- absent without official leave but without intent to desert.”we not only dealt with the enemy but with servicemen who had gone AWOL“
I have not deserted, merely got caught up in that little thing called life. At least I will be starting the new year on a positive – a positive covid result that is.
I avoided the little bugger for 2 years, went back to work and bam, it finally caught up with me. All the mask wearing, obsessive cleaning and sterilising, sanitising my hands raw and washing them on the constant, social distancing, arguing with incoming people about safety precautions and why you HAVE to wear a mask and HAVE to take a lateral flow test to enter, as my department are the lynch pin. All this and when does it rear it’s head? The 22nd of December.
So Christmas and New Year are both cancelled in my house hold whilst I hide myself away like a leper, creeping out of my room to use the toilet when the coast is clear, leaving a trail of Dettol spray behind me. I mean, nothing felt quite as depressing as eating Christmas dinner alone, in bed with a temperature and pulling my own cracker to find there wasn’t even a joke in it. But praise whoever they be that I still had a semblance of a sense of taste and someone who would make me a Christmas dinner and include a sparkly napkin.
However, the reason I have been gone so long dear friends is that things went topsy turvey. I am sure I have mentioned before but my family and I are still renovating what I now affectionately refer to as the money hoover. Bringing a 50s building up the present day standard has been a challenge. What we thought would be a few small fixes, redecorating and a bit of TLC has turned into stripping the bastard back to the bricks and starting from scratch. It’s been two steps forward, one step back the entire way. Things are starting to fall into place, we ended up getting a decorator in to help us with the work load, but once he had finished more cracks started to show. The paint started bubbling off in places, once again, the return of the rising damp that apparently “wasn’t there”. The storage in the garden, which contained 30% of the house’s contents, was ripped apart by mother nature and everything in it was destroyed. The ENTIRE, matching set of living room furniture was destroyed by water damage, the new plasterwork cracked across not one, but THREE ceilings, the new alarm system went tits up and broke down whilst the office was closed, the radiator valves got stuck during that horrible cold snap so there was no heating. It’s just endless.
Let’s also just throw this one into the mix as well. I went from a part time, bottom of the rung, dogs body position at the beginning of the pandemic to a full time line manager and head of administration on my return. Yeah, let’s just throw that uno reverse card onto the pack too shall we. I mean, I went into an 18 month furlough sitting in a role where I wasn’t allowed to know much, do much or touch much unless it was delegated by my manager, so coming back and being that manager to an almost brand new team of people was slightly intimidating. So having a crash course in management, administration, HR, contracting, negotiating and helping to run a very busy and integral department has been a swift learning curve, but as you can imagine it leaves very little time for anything else.
So amongst the above, there was also fitting in helping care for my parents, the house hold bits and bobs, battling with my own medical conditions, making sure I get some downtime and still being social too. In short, I’m pooped.
I am hoping that in 2022 I can learn to assert myself, stop people pleasing, stop assuming it is always me and my methods that are at fault. I want to work on becoming a more grounded and well rounded individual. A more solid version of a human. That’s where my head is going come new year. Not a new me, just a stronger one.