Is Life Happening?

It has been some time since I wrote anything here, and I feel like I owe the place a normal post. So I’ll try and be normal.

Life is frantic at the moment, in spite of my best efforts. I feel like I have developed a work and not-work balance that is desperately against me as an individual, but as an individual that is involved in lots of other people’s lives and businesses, is relatively profitable. And yet, what amazes me is that I think I have actually reduced the amount of hours I’ve been working.

In line with my previous posts, I have been trying to do other things outside of work hours, more sociable. I would say in terms of doing things in real life that involve other people, that bit hasn’t actually happened at all. But it has, to some extent, involved people. People that I wouldn’t normally have been talking to, and one of whom has actually turned into something of a long distance friend. So broadly, despite its very tangible negatives to my mental health at times, it has brought something different into my life.

Work meanwhile continues. My IT business is now disgustingly busy, so much so that I am once again thinking about what I can do to tame it. Do I increase the prices and get rid of the customers I don’t want? Or do I have the guts to try again and employ someone? I have been thinking about recruiting an apprentice, but that means I must commit to my IT business for at least another year, something I wasn’t keen on doing. But it is so busy, and the prospects remain good, and I am still in need of earning this money, that I think I should do it…

The other business I am part of is going through something of a rut, but you wouldn’t think it. It is at the mercy of the political masters, and, unfortunately, they are in the midst of electoral rubbish at the moment. It is also the end of a financial year, and I think that inevitably has meant all of the money has already been spent.

But it’s still all systems go. We are in such an intriguing scenario at the moment, so keen are we to take advantage of new opportunities, that we are considering moving on to our property development ideas, and installing a manager into the company so that it can carry on moving along without our day-to-day to involvement. This has coincided with a friend and former colleague becoming available to work for us. It could all connect quite well. But it is a risk. We are ready to take it, and introducing this person to the office has already improved the office dynamic and made it feel a really professional place to work. I like feeling like I’m part of something bigger than me. It is a world apart from my one-man-band IT business…

So that is two risks. One risk for my business, and one risk for the business I am part of, and both of it coming from having to employ someone. Employing people is weird. Keeping them busy and occupied and earning you money is something I haven’t quite worked out yet.

Then there is the risk of the property business. Which is starting, hopefully soon, with the purchase of some land 80 miles south west of me. Land. Not a building. Because we are planning on building it ourselves. We must be mad. But we sense a longer term vision. I sense the opportunity to get properly on the housing ladder by building up a property portfolio. It all sounds very unlikely, and highly adventurous. And super risky.

2015 has become the year of the risk for me. Impending mid-life 30 crisis perhaps?

108 days until 30

Moving Forward

Another few weeks zooms by, or dawdles. It depends on how I’m feeling at the time.

This time the news is all positive. But, to be fair, it has been for some time now. The only negative part has been how I am coping with everything that’s going on.

It is hard work. There’s no doubt about it. But now I am, finally, in the office. After so many years of talking about it, talking about what exciting things are to come, talking about the risk of going ahead, it is finally all in place, and now it’s all down to me to make it work.

It’s not easy, and the expense is collosal. Fortunately, I have been able to pay for everything via the new business venture, which is already doing very well.

There are snags, there always are, but we are getting there. My biggest worry at the moment is that the office is very good on space to have meetings, or wait, but not so much on the computer side. The side that I was hoping so much to get in to the office so that I could take it out of my house. Hmm. I may have to think again about that.

The hardest part at the moment is that there is so much to do. So many to do lists have come and gone, and so many worries and pains have been absorbed, along with even more stress than usual. On Wednesday there is an important meeting with a new client… our very first in the new office. The following Tuesday, i.e. a week tomorrow, is a further important meeting that will move the business forward.

Amidst all of this I have to keep my own business running. That is one thing I dearly want to keep doing, especially as I have worked so hard on it, but it will only survive if I can find someone to help me run it.

One set of problems are solved, and they just unveil a dozen more. It’s what I knew would happen, but I have to be happy with my current situation. To get into the new office with pretty much zero risk to myself… anyone else wouldn’t believe the alignment of the stars to get to here.

Of course, I have risked a lot. There is some capital tied up in this… but I will get it back. One way or another I will get it back!

25

Travelling once again across the country, my mind as usual is in reflective mode.

