Words of Wisdom

Youth is wasted on the young.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Behind the Barricades

Recently, whilst looking back over posts to find a picture I'd lost in the tangle of changing machines and corrupted external drives, I found this post.

It made me sad because I used to be quite funny.

Sure my job was a nightmare and my stress levels through the roof, but I was observing things with a keen eye and I hadn't lost my sense of humour. Now, as I look back over the last few months here at The Sword, I see superficial posts with a hat tip to reality and with dwindling attempts at humour and insight. Of course, it's indicative of where we are in life but it still makes me sad. Hell, I wouldn't want to read me.

So, in an effort to clamber over the roughly proportionate brick walls of malaise and life demands which tower threateningly over  my creativity and humour, I'm going to fill you in, as tactfully as possible, on the recent vagaries of life at The Sword although, to be honest, it isn't tact that's stopped me writing around here; I was never overly blessed with tact. :-)

A number of things have happened recently, some good, some bad, some a little ambiguous (we shall see how they turn out). Himself and I are struggling with health issues, No 2 Son is unemployed again, Small Boy doesn't come by any more and the Baby Angel is in the throes of her final year at school. Even without recent events, we have out hands full.

The good thing that's happened is that Himself's uncle has left us what looks to be a sizeable legacy. The bad thing is that the two of us now have to agree on how to use it! I would like to reduce our mortgage as much as possible, as well as replace that retaining wall which has been causing us grief for some years now.
Himself would like to put a sizeable chunk of it into the business. *Sigh*
Business is the big issue of course. Being self employed in this economic climate is not a comfortable thing. Of course, as the economy bunny hops along, people want websites to promote their business and whilst there is no problem in attracting the clients,  many don't actually have the readies with which to pay, at least not within our '14 day payment' terms. This leaves us with cash flow issues and naturally when there's not enough to go around, it's the Boss who misses out.We seem to have been standing still financially for as long as Himself and I have been together. So whilst Himself sees the inheritance as an opportunity to invest in the business, I see it as throwing wads of bank notes into a black hole.

The ambiguous thing is that Himself's business partner sauntered into the office a month or so ago and announced he was moving to the UK. Has had already sold his house. With a creative partnership stretching back nearly 15 years, Himself was gutted by the bombshell delivery of the news.

I suppose we should have seen it coming. With the employment of a couple of super hot young programmers in the last few years Business Partner, as the technical arm of the partnership, has been feeling more and more inadequate and disempowered. Add to this the fact that his wife wants to live in a cooler climate and his son to attend a european university and it was really only a matter of time. I guess we just wished he had discussed it before it became a fait accompli.

Naturally, this has produced a flurry of restructuring, not the least of which was our recent sojourn to Kangaroo Island for a 'Restructuring Workshop'.

The remaining 'gang' gathered at our favourite island resort to see how roles could be re-organised and tasks re-allocated. It was good to do this away from the somewhat claustrophobic confines of the office and the continual interruption of phone and emails.


The interesting thing about the whole exercise is that it included me. Up until now I have had a fairly remote input into Himself's business activities. I have provided voice-overs, proof read content, tested new sites and occasionally collated print materials but I have not been involved in the day to day running of the office or in the strategic nature of the business. With the departure of BP this looks set to change.

Himself ran a very tight workshop over the one and a half days. I minuted, drew up a framework of aims, goals and objectives and helped to run through the 'who' and 'when' of an Action Plan. Apparently they thought I did a wonderful job because they also want me to come into the office on my one day a week off to chase payments, pay accounts and organise the filing system!

I am not sure how I feel about this.

Also behind the barricade of doom and gloom are our health issues which are at once debilitating, depressing and expensive. Mine of course is the old shoulder problem which has surprisingly lain dormant for three and a half years. On re-reading this post I am shocked by how similar my symptoms are to this time, but how quickly they were cured by an injection last time. According to latest ultra sounds, I now have a full thickness tear of the tendon although, unlike in this picture, mine is probably more towards the front of the supraspinatus. It was sustained in the incident I described here although, it is likely that I had a pre-existing superficial tear (even though I can't remember any specific trauma) which has just ripped right through. Whatever the pathology of the thing, it ain't going to go away by itself and impacts on my ability to do many of the heavier manual tasks about the place that seem to fall to me. Strangely, it is my sleep which is most affected.

