Sunday, October 28, 2012

Done? Not so Much....

I want to thank everyone who took the time to comment something nice on my last post. This whole thing has been an emotional roller coaster for me, and apparently, it's not quite as done as I thought it was.

Early morning, October 25th, I get a call to 'do' a call for the contract work. I laugh at the girl and tell her my contract expired 25 minutes earlier. I suggest to her to call her supervisor as well as the on call person on the receiving end to get someone in authority to tell her what to do. I apologise, because I know this is none of her doing, and she is just getting caught in the middle.

Then I went to bed and slept like the dead a baby. No call woke me in the middle of the night. It was glorious. Except I woke up feeling anxious and guilty, so I called the lady working the morning shift to see if they got it all worked out on their end.

A couple of hours go by, and the phone calls are coming fast and furious. The department head calls me to see if I'm 'open' to another contract extension. Then the sourcing specialist calls me to see if I would "...Please consider extending the current extension for another 3 months". They realise that they have left a gap between the time that my contract ends, and the new one starts, by a couple of months.

Suddenly, I feel like my specialty work is valued again. I feel valued and somewhat smug. This big deal corporation never considered the fact that I may not be there to do the job, and they certainly never thought that I wouldn't bid on the contract, no matter what. I let them know that should they not get any bids on the new contract or the bids they do get are unacceptable, I would be willing to negotiate with them, however as that particular contract stands, I have no intention of bidding on it. Ever.

I'm curious as to why they would ask me to extend the current contract well past the new contract start date. By like 50 days. There will either be some overlap in service, or they have no one to take over after I am finished.

I was actually looking forward to doing anything other than that job. I resignedly and begrudgingly accepted another extension, only because I am partial to the money it brings with it, and Christmas is coming rather soon. Not to mention that with this final 'big payment', we can pay off the last of our consumer debt.

I have decided with hubby, that should they ask for another 'extension' at the end of January, we will decide then if we want to, and if we do, I will ask for another full two year term with only the existing guidelines (none of the new stuff).

Here's to three more months of interrupted sleep, and not enough hours in the day.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Change of Pace

For the last eight years or so, I have been self-employed. I have also during that time held a contract with a large health care provider.

Today, this comes to an end.

I had a decision to make. I needed to decide if I was going to bid on this contract again. I entered into the website which houses this contract request for tender, and was shocked to find that they have changed the wording of this contract that I have fulfilled for several years.

I was also saddened to see that the new requirements for this contract put me out of the running, so to speak. Further reading led to the discovery that my competitors had been notified of the request for tender for at least a week prior to me being notified as well as the dollar value of the contract was buried in its pages that any astute reader could easily have found.

I could feel a huge fight coming on. A fight for my contract, the one that no one else wanted, once upon a time. A fight for fairness for the small business owner who was just trying to earn a living for her family.

Knowing that I have a tendency to make snap decisions, I stewed about it for the better part of several hours until hubby called me to let me know he was done work for the day. I dropped the bomb on him. He was as furious as I was.

We talked. DD1 was there, and was included in the discussion. I mentioned how much we 'needed' the thirty five thousand or so of income this one contract brought in per year. We talked about the 'new' requirements that would take me the better part of a year to bring my company into full compliance with. I mentioned the fact that I would also have to show documentation to prove compliance along with my submission for tender. I could do it, but not in ten days.

And then I felt a door close.

I admitted to being tired. Tired of the late night calls to set up someone elses morning work. Tired of feeling that I was all alone in my line of specialty work. Tired of being feeling underpaid for work that would go for a higher rate elsewhere. Tired of being surprised to see that my nights work involved extremely heavy lifting. Tired of holding down multiple jobs/contracts so that sometimes my working hours go over the amount any normal human being would find acceptable. I'm not getting any younger, and truthfully, someone else just might be better suited for the job now.

I realised that I am no longer the one to do this particular job.

We decided that we will not bid on this contract this year.

Hubby and I agreed that we would still do whatever it takes to keep our family clothed, housed and fed well. But let me tell ya, losing  $35,000 in income is nothing to sneeze at. But with the income also goes having to be on call 24/7/365. Also going is the additional strain on my hernia, a huge yearly cost for fuel, repairs and maintenance on my van, and additional expenses that were required to maintain said contract.

One of my other contracts has been slowly increasing in call volume over the last 12 months. I can focus my energies on this and my part-time job as well, without worry of how this particular contract will interfere. I can book holidays off without worry of getting called back, and the phone ringing in the middle of the night will now become the exception, and not a normal daily routine.

I fully believe when one door closes, another one opens. Now I might be awake and alert enough to see it.

