All Hope lost….literally!

Isn’t it  strange that at the single blink of an eye how life can be so cruel?

Just a mere 5 weeks ago, in my last blog entry, I wrote about my new hope for the future with the company I had just started working for. Finally, at long last, the permanent job and the security that goes with it. It gave me the chance to be able to fully settle down into my new role and give total commitment to it and think about the next few years ahead and feel a little more comfortable about it all before its time for me to retire.

On 12th September I started working for Hope Cement/Construction in a new and very challenging role. I was finally able to start looking to the future with real optimism and start to make some ‘concrete’ plans for my  future. At long last the opportunity I have waited for since 2012 when I finished at D&A. A permanent job, no more temp contracts or worrying about what would happen when my next contract came to an end, where would I need to look now for that new job, how much more disappointment and uncertainty would  I would have to endure, how long would that next job last. An endless list of questions, which I had finally hoped had come to an end.

It occurs to me how strange it is that so many people enjoy the challenge of moving from temp contract on to the next temp job contract and not feel insecure, then there are people like myself (and may be my age has something to do with this) who don’t like that uncertainty, but who need more stability in there lives to be able to function properly and generally get on with their lives.

Over the last 4 years a great deal of my future plans and my life in general has been put on hold, all pending job and financial security, even my pension fund has been on hold, not being in a stable enough position financially to pay into that has been a huge worry.

On 1st August this year Hope Cement was bought out by the Breedon Group who are a major aggregates company in the UK. For those of you, who like me at first didn’t really understand the aggregates and concrete business. A short quick lesson… this means Breedon own quarries around the country, they extract these natural resources from the ground and process them to produce primary aggregates, mainly for the construction business. These aggregates are items such as  gravel or crushed rock and sand (but, I hasten to add, not your bog standard seaside sand) There are other companies who make the cement powder (Portland Cement) which is the binding material.

In short when you add together specific quantities of cement powder and the aggregates and the correct amount of water you produce a concrete mixture. All depending on what combinations of each product you use, plus any additives, then define what type of concrete is produced and for what type of job. When these mixtures are produced, a deep intense chemical reaction happens. However let me assure you that making concrete is not that simple, there is a great deal more to it than people realize.

With Breedon owning and running their own quarries, and Hope batching and delivering concrete mixes to major construction sites around the UK this has now produced a perfect marriage.

Like any major company changes, there is always going to be fallout.  In the short time I have been at Hope’s I have firmly become one of the members of the Birmingham plant and office team, as well as dealing with our Hope Doncaster Head Office colleagues on a daily basis. So the shock news from the announcements made across the company at the same time on Monday morning just gone, blew every one of us out of the water. In short, the new company restructuring means the Hope HQ in Doncaster will be closing with loss of all jobs there, our Birmingham shipping office, which is where I work, along with my two other colleagues in the office, will also be closing,  as will a few other small shipping offices across the UK and these jobs will all be centralised at the main Breedon offices. Unfortunately, this means because of the locations of these centralised offices many of us will not be able to travel there and take up jobs within the new company structure.  Fortunately, however the ‘batching plants’ will remain unaffected and fully operational. We have been advised that whilst the ‘transition’ of the business takes place, with regards to the offices and admin work from the smaller shipping offices into the centralised office, we will in about 6 to 9 to months for all those concerned (around 40+ people) be made redundant.

A bit of De Javu going on here I think!

This looks like history repeating itself, as was the case of Boots Opticians taking over the great Dollond & Aitchinson Opticians. Company restructuring, moving sections of the business elsewhere, job losses etc. It’s very hard to trust in the motives of companies who take over other companies….unfortunately this is what happens all to often now and how the average Mr and Mrs Joe Bloggs is affected with their livelihoods. But in all fairness having said that, Breedon is a top company in its field and they want to expand their business, and their growth in the future, so in order to make money and gain that future success they have to find ways to improve their existing business and make saving in the present. However this means in short this is the start of the loss of all of Hope cement/construction.

My decision now has to be based on whether I stay and wait out the next few months, get more experience in this industry and get more shipping/logistics experience and at the same time guarantee myself a monthly salary and pension for that length time, and a small financial incentive at the end of it,  or whether I start searching for that all new important job that will define my future. At present I am having my doubts about whether a permanent position can be found, or whether I will be hopping in and out of short-term contracts, it is all so unsettling.

