I don’t tend to blog too regularly about work. (It’s not that I’m ever likely to say anything particularly disparaging but, equally, my career is important to me and I don’t feel it’s worth exposing myself inadvertently to criticism. Besides, I like to convince myself that I have other, more exciting material to write about.) But I have been meaning for some time to blog about work/life balance and about the attitudes of my colleagues and peers, of wider society.
In the last year, my balance has shifted. The last few weeks have brought the issue sharply into focus.
But, ironically, I’m too tired this evening to compose a coherent blog entry on the subject. Instead, here are some things I should have been writing about:
1. My graduation – I had the most wonderful day, made all the more enjoyable by the fact that my mum, step-dad and husband made the journey to Bristol Cathedral to witness it. It brought a sense of achievement that I didn’t feel when I completed my undergraduate degree. Back then, there was the sense that I was going through the motions, doing what most teenagers do, focusing on the social, rather than academic education that university provided. Studying for a masters degree, whilst working full time and maintaining a long-term relationship took enormous effort and real commitment. And I did a far better job of it than I could ever have imagined I would. I even got a prize.
Here’s my mum (looking proud) and me (also looking pretty proud):
2. Finally finishing Cormac McCarthy’s ‘The Road’ – which took such a long time because I struggled to pick it back up each time I put it down, it was such a punishing read. My brother basically bullied me into reading it, urging me to “hold my heart in my hands” whilst I did so. His advice was entirely appropriate. It is bleak and harrowing, breathtaking and heartbreaking. And ultimately, hopeful. (Although now I’m reading some wonderfully witty fiction by the brilliant Zoe Heller to restore the equilibrium.)
To watch the film or not to watch the film?