that's how long it took me to achieve everything I wanted in life.
I plodded along from the age of 21 till I was 28, unhappy with my lot, dead end jobs, no degree.
After leaving school and college I spent 3 strange years working for SCOPE in a residential unit. I was 18 when I got there and my salary paid for trips to London to vist friends, drinks in the pub, new/nice/designer clothes, TV and stereo equipment. No plans for the furture, just getting by enjoying being a teen, the lask of a boyfriend was an issue as all my mates had one and it did make social occassions a bit awkward. But then it all happened and I got pregnant, gave birth at 21, moved home as a single mum and then the struggle began.
I always worked, I started studying, City and Guilds, NVQs, even started my teaching degree. I worked maily in care and even in a chip shop to make ends meet. I married had 2 more children and lfie just seemed not to be going anywhere for me. The jobs I did, I did well and I knew I could do better. I got involved in Youth work, I volunteered with Venture Scouts, I worked unsociable hours to fit around my family life, I drove a beaten up car, lived hand to mouth, but I wanted more, I always did and I still do.
There is nothing wrong with wanting more and working hard for it, I just need a kick up the arse.
I met my husband and inherited his 2 kids and a messy divorce and my life got put on hold for 3 years, we then married and moved away, not far, and we started afresh with the 5 children, it was hard work, but quality of life improved and while hubby travelled with work, building his career and salary, I started my studies, joined the PTA, got involved with the local football club, net worked and made friends. I worked as a nanny for two years, I supported children in school with autism, I worked in a local secondary school and I studied on top of that, until finally I got a job as a lecturer at the local college, teaching life skills, managing finances, customer service, training adults to work as teaching assistants and finally securing my first step on the career ladder working for the local FA as a child welfare officer.
I continued to study for the next two years, we now only had 3 children at home, I networked, I took over with the running of the football club. I got to work away and stay in hotels on occassions, finally craving some me time.
For the first time in 39 years and 7 months, I was happy for me. I've always been content with my family life and the kids, little darlings that they are and yes we've had many and our fair share of ups and downs, but it took me along time to gain something for me.
January last year, it all stopped, abruptly, overnight when we moved here. This time however I don't know what to do to get it all back. I can't work due to government restrictions, I don't have the freedom for wandering around and joining in things, especially as most expat group members work so all events are evenings and that means driving in the dark, which living here is not the wisest of ideas.The 2 remaining kids are 13 and 17 so hardly going to the park or bumping into other people with kids which is always a good way of making new friends.
So I need to find a way of reinventing myself, of discovering who/what I really am when I'm away for the social norms that I grew up with.
You go to school...yep done that, you obtain higher qualifications...yep done that also...you marry, have kids, get some me time, spend time with your partner as the kids get older, have holidays togther, prepare slowly and wind down for retirement.
But does anyone have any ideas as to what I can fill my time with between now and retirement age please? for the next 19 years and 5 months.