Saturday, 7 May 2011

So how did I get here?

Today Saturday 7 May 2011 is the first working day for 30 years, when I have not had a job.  I have worked for nearly 30 years for a transport company in London. 

But 7 years ago I decided I needed some life changes and made some plans.  I was fed up at work and wanted to do something more creative.  So the 5 year plan was created to enable me to give up work - pay off the mortgage, get some money behind us, get my art portfolio together, and take a career break to go to college to do an art degree.  I'd wanted to do this ever since I left school, but as for many people, life got in the way. 

As a shift worker, getting the art portfolio together was a bit difficult.  I wanted to do a Portfolio preparation class but these are usually evening classes, and my irreglar shift pattern precluded it.  So I did some applied art classes at weekends  and summer schools at Missenden Abbey in Buckinghamshire, and City Lit in Central London (brilliant adult learning colleges).  I did distance learning to do my C&G Creative Sketchbooks via Linda & Laura Kemshall's DesignMatters school, and I was all set to apply for my degree. 

Then the 5 year plan had to change.  I had identified my course at University of Hertfordshire, and was about to apply for a 3 year career break at my company.  Unfortunately at this stage my Dad, who lived alone, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. He deteriorated quickly with some demanding behaviour patterns.  I knew I could not devote enough time to a full time degree to hit the required deadlines of study, if I had care responsibilities for Dad.  So I applied to my company to go part-time, working weekends, late turns only.  I then applied to UH to study part time, and was accepted.

A year after his diagnosis, my Dad had a fall on ice and broke his hip.  This was the beginning of a fast decline, and he died, 4 months after I started my course.  It was a merciful release for all of us.

1 comment:

  1. Cathy, I'm so pleased you are progressing along your chosen path. I haven't time to catch up now, but will do soon, and I'll keep up to date as much as I can. You are very talented. I can't wait to see 'where' you go with your art.