Sunday, 26 July 2009

A Rude Awakening

I have been feeling slightly over-whelmed of late, with all of the new things taking place in my life. New things involve new challenges, and new challenges - for me - involve pushing to overcome a multitude of fears. And that is the way that it should be. Now all I have to do is work out a way of taking off the pressure so that when I push through a few personal brick walls, I don't collapse in a heap as a result!

Thursday - as previously described - was a hectic day. And Thursday followed Wednesday (see, my school days weren't wasted after all) on which day I summoned up the courage to open my online bank account for the first time in over three months. Possibly four.

I know, it sounds daft, not having a clue how much money I have. It's all part of my survival strategy which is based upon ignorance being bliss. When I was working and earning more money than I could spend and paying off the balance of my credit card every month, tracking every penny was a joy. Because every penny was decidedly in the black rather than being in the red. But as soon as I started to use up my redundancy payout, had a credit card bill that I could no longer pay off, had a self-esteem which sat at carpet level and was no closer to finding work, I reached a point where I was too afraid to look. And the longer I left it, the greater the fear grew.

I had a rough idea of what my balance might be but was too afraid to look at my accounts in the event that I was horribly wrong. But as part of starting up my own business, I knew that this was one thing that needed to be faced - it is not possible to forecast the growth of a business without doing a cash-flow forecast and for that I needed to know what the bottom line was. The whole 'ignorance is bliss' strategy only lasts for so long - sooner or later reality will catch up with you whether you want it to or not. Plus I was starting to feel sick every time I used my debit card in the fear that the sales assistant would gaze at me blankly and state "S'bin rejected. You got anuvver card?"

So on Wednesday at 5pm after an entire day of procrastination and stress, I finally reached the 'oh for heaven's sakes this is ridiculous' stage, logged in to my bank account and looked.

And much to my relief, it wasn't so bad after all. Or at least, I am not destitute yet.

Looking at my bank account reminded me of how I felt hiding behind the couch every Saturday evening when the Dr Who music started to play. What I could hear was terrifying, but when I took the courage to pop my head above the parapet, I found that the gurgling monsters were less horrendous (and more "Mr Potato Head") than I imagined. Except for Davros, of course - he still scares me to this day.

On Friday morning I travelled to Harlow to meet with my business advisor, where I gabbled on for an hour in an attempt to convince him that although I hadn't a clue what I was doing, I would get there in the end. I expected to have to show him my personal survival budget and my start up costs for the business, but after all of that build up, he didn't ask.

So add together Wednesday, Thursday and Friday morning and that adds up to an awful lot of self-induced stress. In fact, add Monday and Tuesday in to the build up for good measure. I do know how to worry.

So on Friday afternoon, I slept. I couldn't think straight and I could barely move for exhaustion. It was as though two little energy sapping creatures had descended on my body and my mind, and sucked them both dry.

As I curled up on the couch, I was vaguely aware of a fantastically violent thunderstorm raging outside and given that my previous house was struck by lightening (not directly, but enough to blow up both the TiVo and computer modem) I found myself mentally counting to see whether it was moving closer or further away.

But it was only when the hail started that I got up to take a look. I have never seen a hailstorm like it - hailstones ranging in size from peas to marbles were hammering down with such a force that I thought the windows might break. It lasted for no longer than four minutes, in which time the streets, roofs and car windshields were covered in a thick layer of hailstones. Incredible.

The force of the storm is visible throughout the town - the streets are littered with chunks of leaves and deadwood which were literally ripped away, the drain hole at the back of my house is blogged with the dirt that was blasted from my roof tiles, and my front and back doorsteps are covered with chips of previously flaky paint.

I really must get on to the Letting Agents to re-paint the exterior woodwork... something else to add to the list. But no stress, of course...

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