Happy Father’s Day – BELATED

I was supposed to post this yesterday, but forgot to finish it off. So I’ll post it now..

It’s Father’s Day – time to celebrate the man who provided the seed to our existence, or the man who took us on even though we weren’t his, or even the parent who has been both mother and father to us. You are all awesome.

I’m going to talk about my dad.

I love my dad, and although he hasn’t been around physically for much of my life, I still know he is there for me to provide parenthood in the best way he can.

My parents divorced when I was 4 and my dad returned to live with his parents in a self-contained flat above the family business. A baker by trade, he worked hard to follow in my grandfathers footsteps and, once cut adrift from married life, he played hard too. That wasn’t to say he was a bad father. He just didn’t really know what was expected of him, and largely relied on his parents, my grandparents, to look after us when we came to stay.

I can’t say this was a bad thing. Some of my best memories are of Christmas at my Nana and Grandads, or school holidays spent at their chalet in North Wales. My brother and I benefitted greatly from these opportunities, and I will never forget them.

The thing I remember the most about these times was the fun we had, and the sense of humour shared by my grandad (now sadly deceased), my dad, and his two brothers – a sense of humour I have inherited. I love this – they are some of the funniest people I know, and I’m proud to have inherited such a fantastic trait.

My dad eventually remarried and grew up, although he will never really change. He is always the life and soul of any party, like my grandad before him, quick with a corny joke and a twinkle in his eye. You can’t really hate my dad – he is constantly upbeat, although he is uncomfortable around any show of emotion. A typical bloke of his era, I would say.

And he’s a real grafter. Since leaving the family business, he has struggled to find an alternative career as a taxi driver, a postman, a porter at Rick Stein’s restaurant in Cornwall. And although he has dedicated himself to each chosen job, and worked hard in each different role, you can never take the baker out of him and I think that, deep down, he will always see himself as this, working alongside my grandad all those years ago.

I love my dad.

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Winging It: Life, And How Not To Do It

So, I decided to take the weekend off from blogging. In fact, I took the weekend off from most things. I temporarily forgot about my to-do list, and basically just relaxed. To be fair, I think I deserved it.

Since my public meltdown on here the other week and the support I received from some of you amazing people, it feels like all of my worry and anxiety and stress has kind of deflated. It doesn’t feel as important anymore, as if the very act of writing it down has neutralised the negative feelings. Instead, I feel a lot more chilled out, and also a little indifferent. Why should a job I don’t particularly care for have so much influence over my life and my emotions?

Of course, I am merely avoiding the issue and I know it will raise its ugly head again very soon, unless things change. We have a new member of staff starting next week so things may improve. But after 18 months of the same or similar levels of shit, I’m sceptical. I think it’s time to move on, and my current indifference is merely an emotional plaster that will eventually peel off.

If only life was easier and we all had jobs that we loved, and relationships with 100% trust and loyalty, and happy home lives with enough money to pay the bills and holiday every year. If only.

I’m guessing there must be people out there who do have all of this, and if you are one of those lucky people, I am jealous.

I’m at such a crossroads in my life right now that I need to sit myself down and give myself a good talking to. I’m 42 this year – why haven’t I figured out where I am going, what I want to do, who I want to be with? Should I have this figured out by now? Or am I destined to waste my days away in passionless jobs just to pay the rent, coming home to my cats and my books and my wine. Actually, I don’t mind the latter, but do I really want to be alone forever?

Ok, I need to compile a short-term bucket list. What I want to have achieved by the end of 2019.

Yep, 2019. Plenty of time then, so I don’t really have any excuses. Here goes..

  1. Enrol on the life coaching course I’ve had my eye on. I know what I want to do but I don’t have a lot of confidence in my abilities, mainly because it is something I haven’t done before. Ask me to lead and organise a team of people, or process a pile of timesheets and I will amaze you. But life coaching? Zero confidence in myself. So, get qualified, join the ACCPH (Accredited Counsellors, Coaches, Psychotherapists and Hypnotherapists) and go from there.
  2. Book a holiday. Anywhere really, although preferably somewhere nice and hot with interesting places to visit and a beach. And cocktails.
  3. Get a new job. Yes, I know the #1 thing is going to happen, but I still need to pay the bills before I build up a solid client base. And I can’t keep dragging myself into the hellhole I currently work in.
  4. Open myself up to the possibility of love. Ok, this is probably the one I’m least confident about as I don’t have much faith in people. But it would be nice to have someone in my corner for once.
  5. Have more faith in me. I’m a mess really, aren’t I? If I had more faith in myself, I wouldn’t even be writing this list. I know I have strengths but I get scared when it comes to applying them to something I really want. And then I run away and hide.

