So to update both of the people who read this:
I passed my interview exam thingy (which Howie obviously knew about very early on, based on the email he sent me) and I’ve now got a permanent job doing the same job I’ve been doing for the past year or so, only now I’m getting paid at the rate you’re supposed to get for that job. I almost had a few minor (major?) meltdowns in the two weeks they took to tell me, but I think we’re past all that now. I’ve been frantically rushing about trying to get all of the cool stuff that I’m now entitled to before someone in admin realises that they might have to actually spend some money instead of telling everyone that they’re meant (in theory) to be supporting that they don’t need the things that they’ve asked for to achieve the goals that their job demands. I suppose their job is to be horrible and stingy, and they seem like they’re pretty good at their job.
I’m now on holiday for a couple of weeks, which is lovely. We’re heading south in the morning for a few days’ camping. That could be a lot of fun, or it could be terrifying, now that we’re three instead of two. I’m not quite sure how babies deal with tents, but I’m quietly optimistic. And if it doesn’t work out, we can always head home a few days early.
Speaking of home, we’ve finally found somewhere to live instead of the two rooms in my sister-in-law’s house that we’ve been in for the past year. We’re going to be renting the ground floor (self contained unit) of a house that belongs to a friend-of-a-friend’s father. The father will be our upstairs neighbour, but I’m told he’s nice enough. We’ll have a couple of bedrooms, a loungeroom, a bathroom, and a kitchen. I don’t know what we’re going to do with all that space! I’m sure we’ll fill it up very quickly…
The house has progressed slightly, in that we now have a concrete slab to build on (thanks mainly to some incredibly generous friends who donated hours of their time, and dozens of blisters on their hands!). The timber frame is (in theory) going to be delivered/assembled at some stage in late January/early February, and the windows get delivered shortly afterwards. At this stage the estimated finish time is late 2012. I don’t know how we’re going to survive that financially/emotionally, but I suppose these things always take a long time. I’ve watched a lot of episodes of Grand Designs over the years, so I’m aware of how often these projects blow out in terms of budget and timeframe. I don’t want that to happen though, and we’re certainly at the low end of the ‘grand’ scale in terms of our ‘design’. It’s nice getting a little bit excited by the thought of loungerooms, or vegie patches, or treehouses though. I’m trying hard to visualise things, but it’s difficult.
I don’t think I’ve realised just how stressful 2011 has been, actually.
In a fairly short space of time, we decided to buy/develop a property with friends, then sold our unit, and bought said property, whilst contemplating far more debt than I’ve ever had before.
We lived in a small part of a house with family, who were generous enough to allow that.
We battled with Council, and had to do a lot more manual labour than my soft hands are used to.
We had a baby.
I took on a heck of a lot more responsibility at work, and studied for/sat an exam which had fairly significant consequences for me career-wise.
I think that it’s quite reasonable to assume that I haven’t been the most pleasant person in the world to be around throughout this year (not that I’ve ever been very nice, really), so I’m especially grateful for all the people who have been incredibly patient and generous towards me despite my long list of faults. My wife is rather kind to me, so I suppose I ought to show her slightly more gratitude than I tend to.
I’m absolutely exhausted at the moment, mentally, physically, and emotionally. I’m hoping that the next few weeks can be a real time of refreshing for me, and for our family relationships. Hopefully 2012 will be a tad more settled, and will allow us to be more of the people that we should be.