Yet another sabbatical

After six full weeks in my new job I’m having only my second weekday off (the first was a planned day off to compensate for working through a weekend, I’ve also worked on all but one Sunday) and the first where I’ve got nothing to do. The planned day off coincided with Spencer being off school while his mum was in work so we spent a boy’s day together. Today was not planned and I was actually on the way to work before traffic and a wrong turn acted as the straw that broke the camel’s back.

This morning I saw the news that a Man United game I’m going to has been moved forward which is fine except for the fact I’m at a wedding in London and staying over the night before. Getting home from London to get the train to Manchester with my cousin was already going to be a tight affair but now even more so. On top of that I had also been sent my payslip overnight and, as with every single payslip I’ve had on this job, there has been a mistake meaning I’m not getting paid correctly. Last week there were nine hours missing from my overall pay so they have been carried over into this week’s payslip but they have missed 10 hours I worked on Sunday (at a higher rate) from my payslip despite repeatedly confirming my hours with me just days earlier.

While I wrestled with my decision not to go into work today all the way home I feel I made the correct decision. I have worked between 10 and 12 hours on 31 of the last 37 days, the agency I’m working for has stressed me out, I’ve got other stuff going on that I just haven’t been able to sort and it seems every day I have had off I’ve either had stuff to do or I’ve wanted to spend it doing something fun for the kids or my partner. Today has been a proper day off with not much done.

As mentioned I was actually on the way to work so I have been awake and up since five. I got ready, cleaned myself up, had breakfast, packed my lunch and left for six. I got home around half seven and since then have done the school run, dropped Penny off at the gym, went for a walk and listened to music, met Penny and walked home, and once we were both cleaned up and changed headed out for lunch before picking Rosie up from nursery (half day).

It’s two o’clock right now and in an hour or so we’ll go to pick Spencer up from school and be able to have a nice family afternoon together. Usually even if I finish work early by the time I get home the kids have eaten and Rosie is, or has already been, in the bath. Within an hour of being home Rosie is going up to bed and shortly after that Spencer is heading up to. The evening is then spent with Penny and I’m usually tired and probably not the greatest company despite being genuinely happy at home.

Also I have the whole weekend off for the first time since my first weekend in this job (which was spent with Penny and the kids because they had been in Tenby all week). I’ll be watching Ronaldo’s return for Man United on Saturday, taking Penny and the kids round my dad’s for dinner on Sunday and either swimming with the whole family or indoor roller skating with Spence at some point depending on times but swimming is looking the more likely. I can’t wait.

In other news Penny worked her last day at her job on Monday and went out for a meal with her, now former, colleagues afterward. She was there for just over five years and was part of massive growth compared to the company she joined back in 2016. As I’ve mentioned to her I couldn’t be more proud of the work she has done but also leaving when she had to. Things weren’t the same after her maternity leave (which of course was massively disrupted due to COVID) and she has struggled in both professional and personal matters. Her leaving and having a bit of time was the best option for everyone and while it’s early days it has been a great start.

With how well my current job has gone so far (incorrect pay aside) our plans have changed a little. Originally I was going to do a testing course and find jobs testing for a couple of years but upon speaking to the qualified electricians on site and doing the exact same work as them I have decided to finish my qualifications which shouldn’t take too long hopefully. Upon completion I will be paid roughly £5 more per hour (for, as I said, doing the same work as I am doing/would be doing anyway) and with a normal week being 50 hours plus that is upwards of £250 a week, that isn’t factoring in any weekends or bank holidays worked either.

Long term the plan is to work similar jobs to the one I am currently on for a year or two before looking to set up our own agency or look to move in to our own home. Whichever one we do we will aim to do the other a year or so down the line. We have talked about moving either to a nicer area in the Midlands or possibly somewhere further afield: Southampton (near Penny’s dad and sister), Tenby (where Penny grew up and where her mum and gran still live) or Chester (where I went to University and a place Penny and I love) are the three main options.

With Penny now out of work the plan is to push the sweet shop a little more and see how that grows too. If that does well then our plans for the future could change again. The idea of having an actual shop and maybe supplying sweets to events as well as fulfilling orders is very exciting and has a number of paths that could lead us down.

As for the entitled sabbatical from writing it was definitely not planned and I have felt that familiar sense of mental congestion I struggle from when I go through a period of time without getting anything down on paper. I’ll be making more of an effort now even if it’s just to jot down ideas on my notes app on my phone. Hopefully these small habits will grow and it won’t be quite so long until I’m back posting here again.

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