Life coaching? I think I need someone to coach me before anything else. After all, I can’t wing it forever.

Happy, Happy Friday

Happy, happy Friday! Oh, how we miss you throughout the week.

And is this Friday a happy one? Actually, I’m feeling a lot better than I have done recently. This past week in work has been surprisingly uneventful. There was still much to be done with very little help, but I didn’t fall apart. I coped, and I’m here to tell the tale. Proud of myself. 💪🏼

The good news is that they have hired a new manager who will be starting work in two weeks, so things should be looking up. But we will see. Watch this space.

That isn’t the only good news I’ve had (yes, really!) My blog hit 400 likes a week ago, but as I was immersed in a meltdown at the time, I forgot to celebrate. So here it is now – 400 LIKES!! Thank you so much to all of you for sticking by me through my sporadic posting, complaining, and seesaw mood swings. This blog wouldn’t be where it is without ya! 😘

Enjoy your weekend!

Putting My Pieces Back Together

Somebody asked me today why I was single. What’s more, they delivered it with an incredulous tone to their voice, as if there was something wrong with being single. As if there was something wrong with me.

Maybe there is; the juries out on that one as we speak.

There is quite a simple answer to the question they framed, although I wasn’t sure they had the time or the interest to stand there and listen. I don’t think they actually expected an answer; they just wanted to point out that I am single.

As if it’s a curse or something.

I’m single by choice, and have been for a long time. Don’t feel sorry for me. I do have opportunities; I just choose not to take them up. And the simple but actually quite complex reason for this is people.

People are dangerous to my mental health, with their drama and their thoughtlessness and their nasty comments and their hurtful actions. Or is that just the people I have chosen in the past?

If so, then the problem lies with me, and my ability to attract assholes and allow them to treat me badly for far too long.

I don’t have the best track record. My first real boyfriend cheated on me. My second boyfriend also cheated on me quite extensively, gifted me with a (luckily treatable) STD and tried to accuse me of giving it to him!

Boyfriend #3 was a narcissist.

Back then, the term narcissist wasn’t bandied around as much as it is today, so I had no idea what a poisonous creature he was. Stupidly, I had convinced myself I was in love, and allowed him to belittle me, estrange me from my friends, gaslight me, and basically destroy my self esteem.

When you hit rock bottom, the only way is up and it took me quite some time to find myself again. When I fell pregnant after he bullied me into coming off birth control pills and refused to use condoms himself, I told him he didn’t need to stick around. He insisted, and was pretty horrendous throughout my pregnancy.

As soon as I met my little boy, I realised that I had never truly experienced love until that moment, and the narcissists hold over me was gone. He accused me of changing; I told him he no longer had the power to mentally abuse me.

10 years later, I can’t regret the relationship because it gave me my son, but my past experiences have messed me up. I don’t trust easily, my expectations are too unrealistic, and I see hidden agendas everywhere.

Free from his hold over me, I have made some pretty bad decisions in the past decade, when my heart has been crying out for a soulmate but searching in all the wrong places. I have now been completely single since 2015.

Do I miss the companionship? I don’t think you can miss something you’ve never had. None of my past relationships have been particularly happy, with cuddles on the sofa and ‘you and me against the world’ togetherness. In all honesty, I would love to find that. But I still to this day look in the wrong places, and I don’t know how to stop that.

So, you wanted to know why I’m single, random work colleague. The simple reason is, people have broken me and I need time to piece myself back together. This involves: staying away from people.

One day, I hope I’m ready for a real, grown-up, authentic relationship with somebody who loves me and who I can trust implicitly. But first I need to love and trust myself, and I can only achieve this by allowing myself to heal.

Persevering

First of all, I just want to thank those of you who took the time to read/like/comment on my weekend post. I wasn’t in a good place at the time and needed to get a lot of frustration off my chest. Afterwards, I did consider deleting it on more than one occasion – I wasn’t sure if I explained fully how I was feeling, or even why I was feeling the way I did. In hindsight, I thought that it would seem a little trivial to those of you who are depressed for real, authentic reasons. But then I realised – when you suffer from clinical depression, anything can be a trigger, no matter how big or small. Nobody was going to judge me on that.

