Sunday 19 June 2011

Business as usual

I've hardly had a chance to catch my breath since we've been back from holidays. Work has been incredibly busy these past few days. I work as a press officer in the union movement, and it seems I have come back to the UK to find the country on the verge of the first general strike since 1926, and the biggest industrial action planned since the miner's strike!

Well, that's what the Daily Mail would have us believe... but it's certainly been very full-on. I was in the press office on my own on Friday and I took more than 50 calls from journalists and was working until about 9pm. I was on-call this weekend - I take part in a duty rota to ensure the media has 24-hour access to my organisation, and spend one weekend a month on-call - and yesterday was also relentless, the first call coming in at 7am and then steady enquiries until around 6pm. Today has so far (touch wood) been much quieter, but stories about proposed strike action continue to dominate the news so the Boy and I haven't been able to go anywhere or do anything, as I've needed to have my PC and landline in touching distance.

It's been hard work and part of me was resistent to getting thrown back into work quite so quickly - the holiday now feels something of a distant memory! - but it has been a blessing in disguise. It's been a while since I felt completely connected with my work, probably back in January just before I fell pregnant. When I fell pregnant my world shifted and my priorities changed in ways I didn't expect as a career girl. I was completely overtaken by the new life beginning and growing inside of me. Even though I was excited to be preparing for the huge demonstration in March, work couldn't be my complete focus - my fatigue and morning sickness put paid to that physically, but emotionally and mentally I was evolving. And then of course the tragedy of the miscarriage rocked the Boy and I to our very cores, and nothing felt important any more - certainly not being in the office and being at work.

At times, I've wondered if I'd ever get back the buzz I used to have in my work. I thought perhaps it was lost forever, the spark dulled by our experiences, the commitment lessened as I've changed and now see the world differently. I suspected my newly-determined conviction that the most important job I could ever have would be to be a mother and a nurturer, meant that my career would slip silently into the back seat of my life.

Well the past few days have taught me different. They've shown me I can still get the adrenaline buzz rushing through me when I need to be in charge, and that I still have it within me to be on top of my game when it matters. I've worked well under the pressure - to praise from my colleagues and the head of our organisation - and I feel the old confidence seeping back into my veins. I feel like I've taken that old familiar, faithful coat that I used to wear when I was younger out from the back of the wardrobe and slipped it on once again. I'm caught by surprise that it still fits, and that feels good - and when I catch sight of myself in the mirror it's like I've never looked better in it.

I feel re-connected and re-energised, and ready to go again. I feel like me. I feel the confidence creeping back in and enveloping me - and that is such a welcome development as when I lost our baby Beans I lost my a big part of myself, and I lost a lot of confidence. I'd been on such a high falling pregnant so quickly that my confidence had grown and I'd felt myself blossom - I could do this! But then the rug was pulled so fast from underneath us that my feet were flailing in the air and the only way was down. Now I know that I can go up again, and it came effortlessly - less of being back on the ladder, or the staircase... more like being on an escalator and naturally moving up from the basement to the ground floor. Let's hope I'll be gliding my way up to the first floor as seemlessly in due course.

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