We still are focusing on repaying our debt, and living a full, enjoyable life. Perhaps our dreams of home ownership are going to take longer than we originally planned, but we will be alright.

Tonight will be the end of an era for me.

The change of pace is going to be wonderful. I'm going to try to enjoy it for awhile without adding more to my work schedule.

Thank you all for you prayers for wisdom and guidance.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Things to Ponder

Hi all.

I'm really not in a good place right now. Not to worry, my health is good, and the family is fine.

But life has thrown another curve ball at us which is going to be huge. (And NO, I'm not pregnant!)

I have about eight days left to ponder over some things, and I will have a huge decision to make. I'm pretty sure what the decision is going to be, but I'm leaving my options open until the last minute. Just in case a fairy waves her magic wand and helps us out. ;)

This possible life changing decision will definitely compel me to post more about what is going on with us, and how we will be dealing with the consequences of it.

So, for the next few days, I'm slowing everything down. Slowing down on spending, eating out, visiting people, leaving the house even. Partly because I'm almost scared into inaction, but also because I want to tread very lightly and not make impulse decisions (which I am prone to do).

I'll be knitting more often, spending more time with my family, giving my all at work, and counting my blessings. I'll be remembering all that I have done over the past eight years and all that has changed in that time. I will be trying to put it all into perspective.

Prayer. Some prayer will help. A lot of prayer will help.

I have you all in my prayers of thanks. Please keep us in yours.

~ Eboo

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Book Review: What A Difference a Mom Makes

Boys will be boys--always.
And no one has a more powerful impact on them than you, Mom.
Surprise! Your boy wants to please you, and he cares deeply about what you think. Those driving needs will stay with him throughout his lifetime. That gives you, Mom, a lot of influence over your son. You can set him up for success in life.
In What a Difference a Mom Makes, the New York Times bestselling author Dr. Kevin Leman reveals how you can make a positive imprint on your son--from the moment you first hold him in your arms until the moment he leaves for college. And the best news? It's never too late to start, no matter what age your son is now.
Through Dr. Leman's expert advice, you'll understand who your son is on the inside, the truth behind sibling squabbles (and how to handle them), a secret for discipline that works every time, and how to navigate the critical teen years. You'll also discover how your parenting style impacts your relationship with your son and how you can respond in a healthy way to his growing interest in sex and relationships.
Want to capture your boy's heart? Want a man you'll be proud to call your son? You can make a difference, because you are the one who matters most in your boy's world.
Even if he won't admit it.
~ from the Baker Publishing Group website

My Review:

The title of this book really reached out to me. I couldn't wait to read it! Who doesn't want to learn the secrets of how to raise a boy into a good man?

I'll be honest. When reading, the author's style of writing kept alluding to 'giving you the secrets' as a method of getting you to read the whole book, which is a style I personally am not very fond of. It's as though there is a Big Secret waiting to be told somewhere amongst its pages. But there was no big secret.

There were a lot of helpful hints though. Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed this book, learning about how birth order can affect your child's personality and learning about how boys think differently than girls. Dr. Leman suggests ways to deal with struggles and difficulties that will happen while raising your son (and your daughter for that matter) through all stages of life.

There were some areas where Dr. Leman makes references to religious beliefs in order to help you guide your son to moral values that would be beneficial for rearing any child, but I don't feel that the book had an overly religious tone to it (which is nice).

I would recommend this book to those who are interested in learning a different way to think about child rearing, or for those who could use a little encouragement that they are parenting well.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Monday, October 8, 2012


"Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for those things you have and in some cases, those things you don't have."
~ my sister sent this to me this morning in a text message
I've been fortunate this weekend to spend time with family. Saturday evening, DD1, her bf and Grandcub came over for dinner and a visit. I made mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and made chicken roast that was rather unique. There were chicken breasts, deboned and seasoned, wrapped in bacon. Everything is better with bacon, don't you agree?
Yesterday, we went to the big dinner potluck with Hubby's family (there were over 50 people there!) then spent some quality time with the kids when we got home.
Today will be a quiet day spent at home, with my MIL coming over at some point. I have no idea what I'm making for dinner tonight, but I'm sure I can rustle something up. No potatoes though. We've gone through 20 lbs of potatoes in the last couple of days.
I've been working lots (although it's been very quiet this weekend) and mostly keeping out of trouble. I'm working on some knitting projects, and doing work with the charity, gearing up for our biggest season of the year. Cub has finally adjusted to his new schedule with school, and DD1 has been excited for starting eighth grade.
There is so much to be thankful for this holiday, I couldn't possibly list them all. Family, friends, a loving home, enough to eat, a good job, an education, and happy, healthy kids.
If you are reading this, please know that I'm also thankful for you.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone.