Finding a new partner is exactly what happened. Moving forward and healing takes time. Along the way there is always a sense that you should be doing more. A feeling that you need to contribute. Yet, as quickly as the thought comes into your head it is followed by self-doubt and at some points, self-loathing. The idea of going back to work is at best terrifying and at worst paralysing. It can easily send you spinning back down a road you’ve worked hard to travel up. It was time for a system reboot.
Finding Stuff To Do.
It became fairly obvious, quite early on, that I was going to have reservations about going back out into the mainstream workplace. No amount of cajoling was going to change that. The thought of having to be somewhere that wasn’t my home, was not in any way attractive to me. As I had previously worked in environments where I was interacting with people and I currently did not want to meet, greet or in any way socialise with anyone…it narrowed my options down a touch.
Saying all that, as previously stated, there is only so much cleaning and tidying you can do. I could have read and thus maybe learned but I didn’t have the concentration for it. Not sure why that was, I never asked or looked it up but it did seem to be an inherent symptom of depression.
I needed something I could do on my own.
Buying And Selling
As a consequence of all the cleaning and tidying I had been doing, I took on the character of someone who could be considered thrifty, maybe not the right word. I was more conscious of the value or worth of items around the house. I was starting to see the potential as I had managed to sell a few things via my wifes Facebook account. FB wasn’t my thing back then. Nothing major, an old bike that just needed some oil and a clean, a long forgotten radio or a sandwich toaster. None of these were going to pay the mortgage but they were there first small steps into a world that I had not been privy to.
Not only was there a practical element, as in getting rid of stuff that was obsolete in the household, it was also rewarding and gave you a sense of accomplishment. Plus you got paid. Bonus.
X boxes And Phones
Let’s start with X boxes. My son had been given one by his Grandma for one for his birthdays. It was a ‘pre-owned’ one and thus had a short warranty. After a while the DVD drive started playing up, reading some discs and not others. I had no clue as to a solution. A friend gave me a tip about cleaning the lens in the drive itself..Uuumh ok…well after a few YouTube video tutorials I managed to open the box…really, it was no easy task…following the tip I used a cotton ‘bud’ or ‘Q-tip’ to clean the lens,put it all back together again and ‘hey presto’ it was working.
One thing led to another and before you knew it I was buying broken games consoles, fixing them and selling them on. Then came phones. Having four children, all with phones, there was no shortage of broken screens. Again, it was a case of needs must. When faced with a griping teenager who entire life revolved around social interaction via their phone, fixing it was a high priority. Back then, sending your phone in for a screen replacement was not cheap but buying a screen and fitting it yourself could work out at half the price and in some cases less. Back to YouTube
It was, looking back, a natural progression to move onto computers. Although the actual start was more of an accident. I had been scouring through EBay and found a listing for about ten computers. They were all in a dismantled state as the owner had originally intended to sell the parts individually. For whatever reason he had decided against it and was selling everything as a job lot, everything was there, just in pieces. I put a bid on, which was the first and lowest at the time. The thing about EBay in my opinion is that it is easy to get swept up in the ‘auction’ style of it. You bid, someone else bids and the cycle continues until one of you pays the final amount when the auction ends. That is one way to pay way more than you might have originally intended. My way was always to go in with the price I was happy to pay and if I won, yay. If I didn’t, I continued my search.
So, I had placed my bid and then subsequently forgot about it. The next day I logged into my e-mails account and saw a notification from EBay, I had won the auction…. Might sound lame but I was really excited. I arranged collection and duly went and collected a car boots worth of computers.
Over the next few weeks I learnt a huge amount about computers. I had no choice really, I was in at the deep and from day one. Sometimes that is the best way to learn. We all have different methods. I researched each model so I could see what they looked like on the inside and how they fitted together. Once they were up and running I added some software and boom, ten fully working PC’s.
Doing It Right
Once again I seem to have filled the page and not managed to get where I wanted to. Oh well, I’m sure you’re used to it by now. This is important background to give you though. As the next few pages or posts will bring you nicely into another chapter.
The process of restoring the computers was in some way cathartic. It was for me a way of regaining an element of confidence maybe. It also had given what were probably the first ‘seeds’ of what would ultimately become ‘TwAcK’…Here’s how my brain was seeing things.
I had bought the computers very cheaply. All it had taken was my time and possibly a little further investment to replace any parts that were missing or might have been broken, as there were no guarantees that when they were previously ‘whole’ they were working one hundred percent. By the time I had sold the second one, I had made my money back, so anything after that was going to be profit.
As I had been working my way through the task, my research had led me to various sites that were selling computers, either new or refurbished. The new ones ‘niggled’ me, as did the way they were sold. It was always a case of selling you something that you didn’t need. Let’s face it, for your average family, the computer is a means to go on the internet and produce the occasional document in ‘Word’. Yes, there’s a market for more high-end stuff when it comes to game playing, streaming or video-editing but they were, at the time, the minority and to be fair, those who wanted to do that would have had a better knowledge of the ‘spec’ they wanted from a computer in the first place.
Paying It Forward
I decided that I was going to ‘do the right thing’. After loading all the drivers and updates, to ensure the computer was running as well as the age allowed, I set about finding software that was useful and free. When you start looking for it you’d be amazed at how much there is out there. The best thing is that most of it is compatible with the ‘bought’ stuff. Much of it is ‘Open Source’ so it’s being updated constantly and by those who want to improve the programs.
So I gave them a bundle of software that would happily do everything they needed without the cost…including a decent anti-virus program, so they could surf the net without worry. It was basic and functional. Did exactly what it said on the tin, so to speak. They were also a fraction of the cost. Win win.
I didn’t make a huge amount of money by the end of it. That wasn’t my intention at the outset anyway. It gave a real feeling of doing something worthwhile and of value.
It also was also a big step in me finding a way back into the world. I wasn’t ready to go centre stage and shout ‘I’m back’ but it did allow me to have quiet word with myself and realise that I actually could offer something that others might want. That in itself was progress…and that’s what lifes about…moving forward.