At the moment time is of the essence. There is a lot of ‘seasonal work’ to be had, which in short is more insecurity, and I do want to learn so much more about this particular job and the industry, I made a commitment to the company when I was offered the job and I feel obliged to honour that commitment and be true to myself as well as them for as long as possible.

At the same time I am feeling anxious about letting any possible opportunities pass me by on the job front in the next 6 months,  but having said that another 6 months job skills is another feather in my cap and will look good on my CV.

In addition to all of this Christmas is almost upon us, and this year will be so sad and different for myself and my family, as it will be the first one without my dad, and this added worry about the job doesn’t help matters.  And whilst I have appreciated so many good and positive comments from my close friends and friends on fb about my employability, this past week as well as in the past, it still worries me that getting potential employers to notice you is still the biggest challenge these days. The hardest part is not finding the job itself,or even doing the job. Realistically the hardest part these days is getting yourself noticed enough to have an interview set up and being able to present yourself and your abilities at that interview, and as so much of this is done through job agencies these days it actually makes it even harder.

A  couple of years ago I was told I should change my CV and ‘tart it up’ by adding some stuff to it to impress  any perspective new employer. This is something I firmly do not believe in, may be my decision to not do that is my own downfall, but I have always been honest about my capabilities and don’t want to mislead any employer into believing I can do something which in actual fact I haven’t done.

For now I think the right choice is to stay where I am, get the next few months out-of-the-way and come the Spring it will be a new beginning for me as well. I do love Spring, it is my favourite time of the year, a fresh new approach, and hopefully a new opportunity. What can I say? This job was obviously not the right one for me.

Why are choices like this so hard to make?

 

 Choices

We all have a choice
to live a lie
or be ourselves
to laugh and cry
or to follow someone else

to look up and smile
or bow down and frown
to walk the whole mile
or take off our crown

We have a choice
to shout out loud
or chant a whisper
to fly through the clouds
or to be blown like paper

to conquer our fear
or hide in the shadow
to the wise words hear
or be thrown out the window

We all have a choice
to climb our highest mountain
or fall into our deepest hole
to drink from life’s fountain
or live life like a troubled soul.

 Allen Steble

Thanks for stopping by.

Seasons Greetings and reflections of 2013.

It’s so hard to believe that another Christmas is just a few days away. I have noticed as I have got older so the years seem to pass a little quicker, and this year seems to have gone with such speed its unbelievable! A small confession……I still haven’t put my Christmas tree up.

It’s been a really tough year for me, both personally and professionally. In December of last year, in-fact 12 months ago this past week. I walked away from my old job, without any indication as to what direction my future would be heading or how I would cope with my new life.  I took a three-month break to help my health get back on track. A year ago I was diagnosed with sleep apnea, which over the last couple of years has crippled me with severe bouts of fatigue, but this condition has explained a great deal about how I have physically felt over those couple of years as well, as the anxiety and depression and stress that took hold of me, I am learning how to deal with this condition and keep it at bay. And yet, despite all of this that has been going on, I do feel that I have made some very promising steps towards my future. In April I even had my first holiday in over a decade, and I very much hope to be in a position to go away again in 2014, I’ve always fancied Weymouth, which has been one of my dads favourite places these past few years.

In recent months,  my dads health has given us great concern with regards to a condition with his heart and now his kidneys, this was following on from losing some of his sight. I have had little time to myself to go much on face book, or even write my blog the past couple of months.  In fact my routine has been very much the same week in and week out. I have had to deal with and come to terms with a great number of changes in my life this year, but on the whole I do feel that for the first time in several years, I have learnt to deal with all these changes with new vigour, determination and better control. Dare I say it, but I thoroughly enjoy my new job, where I have been for the last nine months and they really are a terrific team who I work with.

This Christmas day, I am looking forward to spending a quiet day with my brother, sister-in-law my two wonderful nephews and my dad, having a traditional roast dinner and a relaxing time in front of the TV. And then all being well a few peaceful days of some me time at home with my bunny Sootykins, and a bit of  art or photography, and some quality time with a very dear friend. Already I have several dates in my new diary, to meet up with old friends and colleagues for a meal and few drinks, and then to attend a couple of  hospital appointments……and that is just January!!

