Smidgen Worried About A Promotion

While I was baking and eating a Black Cherry Crumble with my daughter on Friday night, I received an excited call saying I’d been successful in a recent interview and there was an offer on the table.  The role is a pay grade promotion within my organisation and would lead to increased skills and potentially new opportunities…. I should be delighted… so, why am I worried?

It is in a new yet adjacent field and something with which I do have a little experience but have yet to witness the scale with which they do their thing…. it’s the difference in scale between me being able to knock up a couple of batches of cupcakes vs them owning a cupcake bakery.

I am excited but I think I am daunted too.  It’s been along time since I was last fully daunted.  The feeling is unfamiliar and uncomfortable.  I have confidence that with the role is one I could rapidly grow in to.  It takes me physically away from the customers and supplies who I very much enjoy working with but is customer/business consideration centric.

With their permission, I’m going to throw myself in to it, see how far gumption and willing get me, and see how I can be of service.  Once I have a few days under my belt I’m sure these feelings will subside.  It is a great company to work for and its vision and planning for the future is second to none.  It is a very good place to work.

I’ve been with my current team for over 7 years and they are familiar and I know what I am doing but that is changing with the new company structure.  It is time to stretch and grow in a new area of the business.  I’ll let you know how things go.  Fingers crossed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The surprise benefit of being free of bad debt

To not be shackled to yesterdays worries so that we can fully face todays challenges is a beautiful gift.

I am pragmatic.  I decide to talk about positive things.  I believe we either talk and act ourselves in to or out of a happy life.  However I don’t care whether the glass is half full or half empty.  I know how much water is in the glass, I know what I am working with on any given topic.

So the benefit, or even blessing, of being unshackled by debt during a period of potential financial constraint is a superb comfort and reassurance.

Like everyone, I have income and expenditure.  Thankfully I was blessed with the moxy and ability to get out from under a serious financial burden in the tens of thousands of pounds range and reset the financial accounts to “we don’t have a lot but we’ve paid our taxes for the benefit of the country and what we do have is our own” as we paid down every debt we’d been left with.

When guaranteed income is in jeopardy we start to look closer at the expenditure side of the spreadsheet.  It has been one of the few delights recently that unlike previous times either house or income is at risk, this time I am not carrying a negative financial legacy like an albatross around my neck.

I have to find a way to generate revenue to cover our modest living expenses but I don’t have the worry of paying for things on instalments, I don’t have the worry of credit card debt, I don’t have the worry of consumer spending spread conveniently on an unreasonable monthly payment at an exorbitant APR.  I just have to make sure that enough comes in for Mortgage, utilities and groceries.  That’s it.  That is far less of an ask than carrying the worry of paying for something I bought and used up two years ago.

Being in this fortunate situation brings a degree of peace, a calmer disposition than I would otherwise have had.

It also frees me up to be flexible with regard to the future opportunities I can pursue.  I don’t have to find a position to cover Bills and Debts, I just have to find something to cover Bills and anything else is a bonus.  That is a freedom for which it would be hard to quantify the optimism and relief felt at the moment.

I am the head of my household and the responsibility sits on my shoulders.  Until you’ve been the head of the household you have no idea what so ever how heavily that mantle sits on the shoulders.  It is completely and utterly different to being the 2nd earner.  Head of the household is like being an Adult Plus.  Nobody is going to bail you out, you are it.  The buck stops at your feet.  The responsibility for keeping everyone in your abode alive, sheltered and fed sits with you.  Once you get the hang of it, it starts to sit easier a little but the knowledge in the back of your mind never actually quite goes away.

If I could wish for you one thing, it would be the freedom of being bad debt free.  It is worth the blood, sweat and tears, the overtime, the going without for a while, the humble birthday and holiday presents, the dinners in rather than takeaway or restaurants, the forsaking holidays in the sun or snow to reach the goal of being without that burden.

Bad times come for such are a part of earth life and mortality.  To not be shackled to yesterdays worries so that we can fully face todays challenges is a beautiful gift.

 

My Name Is Pollyanna And I Am A Disposaholic

My mantra became “Am I willing to carry this to the next moving truck?”

Hi, my name is Pollyanna and I am a disposaholic.

Since I was in my 20’s I’ve moved house roughly every 18-24 months and I reached a state of mind where if I was considering buying a new item I would stop and think “Am I Willing To Carry This To The Next Moving Truck Again?” and “Have I Got Spare Money To Buy This?”.  If the answer was yes, I bought the item but most frequently the answer was no, this is not something that I feel passionately needs to be in my life, it is identified prior to purchase as clutter or a financial burden and has no place in the Whyte House.

I prefer to have very few possessions.  The fewer the better.  It’s a little bit trauma based but I pretend it is a lifestyle choice!  I prefer to have exactly what I need and be able to lay my hands upon it.  I am not a minimalist and like a home to be cozy but everything needs to be useful.

I like to know that everything I own is paid for, that there are no repayments due this month or for 60 months at a reasonable APR.  We don’t have fancy things, my car is 7 years old but new to me and I have a £60 per month payment interest free which is doing my head in because it is the only non-bill bill our house is carrying.

