Monday, 11 July 2016

Ironically the best thing

A quick post, before I finally get some sleep. I seem to be averaging around one post per month this year, which is a far cry from a good few years ago when I would sometimes write multiple times per week. The irony is, is that I actually write much more now than I ever did before, and probably to a better standard (one can hope anyway). It is just rarely given a voice on this blog. I have realised over time that more of my life has become sort of hidden and I share less and less with those around me (well, excluding immediate family and close friends). Because there is much more at risk these days. It’s no longer a case of jetting off here there and everywhere and writing as I travelled or blogging in-between lectures or when I’d be waiting for a friend to arrive for a coffee or sat in a train station cafe. That really seems idyllic now, not that it felt it at the time! It is no longer that simple. Life, I guess, has become much more complex. So I don't tend to share much, professionally (mainly because my job relies on me adhering to strict ethical guidelines, confidentiality being at the top!). And also because life does get complicated and sometimes writing coherently about something that isn’t coherent at all... well that just doesn’t tend to work.

Anyway, the week ahead is going to have to be a 'take it one day at a time' sort of week, which is probably why I am up at this time and have strategically found this distraction. Work is going to be a little challenging this week because I am close to leaving and beginning a new job, and I am not a person who tends to do endings very smoothly. So it’s safe to say that this week might be a little less than smooth. I have also set myself the challenge of getting as much written on my MSc thesis as humanly possible. This is a dangerous target to set, for someone with highly perfectionistic traits. So really, for the next 7 days it is going to be busy and odd. Then I get to meet my sister and fly across to Barcelona where I am certain my soul will find home again. I wonder if my laptop will come with us.. I have never taken a break and not taken work with me. The language of 'taking a break' isn't language usually practised in my world!
I have actually not been home much this week (I love being home, but this is a good thing for right now). I was away at a conference and found myself embracing not turning my laptop on for 4 days straight. My supervisors weren’t so keen on me going because it would take away from writing time, which was important. So important I don't think they approved of me going at all. Anyway, I assured them that I would still be writing and not to worry…. Perhaps they were right, because in fact I didn’t take my laptop out of my car boot. Not intentional, but this conference was good and there just wasn’t any need to do work. Well, there was a need, but there wasn't the time, and I wanted to focus on getting to know the place that I will be moving to very shortly. Ironically, not working and leaving my laptop in the boot of my car was the best thing. I have a newfound clarity about what I need to do next (with this work), and I don’t think that would have happened if I was still immersed in literature and data analysis on my own without stopping to open my eyes and look around. As they say, meaning arises out of interaction and I do believe I’ve made more sense of what I need to do because of the people I have been meeting. So I am pleased that I didn’t work, and oddly for once I don’t feel behind, nor do I feel that strange sense of guilt. I was away meeting new colleagues, finding a new house and getting to know a new town.

Despite the fact that this week is inevitably going to be an odd week, I realised something quite important whilst I was away meeting new people at the conference. I was sitting in a workshop and was creating something that I thought represented an important message. I didn’t actually realise that the message contained something in it for me too. It was about standing together and keeping connected. We are relational beings and we all need people – on a global level and on an individual basis. Something in what I did reminded me just to keep connected whatever I am doing and wherever I am.