The art of living

Sorry I’ve been a bit quiet recently. I have not been feeling very wise, my thoughts unworthy of publication. When people ask after my wellbeing, the usual answer is “home life is great, family are fine, social life’s good, but…” and tailing off into a disingenuous shrug, both hoping and fearing further questioning. And I am so tired of going over and over why work sucks. I rehearse it in my head for up to nine hours a day, and it sounds no less self-pitying when I say it out loud.

I think that my job is a non job. There, I said it, my confession. There is no achievement which anyone would miss if it went undone.

And yet… I still try to overlay meaning and purpose into my working day by pathetically hoovering up the crumbs of potential usefulness cast my way from above. I vainly try to make something out of nothing, giving the latest policy audit, action plan rewrite or quality assurance proforma the kind of lavish editorial attention to detail normally reserved for much-anticipated second novels. But I know that the managerial appreciation such work will generate are mere nicotine strips to a cigarette addiction. It’ll do, but nothing will stop me craving the real thing: real work based on learning and thinking. Real projects which actually change the status quo.

So anyway, I have been feeling stuck.

I have become a seething ball of uselessness and bitter thoughts. I know this, yet I can’t seem to elevate myself to such a place as to actually get some perspective and Do Something About It.

[Wobbly special effects flash forward to…]

Well, when I re-read the above gloomy self-flagellation, which had been gathering dust in my drafts pile for over a month, you could’ve knocked me down with a feather. Or maybe a sharp stick. What a miserable old git I seem, I’m surprised you are still reading. I wrote the above a mere five weeks ago. I even gave it the same title, so I must have had some inkling that I wasn’t truly just going to sit around moaning for another 12 months. But since then, I have:

  • Passed PRINCE2 Practitioner, which I paid for and arranged myself, based on needing to get myself a meal-ticket outta here;
  • Applied, been shortlisted, and interviewed for a temporary project manager role, and then been successful at interview;
  • A new job! A job that is Not A Non-Job! A job that I can use to Change How Things Work. Brilliant.

Thank f*** for that.

So the moral of this story is, the art of living lies in finding uses for one’s adversaries.

And there will be more, in coming weeks, about the adversaries I find in the PRINCE2 environment… can’t wait!


3 thoughts on “The art of living

    • I am fairly sure that my New Real Job will not turn out to be as glossy and perfect as the brochure depicts – it is in the same organisation and working (ultimately) for the same government administration after all.
      However, the main thing is, keeep learning! And if making use of your adversaries equals writing a blog about them, you have my unstinting support and loyalty to do all the misery-wallowing you want!

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