At present I have two sock drawers and that is distracting me from peace of mind, two is too many.  Sock drawers are having an effect on my peace of mind!  That is ridiculous.

I prefer to have very little artwork on the wall because it clutters my thoughts but I really love seeing what other people do to beautify their home.

This weekend I gathered all my gumption and tackled something over which I have a little phobia – paperwork.

I gathered all the post and paperwork from around the house, and was able to dispose of a bin bag of empty envelopes and circulars.  It’s only been 2-3 months since the last time I undertook the same activity.

It had felt like no matter where I turned my head there was Post and paperwork which needed my attention, there was no brain-break from bills because they had been in every line of sight.  But no more.  At least not for a few weeks anyway.

I have some rebates to claim and I have managed to prove that I cancelled a rolling contract in May but the charge was still coming out of my account in October for a portable Wi-Fi hub from EE, how cheeky!  But the service provider was great about it and a refund will be in my account within a week.

I found cheques!  I didn’t realise they had been sent to me for previous overpayments – they were sitting in unopened envelopes which had looked like more bills.

I gathered together pieces of correspondence I need to keep but don’t want to see again. I put them in a series of A4 envelopes without windows so that I don’t have to see those letter headed pages from solicitors again but they are to hand should the need arise at a later date.

There were so many other bits that are now in their rightful place that I can’t even begin to adequately convey the peace of mind and lightening of responsibilities this activity has blessed me with.

We all have coping strategies, mine is to blitz clutter and paperwork and to keep an appointment diary, on paper, in my handbag.

K.I.S.S.

Keep It Simple, Sweetheart!

The less stuff I have, the less I have to move, tidy, or maintain.  It’s a recipe for success.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zen During Turmoil

Occasionally there comes a time in personal turmoil that you reach a state of Zen.  You reach a point of “oh well” and start to calm into the trouble rather than fighting it and getting nowhere.

In the Urban Dictionary (a highly reputable source!!!) Zen is defined as thus:

“One way to think of Zen is this: a total state of focus that incorporates a total togetherness of body and mind.  Zen is a way of being.  It is also a state of mind.  Zen involves dropping illusion and seeing things without distortion created by your own thoughts”.

Now, I am no Japanese Master of Eastern Philosophies yet there comes a point in seeking Continue reading “Zen During Turmoil”

We wait for news

When we are overreacting to something happening now, we are really responding again to something that happened back then… a perfect example.

A most frustrating thing for me is open ended waiting.  Waiting for information or news.  I do not wait well.  Outwardly things appear fine, inwardly I get in a temper.  Waiting.  I can wait for Christmas or Birthdays, I can wait joyfully for the arrival of a new baby or wait patiently and excitedly for a holiday.  These things are finite durations and have little negative impact associated.  But waiting for life changing news.  That’s just pulse elevatingly trying.

I find myself in a mind-set of “fine, if you don’t care, neither do I”.  It takes a great deal of concerted effort to shake the negative feelings away.  Waiting.

Have you got a minute?  Let me tell you a story.

A long time ago, possibly 38 years ago, two relatives were not speaking.

It had been nearly two years and I wanted my Nan back, who was one of the parties involved.  So I, knowing what was best and having the clarity of youth, aged 10 or less, remembered my nan’s phone number.  I secretly used the big and corded house phone to call Nan and say hi, and that the other person missed her and loved her.  My nan was delighted and asked “really?”, “Yes, absolutely”. To which she responded “Have them call me and I’d love to have you over for a visit”.  She was only in the next town across but it might as well have been the moon for all the contact we’d been having of late.  Later that day, with butterflies in my tummy I told the other person that Nan had called and that she missed us and wanted us to visit ….. which was technically 66% true, she did miss us and she had been on the telephone but hadn’t initiated.  The person I was speaking with was delighted and called straight away.  It was a strained conversation but I could tell my side was pleased.  The first hint of my deception was revealed as a “you called me first” conversation arose and the person on my end of the phone turned to stare at me but let it slide in the moment.  A visit was arranged.  We went round on the Saturday.  We arrived in my families old Jaguar car in our Sunday finest.  We went in to the ground floor, unheated 2 bedroom apartment with a kitchen the size of a small closet.  We all started chatting and I was hoping I would not be fully found out or revealed.  My furtive gaze darted around the room on this sunny day.  I held my breath.  Then it happened, the deception was uncovered as the two parties talked, the one expressing delight the other had called, the other expressing confusion as it was clearly the other way round.  Then all faces turned to me.. “What did you do?” came the question from the elder woman.  I tried explaining that I knew they would speak if someone would start it off but their voices dropped an octave and I was told “Get to the car, I’ll deal with you later”.  I begged forgiveness but I was told again to go to the car on the driveway, so I did, helped along by the scruff of my collar.  I cried my 10 year old eyes out.  I cried louder hoping they’d hear me and feel sorry, I hid down hoping they’d think I’d wandered off and come out to see where I was but no.  I was in the car.  Nobody was coming out.  After half an hour or so I ventured back in and said sorry, I was told to go to the car, so I did.  After another half an hour or so according to the clock on the walnut dashboard, I tried again and went in, begging please please, I’m sorry.  I was told to go back out.  When I was in the car I could hear them chatting and laughing together.  I knew I’d been right, that if someone started, the whole thing would resolve and here it was, the evidence, they were resolving their issues and talking, I was vindicated.  After another period of time I ventured in again this time begging “Please, sort me out now, please”, which everyone knew meant “please, hit me now, get it over with” but they said get outside, in the car, and a third adult said “I’ll sort you out later”.  I ventured one more attempt before the end of the two hour visit and was told “I’ll sort you out later” again by the third person.  I cried quietly this time, trembling in the car as I waited, feeling queasy.  There were no distractions, no colouring books, no toys, this was old school car travel and I was alone with my thoughts.  They did eventually emerge from the home, they were cheerful, kisses and hugs goodbye.  I was miserable and afraid.  They did get me home and I did get a wallop or few.  When the spanking came, I was relieved, apart from being in peoples bad books, it was over and done with.  I just had to tolerate their moodiness until they got over my deception.  38 years later I stand by my assessment that if they’d start talking they’d resolve that particular issue.  I was right.  There were plenty of other times that issues arose but even knowing how to resolve them, I stayed well clear in future.  I know I shouldn’t have deceived the adults.  If I had been courageous I would have said that I called the other person and they were pleased to hear from me but I was not filled with courage at that point, the stakes were too high. Continue reading “We wait for news”