For me in this case, it is a result of working my heart and soul out for a company that takes me for granted, and will continue taking me for granted until I decide enough is enough. My problem, or my greatest asset, whichever way you want to look at it, is that I pride myself on doing the very best I can, whether I am happy or not. If I have a job to do, I will knuckle down and get it done. And that is where I have gone wrong with this company – they are taking advantage of my work ethic rather than awarding me for it.

So I need to leave and take my loyalty and my integrity elsewhere.

Of course, it isn’t that easy. I can’t wake up one morning and think, “sod it, I’m not going back”, much as I’d like to. I have bills to pay and mouths to feed.

So my only other option is to find another job. Easier said than done, but I will persevere. They won’t break me.

I just need to be careful that I don’t break me.

Happy Monday! 💙

Not A Normal Monthly Overview

Well, around this time of the month I would usually be posting my monthly overview, covering achievements from the previous month and goals for the month ahead.

This time, I won’t be doing that. I didn’t post at all throughout May, and would like to take this opportunity to explain why.

For those of you who are familiar with my blog and have read my posts, you will know that I am not happy in my current job and haven’t been for some time.

You will also be aware that I suffered from depression in my younger years.

Anyway, let me start at the beginning.

I have been working for a recruitment agency since January 2017, in their accounts department where I process weekly payroll for the contractors. I was employed as a part-time payroll administrator to work alongside a full-time administrator, a full-time payroll queries manager and another payroll manager (yeah, I don’t know why either) who was currently off on maternity leave, to return on part-time hours.

Now, for those of you who have worked in this environment before, you will be aware that payroll is a repetitive, boring task which is well suited to someone who likes routine in their job. This is not me, for a start. I am, however, a very hard worker, and will accomplish any job quickly and efficiently if that is what I’m paid to do.

I have to admit, there were red flags right from the beginning, but the hours suited me so I persevered.

My co-worker Emma*, the full-time payroll administrator, was a friendly girl but infuriatingly chatty, which became a real issue on our busier days. She was also incredibly lazy, and clearly felt that she was above completing payroll tasks now that there was a new member of staff to do them instead.

I found myself working harder to complete tasks on my own rather than raise the issue of her laziness with the management, who spent a lot of their time sat around chatting too.

I began asking for extra tasks to do to break up the mind numbingly dull repetition of timesheets and expense forms, but the managers were totally ignorant to the fact that I was doing the majority of the work and then some.

When Emma confided in me that she had been offered another job, I encouraged her to go for it, pointing out how terrible our current jobs were. In the back of my mind, I was a little gleeful – once she left, there would be no doubt who the real worker was, and I would at last get some recognition.

Yes, in hindsight it does sound ruthless, but that wasn’t the case. I was just sick of doing all the work while somebody else took the credit for it.

Everything went to plan. Emma left and was replaced by Jen*, an older lady and a typical administrator. She wasn’t as fun as Emma but at least she was there to work, and not to gossip. I took on the task of training her up and we quickly became a formidable team. The department improved in leaps and bounds.

During this time, the second payroll manager (why?) Lorna* returned from maternity leave. I had been pre-warned about Lorna by Emma, who claimed that she was terribly lazy and shied away from hard work – pot, kettle and black came to mind but, as Lorna trained Emma up, it wasn’t difficult to detect a pattern.

Everything that I had heard about Lorna was true, and she and the other payroll manager Kirsten* proceeded to spend the majority of the day sat chatting while Jen and I worked our backsides off. We spent a great deal of time complaining amongst ourselves, but there didn’t appear to be anything else we could do. The management team were a clique of women who had worked together for years, and so it was pointless complaining because they were the best of friends.

Eventually, Jen lost all motivation and I found myself again taking on the majority of the tasks, plus extra jobs, while she dawdled and faffed around. After persevering for a few weeks, I appealed to Kirsten in the hope that she would step in as manager. Instead, they fired Jen, leaving me as the only payroll administrator.

This was at the end of March. For two months now, I have been toiling away at a two-person job with barely any help. When Kirsten or Lorna do deign to help out, it is grudgingly and Lorna in particular will do the bare minimum in very bad grace.