Lying still in one position for any length of time seems to cause nerve irritation and I am waking up in the early hours with intense burning pain down the front of my arm. Ack. Talking about it is enough to bring the shadow of those twin brick walls back over my head. My immediate inclination, right now, is to stop writing, get a large glass of wine and do something vaguely organisational like, oh I don't know, re-arranging deckchairs on the Titanic.

Himself is suffering with major dental issues which affect his quality of life and, like all dental issues, threaten to be hugely expensive. He wants to go the cheap route but I don't want to be married to someone with full dentures! :-( Bear this in mind any of you who still struggle with smoking. It is another aspect of the revolting habit which will come to plague you in later life!!

Stepsons are my other heartache. As briefly as possible I will mention some of these issues, as they do impact on me, although I know they are not actually my issues to discuss. No 1 Son is traveling a very dark path at present with addictions, money problems and even physical threats to his safety. He has been out on his own for 5 years now so we only see and hear about these things as the situation deteriorates. Himself is determined that No1 Son's problems will not impact upon the others.
No 2 Son is still living downstairs in his 'Pit' and we have some hope for him, if he could only get a direction in life. He is unemployed again at present and lacks the resilience to hammer on doors and flood businesses with his 'resume'. I feel strongly that if he could just find his passion and be given a break, he would blossom. OK it may turn out that he's more of a Patterson's Curse  than a Forget-Me-Not but hey! there's nothing like a big field of blue in the Spring. He often has good intentions.
Small Boy is breaking all our hearts at present. He has started High School and has simultaneously decided that he has better things to do than spend the weekend with a busy dad and two boring girls (The BA and I). In some ways, it is to be expected that his life will revolve less and less around the family, as indeed has been the case for the BA as she stretches her social wings; but I was just not expecting it so soon. And I strongly feel that his parents could be making more of a stand. And his first secondary school report reflects the state of play.

So that briefly (hah!) is life here behind the Barricades. I am hoping to recover my humour and energy and start writing, I mean really writing, again. I'm just not quite sure how to go about it.


Maggie said...

Busy lady! Sounds like there is plenty of stress to go around at your house! Thinking of you and hoping that you can keep your chin up and hang in there!

Anonymous said...

My dearest Girl.I Cannot read your last mail without wanting to be there and give you agreat big hug and some practical help with all you have to do...but 12000 miles are a long way for practical help so then a few features to remember
1 You are wonderful to know
2 you have an enormous talent for so many things just too numerous to mention but those who know you know them
3You are surrounded by love from all who know you and especially your Maker who will give you all the strength that you need to get through this Black time
4Believe in your self and you will flourish.....heaps of love to you

many things which I could fill a

Arizaphale said...

Thank you Mags and my lovely Ma for the encouragement and support. I know we'll get through everything because we are surrounded by love but, as you say Ma, 12,000miles is SUCH a long way......

Stacy said...

Sorry to hear life is so stressful to you right now! That does not sound like a good thing with your health issues and family struggles. The business thing...oy! I would have a hard time wanting to throw cash down a black hole, too. Paying down the mortgage sounds like a much better idea to me.

I know how being in constant pain can really run you down, too. I hope you can get that resolved soon, and then hopefully things will start looking up for you.

(((Big hugs)))

Elisa said...

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear!!

Hang in there my friend! This, too, shall pass!!!

You have the strength to navigate these stormy waters (like the boating reference? heh heh...so clever..ha!)!!

Hang in there!

Perhaps it is a good thing to get a closer glimpse into the business. Maybe you can help turn the tide (there I go again) on the way business is going! Good luck on the money front...isn't money the root of so many woes? Hopefully there is a compromise in there somewhere!

All the best!

Jill/Twipply Skwood said...

OH Arizaphale, I'm sorry things have been so tough lately, so sorry. :-( I don't know what to say about most of it, except that you can count me in against "the cheap route" for the teeth. I'm generally a cheapskate, but teeth really seem worth spending for the best. I hope you can work through what's going on with small boy. He might be going into high school, but he still needs his dad...I say, even though I was never, ever home during high school. That's been one lucky thing about me living so far outside the city - my kids' friends aren't scrambling all over hoping to come pick them up, so they're home a lot. I hope your shoulder feels better soon & that you & himself come to a good happy agreement on the legacy.

Arizaphale said...

Thank you all my dear bloggy friends for your support and encouragement. It helps!

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