to hear about hubby's news. I'm sure, and know, things will work out very soon. Good luck you all your positive thoughts and new areas of focus. You are amazing.

    I'd like to offer you a Versatile Blog Award, which can be picked up from my blog:

    Elaine x

  6. wow, so much going on, I'm sure a lesser person would have buckled under the strain. Do take care, the situation you are all in is very stressful and you need to be gentle on yourselves. Here's hoping that something turns up very soon (despite the "help" on offer - sounds absolutely diabolical)

    On to more cheerful things - I've been catching up with a couple of your posts and love your new look house - the sitting room is just fabulous, I'm most envious.

    And I *Loved* what Chelsea wrote about being h/e - what better advert could you have than such a thoughtful, well-written piece - how many of her school educated peers would be able to manage to create a piece of articulate, sensitive writing like that I wonder?
    Just need to persuade my own that that is the way to go, still trying, still failing, but inspired by your example I shall focus on the joyful parts and keep optimistic!!