Monday 8 November 2010

11 Decisions I really didn't think through properly

A natural born decision maker I am not. As much as I'd love to be one of those people with a plan, I'm really not. I know I'd like to be planning for my future and should know where I'll be in 5 years time but I'd lay money on it, in 5 years time I'll be here. Just bumbling along and reacting to events rather than planning and following through. It seems like my whole life I have done things on a whim or let others decide for me. Sometimes it's been okay and I've got lucky and other times it's been stupid.

So bright, so rebellious, so couldn't be arsed. It would be the sweetest irony for my teachers, if they could have seen me in my classroom, 20 odd years later dealing with the new updated 21st century version of me. I could not wait to leave and get into the real world and it was a crap decision. I should have stayed on and studied and went to uni, like they told me. Instead I left and worked as a telephonist in a solicitors office. Stupid.

Nursing College
Never ever had a notion of being a nurse but my boyfriend, (at the time), had a lovely sister who was a nurse. It sounded interesting and she encouraged me heavily. So she got me the forms and I went for the interview and they took me. None of my family thought I'd be any good as squeamish is my middle name but I remember thinking I'll get through this and I'll qualify. I was actually a really good nurse, I did it for 15 years and I found I was good at looking after people, it was my first experience of being caring. Definitely got lucky on that decision.

Moving to Edinburgh
I was 21 and the ex mrauntiegwen (who was my boyfriend then) got 10 days notice that the bank he worked for were moving him to Edinburgh. In those days you signed a contract saying you'd work anywhere in the country for them, my mate The Edge ended up in Orkney, which may not have been his first choice of locations when he was in his 20's. Did I stop and think "Do I want to leave Glasgow and my family and friends, my job, my life?" nope, I didn't, just looked for a job in Edinburgh and went 7 weeks after he did. Fortunately I loved Edinburgh, made friends, bought 3 houses (not all at once), had 3 children and lived there for 13 years. Another got lucky.

Getting married
I was 3 weeks shy of being 22, what was I thinking? Actually I wasn't, at all. We'd been together 3 years, I'd moved through to Edinburgh, we bought a flat, we got married. Even if someone had questioned my decision, would I have listened? Nope, probably not. Would I want my daughters to get married at that age? Hell to the no. Was that a stupid or got lucky? Jury's still out.

Having children
I had children because I loved babies. I had no experience of children at all, I knew nothing about bringing up children. I adored being at home with them and squishing them and us all being snuggly together, so I kept on having them. I didn't even think that it might be less enjoyable when they stopped being babies and turned into people with their own opinions and likes and dislikes. Also, I didn't really think through the practicalities of having 3 children in 4 an a half years or the expense of it, especially now with 3 teenagers. But of all the non decisions I've made, easily my best - being their Mummy has been the best bit of my life. A big huge got lucky

Moving to England
The ex mrauntiegwen got offered a job in not the most exciting place in England. He decided it was the right one for him. That decision changed everything. My children had to leave behind their stable world and start again in a place where we had never been and we knew no one. The big selling point was that he wouldn't have to do any business travel, he'd be home at teatime every day. That was something I found very handy as previous to that I was often on my own Mon to Fri with 3 kids all under 7, this had been going on for about 5 years then. There were very few weeks when he wasn't away at least 1 or 2 nights a week. He lasted 18 months there and the job he then took, gave him a 3 hour daily commute and at least 2 nights per week away again, missing all the taking to schools and most teatimes and bath times. Do you think that was a hint? I never wanted to leave Edinburgh and I have no idea why I felt I wasn't an equal partner in that decision. I have no idea why I didn't refuse to leave. That was my most stupid decision of my life. Also financially stupid, if I'd stayed at home all my children would have their tuition fees paid, I have 3 children, we might be talking about 70 grand's worth of tuition. SO VERY FECKIN STUPID in capitals for emphasis.

Another non decision, when BBD started playgroup here in England, I volunteered both there and at school to help the children settle. Playgroup asked me to cover for sick leave, I did, they liked me and so did the kids. They created a job for me, so I knew it was less money than nursing but it was school hours and term time only. I had no childcare to pay for and it seemed like a good idea. I went to college in the evening and did an NVQ3 in childcare, I spend loads of time helping others on the course and the tutor asked me if I'd be interested in doing the adult teacher training as they were very short of teachers. Another non decision, go with the flow type of thing. So I re trained as a teacher of adults, had a 2 year stint in a high school and then into the third sector. Just about to start my new job as the Education and Training Officer for the East Midlands, which is a big area for a big charity. Definitely another got lucky.

Going blonde
Now you know that was stupid

Eating chocolate again
4 years ago I gave up chocolate and started running. I weighed 7 and a half stone and was a size 6. I am now into double figures again STUPID STUPID STUPID

My finances
There is no cohesion nor a hint of planning. I should have ISA's and Tessa's and all other girls names money in the bank. I am forty feckin four and I am still living month to month. I know people who have 50 grand in savings. I'm like Carrie except rather than having 50 pairs of fancy shoes I have grey cardigans. My name is auntiegwen and I am addicted to buying cardigans. How boring can I be? and stupid.

Working from home
My new job is home based. How in the name of all that's holy did I think that I would be able to work from home? Me Queen of procrastination? addicted to her jammies and her bed? at home when I'm not out training? will I actually get on and do stuff when I have eleventy million things at home to distract me? And I can only imagine how professional I'll sound to people on the phone when they are trying to speak against the 10 decibel noise of the Beautiful Children fighting about every single feckin thing. Today I am meant to be turning my dining room into an office, again my procrastination beautifully illustrated by my messing around on the internets. Again, stupid.

So due to my passivity I have meandered through making lots of stupid decisions/non decisions. I have no excuse now, I am old enough to know better. Here's hoping the 2nd half of my life is more thought through.


libby said...

But AG you're professional and clever and beautiful and fabulous and I am very glad to have you as a friend....Scotlands loss was my gain. Selfish of me I know but hey.....
PS who is the friend with the 50 grand savings? can they adopt me??
pps fancy a drink sometime soon?

auntiegwen said...

Libs - you are always so lovely to me x I have quite a few friends with money, I'm the poorest of all :( yep, drinks sound great, your city or mine? I'll look at when TBC are at their dads xx

Autumn Mist said...

A very interesting life story, actually, and who's to say you would have done it any differently if you could live it all again? I have moments of huge dissatisfaction with my life, but I know it's brought me to where I am now, and I love it. BTW your profile says you're 41. Interesting...

auntiegwen said...

AM - my can't be arsed gene again, I know I should change it every year and I must have done the first year as I was 40 when I started but like most things in my life, didn't keep it up !!!!

Looking for Blue Sky said...

I wish you'd write your life-story, I love reading stuff like that :) Anyway who really does think through every decision? My ex used that excuse to avoid doing anything sometimes cos he could always think of a million disasters that could happen xx

Sueann said...

Wow and wow! I guess you could say I am a non planner as well. And we are still living month to month as we are heading into retirement age! Yikes! So who can afford to we will just keep working until that final bell tolls! Argh!!!!
Most of our friends are now retired...Ha! Oh well! They were planners!
Enjoyed your history very much!
Hugging you

Nota Bene said...

I've totted up the 'got luckies' and the 'stupids' and it doesn't quite add up...after all I've met you and know the truth!

auntiegwen said...

LFBS - that's the brill thing about blogging, it lets you navel gaze and lovely people come along and make you feel better about your crap decisions, I've loved reading your life stories about the babies too xxx

SueAnn - let's just console ourself with the fun we had spending the money :) xx :) xx

NB - oh you know about lots of crap decisions that never even get near the blog, people would be sitting shaking their heads and going "I never knew she could be that stupid" if I fessed up some of them!

indigo16 said...

Grey caride's sound a good investment to me!
The whole paying for education thing really pee's me off too and likewise I have very little investment to show for many years at the chalk face other than 3 well fed, well educated and better shod children than I!

auntiegwen said...

Alison - we do love our grey cardies, don't we? I am just horrified at how much debt my children will be racking up and I suspect like many others I'll just be slightly above the cut off point for assistance:( meh

Ayak said...

I can't believe how many of your decisions in life are so similar to mine. Not taking advantage of my education when I was at school will always be my biggest regret. Leaving early and taking one dead-end job after another, then having to train as a social worker whilst working and looking after my small children.

