What would yours be about? I mean this as a serious question, so if you are reading this please post in your comments what you would love to write about, would it be your life, a self help book, a sport, a murder mystery, love, friendship, a children’s series, I mean the choices are endless.
I feel like one of those programmes that you watch that start and then across the screen goes
18 hours Earlier……
Please stick with it, it’s a long one! This morning I woke up ironically enough after one of the better nights sleep I’ve had in years. I fell asleep about half 2 and only woke once before the alarm went off at 6.30. I then started thinking about the day ahead, what has become my routine this past long year and more, helped through the shower and getting dressed by my wife before she leaves for work, then it’s breakfast with my LG (I get bonus time with her this week as our son is on lates so he can babysit me this week)! We had some playing and turned the lounge into a toy store once more, then we did some number games, learning through play is not only all the rage it is a great thing to do. Education should be fun and relevant, we seem to fail on this so much even when I was at school I’ll never forget the first day of A-Level History, my teacher the same who’d spent 2 years teaching me GCSE History said forget all we taught you to pass your exam now we get to teach you History! I thought he was joking, he wasn’t and since then I have also learnt that A-Level history not so full of facts either.
I commented and shared a blog a few days ago about how a spoonie mind works and jumps from one thing to the next, with mixed memories and all sorts and then going off topic well that is a prime example! So drawing myself back on track.
After this my LG knew I was in a lot of pain, try as I might to hide it when your body goes into spasm and sends shooting pain into the base of your spine there is no way to hide it. She suggested cuddling up and watching a film which I was more than happy to do. My parents then joined us for an early lunch before taking her to nursery for me. I went through my to do list that my wife leaves me, it is so I do not forget what to do as the meds make it easy to forget everything. They usually consist of one or two phonecalls and or emails to make as that is my limit. I then catch up on or begin to write my blog. Today however my mind has been elsewhere more than normal, I have found myself thinking about the past and the future far too much. It is one of the things that is a real downfall for a spoonie too much mind to think and usually you focus on the things you cannot do or how you let people down or any other dark thought. Today it has all been about work. From my early years working the morning and evening paper rounds, to stacking shelves in a newsagent, working on the local market, children’s party and school holidays entertainer, qualified football coach, Gym and Duty Manager, Circuits trainer my first full time employment and I learnt a few very important lessons the first was at 18 you can work with no sleep, secondly you cannot bollock someone as a manager for failing to turn up if you were responsible for them getting wrecked the night before, Tuesday nights were an education working with 3 amazing ladies S, S & J. The leisure industry is long hours and cr@p pay however this is made up for by the people you work with, meet, and help exercise.
From there I moved into the world of banking and insurance. I quickly learnt their is more money in banking, but more importantly in that I worked for a few employees and I can tell you Richard Branson does not lie when he tells you he sees his employees as the most important element of his business, and he is right look after them and they will look after your clients. I have no idea how many times I worked late whilst working for Virgin, I never once got paid any overtime though and it didn’t bother me . I also learnt another very important lesson, although admittedly it has taken me 17 years to really understand it and that is that 100% of shots you don’t take you really do miss! I also learnt that amazing people work in this industry too.
