Back in the trenches

woman using laptop
Photo by on

Sorry for the crickets lately.  I’ve gone back to work and frankly it’s quite a shock. I’m exhausted, even though I’m keeping my hours to 9-5, but I guess a little fatigue is to be expected after eight months out of the workforce. To recap, I have an eight-week contract. It’s now the start of week two and I’m hoping the physical shock of needing to not only be productive but also look decent whilst doing it will abate somewhat.

Last week, I washed and blow dried my hair. Every. Morning. Ditto with applying make up, swapping activewear for corporate gear and kicking my brain into action. My morning routine is familiar but still a bit odd. I’m thankful I didn’t become a bed-ridden sloth during my funemployment because it’s made the transition relatively easy. My alarm went at 5am three mornings a week when I wasn’t working and now it goes every working day. That gives me time to fit in my important morning rituals, not just ablutions, before I go to work. I still meditate and sit down to eat a healthy breakfast every morning, and I’m getting to the gym twice a week before work. Long may it continue.

All bar the first day, I’m taking a packed lunch to work too. I bought a salad on that first day from a café under the building I’m working in. THIRTEEN DOLLARS. So expensive. Today’s lunch was home-made Vietnamese spring rolls. I picked up an insulated travel coffee cup on the weekend, so I had a hot beverage for the drive in to work as well as a couple of healthy snacks (boiled egg and muffin with sweet potato, banana and cacao). Unless I was travelling or faced a dire food shortage at home, I’ve always taken my lunch to work. Breakfast, too, when I used to cycle back in the London days. It’s a bit of pain with the carriage of endless Tupperware to and from work but it’s so much healthier and cheaper than buying lunch every day.

At my last workplace, I sat next to a girl who was just a few years younger than me. Every morning she’d arrive with a smoothie and chia pot from a fancy city-based take away. Every day she’d go out to buy lunch. For the record, she spent most of the day on Facebook too. I reckon she was easily blowing $30 a day on takeaway, not including dinner.  WTF? Even worse, several times a week she complained that she’d never have enough money for a house deposit because life’s not fair. One day I couldn’t bite my tongue any longer and said in no uncertain terms that pennies make pounds and if she was seriously committed to purchasing a house then cutting back on luxuries such as daily take outs would make a big difference to her savings plans. She wasn’t a fan of that tough love and ended up moving to a different desk. That was years ago and I’m willing to bet she still hasn’t achieved her savings goals. I digress…

Work is good. It’s taken the pressure off financially, which is marvelous. And let’s be honest, returning to work was inevitable. Eight months off has been amazing and I’m proud that I didn’t waste any of that time. I’m still focused on landing an amazing permanent role and I know that will happen soon enough. But, maybe not too soon. I’ll need a break once this contract ends.



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