Returning to work

Trip Start Sep 30, 2005
Trip End Jun 04, 2006

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Flag of United Kingdom  ,
Monday, March 20, 2006

It's Monday morning and the brain doesn't want to work. That's a feeling shared by millions but for me today it's a little bit more poignant. It's the first time back to work in 3 weeks and I'm blowed if I'm going to push myself to get out of the door at some ungodly hour to guarantee getting the early shuttle flight from Heathrow.

I'd let myself get run down in body and mind, not helped by a distinctly average working environment and even worse working lifestyle, stuck in hotels. As ever things got to the point where rest was the only cure. It's happened to me before in different ways, and you'd think I'd learn to take care of myself but I'm obviously not that smart. A job that took control of my life didn't help either, and my doctor's cure and diagnosis of depression, 3 weeks rest, and looking for a new job was a frank appraisal of where I'd come to.

I'm not sure that I fully concur with the diagnosis, because it's more complicated, but more than anything I just needed to plug myself into a bit of healthier living for mind and body. I loved being able to prepare my own meals again or to shop for my parents when they needed something for their super health kick. It was nice to know that I could take the dog for a walk and drop in on people I'd not seen for ages.

Maybe more than anything else after a long bout of enjoying your freedom and travelling you need to belong somewhere or to retain control of your life as you integrate back into more stable routines. My job in a location remote from home for an ill-defined length of time has taken much of that opportunity to manage my life away at a single stroke and bored me out of my mind at the same time. At the risk of getting over dramatic, it's like putting a wild animal in a city zoo - if the space to think or move is too confined they go mad. Many people don't ever avail themselves of some of the freedoms life offers. Others do, and then adapt when the parameters are a bit narrower, but I didn't cope with what felt like having my freedom taken away for 5 days a week after having made every choice mine for 7 days a week. A normal job might have been ok, but not this one.

So now, it's back to work, to do the absolute best job I can for the next couple of weeks and to absolutely get the job done, but maybe I'm not going to push quite so hard for the plane. It's my choice, taking back a little bit of my freedom. Planning to arrive at the last minute, if the train's late, I miss the plane, rather than sacrifice my time by leaving earlier just in case there's a problem. Less professional? Maybe. I prefer to think of being professional as taking care of myself more now.
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