It feels a little bit strange that in just over a weeks time it will be another new year. If 2014 is as good a  year as 2013 has been for me, then I will feel blessed again, as I have this year. And I do feel that there are going to be a lot more challenges ahead of me in the coming year.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all my fellow bloggers and readers a Happy Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful New Year in 2014.

XMAS CARD

Many thanks for stopping by

Birds of a feather…. on camera together.

I know I have said this before, but I do love Spring. It’s such a lovely time of the year, a time of renewal especially when it comes to nature. The trees have suddenly burst into blossom of the most gorgeous white and pink flowers, and the air has become perfumed. I’m hearing the song and chatter of more birds and seeing more blue sky and of course these past few days the warm sunshine has made an appearance. In addition to all this if you go to the local parks or nature reserves where there is plenty of wild bird life, there is a chance to see some recently born broods of ducklings, geese and swans.

This past weekend was a great time for me to go out and about with my new Nikon camera, and capture some of  these splendid visions. On Saturday I had a little bus ride to an old favorite park of mine called Swanshurst, which is situated in the area of  Birmingham called Billesley. This park used to be a ‘old haunt’ of mine, especially in my teenage years when I first starting going out fishing on my own.

The unfortunate story about this park is that there was an incident  back  in 2007  where the pool was drained of its entire  water content by the local council in order for repair works to be carried out at the bottom of the lake, it was  just as though the plug was pulled out. Unfortunately, it left thousands of fish in jeopardy, including Carp up to 35 lb in weight,  but no one at the council had first thought it out properly  by removing all  the fish and transport them to other local parks or sections of canals prior to the work commencing.  As a result of this insight, several days in to the drainage process a huge emergency rescue operation had to be mounted by anglers and local residents to try to save the fish and move them as quickly as possible in cars, vans and lorries to other lakes and canals in the near vicinity, the majority were saved. Trouble was it was never restocked after the work was completed, and to this day it is vacant of any decent stocks of fish, as a result no one goes fishing there any more.

However despite this incident, the park has always remained a local beauty spot for many people, and is still a popular place to have a walk around and see the birds. At any one time there used to be up to 200 geese there, and a few ducks. These days there are only a handful of geese, loads of ducks and moorhens and one pair of swans…..although the female was nowhere to be seen this weekend. My guess she is she was nesting on the island at the far end of the lake and perhaps even taking care of some new offspring.

At the far end of the lake there used to be an old boathouse close to the island which had been out of use for many years, although it was in a state of disrepair it did add a little character to the place. It was a favorite spot for many Carp anglers. Due to vandals being inconsiderate some years back it was burnt down, and duly had to be removed.

But walking around there on Saturday I was able to photograph some of the birds and flora. It really is a picturesque little park, and it is a delightful little walk. I saw seagulls ducking in and out of the lake, cheekily grabbing the food thrown out by people for the ducks and geese, and I was unfortunately witness to one sad and distressing incident involving  about 8 male ducks all attacking 1 female duck. This is something I have heard of before, and by all accounts is a natural occurrence in nature, but I had never witnessed it until now. As a result I had to mount my own rescue operation with another chap who witnessed the incident and  to try to get her away from the males, and drag her into the side of the bank and into some nearby bushes,  and hopefully give her time to recover in the bushes where I had to try to hide her. The poor little thing was in a state of shock, and was bleeding from her head. This apparently is called ‘duck rape’ and I understand it’s because the female is fertile and all the males want to mate with her. I sincerely hope I never have to see this happen ever again. I love Mallards, especially the stunning green and blue plumage that they show off  to attract the females, and despite being a natural r , it’s not at all pleasant to see these little fellows taking advantage of one female.