Then I had my car accident, or what my CV likes to call my career break. It is when you are at your lowest that you find out who your friends are, it is also when you are at your lowest that if you are me you become the biggest idiot alive. Still that period passed and I joined my most recent and last employer. As a child I wanted to be a police officer, two unsuccessful attempts and then my accident and this was gone. My best friend was a supply teacher and he loved his job. So a part of me thought maybe I should go in this direction I’d managed people, I’d coached children and entertained them even rocking a Gus the Gorilla outfit, but for that I would need to get a new qualification. As I didn’t have this and needed work as my wife was at University studying to become a social worker I started looking for admin work, and as fate would have it ended up working in City College in their Registry department. Here I worked in a variety of administrative support teams for the college, I helped students with enquiries, main enrolment and spent an incredible amount of time looking at funding reports and “Pacifically DSTATS” sorry a little joke a few will understand. I worked under fantastic manager/s people who understood a great manager needed different skills to those being able to do the job (so many companies promote good x,y,z to management and here make a mistake in my opinion, some people can manage others some cannot – I’ll give you that top tip for nothing). I made more good friends and worked in fantastic teams. I also got to know myself what I wanted to do and this was the closest I came to having a career, 10 years in the same place. My final post was as a student mentor. I worked with the Business Department and from day 1 felt part of a team and I miss them all massively, more than any words could describe. I met some amazing, challenging, inspirational and brave students during this role. Some had huge hardships to overcome, others needed the right direction to be made clear them, guidance, safeguarding you name it I encountered it and I loved every minute of it. I worked hard, did more hours than I needed and it was in this post I have my proudest working achievement. I was nominated by colleagues as Support Staff Member of the Year in 2014. To be nominated was a huge achievement I’d been nominated once before as part of Team of the year but never individually. The awards ceremony was on a non working day for me but I did some shuffling around and went to the awards after my team encouraged me to do so as many of them would be teaching and therefore not there to represent us. I remember seeing my head of school and she said something like good luck to me. It stuck in my mind as there were more nominees in my award than any other and I seriously wasn’t expecting to win and I laughed and said it won’t be me, the nomination is reward enough. Little did I know she had already recorded some words as part of my victors video. When my name was read out as the winner I had to fight off the tears (even then my medication made me very emotional) and then I watched as my colleagues and some students said some of the most amazing words about me. I felt slightly embarrassed to have won, I felt all I did was the job they paid me for, the recognition of the impact that had on people was something else and the words well I left there the happiest I have been after work.
The main lesson I learnt at work in all my jobs was that I am a people person and I enjoy being around people, I have met great people in my lifetime through work many of whom are friends, they have helped shape me, they have made me laugh and cry, cured me of my fear of butterflies and brought the best in me out. Without them I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Having thought all this I have then been very sad and upset because this chunk of my life has come to a very premature end yesterday, my notice period came to an end and I am now retired due to ill health. In truth I probably never should have gone back to work after my car accident but I wanted to and needed to. At the time I felt it was because of the need to contribute to my family, society and pay my way. I have massive guilt issues about contributing to society and thought it was this that had driven me back to work. Since being unable to work this past year and more I have felt guilty everyday that I have been letting my work colleagues and the students down. I spent years masking the pain, and became quite good at it for a while but every day it was agony and eventually my body said enough and gave up on me. It is still in this period of shut down and reboot and my medication is incredible. The lucid dreams the insomnia, the falling asleep mid sentence, the random outbursts of words that mean nothing to others, the losing my train of thought like I have again. Having spent the day reflecting I now realise my drive and desire to work was more because of the people I work with than anything else. That face to face human contact that you just don’t get via a blog (much as I appreciate the number of site hits) or social media and now this has come to an end I am shit scared. I have tried and failed miserably to put into words a thank you and goodbye email, so instead have just gone without a goodbye, I now feel very guilty for this and hope they will forgive. I also hope that those on social media will pass on my regards to others. When I feel up to it I hope to be able to meet a few of my former work friends for a beer and spot of lunch, it doesn’t sit right with me how I left things, but truth is I just am not physically or emotionally ready to say goodbyes. I always thought up until today and these ramblings that the contribution to society was the main driving factor in me and was my passion to fight through the pain. I now have had this awakening for want of a better phrase that actually being around and helping people was my driving force, I guess it is hardly surprising therefore how quickly I become depressed and suffer from cabin fever after only a few hours of being at home.
I haven’t just given up my job today, today I have also lost a part of me, part of my core values and now when I look to the future I am terrified at what it brings. I have been trying to work out what I do now, and in the long run moving forward as I know being stuck at home will drive me insane. The stupid thing is I am physically and medically unable to work, so if I can’t work what do I do? My life and goals have shifted out of my control, out of my plan and I don’t like it, if I had my way I’d have a revolving door of everybody who knows me who wants to visit working their way through the day I know this isn’t possible because you all have lives too, children, living overseas, working and any number of other . I worried myself silly today to the point that I had convinced myself nobody would want to come and spend the day with me, crazy I know as so many of you have, do and are going to in the future but it is that spoonie mind at work. I have worried about what am I going to do to fill my time, I mean I need to be productive and do something but this is a stupid train of thought as above all else my body needs rest, relaxation and sleep, my body doesn’t leave me capable of working why am I even stressing over it?
Now we find ourselves back to the present where I asked that question what would your novel be about, you see I now have that time on hand’s so why this particular question then, well I could either research some information or, find similar genre books or try a short story something to share with you, or a random subject for me to start researching.