And even more so today, for it is my birthday.

A quarter century today. That’s pretty scary. Years and years of my life just rolling by. I honestly can’t believe that another one has gone.

But enough of the platitudes. Is there anything worth celebrating? Has there been anything worth celebrating over the last year?

Right now, the answer to both is a qualified yes. A few months ago, I’d have said the answer was a no. That’s quite the turnaround, I reckon. Especially as a year ago today I was working in a petrol station to try to make ends meet.

The last year has been something of a rollercoaster when I look back. The stresses of wondering whether I’m doing the right thing with my life are never far from my mind. There’s almost not a day that goes by when I worry about if what I’m doing, trying to run my own business, is sustainable, or whether it’s going in the right direction, or indeed if it’ll keep earning enough money to pay the bills.

That, I think, is the reason why in the last nine months I seem to have developed more gray hairs than I did have.

The last year of my life has been totally dominated by this choice of what to do with life. In all honesty, the amount of interesting diversions and noteworthy events has been absolutely minimal. Part of this is because it’s who I am. I’m not a very interesting person generally. The rest is because I’m terrified of spending money because I don’t have much of it to burn. And then there’s the fact that if I want to do something, I’ve either got no one to do it with, or no means of physically getting there.

That’s pretty shit, and a damning indictment of my current situation.

I’m making major sacrifices with my life during the time when I’m, I think, in my prime. Never again will I feel this young. Never again will I be able to not have to worry if I can cope with doing risky or slightly unacceptable things, either physically or mentally. I don’t really have aches, pains, creaks, and I’m certainly in a reasonable physical condition. These are all advantages which I won’t have in 15 years time.

And right now, I’m not taking advantage of any of them.

That’s just another worry added to my list.

So I am celebrating another year successfully navigated. And I am, quantitatively and qualitatively, in a better position now than I was this time last year, when I had no hope and no prospects.

For that I can thank my move away from home. The gamble has at least paid off for now. Moving away was probably the event of the last year. It was difficult, it was traumatic, but it had to be done.

Where it goes from here is the biggest unknown. I can’t keep renting forever. And I don’t really want to share with my housemate for any longer than is necessary. Yet I can’t see the end to it right now. Business is certainly not good enough for me to live on my own. And, in any event, I am wholly reliant on his transport!

It’s been a transformative year. I’m hoping the next one is exactly the same but in other directions.

Before I’m too old to have a nice young girlfriend!!

The Five Year Itch

Five years ago today, and almost to the hour, I began my blogging journey.

Five years of misery. Five years of false dawns. Five years of some success, much to my surprise.

I say this every year, often many times, but the reason why I blog is because it is such an awesome record of my life. It isn’t complete, far from it, but it gets across most of the important events.

In the last year, I feel it’s become a non-stop bitch-a-thon though. I guess it’s the nature of sitting around waiting for something to happen. But that’s no good.

I feel like I used to write about different subjects, because all manner of different things were going on in my life. But that may just be a shade of rose-tint on the old spectacles, which one day I’ll need due to continuing failing eyesight.

Because I’m pretty sure I’ve always been very passive about my life. I sit back and wait for things to happen, and let everything wash over me. I never usually have more than a handful of things on the go at any one time, and don’t do anything to upset that balance. That’s me all over.

And that is how my life is slipping away.

I genuinely cannot believe that it was five years ago I was sitting no more than two metres from my current spot, in an equally depressed state, thinking about what had gone and what was to come. Watching my own transition to an adult life, not knowing where the hell it was going. Back then it was disturbing; now my listlessness is almost par for the course.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

Five years of whinging. Of waiting. Of hoping some break will occur for me, and never getting it.

They always say that it’s no surprise that the “luckiest” people in life are invariably the ones who take the most risks.

That is probably why it’s been almost five years of ceaseless boredom. I don’t take risks. Well, I do take the odd one. Moving away this year was a serious one.

Except it hasn’t paid off. I’m almost resigned to that now, and beginning to think of what the exit strategy is.

Fortunately, there are some things I life I still enjoy. One of these is happening right now, as I’m trying to type while holding one of my usual nonsense conversations with my younger sister.

The subject, what else, is doom and gloom. The end of the earth, which is due in 2012 according to her supervolcano theory, influenced by a current film. It’s providing plenty of banter. All good stuff.

