I have never before been as busy I was in 2014. It was the perfect storm of several things happening at the same time. A year of ups and downs and changes. Eventually it turned out for the better but only after a lot of stress, worry and hard work.
This is why I haven’t been blogging very much on either of my sites for the last year or more, why I cut down in other areas both offline and online – and why online I effectively limited myself to Twitter!
Without going into too much detail…
Part of the company’s business closed in June 2013. I stayed on but had to endure a long several months waiting to November for my review. Lots of negativity among a group of people worried about their future. From December there were tough contract negotiations, followed by a lot of upheaval into the Spring as the changes were put into place, then from March there were 6 months of being really very busy indeed. I’d never before done so much work or so much overtime! An extended period of uncertainty, negativity, disruption, tension, stress.. 15 months of living on edge. I’m very glad to say all of that is in the past!
After restructuring, my office was to be smaller and quieter but I would have more responsibilities and more interesting work than I’d had before. So, David Brent-like, I managed to get a positive out of a negative. Because of all the changes, and a lot of other things we as a company were doing – including starting a new product line! – it is only in the last month or so that I feel the really positive progress has been made. I’m more involved, active rather than passive. It finally feels like we’re moving beyond fighting the metaphorical fires.
Perhaps for the first time in any job I’ve ever had, I feel I’m being listened to and taken seriously rather than looked down upon. I’m busy, but in a good way.
I felt like David Brent:
‘You’ve all been made redundant but, silver lining, I’ve been promoted.’
I bought a house!
Yes, in the middle of all the above at work I entered into what people say is one of the most stressful processes there are.
I had been renting poky little flats for years. It was confining. In January 2014 I started plotting how to buy a house and planned to do it about a year later. Except it wasn’t a year later it was a month later! An opportunity came up that I couldn’t refuse.
Downside? I couldn’t afford to stay in the same town. Upside? Changing towns gives you a different perspective on things and it had been 8 years since I’d last done so.
I bought 50% of the property with a mortgage and I pay rent on the other 50%. The rental fee is much lower than the mortgage fee. I could not afford to take out a mortgage for the whole of this property. The two fees combined, in a more affordable town, is only a bit above what I was paying in rent for a flat in a more expensive town ten miles away.
I couldn’t have done it without support from my family, which was fantastic of them, so a huge thanks is due to them.
I meant to do blog posts all through the process but I got a bit too busy, and having too much fun enjoying living in it!
When I said it is new, it is actually brand new – I’m the first person to live in it – here it is!
I have a belly problem. I don’t know what it is. All I know is when I eat spicy food or fatty food or things like Weetabix I get a bad reaction, it hurts and I need the loo right away. I get headaches and I get really, really tired. When I get home from work I just want to crash out and do nothing. This started mid-2013, the same time as all the work problems, so I wondered if was brought on by stress. The doctor said it might’ve been but it was hard to say, you can never be sure. But there are various belly issues in the family.
I’ve been on tablets for over a year which have helped.
In October I had a gastroscopy, a type of endoscopy where they numb your throat and a fibreoptic tube is sent down your throat with a camera at one end so they can see inside you. I assure you. this is not a pleasant experience. It only lasts 2 minutes but it is absolutely horrible. I’ve had two of them now and I think if I have to have another one I’ll take the chicken option and be sedated.
The good news? In the first one they found a little lump, in the second one they found it was totally harmless and is nothing to worry about. So it is nothing bad and we are slowly ruling out suspects.
I really miss curry! I can just about eat one if I have a lot of rice. Sometimes I have one anyway and deal with the pain later.
2013 was the shock.
2014 was the transition and the hard work.
That must mean 2015 is the year to reap the benefits! It should be a good year and I’m looking forward to it.