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.