I literally cannot believe that September is here already. I’m sure that Summer has really only just begun, but, thinking about it, Summer has been (mostly) full of long & wonderful days.
September still, as it always has, marks a new start for me, a time for change. Thanks to my brief career in teaching, I am functional only through an academic calendar. I still feel the ‘fear’ that I know all teachers around the country are feeling this week. I STILL get the nightmares about forgetting to have planned a lesson, forgotten resources, waiting to teach the class that you really can’t stand… I don’t think I’ll ever be able to use a ‘real’ calendar. And, anyway, what’s wrong with that? I love the feel of a new beginning along with the browning of the leaves, the chill in the air and the all important run up to Christmas.
This September, in particular, feels most important to me. It suddenly struck me, this morning, that my little girl will be heading off to big girl school next September. That’s only one year left. Big deal, I hear you say, well, it is a big deal to me. Don’t get me wrong, she has great fun at nursery and will be starting her new preschool class there this week. She’s very excited (& actually, I’m excited too, to get some time back to work). But there it is… work…
I’m tired of work, of being self-employed, of having an entire business on my shoulders. Tired of dealing with emails, deadlines, schedules, accounts, marketing, making, complaints, mistakes, listings, photographs. Tired of sitting up late in to the night trying to get orders finished or sitting with my bastard of a kiln, who, really is actually quite good, but in desperate need of a service and new elements, so again, my fault really, because that’s another thing that I’m in charge of. I’m tired of balancing all of that with looking after a small person, who, over the summer has had very limited time away from me. So we’re walking, playing, making stuff, cooking, building, searching, hunting, painting. I’m tired of also having to balance all the other, normal day to day stuff too, the laundry (how the hell do we ALWAYS have a whole laundry box, with just 3 of us?), the cooking, the cleaning, the shopping, the gardening, the tidying, the fixing that needs doing, the bill sorting, the endless list of paperwork that is always in need of sorting. Did I mention that I also have another job too? This one doesn’t even pay as it’s a voluntary position, burning the candle from all ends, maybe?! Yet, by not having a ‘real’ 9-5job, I’m apparently not doing anything… *insert anger face*
One thing I’m not at all tired of though, is my new life. My new ability to be able to eat well, keep fit and ENJOY it. Really, since January (when I first started to change my life), everything has got better. I feel as though I’ve found something that I am meant to enjoy. After recently joining a local gym, I’m even more excited about keeping fit. Firstly, I am amazed that I am able to walk in to a gym. These places have scared the bejeezus out of me, always. Now, it is like my church. It is the one place I can go & do whatever I want to do, for however long I want to do it and I don’t have to worry about/think about anything else. I can be totally, 100% selfish about my time there & it is great. I’m learning new techniques, using new equipment & it feels awesome. Don’t get me wrong, I still feel weird walking in there & I totally don’t know what I’m doing most of the time, but I figure I’ll get there, right?!
Anyway, so September is a month of change, a month of possibilities and the mark of the beginning. I know that I have just one year left to make some massive, huge and scary decisions. Decisions like, WHAT do I actually want to DO with my life?! I reckon my free-pass expires when P starts school, so I’ve got 52weeks to figure out what I’ll do with myself come next September. I can’t return to teaching, it was never my job soulmate. In all honestly, I can’t keep plugging at my business, whilst it has brought in a miniscule (more or less none) bit of money over the last few years, it is too taxing, it is too 24/7 and, 5 and a half years of working long hours for nothing takes it’s toll. I suspect that fish is dead in the water, but it’s hard to actually let go, to admit defeat, to call it a failure.
I’ve made a decision to cool it this year with my business. I worked tirelessly last Christmas, pulling 18hour days, 7 days a week, for 2 months up to Christmas. I sure didn’t make a fortune from that, but it did mean that by the time Christmas day rolled around, I was finished. Christmas last year made me realise that I was missing all of the good bits, missing watching my little girl get excited about Christmas. I missed ME getting excited about Christmas. For the first time in EVER, we took our decorations down before the end of the year – I was so sick of it all!
I’ve become too used to working from home, so a ‘real job’ scares me. I’ve got too used to working for myself, so the thought of having to answer to someone makes me, well, a bit cross. I’ve got too used to being my own boss, how do I adjust to not randomly making jam inbetween orders? But, you know, the bills don’t pay themselves, right? So I have to do something. I’m not sure that I’ve got the strength or the energy to set up or run another business, or even a franchise of a business, in order to continue working from home. Boy, this is tricky… I’ve also got more crazy decisions to make regarding schooling for P – that’s a whole other blog post right there.
So, I’ve made a decision. I’ve decided that this year, 2014-15 is for me. I am going to take some time to find out what I want to do, I’m going to look in to new jobs and training courses, I’m going to take lots of time to figure out what (if anything) I’m good at and what I enjoy. I’m going to take this time to spend more rewarding time with my girl. Rather than juggling orders and emails whilst telling her to sit down and watch Frozen for the 100th time, we’re going to go out, explore & enjoy her last year before she embarks on a whole lifetime of learning and new experiences. I might even find a rekindled love for my business after a decent break! So, yes, I “won’t be doing anything” as I still won’t have that 9-5 job for a while, but you know what, I’m OK with that & if anyone else isn’t, then it doesn’t matter, because that’s not my problem!