Argh, it’s so hard! Life is good, it’s great actually out here in Australia, but it’s so, so hard at the same time – how is that even possible?
Last week I was good, I was on top of the world! Got offered a job without an interview, purely on my career reputation, in the role and in the industry I’ve been in back home for over 20 years. Finally I could start earning good money, not great, a lot less than the UK but enough to live on over here and I couldn’t wait to get stuck in. All was good, until 1:43pm at my desk on my first day.
I’ve read about this thing call an epiphany, a moment of sudden and great revelation or realisation, and that’s what happened to me Monday, when I was at my desk, or the corner of my bosses desk as I don’t have one, when it dawned on me that maybe I had made the biggest mistake.
I’d had kinda decided that I wanted more security, I wanted a regular pay packet and wanted to be part of a team again, all the things I identified as ‘missing’ from the life of freelance living, things that would help me feel settled in my working life over here… but that was last week. Us ladies are allowed to change our minds, it’s in the gene’s, so 5 hours in on my first day, I’d worked out that having all of that may not be worth the abandonment of the freedom of working from home and spending quality time in the week with my family
The job itself is fine, easy even. I’ve been doing it for so long it comes natural, but then that’s niggling away at me too, doing the same things yesterday that I did in my 20’s, like two decades ago… wait, what?! At my age now after having done it for so long with a huge list of traits I can offer, I need to be challenged, I need to be faced with new experiences, things that will make me use my brain. I need to be more strategic in my work, not just post to Instagram, design pretty pictures for Facebook and take new product photographs to add to the website, all of which are required to help the company grow, but they just don’t excite me or get me fired up, which is rather sad when I’m doing it 8 hours a day.
There’s still so much I want to do! I want to grow this blog, I want to write more regular, I want to talk more about various subjects and interact more with you readers. I want to create online courses, scribble a memoir, write a book, lots of things I purely want to do for me and my creative mind, whether they bring me an income or not, and it’s great to have these dreams, these things to aim for, but at the moment the reality of grasping any of them couldn’t feel further away.
Sacrifice is a strong word, defined as an act of giving up something that is valued for the sake of something else, regarded as more important or worthy, and that’s exactly how I feel. I have a family to look after, I have children, I’m the breadwinner and I know I cannot be selfish and quit this job to do what I want to if it means not providing them with the things they need, the things that make them happy and secure, that make this new life away from family and friends easier, therefore I just have to get on with it, but I didn’t move to Australia, to the other side of the world to work 12-hour shifts, have my Fitbit shout at me all day at the desk, and spend only 90 mins a day with my children.
But what’s the alternative? I can find another job, still needs to be full time as the wage needs to be good enough to pay all the bills, so hours are likely to be similar. I can stick to freelance but then have to search for clients constantly in order to pay said bills and not know when the next pay cheque is coming or how much it will be, or we pack up and go home to Wales, where I’ll still have to find work and start over again.
Not getting to the beach on Monday morning, due to a late-night Sunday reliving my teenage years at a Boyzone concert, which was awesome, made a massive difference to my day and getting home late after a 2hour drive back from the office on day one, in floods of tears, meant I missed sunset too. Waking up and jumping out of bed early, doing my morning meditation and exercise and watching the sunrise has, of late, become part of my daily routine, part of my lifestyle and not doing it Monday just proved how it affects me, how it affects my day and my mood, and maybe my first day of employment wouldn’t have felt so bad had I had my early morning fix.
As parents we always feel like we should be doing more for our kids and now working full time away from home, first time in four years, makes me feel like I’ll end up doing less. I’ll have less time to spend with them before and after school, I can’t walk them to their school bus or pick them up, my daughter will never have plaited hair for school until she’s old enough to do it herself, I won’t eat dinner with them, can’t do anything with them in the school holidays, but more than anything I will miss being close to them. Will they think I’m neglecting them, that work is more important, that I have my priorities all wrong?… do I?
As much as it doesn’t sound like it reading this back, I’m a rather positive person. I’m at eternal optimist, glass is always half full and am always look for the good in something, no matter how small. So today writing this at the end of day 2 and having been up at 5:30am to watch the sun wake up and seeing it set again tonight with my daughter, having fun on the beach before bed, I’ve really tried to be constructive and figure out how I can make this work for me and how I can still do all the other things I want to do as well as be a wife and the best Mother I can be without my kids thinking I’ve abandoned them, and of course, I still want to work towards my personal goals for growth.
More than anything, more than education, money, failures and successes, the one thing that will make a difference to all our lives is attitude. It’s more important than facts, than skill, than appearance and will make or break a company, a home or a person. We may not be able to control how something plays out, how other people will act and apparently, we cannot change or prevent the inevitable, but every day we have a choice of how to react to a situation, how to embrace it and how to make it work for us.
We are in charge of our attitudes and I am convinced that this game called ‘Life’ is exactly how the old saying goes; 10% of life is unavoidable stuff that happens to us and 90% of it is made up of how we react to it.
I’m a big girl and I know I just need to suck it up, do the work I’ve always done, help this company grow, and who knows, other opportunities may open up along the way. I don’t believe in fate, I don’t think our future path is mapped out, I’m steering the ship and I decide where I’m heading. There’s going to be swear words, there’s going to be stress and there’s going to be tears but I will stay positive and keep moving forward, always.
I know I’m not the only one, half the world if not more work full time with a family in tow and make it work, we have all done unselfish, self-sacrificing acts and put others’ needs before our own, that’s humanity right there, but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt, certainly for me when my heart feels like it’s missing out on so much time with my children, time I cannot get back, ever.
But nothing has to be forever, right? Tomorrow is a new day, and yes, I’ll be out of the house 12 hours, stuck in traffic for a few of those no doubt and getting home when it’s dark outside but needs must, and that’s very much how I’m looking at it for now. I know I should be grateful for even being offered this job, some people have nothing in life and I really am thankful for what we’ve achieved already in this country in the 4 months we’ve been here.
Life is good, we live right by the beach, we have the warm, fresh air, and life is lived at a much slower pace than the UK, which works for me, but more than anything the kids are settled now, they’re happy, they’re safe and they know they are loved, and that’s the most important thing for me, whether I’m comfortable or not.
Written by Editor, Rhian Cable
Mum, Wife, Marketing Specialist and Blogger – Living life every minute.