Anyway, with the sun out in a blue sky and the warmth on my back,  loads of  wildlife I couldn’t resist taking loads of pictures, and these birds do get up to some funny antics,  and I love to challenge myself to taking some ‘action shots’.  These are a few of the ones I took on Saturday. Hope you enjoy themSWANHURST PARK MAY 2013 (1) SWANHURST PARK MAY 2013 (6) SWANHURST PARK MAY 2013 (16) SWANHURST PARK MAY 2013 (23) SWANHURST PARK MAY 2013 (63) SWANHURST PARK MAY 2013 (65) SWANHURST PARK MAY 2013 (106) SWANHURST PARK MAY 2013 (123) SWANHURST PARK MAY 2013 (130) SWANHURST PARK MAY 2013 (149) SWANHURST PARK MAY 2013 (150) SWANHURST PARK MAY 2013 (154) SWANHURST PARK MAY 2013 (166) SWANHURST PARK MAY 2013 (169) SWANHURST PARK MAY 2013 (172) SWANHURST PARK MAY 2013 (173) SWANHURST PARK MAY 2013 (174) SWANHURST PARK MAY 2013 (179) SWANHURST PARK MAY 2013 (183) SWANHURST PARK MAY 2013 (190) SWANHURST PARK MAY 2013 (192) SWANHURST PARK MAY 2013 (193) SWANHURST PARK MAY 2013 (223) SWANHURST PARK MAY 2013 (231) SWANHURST PARK MAY 2013 (236) SWANHURST PARK MAY 2013 (251) SWANHURST PARK MAY 2013 (275) SWANHURST PARK MAY 2013 (278) SWANHURST PARK MAY 2013 (281) SWANHURST PARK MAY 2013 (285) SWANHURST PARK MAY 2013 (290) SWANHURST PARK MAY 2013 (291) SWANHURST PARK MAY 2013 (302) SWANHURST PARK MAY 2013 (303) SWANHURST PARK MAY 2013 (305) SWANHURST PARK MAY 2013 (343) SWANHURST PARK MAY 2013 (365) SWANHURST PARK MAY 2013 (366) SWANHURST PARK MAY 2013 (382) SWANHURST PARK MAY 2013 (409) SWANHURST PARK MAY 2013 (417) SWANHURST PARK MAY 2013 (424) SWANHURST PARK MAY 2013 (434) SWANHURST PARK MAY 2013 (514)

 

Many thanks for stopping by.

 

Autumn glory in the Lickey Hills.

Another goal achieved!

A few months ago, some of my regulars may remember I sort of made an attempt to visit a place called the Lickey Hills…….unfortunately though on route I got a little bit lost and ended up instead at a place called Waseley Park near the county borders of Birmingham and Worcester. I had a terrific day there and was able to enjoy taking many photographs.

However, despite the change of destination that day, I have remained determined to visit my original choice of the Lickey Hills. This is a vast  area of natural beauty, which is  situated on the Birmingham Rubery and Bromsgrove border (Bromsgrove being a part of the county of Worcester)

This is a place that my brother and I visited many times with our parents when we were young children. So in reality it has been some 35 years since I last visited there, and I guess a lot has changed in that time. Situated just below the country park entrance is a golf course, and two watering holes!!! The first watering hole is for the wild bird life and is called the duck pond……for obvious reasons, and is situated behind the second one which  is called The Old Rose & Crown…..this one for us humans. This is a fine old public house and restaurant and is ideal for a drink or two to cool down after climbing the hills.

I believe in away my patience was being tested in getting there!! Having caught my first bus from home in to Birmingham city centre, I found my connecting bus x64 which after a short wait turned up, only to find that 3 bus stops later through town, we were told we would have to get off because the bus was changing its service number to the 98 and was doing  a slightly different route. Not a good start to the journey!!  I thus waited for the next bus which was due in 5 to 6 minutes time, however this turned up 20 minutes late. What next I thought, are we going to break down or something. Oooops, guess I shouldn’t have thought that. Three quarters of the way into a 50 minute journey……..our bus broke down. At this point, I was questioning myself……what if I am not meant to get there? Or may be I was being tested to see how really determined I was to get there or to see if I would give up so easily.

Having waited a further 20 minutes, the next x64 bus turned up and took us the rest of the journey. Having reached the bus terminus, I asked the driver how further to go to the Lickey Hills, only to be told this one doesn’t go that close and I should have gone on the 98 bus (which turned out to be the one that the earlier bus I got off was being changed too!!!) It appears that the two services start off in Birmingham and end up at the same terminus in Rubery, but do a slightly different route around the outskirts. Luckily enough a very nice driver at the terminus on the 98 bus put me right and said he stopped at a stop only a few minutes away, which was close by the road that lead to the Lickey Hills Country Park. My patience and perseverance had been well and truly tested, because I think normally by this time I would have given up and gone back home. But this time I was determined not to be beaten, and I finally made it to the entrance. I do believe that had I have given up this time, then I don’t think I would have attempted the journey again in the future.

The weather was perfect for the climb, but it sure was one heck of a climb (so glad I had my faithful old walking stick to help me up there) but it was very exhilarating. I had to make regular stops for resting my legs for a few minutes at a time, luckily enough there were plenty of benches along the route and so this made a big difference for me and thus made the walk that little bit easier.

I loved the combination of the beautiful autumn scenery and the peace and quiet up there, and further more coming up from the one side of the country park there were very few people. The air was so clear and you could clearly hear all the different birds singing. Most people had however taken the easier option of approaching from the other side…..from the main road and up to the main car park, thus missing the incredible forest scenery.

My goal was to reach the top of  Beacon Hill and the ‘monument castle’ in order to see the legendary views across Birmingham on one side, and Worcester on the other. All along the route I was able to take many photo’s of the beautiful forestry scenery, and on reaching the top of  Beacon Hill I was just in time for the setting sun. And I managed to spend a peaceful and relaxing 1/2 hour up there taking in the fresh air, beautiful scenery and stunning views…….and of course a few more photographs.

I had only two remaining goals to achieve this year to visit two more of my  favourite places. The main town of  Worcester itself, to spend a day in this charming little town by the river. And an idyllic  little place called  Foxton Locks. Unfortunately lack of transport won’t allow me to visit this beautiful little area just outside Loughborough nr Leicester. However I have to say I am very pleased that I have been able to make all these different  journeys this year, because it has all added to my own incredible journey of recovery from depression.

Here is just a small collection of some of my favourite photo’s (19) The rest of the photo’s can be seen on my Facebook page under my name  Sue Westwood, please feel free to visit.

 

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Many thanks for stopping by.

 

What overshadows the positive?

Whilst going home on the bus a few days ago, I overheard a bit of a conversation between two elderly ladies sitting behind me.  They were talking about our NHS, and basically discussing the outcome from an incident that had occurred to someone they both know. They were saying that in their opinion the lack of diagnosis and care to this person was not right, and in their own words ”it’s awful how were all treated these days by the NHS”. I think they might have forgotten all the incredible work our NHS do and all it’s positive aspects…….most of what we don’t get to always hear about.

All this got me thinking. To begin with I thought it was  unfair that such a generalised comment highlighted such negativity. It’s strange how quickly people are prepared to put something or someone down, because they get to hear, or know of something happening. Such stories are highlighted by the news media…….in other words they make a huge issue out of certain things…..the bad things. It seems that they are all very quick to jump on the band wagon and criticize anything that goes wrong. As a result of this it ‘overshadows’ all the good things that happen and rarely gets a mention.

We must not forget all the great things that do happen each and every day, but sometimes we hardly get to hear about them in the news media. We get to hear about a ‘selective few’, but then they get quickly forgotten because something big and bad comes along and overshadows it.

It’s very much like this with depression. With myself for instance, I always seem to be in a state of mind of thinking only bad and negative points when I am at my lowest. And I can say with all due respect to any or all sufferers of this illness, that they too  must go through a similar if not the same sort of experiences. Of course there are good things that have happened in my life, as with any ones life…….it’s just extremely difficult, if not impossible sometimes to remember them, and to put them into true perspective, because the depression overshadows all those positive aspects. All or any good things that have happened  seem totally inconsequential at that point in time.

And I am sure there are many out there who can relate to what I am saying. and so it seems when ever we try to remember these good thoughts or memories its very hard to see through that thick cloud of fog.

There have been numerous occasions in my life, in my deepest darkest days, when even though I can and do try to remember the positive points, the idea of telling myself that those good things can happen and will happen again, is extremely difficult. This is where over the last year or so  CBT has played a big part in my thought processes. CBT is not the be all and end all of depression, some days it is still a very difficult concept to grasp, and to turn your thinking around from the negative into the positive…..namely because the negative still has a habit of overshadowing the positive. In some situations, CBT just does not work for me, in other situations it can be very effective.

The last 2 days have been very difficult days, not just for myself but for all my other work colleagues, some of who are  good friends. For those of my new readers who have recently subscribed to my blog (and I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to you all for reading and joining) I would like to just put you briefly in the picture, so to speak……I have worked within the same company for the last 20 yrs. Three years ago, the company I worked for ‘merged’ with another bigger  ‘ better’ company. Last year due to changes in one major aspect of our work being contracted out abroad some of us were TUPE’d over to another company and then seconded back to the other company, but knowing full well by the end of this year 29 of us, including myself would be made redundant. The remaining staff however, about 20 of them, who were not TUPE’d over, and have continued to work alongside  in the other half of the business with us,  were until yesterday morning not aware of their futures.

