That’s the sound I make sometimes when I think about the way ahead.
In just over a month’s time, I’ll be unemployed and our household income will be halved at a stroke. Doesn’t take a genius to work out that this is not the best time economically to be looking for work. Having a goal helps – I’m not proud about what I do to earn a crust between now and the day the moving van takes our worldly goods across the Channel. If that means stacking shelves or sitting on a till, so be it – I know some lovely people who do the same. But what I really need is something to take with me, be that baking brownies or selling e-books and training courses based on my old life and the skills and expertise I’ve developed in my work practice.
What we need is a proper plan…
In search of which I spent an excellent, informative hour or so in a local coffee shop with the wonderful @antoniachitty talking things over and thinking carefully about what exactly it is we need to do over the next year. Hence the ‘gulp’. I have the big idea, I can visualise myself creating this wonderful, family friendly, cycling oriented B&B/gite. I can see how beautiful the rooms will look, the little touches that will make us a cut above. I can envisage the evenings on the terrace, the food, the wine, the ambiance. But I’m not so hot on the detail, which is why today was so useful. There’s nothing better when you have a Big Idea than to have your thoughts ordered by someone with a cool, clear intelligence about just how you make the nuts and bolts work.
I won’t pretend that I haven’t tossed and turned the last few nights and woken up with that ‘oh shit’ bottomless pit in the stomach feeling – you know, the 3am feeling when even the best laid plans seem not just unachievable but downright ridiculous. When the brave and adventurous mutates into the foolhardy and idiotic. The timing is all wrong – there’s not enough money – what if no one turns up – how will we stay afloat financially….
Sitting down with someone who can calmly appraise your talents and skills and make pertinent suggestions about what you can achieve and plot out the ways you can plan to achieve it has been absolutely invaluable. I’m sure some of you are currently rolling eyeballs, sighing deeply or even face palming at the sheer ‘duhness’ of my only just addressing this. I share your pain. But, in my defence, I’ve needed these few weeks of French fantasy thinking to keep myself from either crying or raging – to allow myself to disconnect from the events of a few weeks ago and to move towards a positive future. To understand that I hated my job and that this is the biggest, best opportunity we have as a family to achieve what we’ve talked about for the last 6 years.
Now to find a large map of France, a big black marker pen and a roll of wallpaper….I’ve never written a proper full on business plan before – now seems a really great time to learn.