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List for Living – time for an update

I wrote my List for Living  a number of years back now, and it’s amazing to think how it has dated already. I’ve already decided that I hate the title of it….it sounds a bit…..well, not sure of the right word to use as everything I can think of isn’t particularly polite! Naff is the acceptable word I suppose! So anyone who wants to come up with suggestions for me for a title that isn’t a ‘bucket list’ or a ‘list for living’ is very welcome!

But also, there are a number of things on it now where they may end up being the norm…and that’s great….I don’t want to be living every day worrying about my myeloma and I don’t think that I do anymore which is brilliant. To be honest, in some ways it even sounds slightly attention seeking to even have such a list, but it does focus me on making sure that Nick and I do some of the things that we want to do together and individually.

This past week or so, I’ve started thinking about it again. As many of you know, I’ve taken a year out of fundraising for Myeloma UK, after a year that was very heavily focused on it. But I’ve realised that I’m not necessarily making the most of my year out. And if there is ever a time to do it, it’s in a year where I have turned 40 and Nick is soon to turn 40….whenever else do you get an excuse to do some different, some lavish things, that you wouldn’t otherwise do! I’m also getting twitchy about not fundraising so need to find other things to do that stop me thinking about it so much…I’m already starting to think about sponsored activities for 2016!

I think that one of the things that made me rethink it recently was that we went to Romania for half-term. We were so lucky to stay with a lovely friend of Nick’s. She drove us all over Romania making sure that we saw all of the amazing sites, ate traditional Romanian food, and drank their wonderful wine! For once we actually took the digital SLR with us, and I spent some time playing around with it, trying to get better at my photograpy. I’m not hugely creative so it isn’t a natural thing for me, but as it is one of the things on my list, it made me think that I really need to sort out lessons! Also, Rebecca really enjoyed taking photographs too….the one of the sunset is hers! So perhaps we can find somewhere we can do classes together!

 

So, I’m going to be taking a look at this list over the next few weeks and trying to get friends to get involved with me….don’t be surprised if I ask you!

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List for Living

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Working Woman

So, it is nearly exactly 2 years since I gave up ‘paid’ work for the Bank and I think I’ve done quite a lot in that two years….Chemo, Stem Cell Transplant, over £3k raised from a tabletop sale, over £30k raised from the Glitz and Glamour Ball, along with a few other bits of voluntary work to keep me ticking along.

But me being me, it just wasn’t quite enough once that all finished. I told people recently that I was applying for a role in the charity sector, a role with the Roald Dahl Marvellous Children’s Charity. I never once believed that I’d get it. It was a job I absolutely loved the sound of. It was well paid for charity work, and surely there would be ‘professional fundraisers’ who would know how to tick the boxes and have experience of all the things they were asking for. In fact, I nearly pulled out the week before as I thought that I would be wasting their time, and that they were too small and valuable a charity for me to do that (they help to support children who have rare or complex haematological or neurological conditions such as acquired brain damage, epilepsy, sickle cell). I started to get concerned about how I would fit in my family around the hours given that I still need to be around for holidays etc.

In the end and after much discussion with Nick, and much soul searching, we decided that it would still be great experience for me given that I have never applied for a role in the charity sector, and would allow me to see where the gaps were in my CV. So I went for the interview last week…..and only went and got it!! OMG! I was so shocked when they phoned to make the offer, and absolutely over the moon. I know people often say to me that I play my strengths down and should know better, but this time, I truly didn’t feel like I had given a good interview, and couldn’t see why such an amazing charity would take on me. But they are doing!

I am over the moon. They are being really flexible in considering my working hours so that I can fit work around the family – and that is pretty amazing in this day and age! It makes me so determined to do the job well for them. So for all of you out there who own businesses that aren’t flexible…..take this as a pointer….if you can be flexible in your attitude, you will probably get far more back from your employees.

The role is as a ‘Major Gifts Fundraiser’, i.e. helping to get funding and donations to support the families that the charity works with. It looks like I will work 4 days a week, with the occasional evening and weekend work. But even that work, looks like fun so it is just the most PERFECT sounding job and I am as high as a kite about it.

I know that our life will get more manic but I really feel already that I will be fulfilling my needs as well as my family’s needs and that is so important if I am going to be able to live with my condition. I hope that my myeloma won’t come back for many, many years and so I need to live life as if that is the case. Getting a job that I love doing (for the first time ever!) is the first step to this. So keep your fingers crossed for me that all goes well, that my medical doesn’t get in the way (it shouldn’t given that I am still in remission) and that April 15th sees me starting a role that will change not only my life, but I hope the life of those children living with conditions that they shouldn’t have to live with.

In the meantime, getting this job has made me realise that you can achieve anything that you want to. Also, a lovely lady who is also living with cancer, has inspired me through publishing her ‘List for Living’ or what some people less positively phrase as their ‘Bucket List’ . If I can get my ‘perfect job’ then surely I can do some of the other things that I would love to do before this cancer gets the better of me. And why wait until I relapse once or twice more, and have time constraints put on me…..so I am working on it now and will let you know when it’s done. And if anyone fancies helping me with suggestions or ways of achieving my ideas, I will happily take that help 🙂

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