A friend recently asked me about my plans for 2018, I told her that I had nothing in mind this year and would just keep doing what I am doing. She then suggested that this could be the year that I find my dream job. I thought about that as i felt a bit disheartened that just doing what I was doing was not enough, and then the realisation dawned that I have already found my dream job.
I was not an A* student at school; my reports always said that I could do better, despite often achieving A* for effort – well they had to say something positive didn’t they? I followed in the footsteps of a super clever older sister; a true achiever who worked extremely hard. I found life distracted me from school and was more of a dreamer than a doer. I had lots of ideas for careers, most of which were influenced by films I had watched, not in the least bit realistic ambitions. Ideas included Britain’s next top model, (loved my food too much), a lawyer, (I could barely speak in class, never mind stand up in a courtroom), join the mounted police, (though I love riding, I do rather struggle to stay mounted!) So off I went with my disappointing A level results to join the working population. At a time when university was briefly available for all; fees were paid, grants were issued that didn’t need to be repaid; it was an expectation of all A level students to go onto university. But I really wasn’t motivated, or clever enough to do it, so I started out life feeling that I had failed. It is not a good footing to start career progression on, so here is a note for my younger self, ‘never feel a failure, just see a challenge and rise to it.’
I could go on for hours about what I have tried to do, and actually done throughout my working life, but I know you want me to cut to the chase about my dream job. It is not without boredom, monotony, stress and frustration, but I still think I’ve found it. It’s massively cheesy and I feel guilty to admit it (why?), but it is the parent thing. ‘Seriously, is that it?’ I hear you ask, but yes it is. I’m a flitterer; I flitter from job to job, I train, then re-train, I search constantly for something that makes me feel this is it. But I am now about to enter into year 9 of parenting and I am still here making it work, loving it. This is a career record for me. Yes, I feel like a failure on a daily basis, worry that I am doing it all wrong, failing them, creating a future generation with just as many issues as me, but I still end nearly every day looking at 2 beautiful, mostly happy little people. Now I am not disillusioned enough to think this feeling will last forever, believe me when I say I am dreading the teen years and terrified of what the future holds for them, but I will do everything I can to make them positive, resilient and ambitious young people.
I would love to say that I am super Mum, but that would be a big fat lie. Yesterday’s dinner was an amazing combination of tomato soup, white bread and reheated yorkshire puddings. I skillfully opened that can of soup, they were home-made yorkshire puddings though, but I do think the girls not so secretly prefer, Aunt Bessie’s. In my defence on that one, I will add that we were evacuated from Morrisons due to a fire alarm, so shopping was cancelled. Currently they are both sitting on the sofa in a mood because of yet another lecture on why we do not hit, or throw things at each other. So I am a million miles away from super woman, with a career and an organised domestic home life, but I’m doing this job the best I can and loving, nearly every minute of it and sometimes, I get it right.
I don’t think I have ever truly had my own dreams, I always felt under pressure to be grateful that as a woman I have the opportunity to ‘have it all’. I have gone through illness, divorce, mental health issues, serious financial problems whilst trying to have it all. I wasn’t even sure I wanted to bring children into this world until someone told me that I couldn’t, then a real void appeared in my life. Luckily I proved that person wrong and here I am with 2 of them. But, I spend most days feeling there is more out there, I feel the need to say what I do, or what am I when someone asks what I do for a job. It was great to be able to put a label on me just to feel that I had something to say when I got asked that question. But does it truly matter what I am, or what I do, as long as I am providing for me and my family and being happy?
So this year my resolution is to keep doing what I am doing, stop searching and start finding. Dont worry though, there will still be endless new ideas for making money, constant new skills and training courses, I will earn money any way I can and strive to be thinner, fitter and healthier, but I doubt the last 3 will happen!
Advice for my children will be to always follow your dreams and keep moving forward, but make sure they are your dreams and not the ones you think you should have. Advice for me when the New Year glow has faded is to stop worrying about what I am, and concentrate on doing what I do the best I can.