Unload, unload, unload……and breathe

A weekend may have come and gone without me posting an update but it is not the doom and gloom you may assume. I have valid reasons for not updating, for once.

I can’t recall what really happened between my last post (Saturday 29th October) and the following Thursday (3rd November) other than Penny taking the kids to a Halloween party and trick or treating – I remember that because I thought if I get home early enough from work I could have a few hours completely alone to enjoy. I was at work until almost 8pm and they were all home before me.

On Friday Penny’s mum arrived. Coming to help out with the kids and around the house as Penny would be off her feet following the operation on Sunday and, obviously, we needed somebody to watch the kids while I took Penny to the hospital.

We’re up at 6am Saturday to get to the hospital for 6:45. Roughly two hours later Penny is collected for her operation. An hour passes with me waiting in her designated room and she returns groggy and in pain. Five or six hours later she was deemed well enough to go and I drove us (very slowly) home. I ate nothing until around 4pm and that consisted of a few snacks over the next 4 or 5 hours before we had an Indian takeaway at 9ish (something Penny was craving badly over the last two weeks while undergoing a hell diet for her operation). I didn’t think being awake for sixteen hours and barely eating would be a problem, until the next day.

Sunday was a hugely difficult day. There’s too much to list but the key points are Rosie deciding she didn’t much like sleep, requiring me to go to her room 4 times throughout the night to comfort her before getting up at around 6:30 somehow full of energy ready to start her, and my, day. Spencer was up not long after so I get them fed and sorted, realise Spencer has rugby training sparking a mad rush to find everything and get him there on time. Housework needs doing, kids need feeding, packages need collecting, food shop needs doing and it just so happens we’ve arranged for someone to come round and cut our hedge too so I had to open the gates and take the bins round for him.

Not only was it a manic day but also everything that could go wrong, did. Or at least it felt that way. Culminating in, quite funnily, me hanging my coat up on a rail that I installed maybe a year ago and the whole thing falling down bringing a load of plaster and dust from the wall with it, then turning the bathroom light on and it blowing – leaving us to pee in the dark until I can get it fixed.

The only reprieve I wanted from that day, and in fact that whole weekend, was watching two games of football back to back which started at noon. I did everything I could before this time and had arranged to do the rest after both matches. The first game, Chelsea versus Arsenal, was pretty boring and during the match there were some tensions raised between myself and Penny. The morning had been difficult and she thought I didn’t handle it very well whereas I thought I had done a lot, and done it all pretty well under the circumstances. She rightly pointed out that I hadn’t eaten and barely slept and this contributed to my mood and frustration but at that moment in time all I wanted to do was watch the football. Eating and sleeping were not even entering my mind. The discussion boiled over while I was making the kids lunch and I missed the start of the United match. United are my team and of the two games this is obviously the one I wanted to watch most. By the time I turn the game on United are losing two nil, I immediately turn it back off and only checked the score hours later (we lost 3-1). Sunday just was not my day.

Penny and I made up and agreed that Sunday was always going to be the hardest day. During the week the kids are in school and nursery and next weekend Spencer is at his dad’s and Penny’s recover will be further along. Quite funny reading back on my last post at how great our relationship is when on Sunday we were ready to throttle each other; so you all know I am completely downplaying how bad our argument was on here, it was very bad. But couples argue, it is what it is.

Yesterday (Monday) was much better. Rosie slept fine, they went in to school and nursery great and I got as much done as I could. A lot of it was running around in the car grabbing things we needed then little jobs around the house. This is where Penny’s mum helped out massively with the housework.

Today has been largely the same other than Rosie being a bit of a pain through the night and getting ready this morning. The key progress made in the last two days is that the cupboards are now fully stocked, the car is full of fuel and both the light in the bathroom and the coat hook rail have been fixed. Oh and obviously Penny’s recovery is coming along nicely.

In roughly two hours I’ll be heading out to pick up Rosie and Spencer from nursery and school. Spencer has swimming tonight but I really don’t feel up to taking him. Also he is booked in to have his hair cut at 6pm as he has his school photos tomorrow. Rosie isn’t in nursery tomorrow so I’ve been told I’ll have to take her out somewhere for at least a few hours because Penny and her mum can’t cope with her being pent up in the house. Fair enough but the last few days are really taking a toll on me and my energy levels are depleted to say the least. Still, we soldier on.

You may not believe it with the way this update has gone but I’ve been thinking about these journal posts and how they’re just word vomit of what’s gone on the last few days, or weeks in some cases. I feel like I should be updating with substance and value. I’m not sure what that substance or value would look like but it’s something I need to think about. Also, obviously, writing fiction – this hasn’t happened pretty much at all for the last few weeks and unfortunately I don’t see much of it happening over the next few weeks. I wanted to use this week off work (where available) to put some time toward a plan to work from home but it’s already Tuesday afternoon and other than looking in to a few things on my phone I’ve done nothing. As I said at the start of this update I don’t feel particularly bad or guilty as I have been genuinely busy trying to look after Penny, sorting the kids and doing what needs to be done around the house.

Before I know it I’ll be back in work and while I’m already starting to struggle it’s only going to be harder because Penny still won’t be recovered next week but will have to sort the kids and do what she can around the house while I’m in work. We’re both fully anticipating a few more heated discussions on the evenings of next week when I’m getting home late after a ten or twelve hour day at work and there are a bunch of jobs she isn’t able to do. She, of course, is justified in needing my help but how much a tired, frustrated me is able to help is in question.

Regarding my struggles at work; the negative aspects of my job are particularly vexing as I am comparing them directly to my previous solar installation job where these issues either weren’t there or were minimal. In summary I have more work to do in this job; it may be one install rather than the two I was doing per day in my previous job but the one I’m having to do currently probably takes more effort and time than the two at my old company. Add to that the fact I’m working with a roofer, whereas at my old company I was working with an electrician. At my old place we could split the work between us. At my current company the roofer is unable to do pretty much any part of my job but I am expected to help the roofer do his job. The roofer I work with said it himself on Friday, that he feels bad because if there is no work for him to do he gets to sit in the van and chill while I do the electrical work but if there is work for the roofer to do I need to leave my already busy job to help him.

As if Mother Fate herself were watching my struggles and found herself obliged to intervene, I received a phone call from my boss at my old job and he has offered me more money and benefits than I received previously if I were to come back. This has left me with a difficult decision to make. I left for a reason, a number of reasons. But if I were to wake up in the morning and have to decide whether to do one install for this company or two installs for my old company I would pick the latter, especially with the current conditions I’ve been offered – the most important of which being the fact I’ll have an electrician with me again. But also I won’t have to assist the roofers or install any batteries (which are 90kg and you can imagine how difficult they are to get in the loft).

What is making my decision difficult is the fact the company I’m at right now is a very big company and offers more security. My old job has five or six employees and wouldn’t take much of a bad period for the company to close. Also there is the hope that the company I’m currently at will listen to myself and other installers who are calling for changes to be made. A new operations manager has been brought in, tasked with turning this branch of the company around. Do I dare to compare staying with this company in the hopes things get better to having an abusive partner and hoping they change? Obviously I do, but it leaves a sour taste on my tongue.

Truth is I have no idea what to do and right now I’m feeling the strain at work, at home, and in my pursuit of working for myself from home. I’m totally not wondering where I could go to hide for a week or two with my phone off right now.

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