I was asked this at my last interview and at the time all I had to say was ‘I don’t know. I did not get the job but I don’t think it was just because of that, it’s been 7 1/2 years since my last interview and I think my interview technique is a bit rusty. Since that interview I have had some time to think about the question and my answer, here it is.
I see myself being happy and content.
5 years ago I was 23, in a long term relationship, living at home with parents and healthy. Back then my plan was to move out, get married, have children and leave work to be a mum. My reality 5 years on is that I am 28 (well duh), engaged to the person I was in a long term relationship with, I am now living with that person and I am not healthy anymore. I have met most of my 5 year plan, I have moved out (tick), I am engaged and getting married later on this year (1/2 a tick), we aren’t looking to have children until we are married so they won’t be happening this year (no tick) and due to the reality of finances (and not having the children yet) I won’t be leaving work to become a mum (at this point I need to get a new job so I can leave it to become a mum. Big fat no tick there).
During my last 5 years a lot has changed and not a lot of it could be planned for. Moving out took longer than expected due to hick ups with getting the deposit together, finding the right house and waiting for surveys, banks, and solicitors. Not the end of the world but when you are first time buyers no one really tells you that it can be a long old process. Another factor was my decline in health. No one could predict that I would develop FM, that I would have to cut my hours and my depression would worsen. We finally got where we wanted and then we were faced with the uncertainty of how we were going to pay for the house and bills. The final thing that no one sore coming was the closer of my office and my redundancy. This has made the uncertainty of being able to pay the bills even worse.
The last 5 years of my life has taught me a lot. Firstly that I am tougher then I thought, if you had told 5 year ago me that all this would happen she wouldn’t have thought it possible to get through something like that. Sometimes I think that I’m making a big fuss out of having FM and it’s not as bad as all that, and then the pains come. When the pains come or I have a full blown flare up I wonder how I’m going to make it through, that no one could cope with something that bad happening to them. Most of the time I try and remind myself that it’s not so bad, it is something I can live with as long as I remember that I do need to take some extra care and having bad days doesn’t mean I’m going to have a bad life. Our health is something that I think we all take for granted until something comes along that threatens it. I still have my health, it’s just that that statement means something different to me now than it dose 5 year ago me (or anyone else for that matter).
Last September at work we were told that our building was closing, the company was moving to Leeds (the other end of the country to where we are) and many of us would be made redundant. I was just starting to get a handle on work and my FM, and while I didn’t like working for that company any more, being told that really knocked the wind out of my sails. How was I going to get a new job with my health condition and sick record!? Back in September I didn’t think that I would get through it ok but even though I haven’t got a new job yet it has turned out to be one of the best things to happen to me. I am finally out of an office that I didn’t like working in but I have left them with a better understanding of getting a work, life, FM balance. I now feel that I can walk into a new job role and be able to handle it. As the company made me redundant I got a pay out and have been able to sign up for job seekers. This means that I have a little bit of money coming in at the moment and if I get a new job while we still have my redundancy money we can use that money to put towards the wedding or new windows for our bedroom (all of the windows needs doing but the ones in our bedroom are really bad). During the last 3 years I have had a lot of things like blood tests and trips to the hospital to find out what’s wrong with me and how best to deal with it. When I was in work it meant trying to make the appointments outside work hours (even on part time this was tricky), using holiday time to go to the appointment or make the lost time up. Last week (my first week of unemployment) I had a few medical appointments crop up and it was so nice to just be able to go to them. Being made redundant has meant that I can put some time and effort into me an my illness. Last week I had the last of my B12 jabs and I really think they have done me a lot of good. Last Monday I had an appointment to see the physio at our local hospital to see if they can help me. She is impressed at the how I am handling my illness and my knowledge of it. As part of helping me they have offered me 5 sessions in the hospitals hydro pool. A physio leads the ‘class’ through some gentle exercises in a warm pool to help with muscle pain. I had my first session this Monday passed and it was great, it has really helped with my leg pain. And at the moment I know I have the time to dedicate to the classes. Last week I also had referral to the feet people (sorry blanking on their name) so they can have a look at my crazy flat feet. I think this change has come at just the right time for me to be able to make myself better and it makes me even more confident that I will be able to get a new job and I feel like I am somewhere near a fully functioning human being again.
Having some time off from working has also meant that I can put more work into the house. When we bought this place we had so many ideas and plans but I have struggled to work and keep the house clean, it’s not a complete sty but we have had to priorities what the most important things are to clean so something’s have been left and left. But now I have a bit of time to put towards a good spring clean and clear out. I can’t just go for a major clean like I used to so it’s slow going but there is no rush. I have a kitchen timer that follows me around the house that I set to go off at 30 min intervals. This is so I don’t over do it and burn myself out I work for half an hour and then rest for half an hour. Today I am cleaning the kitchen and writing this blog, so if it seems a bit disjointed it is because I’m not writing it in one sitting.
The Dali Lama once said that ‘Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.’ I never understood what he meant until writing this post but now I feel that I really do. The other thing that writing this post has made me do is look at and appreciate all the good things in my life. Don’t get me wrong I know that I have a lot of good things in my life but it never hurts to write them down and take stock of them.
So in conclusion making me think about were I see myself in 5 years time has made me have a look at where I am now, and it’s not half bad. In 5 years time I see myself being happy and content. Life doesn’t care about your plan, it has it’s own plans for you and sometimes it knows best. And I still don’t know what the right answer is to that question in an interview.
Once again thank you so very much for sticking with me and getting to the end of this mammoth post. If you have any thoughts on what the right answer to the question is in an interview setting please let me know. I’d also love to here were you see yourself in 5 years time.
Happy thinking and please keep in mind my two favourite quotes of the day (pictures found on Google) x