So, almost a year on from my last post (I know, I know!) my life has changed so much, that I think it's an interesting example of how quickly and dramatically things can change for all of us.
A year ago, I was living in a large three bedroom detached house in a lovely English village, with my best mate next door and a pub down the road. My wife and I had received planning permission for a large extension to the house and after a very long battle, it was looking as though my Autistic step son was going to get the specialist care at a new school, that he so desperately needed. And I had agreed with my wife, to sell my bar business and concentrate more on our family time and get a "proper job."
Unfortunately, the writing was on the wall and our relationship had already deteriorated to a point where saving it was very unlikely. It had been a very tough year with too many challenges to mention here but a huge void had opened up between my wife and I and eventually, on a family holiday, things came to a head.
That was to be the end of our marriage!
I wont go into details as that is not the point to this article, all I will say is that the decision was made and I left.
So, at the age of 49, here I was, back where I had been before meeting my wife, living in a friends rented back room. My business sold the week I moved out of the marital home, so this gave me some small financial breathing space but I had made a loss on the sale as I needed to move it quickly, having cancelled all the years bookings in the agreement with my wife, to sell the business the year before. Without the bookings, the costs were racking up, so I took one of the first offers I got.
Its painful letting go of a business that you had put your heart and soul into for four years, especially when your literally giving it away.
In all honesty, my marriage had ended many months before I moved out. I think that in our heads, it was over but you just hang in there, somehow thinking that it will all change. My main concern was for my eight year old daughter who visited us during the holidays. She loved my wife, her family and the family dogs and I knew that she was going to be heartbroken at losing everything overnight, so I hung in there longer than I honestly wanted to.
I lost everything moving out and I knew it was going to be a very hard climb back.
I needed a job,so I applied for and got, a job working with the elderly in a care home. It was incredibly challenging work, I had never done anything like it and giving "personal care," (showering people, changing adult nappies, wiping adult backsides) is something that takes some getting used to. However, I found it incredibly rewarding and formed a very strong bond with many or the residents that I cared for. Importantly, it gave me more determination than ever, to forge ahead with my speaking and #LIFEREADY.
The care home fell short of the standards required by the authorities and an investigation was launched. I fell out with the new management after voicing my strong opinions about the lack of care for residents and staff and suddenly, for the first time in my entire life - I was fired!
So, here I was back without a job and still living in a friends small rented room. I can't tell you how utterly and completely fed up I was. 49, homeless, jobless and penniless. I resisted government assistance though, I've never claimed benefits and I didn't want to start now. And that's not a criticism of those that do, I just didn't want to become reliant on outside financial help. I worked hard on maintaining a positive mental outlook and training my "mindset" to cancel out negative thoughts.
I applied for several jobs and one Friday, I had a choice of three firm job offers. I just could not make my mind up, when my friend that I was renting a room from, suggested working at the company he was employed at. This was yet another new trade that I had never even heard of and it sounded incredibly daunting but I thought, why not, lets go for it.
Six months on, I've completely retrained as a "slinger," for a crane company. I'm on a decent wage, I've moved into my own two bedroom flat and I've converted one bedroom for my daughter and she loves it. But, most importantly, I've met an incredible lady through my work and I'm happier than I can ever remember being. The job and the wage allows me time to work on my motivational talks and #LIFEREADY and 2018 is looking as though its going to be a fabulous year all round.
Its hard to see the positives when you're at rock bottom, especially if you've been there before, but you really don't know what's around the corner, so try to maintain a positive outlook and don't be afraid to take on new challenges, as you don't know what great doors they're going to open.
Thanks for reading and have a fabulous day.