It’s been three weeks since I rejoined the work force. For two weeks of this, I was running tandem jobs i.e. electoral returning officer for the Advance voting part of the election and my new role as Health and Safety Administrator. This means I have had three pay days to date since becoming a working girl again. I have another full pay due this Wednesday coming too. How does it feel? Well, simply fantastic – there will be no more dipping into capital to survive!
Moving without a job was the downside of the change process for me. I did have thoughts of working for myself and explored many business ideas, but the fact is working for myself is not what I want. There, I’ve said it!
Yes, this girl likes working for someone else. I like the structure of it. I like the regular pay packet. I also like the social aspect. I didn’t want to return to working full time however – it would compromise the lifestyle I was aiming for too much. I, therefore, am happy to be working three to four days per week 9-5, with the occasional early start and later finish (note the change from my last post where my day was going to be 7.30-5… there’s been a rethink on the part of the boss… phew!)
So what is the man up to. He is working for himself and is happiest that way. A creative soul, he is just about to launch some lovely outdoor furniture with a retro twist to it.
Successful change means recognizing what you want, but it also means recognizing who you are and then shaping the change to fit those parameters. For me, it is not working for myself; for the man, it is.
Which brings me to another story. My Dad changed his life entirely. Born in 1929 in Coventry, he was the third son of Lilian, nee Timbs, and John Downing.
Unlike his two older brothers, he was too young to serve in World War Two. He did, however, join up in 1947 and head to Germany where he served in the occupational forces. After leaving the army, he became a merchant seaman.
At some point, he decided that he would make New Zealand his home. He subsequently failed to get back on his ship when it was due to leave Auckland.
He lived the rest of his days in New Zealand, visiting England only twice.
When my last remaining English uncle died, my cousin told me they had photos that Dad had sent his family of life in New Zealand and they would return them to me.
The photos duly arrived and I looked through them.
Dad had missed his vocation – he should have worked for the NZ Tourism Board. The photos portrayed his adopted country in the best possible light. They also portrayed the family in the best possible light. The classic one being of my mother in shorts and running shoes. On the back, Dad had written: Dorothy going for a run. My sister and I can tell you categorically that my mother NEVER EVER went for a run!
I never really understood why my father left his loving family to move to the other side of the world until I spent time in England.
My dad was a Depression baby of working class parents. As an 11 year old child he was in Coventry when the Germans bombed the hell of it. It destroyed his city. It also killed his grandfather and, possibly, grandmother too*. Hardly surprising, Smith Street where they lived had an ordnance factory in it.
Yes, I am picking that his childhood would have been hard. It also would have shaped him. Going on the ships around the world would have opened his eyes to the possibilities of a better life for him, so he jumped ship.
So was leaving his family at the other side of world the right thing for him? As he got older, he missed his English family more and more. He also loved England: its countryside and its history. So yes, he definitely had some regrets. I do think, however, that the life he lived here was unobtainable for him there and he knew that.
Change. It’s never perfect – there is always a price to pay.