The inevitability of today arriving doesn’t make it any less unreal or unwanted.
Today is the last day of the first half of my notice period. More simply, at the witching hour tonight I will begin the down slope which will inexorably lead to the end of my current career. Three months in. Three months to go.
I know that I am very lucky. Many people have had weeks not months to adjust. And in the private sector you often get mere moments. But six months is a long time. Add it on to the 90 day consultation period and it becomes hard to remember what normality felt like. This year has seen unwanted milestone after unwanted milestone flash by as the Redundancy Express hurtles towards its terminus.
When I started to blog I thought there was an untold story about the human cost of deficit reduction for public servants like me. I also thought that sharing what I was learning about job hunting after so many years may also be useful. In all honesty, however, I thought that by now our family future would be clear. But it isn’t.
The future is wrapped in doubt, in fear and, yes, a little hopeful anticipation.
Time though is short. Making a successful transition to something new excites and terrifies me in about equal parts. While I try to find some steady employment doing something where I can do some good I am also thinking about contingencies.
I have started making a list of all the things that need to be done to be able to market the house in the Spring. The OBR news about falling house prices was good for my children but not so good for Mrs RPS and me. I’ve pulled together an austerity budget that I have yet to launch upon the RPS household. I’ve even, in true ‘dig for victory’ style, got my planting plans sorted for the allotment.
But it all comes down to the problem that Micawber set in Oliver Twist. Designing a way of life that one’s means can support.
In a strange way it feels like a retreat. As a child of the 1960s I imbibed a belief that tomorrow would always be better than today. That there was no problem that people of vision and imagination couldn’t cure. We would eat protein pills for meals, get to work by personal jet pack and watch holographic TV.
We were on an endless upward trajectory that would take us to the Moon and on to Mars. To infinity and beyond.
Instead Concord is in a museum, the Moon belongs to China or India or Brazil and my jet pack still hasn’t arrived. And we’ve just ordered an aircraft carrier that we can’t afford the aircraft for. In 1968 students wanted to change the world. In 2010 they would just like some change, guv’nor.
The mantra of ‘get your exams, get a degree and get on’ no longer excites my children as it excited me in the cold council house in which I was raised. My youngest won’t bother with university because she doesn’t want the debt. I suppose social mobility means going down as well as up. But a small voice nags away inside my head, ‘it wasn’t meant to be like this.‘
That’s one of the things that rankles most I suppose. The RPS household have done everything we were asked to do by successive governments but none of that now weighs at all in our favour.
Instead it’s ‘So long and thanks for all the fish.’ Or, more likely given how busy the police are becoming, ‘Move along, Sir. There’s nothing for you here.’
But moping around will not get this particular cat skinned. So it’s off for some feedback on my latest disaster of an application. I’ll let you know what I learn.
Per ardua ad astra.