The past week has been really tough. I had one job interview last Friday for a company 40 min away, with a reasonable wage. Reasonble but still 10k less than I was last getting when I stopped working two and a half years ago.

Once that was over I got asked to step in for a friend and take the topics session at Drogheda toastmasters on Monday evening. Which was great, I love my nights off and a bit of non domestic – or child related chat.

The rest of the week till thursday was preparing for an afternoon at an assessment centre for a place on a training course. I did a lot of prep for the competence based interview, and researching the different things we could be asked to do during either the group activity, the presentation or the written assignmment.

I didn’t realise how stressed I was getting till after the day, a full 5 hrs feeling under near constant scrutiny. And then traveling by bus to my father in laws before heafing on home.

The worry that the salary might be less than what I had originally hoped for, as none has been discussed anywhere as I have progressed through the interview and assessments. The fact that someone thought it might be half of what I was on before, got my wife understandably anxious about how we would cope as she knows that I really want to move in to this kind of work. But here is me almost 40 starting out again on a mediocre wage that is great for a single person with no kids or house to pay for. I know that there are a lot of people earning less, but because of my wife’s salary we get no supports and that is just enough to keep us afloat now.

So more than ever since Thursday evening I have been feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders, the feeling that I’ve taken advantage of my wife, that I’m,  being selfish and already wasted a loaf of money pursuing a new career, and a failure at not being able to get back to work again because my career path has brought me in ever decreasing circles of opportunity.

But last night as I came home from a night out with friends (the one chink of light I’ve felt this week, having friends who wanted to spend time with me) I discovered that Oren Millar, founder of the Dad Bloggers group on facebook has been fighting stage 4 cancer since he was diagnosed 9 months ago. Its a dose of reality. This man, almost the same age as me with a wife and 2 kids has left all these same pressures that I have behind. It reminds me of that I do have, a wonderful wife who is a constant source of love and support, some great friends, who will drag me out for a drink at 10 o clock at night or mind my kids while I go for interviews, and of course 3 wondrful kids. Kids who I have been very lucky to spend a lot of time with over the last 2 1/2 years, to form who they will be when they are older and to love and support them. I’ve been there to bring them to the doctor, health worker for checks, ballet, library and a whole hostof other events that a lot of other dads don’t get to do.

But Oren did more than just raise his kids like I have been doing. He has left a lasting legacy, through the Dad Bloggers group, he has made a positive impact on so many fathers lives, creating that sense of community,  mutual respect and support that dads need as not everything is easily discussed with loved ones or advice is needed.

I have been lazy the last few months, written little and not been as proactive as I could and probably should have been. So its time I sorted myself out, find out what my legacy will be and to start to make it happen.

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Oren Millar and his family, from the Huffington Post.

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