Since being made redundant, it has been difficult getting my routine right.
The first obstacle was the soul-destroying and time-consuming hours of job seeking and applying for positions that I knew the recruiters wouldn’t look twice at me for as demanded by the Job Centre when I signed on in order to make sure that my stamp (National Insurance) continued to be paid.
Just as I was regaining control of my life, had started working part time and we were a good way through the application process to become foster parents, I discovered that I am pregnant and found myself being violently ill 7/8 times a day, extremely fatigued and on an emotional roller-coaster caused by my raging hormones.
Consequently, my plans for my studies, the house and the garden were all thrown out of the window. This was particularly difficult to deal with because I have always been extremely well-organised. I’ve had to be. In order to build rabbit hutches adn chicken coops, keep on top of the housework, do the gardening, make time for me, make time for us, have time for leisure and pleasure and make time for friends on top of working more than full-time; I have always made the most of my time and energy.
Of course not being able to do anything for so much of the time meant that even on days when I was feeling almost human, the tasks around me were so overwhelming that I didn’t get any of them done. I’m lucky though because although I have been feeling somewhat isolated and as if my life was spiralling out of control, this hasn’t led to a major depressive episode.
I am feeling a lot better now and only tend to be sick once a day most of the time and have even started to make progress with some of the tasks in the house.
Unfortunately, I am dangerously close to the completion deadline for the whole of the first module of my BA (Hons) in Creative Arts with 2 assignments left to do and at the start of this week, had to complete 4 assignments for my Nutrition and Health qualification. I realise that the latter is not as important as the degree, partly because I started it because of our ambitions to become foster parents which has been put on hold for a year or so and partly because it is a Level 2 qualification and as such, doesn’t have much impact on my future career prospects. That said, I decided to focus on that one first for several reasons: firstly, I had 4 assignments to complete as opposed to the 2 outstanding on my degree – one of which is almost finished; secondly, I knew that if I knuckled down, I could probably manage an assignment every 2-3 days, whereas the degree work would take a few weeks; and lastly because the sense of achievement that I would get from completing (and hopefully passing!) the course would spur me on with the degree.
I really enjoyed studying for my Foundation Diploma in Art, Design and Media a few years ago, despite my experience with the internal verifier at the end. I had a great tutor who was extremely supportive and I loved the structure of the course, within which I was able to experiment and find my voice. The degree has so far been very difficult because I have felt that the tutor has not bothered to read the written work that I have submitted – perhaps because it isn’t mandatory but I write it in support of my work and to give him an insight into how and why I have produced the body of work that I have for each assignment – so I really need to feel some sense of achievement from completing the level 2 course to spur me on!
April, May & June will see me focussing on the house in preparation for baby’s arrival in July. I have no plan of action at present and don’t intend to worry about it until after I’ve finished my studies. After that, it ill all be about baby and the next module of my degree which will thankfully bring a new tutor.
I submitted the third of the four assignments for my level 2 in Nutrition and Health this afternoon so I just have to wait for the feedback on that before I crack on with the last one – happy days.