The Daily post at WordPress 22 August 2011 –
Topic #226 : Revisit a topic you wrote about in January.
I am still waiting for the enjoyment of the new job to kick in, which after 7 months i don’t think will happen, so I continue to hope for the winning lotto numbers to turn up.
Below is what I wrote on the 27 January 2011.
“If we are always arriving and departing, it is also true that we are eternally anchored. One’s destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things“. Henry Miller
Another era of my life comes to an end tomorrow and as I get older I find change and moving on much harder to deal with.
My secondment at work has come to a sudden and abrupt end, and I return to my old office and some very dear friends on Monday. I have been away for a year but we have always kept in touch and it is heartwarming to see how pleased they are that I am coming back into the fold.
The secondment was not out of choice, it was that or redundancy. In the last few years we have been in the turbulence of a global economic crisis, our jobs are more insecure than ever and the prospect of not being able to make ends meet is a genuine fear. In January 2010, I arrived at the new office in the frame of mind that the whole experience was going to be horrible, an inconvenience to my lifestyle, and I had thought a train commute was long behind me. I was going to miss the walk to work, the view of the sea from the office window, and sitting on the beach in the Summer at lunchtime. One of the hardest things to accept was the loss of a valuable hour in the morning when I could just potter in the garden, check the plants, dead head flowers, remove the slugs and snails – any gardener will agree that there is always something to do and that early morning amble is one of a gardener’s raison d’etre.
I am embarrassed to say that, like a petulant child, I wasted the early weeks wallowing in self-indulgent pity. Slowly, acceptance of the situation crept up on me, I settled and made some new friends. The train journey never did ingratiate itself, despite buying myself an iPod and downloading audio books (reading on a train has always made me feel rather ill). Even today, knowing it was the penultimate one, it was a journey to be endured rather than enjoyed.
It is precisely at moments of crisis that new opportunities can emerge, in our lives. My role slowly evolved into a job from which I have derived a great deal of satisfaction. I bonded with my work colleagues, especially two of them, once we found a common link in gardening, and we will remain good friends. Plant swapping is a guaranteed way to ensure we will see each other. Also, I will never forget working for a wonderful, warm, clever man with the most infectious, loud and hearty laugh that is guaranteed to make you smile just hearing it. I will miss him hugely and hope that whoever steps into my shoes looks after him well.
Because I was given the opportunity of learning something new, and have gained enough knowledge, I return to a new role, with exciting challenges. It will be a job with a deeper sense of meaning and purpose. Whilst I still don’t like change, I must learn that there is nothing wrong with being afraid of change. It is more frightening before it happens. Once we accept the new direction, we find that the ground is much more solid that we had expected before we stepped off into the unknown.
One final word is that despite all of the above, the best change and the best job would be no job and enough money to be able to potter in my garden all day, not just a grabbed hour in the morning and at weekends. I leave you with Philip Larkin’s poem about the toad of work:
Six days of the week it soils
With its sickening poison –
Just for paying a few bills!
That’s out of proportion.
Ah, were I courageous enough
To shout, Stuff your pension!
But I know, all too well, that’s the stuff
That dreams are made on: