Sunday 17 February 2008

A little think about work

People have told me that this blog is just like talking to me. How very alarming! It suggests that although I have a very small, narrow, uneventful existence, I still manage to produce a fair amount of drivel from it, both verbally and in writing. This got me thinking: what was my life and conversation like before retirement? Was drivel-production my default position even then? Probably.

So, a serious topic, as a change from trivia. I am sometimes asked if I miss work. It's strange that after 40-odd years of going to work, I should miss so very very little of it now that I've stopped. This has made me think about how meaningful it really was or wasn't, and what I got out of it that I couldn't get now. I shall have to think about that some more....if and when I choose/dare/can be bothered. There's a painful contrast between those early hopeful days at the start of a career, compared with how drained and exhausted I ended up.
'Running to stand still' was a phrase that often came to mind at the time. Now I feel relieved of a massive burden.

Nowadays, there's no running, and I feel quite busy enough. Just managing my house, albeit in the most haphazard (ie slatternly) way imaginable, monitoring fat Harry's weight, and remembering no more than 2 social appointments in a week - and that's a busy week! - seem like more than enough to be doing these days, and a state of calm, happiness even, has just crept in when I wasn't really looking. Do I miss work? Certainly not.

But I do miss some people, colleagues who sat with me and became friends; Sue, who zoomed everywhere, ate at speed (and always included beetroot, no matter what the canteen choice was that day), could leave chocolate lying untouched on her desk for weeks, and who had a rich and foul vocabulary when crossed. And Karen, who moved at glacial speed, typed with her mouth open, and was always good to share cake with. Both deeply opinionated and not shy about stating their views. Forcibly.
We had serious debates, lively disagreements and drivel-filled chats, and kept each other sane. They made me laugh a great deal, and were good to share the obsession or rant of the day with. I miss them both immensely, and am glad that we stay in touch. But I'm very glad I can do that from the sanctuary of home in my new small, uneventful and calm life.

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