I was firmly convinced for many years that there are things which I am hopelessly incapable of doing and happily kept topping up this list over the last 6 months. But there comes a time in your treatment after a long period of enforced abstinence that you actually get excited by the simple things in life again.
Like X factor, I am sure the novelty will wear off soon, but at the moment I am enjoying:
- Browsing around a supermarket and thinking of inventive things to do with chick peas or lentils
- Making fire
- Tidying the house and chucking out stuff
And finally, dipping my toe back into the workplace. This new style of ‘working’ is most agreeable. It involves popping in to catch up with your team, colleagues and boss etc. If you have been AWOL for the last 6 months, you will get many reactions. The most common are big bear hugs and exclamations of “You look good” coupled with the confession “You looked pretty dog rough before you went off sick, but being British we didn’t want to say”.
There are inevitably also a few people who won’t meet your eyes and are excruciatingly embarrassed that you are ill and terrified you will want to talk to them about it. And for goodness sake it involves bowels! Double no-no.
But the oddest thing is time, a concept I am frequently reminded is hopelessly unreliable for measuring anything, a guaranteed candidate for room 101 if you ask me. For example, the last 6 months have involved such a dizzingly fast amount of change and head rewiring that I feel at the very least it’s comparable with running a small Euro zone country. And yet, for my work colleagues there appeared genuine shock I had been away that long; some thought I was just a bit late back from lunch, and were still busy working on many of the same familiar projects! One colleague wasn’t even aware I had popped out for lunch! I am choosing to view this as an example of how much work takes over our life, rather than the other less flattering interpretation…
Change is another difficult one to get your head around, especially if you just rely on the evidence of your eyes. The journey to work including traffic jams was unchanged, the office looked the same give or take a few rounds of musical chairs. To the naked eye, everyone looked the same. My office still had my to-do lists on the wall.
Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose is all I can say!
p.s. In yet another case of “open mouth too soon” syndrome, I have been caught out again when my loo played a practical joke on me and the overflow overflew yesterday evening. Managed to turn it off with a knife doubling up as a screwdriver and diverted Richard, my friend’s handy husband away from his valentine treat to mend it. Totally sure I will not add plumbing to my list of challenges.