December 24, 2012 by benmblackman
I’ve met a lot of people in December and do you know what they say to me? ‘How was 2012 for you Ben?’ I can’t answer every one of them in writing (3 people have asked me for goodness sake) so I have decided to write my review of 2012 via the medium of blog. Don’t thank me, think of it as my Christmas gift to you.
I don’t talk about work much on my blog (I’m there 362,000 hours a week, I don’t want to write about it when I’m at home. That or get the sack. Luckily until now the Red Trouser Days have avoided detection on the whole and I remain in employment).
Yes it’s hard, yes it’s stressful, cor blimey gov’nor the pressure is high in this cut back culture and more-for-less lifestyle but, like Brucie would say, ‘didn’t they do well?’
I am hugely proud of our organisation. Carers Central it is, look us up if you’re a Carer, know a Carer, or wonder about what I do. On 31st December this year I will have been doing this 8 years. That’s a quarter of my life. We started with nothing and end this year with 21 Employees and 35 Volunteers supporting over 3,200 Adult Carers and 200 Young Carers.
Let’s just say this. If you’re going to slog through the year of doom 2012 has been in the charity sector, I wouldn’t want to get through with any people other than our people. We rule, because they rule, and don’t just take my word for it, ask the Red Rose Awards, they made us Best Not-For-Profit Organisation in Lancashire 2012 (confusingly for the calendar year of 2011) when, if I do say so myself, we totes smashed it. We doubled in size, turnover and Carers supported. Not bad with only little old me trying to organise it and pull it together and this n that. We beat organisations 2, 3 and 4 times our size and one 15 times as old as us. One for the underdog. One to prove small can be beautiful. When I talk about stress and pressure, it is high (if I don’t do my job well 21 people don’t go home to pay the mortgage, have a think about that one every Friday night, I usually do)! But that is nothing compared to ensuring Carers get the support and deal they deserve in life. Compared to what Carers have on their plates every day, my lot is a doddle. I hope what comes through in my blogging and life is optimism.
The glass is half full (especially when wine is involved). It’s got to be in my mind and when I talk about making the most of life whilst you have your health it’s Carers who have taught me that. The most inspirational people you’ll meet, easy – I raise a glass of champagne to each and every one of them. I then feel guilty for having such an easy champagne drinking lifestyle (not quite true really but you get the idea)?
Suitcase full of Rocks
But guilt is like a suitcase full of rocks (…you don’t wanna be carrying that shit around with you). This reminds me of the piece I wrote for Mumpreneurs UK back in July this year. Since then, my very own Mumpreneur has continued to build up not one but TWO amazing businesses.
Click on the logo for Very Nice Things. Absolutely amazing it is. The lady is a genius and I don’t just say that because she is my wife (regular readers will know she usually gets a far rawer deal in these pages)! If she wanted to take over the world with her other business, Peg Marketing, she could, she’s that good but she doesn’t, better choosing to work with a select few clients. Watch out for Very Nice Things in 2013, I think it’s going to be a big year.
And as if that’s not enough, I attribute the greatest gift I have been given this year – my blog – to her. You’ll know if you read them way back that she’s the brains behind this operation. She told me for a year to write a blog. Blah blah blah, I said. Don’t want to this, can’t that, what’s the point the other, I said, and then I realised, she speakeths the truth. I love this blog and all of you who have made writing it so pleasurable by your delightful comments, views, opinions and encouragement. Thank you. Truly. And then some more.
As you know, I’m an aspiring writer. I’ve written a book you know? I haven’t said much about it because, until it becomes a reality, it’s more of a piece of writing on my computer than a book isn’t it? This blog though has given me a great deal of learning and development as a writer. Writing for an audience, getting feedback, editing. Ok, this review is purely self indulgent and too long but generally I try to keep them to 750 words. That’s not easy but it’s taught me massively about good editing, something that is just as essential when you’re main project is 90,000!
How about the running too? A 10km for chariiiidy back in July has sparked me into a keen runner. What a wonderful thing to be able to run 6 whole miles without it causing too much issue. I look forward to running, I love the feeling of it whilst out and back. How strange. I’m no athlete but I can put in some hard yards now.
Which was an aim of mine, to get fit because 2012 has been the hardest graft of my life (and I thought 2011 was tough)! But we’ve done well haven’t we? I’m working, I’m blogging, I’m writing, I’m running. Like that bloke said, the harder I work, the luckier I get. I’m hoping 2013 sees some reward reaped for that work and I wish you all the very best of luck in 2013 too.