Skinned Cat

This has been a pretty interesting week. My boss suggested that I might like to go for a full-time job in-store. I was at first uncomfortable with the thought because the company she suggested is young, funky and very sales oriented. I didn't think I fit into any of those categories. And then I went and proved myself wrong on the last one. I worked in a different department on Sunday and blew their target completely out of the water. And then on Tuesday, I had the sale from Heaven. Guy walks in, hands me a list and says he wants 2 of everything. His total bill was nigh on a thousand pounds! It took me half an hour to stop shaking! It was a bit of a shame it wasn't one of mine, but hey ho, it looks great for our targets this week.

So I've handed my CV in and I wait to see if I get a telephone interview and then an 'audition'. I'm not sure how I feel about the new job, but I'll give it a go. There's also another part-time job going with another cosmetic house possibly slightly better money but also with 2% commission which if they're on special promotion could go up considerably.

Last night Boy and I went to his school for a presentation on his choices for GCSE. As he wants to be a vet, his choices are pretty much made for him, but it's always useful to see what's available. I had a good chat with the heads of subjects and they seem quite a nice bunch. They were realistic in their advice and quite supportive. It is harder to become a vet than it is to be accepted into med school all of which which we knew. Not only will he have to get A*, Boy will also have to prove that he is a well-rounded individual as well.

Nothing less than excellent will do. No pressure.

With the world sliding inexorably into recession, it looks unlikely that the house in Trinidad will be sold anytime soon. Ultimately, it means I will be unable to go back to my MA in September. As I trooped about town today I've been thinking about the implications. It's so tempting to give in to self-pity and depression, I can feel it tugging at the edge of my consciousness. I've never been so content or fullfilled when I'm indulging my creativity. Writing and art have become part of my identity and when I'm not creative it makes me crazy, I feel unbalanced and itchy. I don't have any doubt as to the partial cause of my blues this winter, it's not just the relentless retail at Christmas.

But let's be realistic. Without a considerable cash injection, completing the MA is not going to happen. I simply cannot afford to pay my fees and keep my household, even on a part-time basis. And actually, I don't know where I'm going at the end of it. I still don't have a goal past the MA.

Boy does have a goal. He knows what he wants to do. The next four years are so important for him. He's going to have to be focussed, he can't afford to wobble or have doubts. He simply won't have time for teenage rebellion and angst.

Therefore, I need to find a full-time job with prospects of advancement. I don't know when the house in Trinidad will be sold and if there's a crash, revolution or an act of God and it doesn't happen, I need to have a workable Plan B. Plan B will involve selling the flat, transferring the equity to pay for Boy's fees and living costs. He won't be able to do part-time work, the demands of the vet degree are too intense.

The kind of pressure that Boy will be put under are incredible and I worry for him. But if he wants this, then he has to know what he's getting himself into. My natural impulses are to start pushing him to focus more on his school work, but I'm not sure that will be in his best interests. At the end of the day I want him to be happy. And if he doesn't get into vet school, first, second or third time, or he gets in and finds he hates it, then it's not the end of the world. His health and sanity are so much more important.

I also wonder what it means for me. Giving up the MA and my dreams of creativity and a creative life are heartbreaking. Will there be recompense for my dreams? Probably not. But that's not the point, is it? One of the things I can say with confidence is my heart mends. It's been broken so many times, I am confident in my ability to survive losing the MA. I've also been considering the worst-case scenarios: what if Boy turns into a druggie and crashes and burns? Well, I'll have done my bit and he'll just have to learn to pick himself up, if he can. What happens if he gets through vet school and he moves county/country? That's a painful thought. A colleague said to me yesterday 'a daughter is for life, you lose your son when he takes a wife'. I'll have to learn that it's not about me and what I want, it's about him and what he wants. I'm less confident in learning that than I am in getting over the MA. But I suspect that's true for most parents. I could worry myself into doing nothing, and that's not an option.

My way forward is this: I find a full-time job with prospects, I re-establish a work-life balance, I have a good time with my Boy.

There. That's not so hard, is it?


  1. Make friends with your daughter in law and ask me to help BOY with his chemistry - He'll need to do well.

  2. kaz ~ that sounds like an excellent plan. Especially since the only thing I know about chemistry and chemists is that you guys do it periodically.

  3. Regarding Boy, you are admirably supportive, and your wry comments at the end indicate you've looked, (albeit fleetingly), at worst case scenarios, but picture please the simple change of mind scenario ... Having brought up five, only one is doing, has ever done, or is about to be doing what they suggested at fourteen (one - nursing for eighteen years, but now no longer...every other ambition/wish has been altered - note I say altered not unfulfilled)...

    I'm not saying you shouldn't take his ambitions seriously - nor do I suggest you do anything other than the utmost to help advance his dreams (the things I've done...and boy do I respect your determination) BUT please do be aware it COULD all change fairly quickly (for good reasons too)...

    With one of ours, we made the mistake of continuing to press on with a defunct course, (because alas it comfortably fitted in with our own aspirations for the child), and it didn't help...

    I guess what I'm saying is, by all means build your life (for a few years at least) around launching him, but (a) don't fix the direction yet! (b) don't unduly push him in one direction and (c) don't completely sacrifice all your own ambitions just have too much to offer the world...

    I hate to offer advice lest, (one of my greatest fears), I sound patronising but... be flexible (?)

    Respect always


  4. cogidubnus ~ thanks for that and no, I didn't think you sounded patronising. Ultimately, it's not up to me, it's what Boy wants. Mind you even if he does change his mind (without burnout or crash & burn) he'll get a good education which is a good start for whatever he choses to go for.

    We'll just have to see.

  5. Hi Roses, hope you land the job you want, maybe one that lets you use your creativity, good luck.

  6. I know something good will happen, ive been working on something this end (hense the no blogs) but im praying this works as id love to be able to offer you a job Roses using your creativity.


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