Sunday, 3 July 2011
Another New Beginning
Ive got a new Job!
I cant describe the relief I have now after 6 months of being unemployed. You may remember from a previous blog that I left my job back in december last year with the intention of going self employed. Well that didnt quite work out and like many plans that dont quite go the way intended, I always believe things happen for a particular reason. Maybe, if I realised at the time I would be out of work and signing on for 6 months, I wouldnt have jumped.
But its been a valuable experience nevertheless. I got a chance to really appreciate what I did have. Ive never been one for buying loads of stuff, but having a bit of independence financially does help. First to go were the little pleasures, an occasional takeaway, a trip out with Rhiannon (couldnt afford the petrol) or her extra curricular activities - swimming club, tennis etc.
Then the car had to be taken off road. Insurance, tax disc and MOT couldnt be covered. That would also impact on my ability to find work - if I couldnt get to a job after dropping Rhiannon off at school then I would find it harder too.
I also hadnt realised how unpleasant it would be to have to sign on either. Now I know the majority of people without work usually try very hard to find it, but I found a lot of attitudes towards unemployed people very negative. That doesnt mean there are no people out there trying to cheat the system, but they are very much the minority, and I was frustrated and angry at how so many people thought I was living the life of riley.
It was hard too - as I found a couple of hours work helping in a toddlers toy library and the job centre kept loosing my declaration forms or demanding payslips I hadnt had and stopping my allowance. Not an easy time for a while.
These were all lessons to be experienced and processed.
I began to use the buses again when necessary and walk more. Before I got my car, I used to walk everywhere and it was only a few weeks before I noticed the difference in myself. It was difficult for getting Rhiannon to school though. We had a journey to the other side of the city to get there which meant walking, 2 buses and walking again. Leaving at 7.30 in the morning to arrive in time, then for me a return journey, and a repeat of both to collect her in the afternoon!
Im a very organised person financially. Always listing my incomings and outgoings which I record weekly in a diary, so I didnt run out of money, but as I said earlier, I had less to play with and this curtailed a lot of activities. So in between searching for a job, I caught up reading, worked harder on my garden and projects I had been leaving 'until I had time', and sometimes just staring into space and enjoying being still.
It was an enforced period of contemplation that made me realise how much I did have, and to appreciate it even more. So that when a job finally turned up (and I was always certain it would in the end) I wanted to be sure that I wouldnt become complacent and take it all for granted. Especially when the job eventually turned up and I still dont have the use of my car.
A good friend has lent me hers while she's unable to drive for a few months - giving me the chance to get Rhiannon to school and me to work in time, and save up for the MOT etc.
And now Im a working girl again. Started last monday, extremely tired as its 6 hours on my feet all day and very physical work as a domestic assistant in the University.
But I get to take my daughter to school and collect her. We spent the weekend at a Hay making festival and I could afford to pay for the hog roast and ice cream again. We are off today to the local wolf sanctuary and maybe another ice cream (well, it is summer!!)
So Im grateful for the experience and hope I can appreciate what I have even more this time around.