Thursday, 30 October 2008

Forward Not Back - and Work and Yurts

Despite my recent posts, while I have been doing a lot of reminiscing recently - there is nothing like an incurable virus to make you review your life - I am not looking back at all but forward with hope into the future.

I no longer do paid work, nor do I feel that in present circumstances I could or do any employer justice and do a good job for them and if I work it is important that I provide value for money

But I left my main career youth work in before I had any health problems - well not any like HIV etc - having become stressed and disillusioned, not at all with the young people, but with the bureaucracy and the competitiveness of many others - adult line managers mostly- I worked with.

I have never done any job just for money nor just for the status or ambition. I have only worked when I believed in what I was doing and for the enjoyment of it.

You may say I was lucky as I must have had the means to do this i.e not work for money.

This is not so. I have not been financially privileged and have had to depend on what I could earn - until I was disabled by an accident i had never even claimed any benefits.

I have often been very poor in fact at times homeless, but to get up for work and do a job just for money and status never had any meaning or motivation for me. If I did paid work it HAD to be worth it for other reasons. If I work I always put 100 percent into it and to do this it has to be worth while.

Perhaps this is due to what I have experienced in life i.e deep Sleep treatment as below and other abuse and dire life situations. Despite this attitude to work I have in fact found much work that was for me worth doing and until recently worked most of my adult life since 15 - I was for example employed by Cornwall County Council as a youth worker for 14 years and in London for many years before.

But I began to feel stressed, unwell, had my mother in law to look after and my child did not like me doing the hours I did and also found I was disillusioned with the politics of paid youth work –

At that time I was fascinated by computing the internet as a new means of communication. I had started a support web site for those with Post natal Illness http;// a few years before and started to think that the internet was where it would be in terms of social and supportive communication in the future.

I still think it is in that it is a fantastic communication tool but no longer have the energy or means to be involved in its development

So I retrained by doing an HND in multimedia and web design and lectured for a while at a local further Ed college

But then I had a bad accident on my horse – I own a smallholding and bred horses – and it was touch and go whether I would have my lower leg amputated and I was in a wheelchair and quite ill, so I had to give up work. But I eventually recovered really well from that as I wore a horrible fixator and surgeons managed to reconstruct my leg over time and then fused my ankle and now I only have slight mobility difficulties due to this, I can’t run or jump of course but probably at my age I would not be able to anyway!!!!! so most of the time no one would notice now, except I use a stick when out.

But I never went back to work - I have never felt able to and have been pretty ill at first from the accident but as I had undiagnosed HIV from this too

Just as I was beginning to be fully recovered from my accident in terms of my leg healing , I began to feel very ill and my husband of 21 years became even iller!!! We discovered he had AIDs

A bit of a blow to say the least as he has given HIV to me and this was doubly upsetting as I have always been faithful to him.

But apart from that he is a lovely man and has been a great husband and has paid a big price for his one mistake so we are still together and facing whatever comes next?

But we are very lucky as in the UK you get the latest HIV medications and we are both now pretty well and hope to remain so for some time.

So while we do not work outside the home we are not standing still.

We have a small holiday letting apartment attached to our smallholding and let this out and we are expanding this to do ecco holidays in Mongolian Yurts – a type of very posh and warm tent as good as a cottage to stay in :

This is not my job as I am not physically up to it although I assist him where I can

But he is feeling quite fit now he is on the anti-retrovirals. He is not capable of the long hours he was and will also probably never again work outside the home as he needs to do things at his own pace and often needs to lie down for a while in the middle of the day - and employer would never understand this.............

But he is working hard when he can outside at the moment laying paths and putting up a cabin for the shower and the ecco composting toilet, ready for the arrival of our first Yurt at the end of November – we hope eventually to have 3

So we are looking forward and not back
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