We had all guessed and even expected what did happen yesterday, was what was going to happen.But you still hang on to the hope that you might just be wrong. And even though you were sort of expecting it, it’s still very difficult and even heartbreaking to have confirmed officially in an annoucement what you were expecting. My remaining colleagues and friends, some of who I have worked alongside for the last 20 years, have now had their fate sealed. They too will be made redundant over the next 6 to 8 months, because of their side of the work being contracted back to the companies other main distribution site in a different part of this country and to a different set of staff from the company who merged with us.

Our company, in particular the site where I work, before the merger 3 yrs ago, had spent years building its reputation, implementing a smooth and efficient running business for our customers ( who are our branches, so that they in turn can serve their customers, the public) Even the most senior HQ staff have had to acknowledge the standards and reputation that our distribution centre have achieved……..hence one of the main reasons for their merger in the first place.

We have all had our ups and downs over the years, but we have worked together as a most incredible and extremely efficient and very knowledgeable team (apart from the odd one or two!), and have worked with a brilliant set of  managers and team leaders. We have seen a huge number of changes  within the company, some good, some not  good, but we have adapted to these changes in order to maintain or improve our levels of unbeatable services. But the news yesterday overshadowed all of these positive factors, and it is extremely difficult to accept that everything we have strived for, everything we have built up and created from absolutely nothing is now being taken away from us.  As one of my managers said to me yesterday, and I quote…”we are this place, we have built it from nothing”. This place has existed for 24 years, and I am proud to have been part of that for the last 20 years. To some people out there, they could turn around and say ‘but its just a job’. Which to a point, for some of my younger colleagues, and those who have not been there very long will probably think the same. But for many of us, we have spent a huge part of our lives working for this company, in this place through thick and thin, we see it differently.  We have spent most of our time at work than at home. We have built up our own friendships. We are affectionately known by others in the same company as a ‘family’.  All our lives are now about to start changing.  And because of this one major change in all our live, it overshadows everything we have done, everything we have acheived individually and as a team.

Even though at present all these good points, are being overshadowed by what is happening, and I have no doubt that in the future I will still face very difficult and challenging times, and will still have very negative thoughts about my life,  I will have this page of my blog to remind myself that I should be positive in my part in what we have acheived over these last 20 years.

For many of us this truly is the end of an era!

Crunch time!!

I can’t believe we are already half way through another year. Just where has the time gone I wonder. This year hasn’t been that good a year….it seems a lot in my life, especially at the start of this year started to go wrong again. Whether that is entirely my own fault, I really don’t know….some of it was my fault, and I accept that, but the fault also lies at the feet of others, some who are not prepared to understand or even accept their responsibility in the part they played in my downfall earlier this year……..whether knowingly or unknowingly, I refer in particular on a professional level….. something that has left me dangling on a very thin piece of string and messing around with my life and my future for over the last year plus, because it suited their ‘business needs’, and like any corporate business, it’s always about their needs.

As my regular readers may recall, since a little over 12 months ago, 28 other colleagues and  I have been under notice of redundancy with our  current jobs, where I have been for the last twenty plus years.  Officially, our redundancies should have come into effect from today. However, due to the delay in transferring all the processes abroad, where our jobs are going,  it means we can keep our jobs just a little bit longer…….because it suits them to have us help them out in all the stages of the transition of the business. In other words they need our expertise and knowledge, even though they no longer need us!  In fact, only last week we were advised at our updated one 2 ones, that it appears they now need us until the start of this coming December.

However, for me (and the rest of my colleagues) it is now decision time. Do I hold on until then and take pot luck with getting a new job just before Christmas or may be the new year, or should I start looking now and put in for my early release? It’s a huge step to take, and it’s a massive decision to make, especially so at my time of life. And I still have about 15 years or so ahead of me as an employee, before I can even think about my retirement…….assuming of course I live that long.

