What were you doing a year ago today?
Can't remember? Probably a good thing. I've just trawled back and checked and there doesn't appear to have been anything particularly exciting happen on 29th May last year. Or probably May 30th as it was last year. In Nigeria they banned same-sex marriage on the 30th and on the 29th Shania Twain got divorced. Doubtful either of the above affected you unless you were Shania Twain's husband, you'd decided you were homosexual and you wanted to get married in Nigeria.
Me? I can remember it clearly. I was at my father-in-laws.
Now I don't remember that because it was a particularly momentous occasion. I've been to his house before and I will go to his house again of that I'm sure. The reason I remember it was because I was waiting on a particularly important phone call and I was somewhat nervous.
It was the day I was made redundant.
To many people that would be a day of dread and hate, but to me it was a fantastic day. It was a day I'd asked for at the beginning of the year and they had been unable to grant and then the Corporation hadn't made a squillion bucks in profit in the first quarter and so true to form they asked for people to put in for redundancy. As is often the case, the people that were any good (and I don't mean to be big headed, but I had several yearly appraisals to prove it) put in to leave, and those that weren't very good (not just those, a lot of good people chose to stay!) kept their heads down and hoped those of us that were good would make a large enough number that the powers-that-be wouldn't need to call on those with (on paper) a lesser track record and make compulsory redundancies.
I left on July 5th, and life has changed immeasurably since then. I promise I won't write a "One year on from July 5th blog" in little over a month.
Back then I was a desperately unhappy project manager type with "Large Corporation" as they will be known from this post onwards. The people I was working with were great and most of them I'm still in touch with to this day, but the job I hated and I was beginning to hate Large Corporation. Those of you that know me know that I am many things, but I am not a hateful person.
So I left.
What a difference a year makes. Want to see where I'm writing this blog from?
Back in the old days, we'd take time off to avoid school holidays (except for Christmas, that one is kind of unavoidable) but this year things have changed. I've just done a 4 week term, I've got a week off and then a 6 week term beckons before those long school holidays that I thought I'd left behind in my youth.
I've gone from a reasonably well paid but grumpy project manager to a not as well paid but ridiculously happy Learning Support Assistant in a primary school.
And I couldn't be happier.
I won't pretend there aren't days when I think "what the shitting Christ have I done here?" and go home to a beer and a moan, but those days are few and far between. Up until July 5th of last year there were far more days when I'd go home (well downstairs, I worked from home) for a beer and thought "what the shitting Christ am I STILL doing here". I'd probably have more beers and more of a moan but still I'd go in and do my best, day after day.
I had a conversation with the effervescent Mrs Spong earlier this week. It was a short conversation and although it wasn't prompted by an offer to go and become a project manager for another Large Corporation this time, it was one I periodically raise. Here is the general gist of it:
"You know, our bank balance would look a lot healthier if I went and got a project management job working for a Large Corporation. Do you think I should?
"Are you taking the piss? You're happy and I'd rather you be happy than we be much better off."
And that was the sum total of said conversation. I never say it because I really want out, but because I see Mrs Spong earning considerably more than me and think I should contribute more to the family pot. But we've sorted our finances out and can cope with the relative downturn in our finances.
I'm going to keep it short. But what I will say to you is this. When I write my blog posts, there is usually a moral to the story. When I started writing this one, I don't think I truly had one. But 3 pints of ale will see to that. The moral of this story is very simple.
Don't look at the paycheck. Look at what makes you happy.
Until next time,