With an impending redundancy ahead comes a number of changes for our family and additional uncertainty in regards to my professional future. However, to add to the perfect storm tri-factor, there are also a few other things ticking in the background making this period rather stressful and high in emotions.
With my health condition not really improving over the last few years, we’ve spent a lot of time wondering about where to next. Even though I was still on reduced hours, I wasn’t ready to let go of my working life. We knew that work was often tripping me up, but I was still finding this aspect of my life rewarding and therefore not at all ready to move on. In order to sustain that decision, I’d often spend my weekends recovering or sleeping away in order to be "good enough" to be back at work comes Monday. Pretty sad life I know...far from the work hard, play hard lifestyle right! Deep down, I was wondering whether I was self-jeopardizing my recovery and I was also wondering how much longer I could steer my ship this way. I started thinking about retraining, self-employment options, pursuing writing and probably a handful of other options to explore. One of those options was finding something I could do from home. Something that would keep my brain ticking, that would offer a level of flexibility with the kids and working from home also had the huge advantage of not having to drive to and from work. If you ask anyone recovering from a brain injury they’ll tell you that driving is one of the most cognitively demanding task, even years after the initial insult. Driving simply drains your brain energy really quickly. Anyhow, on our list of options was finding a property that would allow for short term rental or bed and breakfast accommodation.
We have been looking for such a property for over a year now. Call it lucky or unlucky, turns out that we came across a property that ticked our boxes right about the same time that the redundancy chat occurred at work. I say lucky because finally we found a suitable property at a time where job loss was to occur. Lucky because it forces me to make a decision that takes into account my health and lucky because it can potentially offer a revenue stream that can offset the financial impact of losing a family income. Unlucky because finding the property occurred at a time where so much change is already happening. Unlucky because extra energy has to be invested in getting our current house ready to go on the market, boxing things up, keeping the house tidy at all time, prepping to move into a new place and so on. This adds a lot of stress on top of a busy handover time at work. Fair to say that anxiety has been flying oh so high.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very exciting time for our family, but it comes with a fair share of busy ness. It also means letting go of a certain familiarity (our family home, our neighborhood, our proximity to the beach, etc.) in order to move on with this new project of ours. Although it is the right decision for us, it feels like a BIG life changing decision so my Weird Wonderful Brain has been moving through the pros and cons of this decision on repeat for the past 3-4 weeks. Combined with the added physical demand, the added mental demand at work, it has been deeply exhausting.
Some days I've found that I’ve been holding up pretty well considering everything that is going on to the point where I’ve actually pinched myself once or twice thinking that I must be dreaming. Other days I am reminded that I’m taking on way too much and setting myself up for a major health set back. What do you do though...you can’t pass a good opportunity when it finally is presented to you. In lots of ways, this is what we’ve been working towards to for over a year now so we can’t just watch it go by. So all I can do is to try to steer my ship in a way that is manageable, to keep an eye on the forecast and on the sea conditions to avoid any potential big storms that may be looming ahead. There is still so much to do, but it’s been great to see our family jumping aboard, helping out with bits and pieces and supporting one another through this very hectic time.
As it is the case for past memories that you look onto wondering how the heck you survived a certain period of your life, I’m hoping that one day we will also look at this period of our lives and think...gosh, it was a full on time but we got through it TOGETHER.
There is yet another aspect to this perfect storm that hasn’t been addressed. There is no doubt in my mind that it is the most crucial one and one that weigh very heavily on my mind. It is a very sensitive topic as it is not really mine to share, but one that impacts our whole family. I’m still in two minds about addressing it hence why I've kept it for a potential Part 3. Should I chose to write about it, I will definitely involve the third party involved. Perhaps through writing this part of the perfect storm together we could both learn a great deal about each other and find ways to navigate the rough seas going forward? Food for thought anyway...
Until next time, I’ll keep focusing on managing those fatigue levels in order to steer clear of that perfect storm looming ahead! Breathe in 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Breathe out 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Repeat!!!