Thursday, February 27, 2014

Squaring the circle

So I tried to slow down, but I didn't manage it. I'm not sure how much is my skill (or lack thereof) and how much the line of work I'm in is inherently incompatible with slowing down and simplifying.

There's just so much and I'm just so far from getting it right the first time. Redrafting the same document four, five, six or more times is so down-heartening. Today I was in the office from 8.30 in the morning until 8.10 in the evening, with about twenty minutes to eat lunch. I was almost nodding off at my desk but when certain things just have to be done before you leave, what choice do you have?

It's frustrating because I know that the later I stay, the more tired I get, the worse and less I sleep, which means the next day I'm less focused and less productive. It's a negative cycle but I don't know how to break it. I've reached the tiredness point - I haven't been here since just before my exams when I was 18 - when I find blank walls utterly captivating because they're so calm and my brain gets to rest.

I still think it might be possible - I still want it to be possible - to have a full-time ambitious career in an area I care about (public policy) without sacrificing all other areas of my life. I so want there not to be an irreconcilable conflict, but I'm beginning to doubt this.

It's not all bad news - tomorrow I have the day off and my father is visiting. I'll have time for a little housework, a little baking perhaps, and some gazing at blank walls. I've got a cup of tea next to me (my own home-prepared combination of chamomile, calendula and lavender) and you lovely people to talk to. And I'm indulging in one of the most comforting and least taxing books I know - 'Cherry Cake and Ginger Beer' by Jane Brocket. It is technically a recipe book, but each recipe is introduced, talking about who eats/drinks it and in which book, musing on memories of reading them, and taking me on a delightful tour of childhood memories. They are all recipes as enticing in imagination as in reality, especially as the imagination supplies the environment - on Wild Cat Island after a midnight naval battle, or in front of the range wrapped in a shawl in the Little White Cottage With The Thatched Roof.

Picture nicked from

I'll be back tomorrow with a more positive frame of mind.


  1. It's sounds like such a high pressure but worthwhile job. I love the sound of that book, will search it out. Enjoy your weekend and I hope you find time to recharge.

    1. Thanks! Definitely feeling recharged today, hope it lasts beyond 9.30 tomorrow morning!

      I thoroughly recommend the book - it's mostly UK children's stories but it's a wonderfully delicious way to explore the world of children's books and if it introduces you to any classics you missed as a child then so much the better!

  2. Sorry you had a bad week. I've been fighting with BT's customer service idiots since last Monday but finally seem to have got the problem fixed. Hopefully can get back to some kind of productive life now...

    1. Amazing how much internet enables all parts of our life, isn't it? Lose internet and we lose so much. But not knitting, thank goodness.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...