On the whole I'm pretty useless at making decisions...I always procrastinate until the last possible moment...then make the wrong choice...ah well!

AGuidingLife said...

I think too much thought goes into the whole thought through process - sliding doors - it don't make a stitch of difference - it's going to happen anyway. You can't reassess decisions taken way back based on information you have now. You can only try to remember why you did what you did at the time and seven and a half stone is too thin. On balance it sounds like your glass still has something in it (whether half full or empty) so drink up :0)

Anonymous said...

I think you are pretty normal actually. I didn't plan any of my life really either; it just happened to me too. Some good, some very good, some bad and some very bad. On balance though more good than bad. I am trying to plan now, as the sand starts running out and I wonder how I am going to cope as a pensioner (though if they keep moving the goal posts I could be working a lot longer than I want to) but evil things,like camshafts (I think that's what the AA man said) keep ruining everything.

Gigi said...

Ah Gwen - this must be why we get along so well - I must confess usually I just go along with the flow - making a plan? Too much trouble.

Sandi said...

Ahh life, I have sort of drifted through life, just going along, married at 18 years and 9 months old....shite what was I thinking....I wanted to get away from my mum!!!! However that marriage produced three beautiful kids, divorced after 20 years. We are still good friends. Married again....even worse 'what was I thinking' he had a very nasty side, divorced now living on my own much happier and doing something with my life. I find myself facing my 56th birthday soon and wonder how did I get here so quickly, I plan on making the rest of my life amazing.
Oh how did you go at Zumba, hope you had fun, I am a bit sore from pilates today.
Hugs Sandi xx
Love your posts.

Curry Queen said...

Reading your life story reminded me very much of my own and probably lots of other people's. I think it's a rare creature who forms a plan and makes it work!

PurestGreen said...

Just found your blog. Love it. This list is great and makes me think of my own decisions that had no thought behind them. Most have to do with men. Oh and getting a degree in English - how useless was that.

I agree with Libby - can this friend of yours adopt me, too?

Laura said...

Hmmm! I don't think it's you to blame for the chocolate eating, it's that damn company that make fruit n nut toblerone. Evil, Evil company!!!

Muddling Along said...

Its more prevalent than you think - if I look at it an awful lot of my life (particularly work) has been made on decisions based on very little thought and not a great deal of planning ... ok so in some ways I've been lucky but a bit of involvement might have been a good idea

Now going blonde, that's one I'm very tempted to do

Helena said...

Hey Gwen - I can relate to a lot of what you've said. I refused (in my first marriage) to up and leave to live in Manchester (he was a managing director with Scottish and Newcastle breweries). I was 23, not as confident as he was. The thought of leaving my family terrified me. That really was the beginning of the end.

I'll always be indecisive. I'll never be super confident.

Anonymous said...

Planning can be over-rated - 'life is what happens to you while you are making plans' they say, and I have found it to be true, both good and bad.

You seem happy and so do your kids and thats what counts x

auntiegwen said...

Ayak - nice to know I'm not alone, I wonder if I'll end up in Turkey married to a mr auntiegwen?

S - oh 7 and a half stone seems like a very distant memory, you probably can't tell but I am tiny, around 5 foot 2 ish, properly tiny so it was an acceptable weight for my height

Alienne - camshafts you say? have not a baldy what they are but they sound evil!!!

Gigi - aawh you have a can't be arsed gene to match mine :)

Sandi - 18 and 9 months !!!!! That is the exact age of EBD nowI would be terrified if she and Hot Boy wanted to get married

CQ - I know an awful lot of planners so it's really nice to find some other non planners

Purestgreen - oh I'd love an English degree and I will ask my friend if they'd like to adopt a blogger!

Lolly - yep you'd have thought some smart arse scientist would have invented chocolate that reduces calories as you eat it but oh no far too busy trying to find cures for diseases

Mam - I'm sure it would suit you, I just looked hideous

Lena - you left someone who could get you free beer? feck sake don't tell the Edge

Anon - hello, I rarely get anons especially if they aren't Russian, thank you, we are happy and I will keep saying that so someone rich and kind that can cook will adopt us all !