The changes are subtle but significant and a mix of successes and the not so successful.
So, here we are, according to LinkedIn its been 2 years since I left full time salaried employment. I took some time then set up OPTIMAIN LTD in the autumn of the same year, so the business is only 18 months old.
Locating myself in the home these past two years, has been absolutely the right thing to do. Everything is a lot more settled and the family is better equipped to meet life challenges as a result. Tilly is doing well at school, I get to do routine music stuff and Rosie has been able to really explore her creative juices.
I’ll come on to Optimain shortly, but for starters let’s see what Rosie is now able to do. Remember she is post stage 3 breast cancer, (had the op, chemo, sick as a parrot and hair out etc.) Me being at home has been an enabler for her to really come back into herself. Not saying that it’s easy as the post cancer gift of early aggressive menopausal tomfoolery as a daily challenge, but she made the decision to take up a creative study experience and in 2016 enrolled in an arts foundation degree at our local and amazing Trowbridge College. During that time she got to try her hand at developing all sorts of creative processes and exploring the meaning of “Insignificance” relating back to all the trivial issues that a cancer sufferer has to go through, but are too insignificant to bother to tell anyone. She did so using the juxapositioning of found objects – things that have been discovered that had in time become so insignificant that they had been disposed of.
The settings she chose create a feeling of anxiousness in the viewer. By using sounds like an elevated heartbeat to accompany her visualisations. Her output was considered very unique and was well received. So much so that she was advised that this journey could take her on to a higher academic path where she could explore this and get much broader and intense critique. But also where she could truly get a sense of her accomplishments.
As a result she had a number of offers but decided to accept the offer from University Arts London – Wimbledon. She is now enrolled part time over 2 years and is at the time of writing, just about to enter the final phase of yr1.
She attends Mon-Wed staying locally with family – without which this would not have been possible. So I have to run my business diary around office Mon-Wed 9-3 and evenings, plus any travel to clients, seminars, etc. on Thursday and Friday, unless we have an exceptional need and when I call in favours and arrange child care etc.
I don’t like to do this often because its not fair on Tilly, nor is it right to take advantage of the wonderful friends we have here in Frome who has always been happy to provide play dates and sleep overs. It’s quite reciprocal, but we are probably not in credit at this time!
Tilly is now 8 going on 13. I am told this is quite normal. She also flits between wanting to be 3 again as thats when she never got told off and wee spoke always softly to her. I respond by saying that she would have to behave like she was three then. This never goes well and is not the right response I am told! Still she and her friends are a joy (mostly!!!) and being her dad is an honour, as I know she is really only on loan to us.
I realise that she will never do what I tell her, not because I tell her at least. She is a good girl so far and she does not like getting into trouble especially at school. But I realise that your kids can’t be “made” to do want you want. So I have opted for the option that equips her with the tools to make the right decision most of the time. I hope that works out ok! There’s no dress rehearsal here, we are doing this blind for the first time. And we don’t get a second go as we’re not having any more. So long as she’s happy and fulfilled and doesn’t mind being told that we love her every day, then she’ll be fine.
So work wise, how are we doing? I would say that we made a good start and we have some great things in the pipeline. Its a little bit “feast or famine”, well no that’s not true, as we have yet to feast but we are able to feed. We have some repeat business which has been an absolutely wonderful thing as it has enabled us to start off and build consistently without having to take jobs that were not really in line with our passions.
I have have a much clearer idea of what our values are and what we can offer our clients. We have skills in data science now also and can blend our domain experience with that to create a unique mix of skills and from that we can combine the various machinery data sources from difference entities within a company and provide analysis and insight which represents a very unique set of management data in a single place. This is a very niche and still germinating deliverable. Bit we think it may have some useful assurance value that can be traded.