Project Awesome

Making my life more awesome

All about everything I’m doing this weekend…

I found out, on my way home from my holivisit to Scarborough, that I am not being made redundant.  This is a huge relief.  My job being at risk meant that I was at risk of not paying the mortgage and losing my house.  It put my plans to sort out the future of my house and to get divorced on hold.  The uncertainty was very challenging.  And, a year on from having my marriage, my dreams, my family and my future, cruelly pulled from under me, I discovered that the job I thought was secure was not at all.

So, it’s been a challenging few months.  It’s been incredibly difficult at work. It’s taken up a lot of time at home preparing for assessments and thinking about jobs I could apply for.  It’s been stressful.  So I’m very glad to be out the other side.

Now I feel I can move forward.  I can start living the rest of my life.  I can push to get divorced (anyone who tells you it’s too easy to get divorced these days is someone who has never got divorced) and sort out plans to take on the mortgage.  I can start thinking about whether I want to stay in the job I’m in or move to something else, but I can do it at my own pace.  And I can start buying Christmas presents knowing that I will have an income to pay for them!

I’m having a very satisfactory weekend.  Last night I went to see The Levellers play at Manchester Academy – probably my fourth or fifth concert in 16 years – I love the music and I love the sense that there is an alternative to the society we live in now.  They were supported by Citizen Fish, a punk-ska band (we didn’t know how punk and ska could be combined, but once you’ve heard it, it’s obvious) and Bad Cardigan, two boys playing guitar and singing beautifully.

Today I am going to watch the last ever episode of West Wing.  Season seven has been a joy and worth the pain of seasons three to six (actually, I quite liked season six but some of the other seasons have felt like something to get through).  I am going to write a whole post about how much I love West Wing once I’ve finished, but it’s enough to say that I am enjoying seeing good things happen to people I care about.

I’ve also finished a sewing project which I’ve been working on for a while, but I can’t put a picture up because I think it’s going to be a Christmas present.  It’s one of those project which you can allegedly make in a few hours but which takes me months because I’m slow and I leave it too long before actually doing any more sewing.  I need to remind myself that I enjoy making things and get upstairs to my lovely sewing attic.

And I’m spending quite a lot of time today trying to get on top of all the chaos in my house.  I am not tidy by nature and I don’t enjoy doing housework.  And I don’t mind clutter, really.  But the mess and the need to always wash things up in order to use them makes me feel chaotic.  I feel like my life is a disaster and I feel like I’m just the wrong side of coping.  So I’m sorting it today.  I’m doing the washing up and tidying the work surfaces.  Once I can see them I’m going to clean them.  And then I’m going to put away everything which is on the kitchen table.  And then I’m going to go through the boxes of stuff that I took off the work surface a couple of months ago with a view to making the worksurfaces tidy. And then I’m going to go through my food cupboard and throw away everything which is out of date or which I’m never going to eat, and also the potato which has blossomed into some sort of intelligent life form.  I haven’t really looked in this cupboard since before Ex-Husband left (in fact, as throwing away out of date food was one of his obsessions, I have possibly never really looked in this cupboard) so there could be anything in there.

It’s a busy weekend but satisfying.  I hope you’re all having good weekends too – what are you doing?


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Pleasing myself

Scarborough is not all that.  Whitby, on the other hand, is lovely.  Crashing waves, a gorgeous beach, little pokey shops, a swing bridge that opens to let boats through, quaint twisty cobbled streets, an abbey and a church on a cliff, and lots of lovely food – when I’m old I’m going to retire there and own a second-hand bookshop.

I got to Scarborough on Wednesday and I hated it.  I hated everything – people were rude (I went into the theatre to pick up tickets I’d booked and the woman behind the counter ignored me.  She didn’t even look like she was ignoring me on purpose).  It was cold.  The lift didn’t work in my hotel.  The hotel was shabby.  There were no towels.  My lunch was burnt.  Scarborough was not charming at all.  I realised, really quite quickly, that the problem was not Scarborough.  The problem was me.

This wasn’t my first holiday by myself. I went to Edinburgh for a few nights twelve years ago, just before I started going out with Ex-Husband.  A lot has happened in the past decade-and-a-bit.  I’ve been on holiday quite a few times, so it’s not a new experience.  I’ve learnt how to have a good holiday with Ex-Husband.  I’ve had two children and lost every minute of my day to them, to work, to housework.  And suddenly I found myself on holiday in a strange place with no idea what I wanted to do, tired, having nothing to do except please myself and being brutally reminded that I am on my own with no-one else to please.

You’ll be pleased to hear that I did get used to pleasing myself, really quite quickly.  I slept.  I read the Hunger Games trilogy (which I am adding to the list of books I wish I’d written). I pottered around shops at my own pace.  I watched Skyfall.  Actually, I quite liked being on holiday by myself.  There’s a joy to suddenly stopping on a beach to read for forty minutes – I couldn’t really imagine Ex-Husband wanting to wander round the beach in circles looking cold and bored until I was ready to go.  None of that negotiating over which attractions to visit or where to eat.  I’m not saying I didn’t miss the company, but like everything else, there are compensations for being cruelly abandoned by your husband to live life alone…

My holiday was also improved by the serendipitous fact that my best friend works in Scarborough. (I know.  Really, who doesn’t know which town their best friend of 18 years works in?).  So we went to the theatre together to see Inspector Norse, wave Sporclas and eat icecream.  We were hoping to meet for lunch today but unfortunately work claimed her attentions.  I did like the combination of holiday and visit  and am thinking of replicating it around the country, visiting amazing friends and interesting places in a glorious mash-up holi-visit.

Oh, and I took my laptop with me, just in case, and had the inspired idea to watch West Wing on the train.  Possibly the best train journey ever.