Redundancy or not? That is the question.

I may or may not have Christmas off but people keep telling me to wait and see. I dislike.

For the love of Sundays!!  I dislike not knowing, if I know there is something I need to know and I don’t know, I dislike that feeling.  I can deal with almost anything so long as I know.  Right now, the place I work is going through a restructure.  Restructures are necessary.  The company I work for is very profitable in a hard working, won every penny way.  It’s a $2bn company set up 80 years ago by two people in London.  It deserves continued success.  Waiting for news is unpleasant.  It would be even more unpleasant if the income protection insurance I purchased a year and a half ago wasn’t (hopefully) in place.  The insurance (hopefully) gives me a degree of solace.  Waiting for the shoe to fall is not a hoot, it is not easy or comfortable.

I have mentally made plans for if my number is up.  I just really would like to know.  Having November and December off would be welcome.  I have not had a happy time off work between jobs since I was 12 years old.  I could finish tidying and decorating the house, build a shed, re-train in a new industry, have a loft ladder installed, sell all the bits of tools and electronics cluttering up the place, and start a little side business which hopefully would set me up for a comfy-ish retirement in 20 years.  There’s a lot to do.  I just really would like to know.  I know the news will arrive when it arrives and that nothing I do in the meantime will change that.  It is a frustrating situation for everybody concerned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wasted Saturday

A wasted Saturday is a rare and glorious gift to ourself.

It seems that I am good in company at the moment, feeling genuinely cheerful and happy to be in social situations just chatting or dancing or listening to buddies, but am plunging in to worry and anxiety when alone when there is nowhere else to run from myself.  Feeling emotionally breathless is absolutely rubbish and I recommend it to nobody at all, not even my worst enemies.  So, Saturday my daughter and I took a day off of everything, absolutely everything.

When I’d awoken before dawn I realised that I could afford to get a bad day out of my system as I wasn’t required to be anywhere particular this weekend apart from Sunday Services.  I had a two A4 page of Honey-Do’s I’d written for myself, each line being a tiresome project which needed completing in the house preferably before winter falls. And I couldn’t face it.  I was close to tears, on a Saturday! What a waste of tears.  I determined I was not going to cry on my own time!  Instead, I was going to be still.  I was going to ignore the day as long as I could.

My teen padded in to my untidy room around midday and flopped on the bed.  We conspired together that we deserved a complete day off having run ourselves ragged for years.  It was exciting to be in this together.  We chatted a while about books we were reading on Audio because we’re both a little dyslexic and I’d rather listen to a book than struggle with text and so would she.  We’re both perfectly capable of reading but sometimes for recreation we just have someone read the darned book to us.  It feels like cheating but what is the point of technology if you can’t use it to enhance your experience of literature and make available that which you wouldn’t have tackled without the electronic intercedent.

After a while she padded off again and I settled in for more breathing.  Breathing is something I’ve taken for granted all these years but of late my glorious mind keeps trying to trick me that there is insufficient oxygen in the atmosphere.  Stupid glorious mind…

So, I lay there in my unmade bed and breathed.  Then when I’d done that for an hour or so I took a nap, then listened to a show and then breathed again.

I was roused only by the offspring’s enquiry as to what was for dinner.  Without said offspring I would gladly have spent all the hours until the next day in my room, but I’m contracted to care for the kid so up we got and a dinner of beef burgers and pasta was rustled.  Then, relocated to the living room, I sat and breathed some more until I realised it was now 2am and I really should go to my untidy room to breathe.  Brushed my teeth and toddled off to my chamber for some more breathing.

Is it me, or did somebody really turn down the oxygen supply in the atmosphere?  Asking for a friend.