Hi everybody. I'm feeling a bit shell shocked at the moment as everything seems to be changing...
As some of you may know, I've been thinking about returning to work after 10 years on incapacity benefit. Well actually, I want to jump before I'm pushed as I've been placed in the WRAG group for ESA. I've applied for a few jobs but it's really hard finding jobs I can do. I had my interview at the Job Centre and the guy I saw was really kind. He asked me about my medical history as he had just been told I had RA and nothing else. Three pages later, he was looking a bit shell-shocked! Anyway, he's said I'm free to carry on applying for jobs at my own pace and I only need to see him again if I want to. So I'll keep plugging away trying to find something.
But that's not the bombshell. I have three teenage sons (21, 19 and 16) and the eldest decided last week that he'd like to go to university - this year!! He's 21 and has had a rough time over the past couple of years - he saw a friend of his killed and he sort of lost his way for a bit (understandably). But he came home from work last week and said to me that he hated his job and wanted to go to university to study graphic design. So, on Monday morning because he was at work, I rang the shortlist he had given me over the weekend and he was given a conditional place at Southampton Solent and has to go for an interview on 4th September. So, as I'm still trying to get my head round the fact that he looks like he has finally got his head together and is going to move on with his life, my 2nd son announces that he too would like to go and that he has also contacted SSU and they have offered him a firm place to study Fitness & Personal Training. Now to say this was a shock is an understatement. He has just spent 3 years at college studying catering & hospitality and graduated in June as a qualified chef. He's always loved sport and spends alot of his spare time at the gym and had been thinking that he'd like to combine his catering skills with personal training to offer his clients a complete package - but to be taken seriously, he wanted to have a degree.
So, from having three teenage sons driving me mad, I'm about to send two of them off on their merry way and I'm not sure how I feel about it.
I'm so incredibly proud of them but at the same time I feel strangely bereft. For the past 22 years, my life has been all about the kids and now they're off into the big wide world. I know that it shows I've done my job properly that they feel they can fly now with confidence but the house will feel so empty without them. My youngest son is feeling it too. He is 16 and has just got 10 B grade GCSEs and is off to college to study Art & Design but he says he's just started to have a relationship with them where they don't treat him like their annoying little brother and now they're off.
It's been so incredibly hard at times dealing with them and coping with my RA and all the associated problems I've had (hip replacements and such like) and I should be looking forward to having a reasonably tidy house and half the amount of cooking and washing to do but I also worry that looking after them is what has kept me going all these years.
I always thought I wouldn't suffer from empty nest syndrome as they've always been independent - they've had to be with me being in and out of hospital but now I the time has come, what will I do without them?
So now we've got just 3 weeks to find them somewhere to live, get all the stuff together that they'll need and get them down there.
Wish me luck