Last Christmas was not my best Christmas ever to say the least.

I had put off worrying about the impending redundancies at work until after #ontourwithBFlow2010 was done. I didn’t want anything to spoil those moments. Consequently November hit hard with “at risk” letters falling right on top of my Post Gig Depression. Our good employers then deemed that giving us their decision as to whether we would have a job or not before Christmas might ruin it for us. Well, thanks, put I think I’ll be the judge of what will ruin Christmas, and frankly the worry and stress of not knowing was worse than losing my job.

The New Year kicked off in style, with a nice letter to say I was being made redundant. I wasn’t expecting it. I was expecting to get put on the resilience team, a “back up” team for when people left in droves and they needed some experienced people to do the job. This would involve an up to 3 hour journey each way to do a job I hated. Redundancy was the better option.

After the initial shock, I picked up myself up, dusted myself off and started planning my new life. I had been less than happy in my job for quite some time. Not the actual work itself, just the situation. There were way too many bad memories and associations there. This was a chance for a new start, which I badly needed.

After looking at the meagre job options available to me, I decided to try a new career, one that would hopefully lead to me achieving my dream of retiring abroad despite me now having no money and no pension to rely on, Teaching English as a Foreign Language. I took an introductory course and was promptly informed that my employers did see fit to give me a job. On the dreaded resilience team. They didn’t get the joyous reception they were expecting. My year had gone from bad to worse.

Meanwhile, in other parts of my life, things were great. My health was holding up, I introduced Niamh and Michelle to conventions and not only had The Killers announced some “come back” dates, including one in the UK, but Brandon Flowers threw in a few festival solo dates. Throwing caution to the wind I decided to have a last hurrah before I was permanently broke and booked a trip to London for The Killers and to Cornwall for Brandon Flowers. Best. Decision. Ever. Those memories will never fade.

Just as things were beginning to look particularly bleak, and the time was approaching that I was going to have to hand in my notice, rather than do the horrid, horrid job that I hated, I was offered a full time post at Halifax. Not ideal, but So. Much. Better. than my current options.

And then, the impossible happened, I spent an evening in a pub in Manchester with Ronnie Vannucci of The Killers and his side project Big Talk. I think he must have some kind of Midas Touch, because my life finally turned around and got better right around this point.

Despite, the awkwardness of the travelling, I am incredibly happy in my new job. All the stresses and strains and headaches of the past few years are gone and I can look to the future once more. This Christmas has been a happy one and I look forward to 2012 with great anticipation.

In retrospect, 2011 was a good year, I went through a lot, I had some amazing experiences, I made some wonderful new friends, and I start 2012 with hope instead of despair.

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