Saturday, 28 November 2015

Not Meant To Be

I'm something of a believer in whether things are meant to be, or not. Whether you attribute it to the mysterious movings of the universe, serendipity, coincidence, fate, karma, predestiny, messages from God or the angels, there are times when you get the feeling that things are conspiring against a course of action. Then you have a choice; fight on and try to make it happen, or accept that some things are not meant to be. Of course, you may not believe in this and consider it a defeatist attitude, that you can make anything happen and do anything if you want it badly enough. I agree that some things are worth giving your all, but some are not. Pick your battles!

Last week I planned to treat myself to a somatics workshop. It's so long since I went up to Penpynfarch and I live even further away now, but the application of what I've learned in previous workshops has shown some subtle but positive results, both in dance and in managing the osteoarthritis.

Knowing I would hit the local rush hour, I gave myself an extra half an hour on the journey time suggested by the AA. The weather forecast was not good; Barney, the second of the Met Office/Met Eireann named storms was due. It would make for a horrible journey home, with a yellow warning for high winds starting from mid afternoon, but I reckoned if I stuck to main roads once out of Llandysul, it would be okay.

I set off on time and had only gone a couple of miles when I joined a queue of traffic into Haverfordwest. It took me all of my spare half hour to get past the town (normally a ten minute drive!), with red lights all the way. It was pouring with rain, blustery wind dumping bucketfuls onto the windscreens and roads. Drivers sensibly slowed down, but I got to a point on a road without a good place to overtake where I was behind a laden cattle truck grinding away at 20 miles an hour.  Each time we came to a junction, I was muttering 'please turn off', but no, it looked like it was going my way. I could see a tailback in my rear view mirror, and I bet those drivers were muttering something too.

By the time I had been driving for over an hour and a half, I had made 25 miles - half way - and had a splitting headache. I stopped at a garage for a toilet break and a drink of water. If I carried on in this worsening weather, I would get there in time for lunch, but feel compelled to set off early to avoid the worst of the weather. And I would hardly be able to move after driving for so long. Feeling like a complete and utter wimp, I decided to turn around and go back. Back up over the Preselis, through a pea-soup of low cloud and lashing rain. The cattle grid at Bwlch Gwynt was underwater, and the rain ran in rivulets down the roads to pool in the dips.

It took me nearly an hour and a half to get back home, too; a round trip of 50 plus miles in 3 hours. Knees stiff from driving, I dragged myself upstairs to email an apology, then into the kitchen to make a vegetable and bean stew, one of my ideal winter comfort foods.

I was waiting for a call to let me know the results of a job interview the previous day, but didn't get the call until a week later. It was a 'no', but at least they called with feedback, reinforcing my feeling that they would have been a good company to work for. Another thing that wasn't meant to be.

As I was writing this, I checked my email for a reply to another application, which seemed to be taking a long time. Sure enough, I had an email at last ... and it was a 'no'. It left me wondering what it takes, since I was sure I'd effectively ticked every skill and attribute in the job and personnel description. I can only hope that the two friends I know who were after the same job at least get an interview.

I've been pouring energy into trying to find employment, searching job sites, updating CVs, sending applications, reading around companies and skills in preparation for interviews which hardly ever happen. At a time when class numbers and commitment are low, and nobody seems to have money for anything which they consider non-essential (including proofreading!) I had hoped that employment would give me some money and security. Perhaps that's not meant to be.

Time to look again at my Plan B, and see what it would take to make it (or something like it) work. It will probably be a case of fighting to make it happen, but I would like to think that this time next year, things will be different.

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