Smudger Snippets

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I suppose it's because I have so much time on my hands these days, that all these memories come flooding back to me.


We make many changes in our lives as we go through life in general; changes in jobs or changes in our partners. We change our cars every so often. Sometimes this is only to keep up an image of what other people think of us, in other cases this is due to the age and reliability of the old car. A change in our housing often comes after a change at work; a possible promotion giving us the money to buy a larger house, or even a change of job in a new area. What ever the reason for our changes we seem to adapt to them very quickly and not all changes are for the better. Some people find themselves moving to a new area because of a transfer or promotion at work, while others are moving because they have been made redundant or laid off from their jobs.

Even though we find these changes very stressful, we seem to want them, as if they are part of the fabric of our lives. In some cases we may even find ourselves living with different people in the same house; this is often the case when we re-marry or start a new relationship. Sometimes, as in my own case, you may find yourself not only living with a new family but also in a different house and working in a different job. This can cause problems as you're trying to cope with too many changes at one time. We had just bought our first house together when my second wife wanted to get her youngest son to stay with us as her other two children were teenagers and said they wanted to stay with their father. I had just started a new job with the ambulance service. Now when you go through all this, there are no instructions that come with the child, so you find yourself having to cope with a young person of eleven years old who not only does not like you, but does not want to be in the same house.

This can be very stressful time indeed. Like I said earlier, too many changes at one time. The new job was stressful enough with being on-call for ten days/nights at a time, not sleeping or eating properly and being called out at all hours of the night to sometimes messy or violent situations. So after a spell of that, you find that you are simply not in the mood to handle a stroppy disgruntled youngster who seems to be doing his best to make your life hell! To make matters worse, when I tried to tell my new wife just what was happening, she simply just did not believe that her son could behave in that way, so it was all in my mind. After a while of this I started to wonder if I was actually going out of my mind. This, along with all the jobs that need to be done when you move into a new house without any help from the youngster by the way, can very soon wear you down. It was not long before I had reached my tolerance level. I took the youngster aside for a chat where he informed me that he knew exactly what he was doing and would not tell his mother of his plans.

Then one night, after I got back from a callout and was feeling very stressed out and tired, I heard the two of them arguing when I got home. So I used this fact to let my wife know exactly what had been said earlier and, to my surprise, he owned up and told his mum of his plans to split us up by behaving badly. This came as a great relief to me and a surprise to his mother who decided to contact her ex husband and talk to him about it. In the end the youngster went back to live with his father.

Yet it is just amazing how time can change things as well. It was only recently, during a visit to us with his own two children, that the subject came up in conversation. He apologised for the hard time he gave me over that two year period all those years ago. I told him not to worry about it as he was going through a bad time in his life where he had to get used to a lot of changes in his lifestyle. So I suppose change does affect us all in different ways, and we all react to it differently.

It's the same when we change jobs or careers; we find ourselves having to completely change to suit the job we are in. For example, when I was a welding inspector I was expected to wear a collar and tie to work, a far cry from my earlier days when I was a welder. Then when I started working for the ambulance service I had to wear a uniform, which, just like my time in the Navy, had to be kept clean and smart at all times. This can very hard to achieve, however, when you get called out to what we called messy jobs! You could also not show any signs of stress or frustration while working. Again this was a far cry from my days in the oil industry where we used to scream at each other at times. Still the job always got done and we made up afterwards - just another change I had to get used to.

I have just recently got used to another big change in my life - the biggest of them all, not working any more! I suppose life will throw a few more changes at me before I go but then again, looking back over it all so far, I suppose I will adapt to them as well.

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