I don't usually give anything up for Lent but this year it's a bit different because today I'm giving up work.
I guess you could argue that actually work is giving up me given today is my last official day at work due to redundancy but the decision to take the redundancy and not fight the gits that I worked for was my own so I am now a stay at home Mum by choice.
I can't believe this day is finally here (it was obvious last April that redundancy was on the cards) but I couldn't be happier. Yes, the future is unknown but isn't it for everyone? I just know that I'm happier now than I have been for the past 12 months and that must mean the right decisions have been made.
The last 12 months have been pretty horrible for me one way or another. My work environment sucked (to coin a phrase) and if it hadn't been for some of the people I shared an office with I don't know what I would have done. I won't bore you with the details but I've been working one way or another since I was 15 and this last 12 months was officially the worst working year of the 25 I've had.
Also, the affair that 'friends' of ours had at the beginning of last year blew our social circle apart and caused me no end of stress. Thankfully both parties have moved away now - he to make a 'new start' (yeah right, he'll be back fooling around soon enough, he can't help himself) and her leaving her husband and moving half an hour away. I don't think the saga is fully over - both cheated on spouses still don't know but the information is out in the public domain and these things never stay secret forever. The aftershocks are still booming away too but thankfully we don't feel the force of them that much.
Money was a constant worry last year too but, although I'm no longer bringing in a salary, we're in a better financial situation now I've stopped working thanks to the extortionate cost of childcare for Connor so I can stop worrying about the next unexpected bill for a while.
To top off the year we lost two close friends, one who took his own life and one who lost a battle with cancer. Both our age and both totally devastating.
To quote the Queen, it's been an annus horribilis in many ways.
Don't get me wrong, me, DH and the kids have been fine and in the grand scheme of things that's what is important but the world around us has been particularly trying to say the least. I don't think it helped that we didn't have a holiday or really spend time together as a family, we just lurched through the weeks dealing with whatever came up.
So, even though New Year is officially long gone, today is the first day of the rest of my life and giving up work (for a short while) is the first of many positive changes that will hopefully make the rest of 2012 a much better year than 2011 was.
23 minutes ago