Saturday, 22 June 2013

The grass is always greener

Having had a very welcome three month break, yesterday was my introduction back into the working world.  I had not had a break from work of more than two weeks in the past ten years and the contrast between how I believed I would use my freedom versus the reality has been quite an insight into the strange way I work.  

How I believed I would spend my free time
  1. Lying on the beach soaking up the rays while my skin turned a gorgeous honey gold colour without damaging my skin or ageing me at all
  2. Going swimming for an hour everyday to lose the bingo wings and flatten the stomach
  3. Finishing the book I am about one fifth of the way through writing with the endless time I would have on my hands
  4. Blogging from Starbucks while nurturing the perfect Americano
  5. Exploring every inch of Hong Kong, eating out every night and spending very little time in our small (but perfectly formed) apartment
How I actually spent my free time
  1. Looking out of the window at the grey rainy weather while applying fake tan and trying to put a positive spin on the fact that I was not able to fry myself under the sun's damaging rays
  2. Walking up the Peak or around Hong Kong Zoo which generally seemed more appealing than swimming and cost less
  3. Researching job sites, LinkedIn and company websites, tweaking my CV and covering letter, applying for jobs and sending introduction emails to kick-start the job hunt
  4. Meeting up with numerous recruitment, advertising, PR, digital and media agency contacts in the quest to find the perfect job
  5. Preparing and attending interviews
  6. Developing proposals for speculative project work
  7. Winning project work and project managing and copywriting a website, attending meetings and leading conference calls
  8. Finding that the hunt for a new job and working freelance left little/no time for focusing on finishing my book 
  9. Blogging from home as Starbucks and Pacific Coffee Company only offer 20 minutes of free wifi - oh and I've given up coffee
  10. Lying on the sofa thinking I should get up and explore more of Hong Kong but the pull of watching another episode of Made in Chelsea or The Apprentice was just too strong
  11. Looking around the shops and accidentally returning home with bulging bags when I was meant to be being frugal
  12. Detoxing and feeling like death as my body tried to rid itself of 41 years of toxins
  13. Giving up smoking without any pre-planning and sticking to it - so far
  14. Feeling envious of people going to work each day and having purpose, routine and structure in their lives
The most surprising realisations over these past three months are that:
  1. I crave structure and routine in my life and my default is to develop a routine to my day
  2. I feel directionless and invisible without a full-time job
  3. I yearn for people's company and banter and feel lonely without it 
  4. I need to be stretched mentally and be around people I can learn from
  5. If I don't have stress in my life, I will create stress in my life

Now that I am back in the working world I am hoping that once more I will feel fulfilled and won't find that this is simply a case of the grass always being greener.  If I ever start moaning about my job - please will someone refer me back to this blog!

Back to work in my Little Posh Dress

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