The biggest problem is, I don’t even know what it is I want to do,  and I have no real idea of the direction I want to head in. I have spent the last 20 years working in the Optical trade. This means I am limited to my future options. By nature I am not an ambitious person, and never really have been. My confidence, or rather lack of it is still a problem. I haven’t had a job interview and neither have I had to learn about  ‘interview techniques’ or had to produce a CV in all that time.  Several of my friends, family members and other work colleagues have all reminded me that I have a wide and very varied level of knowledge, skills and abilities to offer any new potential employer, something that despite being limited within one area of a particular industry…..can be carried forward and used else where. However getting them interested in interviewing you is in itself a huge step in the right direction. So why is it I don’t have that same confidence in myself?

I have recently  received some professional help in producing a brand new CV, and to me it seemed a little strange that the bulk of the CV contained my ‘achievements’ of the past 20 yrs, and I have to stop and question that. The fact that everything I have learnt revolves around that one particular industry. Logically, I suppose I know what others tell me is correct, and that whatever I have learnt over these past few years, can be adapted to a new enviroment, new work place, type of job and new people……along with my sense of loyalty and dedication.

The biggest problem I feel is me being able to change and adapt to a series of  new changes within my life, a new work place, a new enviroment, new people, new systems and policies, and a new routine. For me personally, all this is  very frightening and it unnerves me considerably. I have had to adapt to changes over the years in the job I have been doing, but these were gradual changes and I coped with them on a gradual basis. This however is something completely different.

To a degree I do enjoy a challenge, but feel sometimes if I push myself too hard and fail, then I will suffer the consequences. On numerous occasions in the past I have found myself pushing myself so hard, not only to the limit but above and beyond my limitations that it has either made me physically unwell, or bought about whether it be short or extended  very severe bouts of depression, and then I have to stop and question myself. But at the end of the day I am only human, I am not or never have been….. or will ever become a Superwoman. Nice idea though! But as a result of all this, I have just started to learn and understand my own limitations and abilities……on a physical as well as a mental level……..and I also appreciate the fact I still have a long way to go and a lot still to understand.

Over a number of years I became far too believing and trusting and having faith in others,  when in actual fact I suppose what I should have been doing was making the effort in believing in myself, and having more faith and trust in myself and my own abilities. This is however at my stage of life, something I still find very difficult to learn to accept and embrace, despite encouragement from other different sources. Having said that, I have been trying extremely hard to find ‘a right balance’ in my life not just in my work, but also in my hobbies, where upon I have started to incorporate them back into my life again over the past year. As my readers may well be aware of all the photographs I add to my blogs!!  I love spending some of my spare time doing photography, and I gain simple satisfaction and relaxation from that. Photography to me is a way of capturing that moment in time, and no two moments are ever the exact same. I love to spend time doing some of my choices in art and craft work, all depending on how the mood at the time takes me…….whether it be sketching, painting in watercolours or scrapbooking and ATCs.  They are all I suppose ‘hidden talents’ that over a period of time have come to the surface.

With all my hobbies, some of my levels of abilities are resurfacing  and giving me back some little tit bits of my confidence again. Now what I need to do, is to find those levels of confidence in myself for my career and that new job. May be it is time to take a completely different career direction, but not just yet and I still don’t know what I want to do, and I still don’t have enough confidence in myself yet to attempt that completely different direction. What I do now know and even more importantly understand, is that I have a wide range of clerical and warehousing skills and various other abilities and knowledge that I can take forward and adapt into my future job. But it isn’t only the question of what I can or can’t do, it is also the question of what I want to do. I know I will never become an airline pilot, lawyer or a doctor or even a politician, but at the same time I don’t want to sit in an office all day or talk on a phone doing a job that is boring, and does not challenge me and is completely repetitive on a day-to-day basis. I have also found my ability to communicate and talk with people on almost every level has this year taken a huge downward tumble again, so I would prefer to continue to keep myself to myself and hopefully not make any mistakes in that area of my life again…….so that immediately rules out telephone call centre jobs, working in shops and talking to customers.

It’s a big wide job world out there, and I am trying very hard  to prepare myself for the next step in my life, and probably one of the biggest challenges I have had to face for a long time. In a way my emotions are very mixed and all over the place….if that makes sense to anyone reading this. I do feel some excitement about the changes that lie ahead of me,  but I also feel very nervous about it, I feel very scared and anxious, I feel very unsure and unsettled, I feel a distinct lack of confidence and yet feel that I shouldn’t lack in my own confidence in my own abilities. Well….we shall have to wait and see…..watch this space, because my search for a new job which I hope will lead me to a better life in mid-life begins this week.

Thanks for stopping by.