A couple of weeks back, I did complain about the lack of support I was getting, but nothing has changed. I am, quite honestly, losing the will to live, so to speak, and something needs to change. I have been on my own now for two months and, as I only work part-time, it is just too much.

The life coaching company I was attempting to start back in April has run aground – I am exhausted, and can’t find the motivation anymore. I haven’t even posted on the Instagram or Facebook page for weeks. How can I promote a happier life when I am just not happy?

This past week, I took annual leave but haven’t had the energy to do anything. Mid-week, I spent a lot of time in such an unhappy state that I cried. This is not right, and I need to do something about it.

Yesterday, I applied for another job.

I decided to write this down today as a therapeutic exercise. I needed to get it all off my chest so I’m not bogged down by negative thoughts all weekend. I also wanted to explain the reason behind my absence. I do apologise if it has put any of you on a downer; that’s assuming you actually read to the end. I’m trying to state facts rather than going off on an emotional rant!

Hopefully I will be back to normal very soon, and I’m sorry for the depressing post.

April Overview

I’ve literally just realised that it is well into May and that I am overdue posting a round-up of my achievements in April.

This is probably going to be a short post as I don’t feel like I’ve achieved anything. It’s just been one of those really busy months where you don’t actually do anything of real merit, but it has exhausted you anyway.

Plus, I haven’t been posting very much recently. Work is crazy and my head just hasn’t been in a happy, blogging place.

But I’ve been here before, and my monthly overviews generally help me to realise that my life has actually been progressing more than I initially thought. (I hope!)

So, here goes..

Recent achievements

  • My new website for my life coaching business is up-and-running and I have even posted some stuff. Only problem is, I have 1 subscriber so far, and literally no traffic. It is becoming a little disheartening and I’m not too sure what to do next. It is so easy to just give up, but I want this! My life is pretty jam-packed right now and I need the time and motivation to grab it by the balls and run with it. So this will be one of my goals.. if you fancy taking a look, you can find it over at http://www.ahappierlifeforyou.co.uk.
  • Girly alert! I decided to get eyelash extensions, which I think is the most girly thing I have ever done. I’m one of those girls (women) who has a standard look – a bit of liquid eyeliner, concealer and mascara, and if I’m happy with it, I’m ready to go. My eyelashes though are really fine, and without mascara can look virtually invisible. I can’t apply fake eyelashes for love or money, but wanted to make my life a little bit easier, and also treat myself. Ok, so they aren’t cheap but they do look lovely. For once, I can wake up and be ready to go!!
  • I painted my bedroom!! I find decorating to be a massive chore and have held off on painting my bedroom and the spare room. To be honest, I couldn’t really be bothered, and not many people see them so I didn’t see the point. But I had a tin of white emulsion left over from painting my son’s ceiling, and I just went for it one weekend. Looks miles better. Need some nice accessories now.
  • I had a week off from work. Yay! This was an achievement because work is pretty hellish right now, and any time away from the place is a massive bonus to life in general, and also my mental health. I am becoming a little stressed out with it all. 😔

Told you. Not many achievements. I’m exhausted a lot of the time toiling away at a job I am beginning to hate, and I can’t see a respite in the near future.

But, let’s try to remain positive!

Goals for May

  1. I need to seriously look at my future with regards to my career. I can’t carry on working my backside off in a dead end job, so it is time to get off said backside and do something about it.
  2. I need to start working on my business and taking it seriously. I know it’s going to be hard work getting it off the ground, so I need to look at reducing some of my commitments. The only commitment I want to reduce is my job. So I’m in a bit of a predicament!
  3. Work on my website, IG and Facebook pages. I spend loads of time on my recreational Facebook pages but I need to concentrate on the stuff that I am hoping will make me money! Yeah, it’s fun to write poetry and post pretty pictures, but it ain’t making me a living! Sadly.
  4. Complete my coaching courses. Another thing I have fallen behind on. Once completed, I have been considering doing a course in business, so I know how to run one!
  5. Catch up with my friends. I’m feeling pretty social this month so have been arranging days and nights out with my closest pals. All work and no play makes Jo a dull girl!
  6. Post more on my blog! Goes without saying really, but with all of the above, will I really have the time?! 🤔

So, lots to do! Let’s hope my overview for May is more positive!

Have a fab weekend!