At least there are people worth living for, even if life itself is a load of rubbish.

But anyway, as Shakin’ Stevens sang: Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Work Work Work

It’s been a busy old week, which pleases me greatly.

Out of the blue on Tuesday I got a call from one of my very first customers. He is a headmaster of a school, and all those months ago he promised me that when he got enough work in his school he would give me a call

And, at last, he did. I had started to think maybe he’d had enough of me and thought I was a bit of a joke, and had just said something nice to get rid of me.

But it seems, after all, that maybe I did a good job after all.

I’ve been there for the last two days now. It’s not exactly in a convenient location, requiring a two hour train journey to get there (even though it’s not that far away) but it’s been worth it. So far 12 hours of work, with a little hardware sales, and the prospect of at least a few more on Tuesday.

All good timing as it’s going to help make sure my cash reserves are in good shape for when the move comes.

Which is, at this point, scheduled for next Saturday. That’s scary. I’m looking forward to it, but the nerves about whether I’m potentially frittering away over £5,000 are now setting in. I’m also starting to think that maybe things are just about getting into shape around here at the very moment I’m abandoning it all to start again.

Very risky indeed. But, at the same time, I know I’ll be able to make a much better go of it in my new place. I should be able to build up the business much more quickly and get back to the same position I’m in now in a much quicker time. Fingers crossed anyway.

So next week is potentially my very last one here. Well, that’s rubbish, actually, because I know I’ll be back the following weekend to bring back more stuff and keep in touch with my other loyal customer (another school), which I’m going to on Monday.

But it’s still a significant emotional milestone. The end of the road for my life here. In all honesty, I can’t wait. That’s the way I’m feeling right now. I’m sick of my family, I have no friends here. I’ll have no friends there either, but at least my family won’t be getting in the way.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder, it seems. I think I need a good absence from them now. They don’t appreciate the contribution I make to this household, and I’m sure they’ll properly notice it once I’m gone. All I ask for is a little thanks, a little recognition. But no. Too much to ask for. That’s the way this family has always been; we don’t communicate. Even when I try to.

So I don’t bother any more.

And soon I won’t have to. The odd phonecall every week. That’ll do me fine.

Search Results

The weekend now seems a distant memory, but it was a productive one.

I arrived at my destination on Friday evening, and was met there by my friend and prospective house sharer. I’m still a little unsure about what he’s going to be like to live with, as though we’ve known each other for years we don’t really appreciate each others way of life habits. The kind of thing you only begin to understand when you live with them…

So it’s a gamble from that perspective. But I think it will be OK.

We started the house hunt in earnest on the Saturday morning. We had worked out a tight schedule to view some 11 properties in the space of six hours, spread across our prospective new home region. It ran like clockwork, as we managed to get to all our appointments early and the estate agents were all on time too. Good for them.

Some of the properties were embarrassingly bad. The estate agent almost seemed apologetic showing us round them. They were top floor flats with grimy communal areas like staircases and lifts. Then you’d go inside and either there’d be a total mess in there or it would be clear but that would expose the rather curious holes in the plasterboard walls.

After much scouring of flats and apartments we quickly decided they weren’t going to work.

So we moved on to the house part of our itinerary. That, I’m pleased to say, was much more successful. The advantages of having entirely your own space are huge. Even better, one of the houses we looked at had a small garage to its side which would be perfect for my computing business.

That house is the one we’ve decided to go for. It was new, modern, recently redecorated, and the price was a steal once we offered a 12 month tenancy.

It’s a massive gamble for me. Can I possibly recoup the £4,000 in rent over the space of a year? If I can I’ll be happy. It will be a positive sign that there is room for continued growth.

I will also have a much better chance of running my business properly as my friend is going to be heavily involved. That’s one of the major attractions of moving.

If it doesn’t work I think it will become obvious to me very quickly. In which case, I really will have to find a proper job. That won’t be too difficult, hopefully. But in any case, it will result in me successfully leaving home and starting my own life, something I’m desperate to do.

If it does work… well, the sky’s the limit.

It’s now just a case of waiting for the estate agents to do their bit. And, of course, hand over huge sums of money for trifling little bits of legal and clerical work. Bastards have me over a barrel with their fees for this, that and the other.

Exciting times ahead…