Monday, 17 August 2009

A one way ticket for B-ark?

Whilst on maternity leave and before I went back to work I thought it would be nice to go to an office, were all is calm and I could achieve things in a day that I knew how to do (this was in the early days when Darling boy was tiny and I worried, incessantly, if I was ‘doing it right’) It wasn’t that I didn’t want to be at home with our little one, I did, and I do, I love it. It was just that at the end of a long day with a tiny tyrant, with a patchy night’s sleep ahead of me, the office life of banter about pointless stuff, the politics, the meetings, emails and photocopiers seemed like an entire universe away. It was one that represented calm order and grownup-ness, where during a meeting of colleagues everyone would keep their clothes on, and be able to have a long, uninterrupted conversation that wasn’t about babies. I know I am not alone in this feeling, it is one shared by many of my slummy mummy friends.

However, after a year off from the office job, and now that I am back in the world of grownups twice a week, it occurs to me that perhaps ‘work’ being an oasis and a grownup arena isn’t the case. We just have outgrown toddlers, who wearing shiny suits and talk in acronyms . Demands are made, minds are changed and deadlines slip and slide. But sometimes, when you get it right, and meet your deadline at work, it’s a nice feeling; the ticked box.

Whilst it is good to be something other than a mum for a little bit once a week (that is as well as wife, friend, daughter, daughter-in-law, cook, cleaner, administrator, social planner, etc), I do wonder if this is the ‘other’ that I am destined for. I know the answer to this really, I’m just procrastinating..

I like my job, it is a good job and the people are nice, and I know in these times of economic distress, I am lucky to have a job. If I have to go out to work (and I do) then it’s not such a bad place to go. But during a training course the other day I had a flash vision that reminded me of the management consultants from Golgafrincham in the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, destined for the first ‘emergency evacuation’ ship, B-ark, to be fooled off the planet as the useless 1/3 of the population the remaining citizens could quite happily do without. It was all the management speak and dynamic strategic strategising that made me despair. I know there must have been a point to it, somewhere, surely?

How many people stay in a job to tread water whilst they wait till what they really want to do just falls out of the sky into their laps? How many of those people eventually give up treading water and slip into the murky waters of apathy. The repetition, security and comfort of a daily routine tiring their legs and pulling them under. Maybe they like it down there and become the fish they were really destined to be?

But I don’t want to be a fish.

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