Do you ever get the feeling that The Fates are against you? I can almost picture the three of them, huddled in their little cave, cackling like witches as they play their little games, weaving the threads of our lives to their own rules. Artists in the past have often depicted the Moirai as young and beautiful. Personally, I picture them as more akin to the traditional view of Shakespeare’s three witches of Macbeth, old and wrinkled, with skin of leather and sharp pointy noses. Well, whatever these three stalwarts of Greek mythology look like, they have certainly got it in for me this year. I had hope that the new year would be positive and a good one. Unfortunately, Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos seem to have a rather different plan for me.
2017 had been a mixed year, but overall things had turned out well. Health, family, relationships and work were all looking good. Even our finances, which have so often been precarious, were looking encouraging. So I went into the new year with the renewed hope that we had turned a corner and everything was going to be just fine.
But then the Fates threw in their little twist. In a little over a week, I have lost one of my best friends, my father-in-law, and been told that I am now at risk of being made redundant! We all know January can be a bad month, but really?!
Despite these two proverbial spanners that have been thrown rather unceremoniously into our lives I am determined to keep faith with the positive mood in which the new year began. Whilst it is always sad to lose someone so close, I take some comfort from the view that my father-in-law has been spared any prolonged suffering. His health was in decline and his mobility all but gone. We will be celebrating his incredible life this week, remembering the wicked sense of humour and the seemingly bottomless well of knowledge that he possessed. He will be sadly missed, but so long as we continue to share our memories of his life he will live on.
As for my job, I had been unhappy for some time, but to face the potential of losing it just as I had found a way to make it palatable and even enjoyable is a severe blow. And at my age, finding another is not going to be easy, particularly as everyone wants apprentices these days. But I am determined to look upon this as an opportunity rather than a disaster. After all, staff restructuring may bring an opportunity for change and offer a new challenge. Even if that is working for someone else, there is still a chance to do something new and exciting. I like to think that even a creaky over-fifty has something to offer, given half the chance.
Life throws us these little challenges every now and then and it is only by embracing the possibilities that we can overcome them. I have faced redundancy twice before and each time I have found opportunities I hadn’t previously considered. Hopefully, this time will be no different, but only if I can shake off the disappointment of being at this particular crossroads once again without a map or compass.
I will say that as I get older I find the prospect of the challenges that a career change can bring ever more daunting. IT support is a young person’s game and I am finding it ever more difficult to keep a pace of the rapid changes in the whole technology industry. I no longer have the enthusiasm I did for spending my evenings pouring over new ideas and keeping up with the rapid developments in both the hardware and the software. Maybe I should have stuck with printing!
What this year will bring only those pesky fates can know, but of just two things I am certain: I will miss my old friend and debating partner and I will end the year in a different job (or none at all!). Everything else is up for grabs.