Allegro Life

Allegro Life

I know It’s been ages since I last blogged, and I can’t say my life has been particularly “adagio” since then (hence the title of this post)! I have to say not even the meditation that I wrote about in my last post way back in November helped that situation – I found my mind was just too busy. I’d start to meditate, only to sit there with my mind going a million miles an hour, so I’d give up and just get on with my day.

Work and business issues have, frankly, completely consumed me and not in a particularly good or healthy way. Turning my back on them has been impossible. I’m not sure whether it’s because of my new bookkeeper keeping me accountable or because I’ve stopped burying my head in the sand – literally, taking refuge in my Adagio Life more than I should have been, I guess – but I’ve become intimately acquainted with the operations of my business, am often painfully conscious of the dollars that come in and go out, and am soberly aware that the business doesn’t run on its own, that I need to supply the fuel.

In recent months I’ve had to concentrate on cutting expenses. And that has meant, unfortunately, making two employees redundant. For at least a year, if not more, the business was paying these two to basically sit on their butts in the office and do nothing. Money was going to them that could have gone to my family, that’s the bald truth of it. Completely my fault of course, but I had to do something about it in the end.

It was extraordinarily stressful, for everyone involved, the whole process – I’m convinced the employment laws do not support the business-owner, so I had to tread very, very carefully. I even obtained legal advice and followed a strict methodology in ending the employment of these people. However, not for one minute did I think what I was doing was a mistake, and now that it’s done, I would not under any circumstances reverse it. It was completely the right thing for the business. A great deal of the stress arose from the gossip around town that surged once the people with no life got wind that two of my staff had left – this town is notorious for gossip. I was expecting it to an extent and knew I’d have to ride that fallout, but it was pretty nasty. I also had to deal with one of the employees being hostile – I was also expecting that from her (she was one employee that I’d never quite trusted, hence why she was up the top of my list of unproductive people to remove from the business). She was so openly hostile that after a few weeks of it I’d had enough and called her in for a “chat”. She had the absolute hide to do some blame-shifting for her own lack of productivity and potential redundancy (at that stage she was just “on notice” to start meeting budget requirements, part of the required methodology in basically getting rid of dead weight in a business)! I told her that as a professional if she wanted to maintain her job she needed to ensure she kept her own clients, and to get out there and get more clients, neither of which she was doing. There were other aspects to the hostility. Suffice to say though, it was clear to both of us she was not going to meet budget requirements, and she ended up resigning so I suppose strictly speaking she wasn’t made redundant although I’m sure would have been.

In any event, both employees departed, the fallout subsided and I’m seeing some positive movements in the business bottom-line. I still hate it at times, running the business. It’s honestly not where my passion lies. It’s a means to an end. However, being in my position I can actually see the reality of an employee’s position more clearly, and the fact is, I would not swap being my own boss for being an employee again. As bad as it is being a business owner, at least I have control over my own destiny.

So, it’s been an interesting four or five months, however just in the last few weeks I’ve sensed the stress-levels subsiding. As a kind of off-shoot of business-matters, and not necessarily having an effect on the stress-levels either way, is a proposal that was made in the last month or so that I merge my business with another bigger one in Brisbane. I’m cautiously interested. I have no doubt this other business experiences the same issues as me, as we are in the same line of work, and I don’t want to take on a greater burden just when I’m at the point of eliminating my own, and feel that I’m 99% of the way along the path I set myself a while back – I’ve actually achieved employee-wise what I wanted to achieve earlier than I planned. I’m proud of myself in that respect. Now it’s just getting to the end of my lease term. In any event, I’m open to listening to what the guys from this other firm have to say but at the end of the day I don’t care whether we merge or not, as I’m happy on the path that I’m on. The merger has to be a better path or I’m just not travelling that way.

Anyway, I’ve spent all of this post writing about work when the idea of this blog is to have a retreat from work! However I thought it was important to give a reason for my lengthy absence. I’m truly hoping that I can post more regularly again.

As for aspects of my “Adagio life”, there is nothing much different. Doggos are all good, except Yogi stole some of Pumba’s leftover food recently and got a ripped ear from Pumba for it. Had to take Yogi to the vet to get patched up. I was surprised at Pumba, as previous to that, Yogi had been the “boss”. I’ve kept them separate since then as I’d rather be around when they are in each other’s vicinity so I can supervise. Pumba is the sort of dog who would take a reprimand from me immediately and seriously so I’m not overly concerned, I just want to be around in case it happens again. I have a few more chooks than I did before – acquired two more light Sussex hens and two buff Orpingtons and my brother gave me his three chooks. They are all happy and healthy. One of my light Sussex bantams (Gilly) disappeared a few months ago and I thought she’d been taken by a predator, only to find her a few weeks ago hidden in the vege garden with two babies! One of the babies subsequently died but the other is still around, a plucky little chap (or it could be a hen, I don’t know). Horses are all good. A month or so after Gendry died a friend of mine asked if I wanted to take on her old girl Lady, so I did. Lady is a 27 year old Chestnut, very placid and quiet. I have Arya still and Ghost of course, no problems there, it’s a peaceful existence for them. The only time they get a bit snitty is when I’ve run out of pony pellets and have forgotten to get to the rural supply store for more, so they miss out on breakfast.

I also acquired two female white geese who have adapted very well with the three boys. As for my garden, it was a very hot and at times dry summer so I can’t say I was very active with new planting, and didn’t have much time to do anything other than a bit of pruning and weeding. Now that it’s getting a tad cooler and hopefully work pressures are subsiding I’ll be able to get out there more.

I probably do have more that I could post but need to get a move on with my day, so I’ll leave it there for now, and cross fingers I am now back blogging on a fairly regular basis! I shall finish with this thought that has sustained me in recent times: