Flexible vs Structured Working

blog flexiAs my work pattern enters another period of change I find myself comparing the pros and cons of flexible vs structured working. I have a good bit of experience at both extremes as well as with various hybrid versions that fall somewhere in between, and I continue to battle with which is better and, indeed, whether one even is better than the other.

For the sake of this post I’ll be comparing the two extremes – flexible working hours do not necessarily mean working from home, just as rigid working hours don’t necessarily mean being in an office; however my personal opinion is that, combined, they epitomise two polarised ways of working so I’ll be talking about them in this context.

I’ve always enjoyed (funnily enough…) the flexibility of flexible work patterns. I am disciplined enough to happily work from home without any issues, and in several of my jobs it’s been about delivering a project rather than being present at particular times or for a particular number of hours. These roles have not required me to be on site or available to provide a service but instead mean I’m in the office and working when I need to be, and am not when I’m not.

I often find working from home more efficient compared to being in the office, particularly when I have something specific to get written/designed/whatever. Though I enjoy interaction with colleagues, personal relationships can sometimes be distracting and it’s not difficult to get sidetracked by chit-chat or pulled into meetings without a certain amount of discipline. A flexible work pattern also means you can have the plumber round for a boiler service at most any time, or you can pop out during the day to run some errands without feeling guilty or have it impact your working hours, because some work can be completed regardless of whether it’s 2pm or 2am. That flexibility does take discipline but is really useful. I don’t have a family so working at 9pm doesn’t really impact my life in any major way but clearly it’s not for everyone.

And for every positive there is inevitably a negative. With flexible working I, without a shadow of a doubt, put in more hours than I would if I had a more rigid work pattern. You find yourself checking and replying to emails at all times, regardless of the hour or whether it’s the weekend (or even whether you’re on holiday in some instances). And lunch breaks? What are lunch breaks? On busy days I can go 12hrs straight with barely a bathroom break, and that isn’t healthy – not for your sanity and not for your body. Flexible work patterns can mean that no time is really sacred – what you gain in flexibility you lose in dedicated downtime. Working from home can also be isolating and it’s hard to build relationships or retain any kind of team spirit from a distance. I have also worked in roles where I’ve been able to take as much annual leave as I desire. But as great as that sounds I personally always found myself taking less than I might have otherwise. That said, one challenge to this is that you need less when you don’t have to take time off to hang around for tradesmen and so on, but I don’t think that that’s the whole reason. So that’s some of the pay-offs, but the higher price worth it for the myriad benefits gained elsewhere?

So what about structured work patterns? Well, even with a healthy dose of overtime thrown in, on the whole you have a much clearer demarcation of what is work time and what is personal time, and that’s a powerful tool for switching off. The social aspect can enhance the quality of your work as well – the information, feedback or quick questions discussed with colleagues are invaluable, as is knowing when and where you can find someone to physically pop by and resolve a problem or make a decision in person. Conversations are inevitably much more straightforward than the often sensitive wording an email requires when you don’t have the body language and facial expressions to back it up. For some people, structured work patterns are the only option and this absolutely makes sense if you’re in, for example, a customer service role. Regardless of where you are based, in order to ensure sufficient service, staff need to be present. I’m on the fence about whether structured working increases your chances of a lunch break – in my experience they still get missed fairly regularly, however at least you have more of an option to take one and are more inclined to factor a little free time into your diary.

Structured working is a nightmare for all those bits and bobs though. The guilt people often feel about having to take a couple of hours off to go to the doctors/dentist can lead to the excessive making up of hours, and annual leave is frittered all so you can sit at home for half a day waiting for that pesky electrician to arrive. Unless you have a long lunch break or are based particularly close to some decent shopping, popping out to pick up some emergency supplies has to wait until after work as well. And forget having anything delivered to your home by courier – you either need a Saturday delivery or a kindly neighbour. Preferably one who never leaves the house…

Does the cost of either option outweigh the benefits? Well that’s a very personal question. Everyone’s circumstances are different and what’s right for one isn’t necessarily right for another. Although it’s becoming increasingly popular I do think it’s a shame more companies don’t embrace a more flexible culture where employees can choose what is right for them. But I’ve seen it not work and I understand the concerns and the risks.

And what’s the right option for me? Actually, writing this blog has helped me realise that my preference is a hybrid. I think neither extreme is ideal but a combination of the two can give you the best of both worlds and provides a healthy dose of variety. I find flexible working sometimes puts my personal life on hold altogether and working from home all the time is very isolating. Equally I often feel quite constrained being stuck in an office all day and the distractions really get to me sometimes to the point where I just want to be by myself. But to be honest I’m pretty flexible and will suck it up whatever’s thrown at me. My work pattern seems to change constantly anyway so there’s never an opportunity to get bored🙂

MOOC Update

blog 3Well, here we are, one month on from my original MOOC post (which you can read here) and I know you’re all just DYING to hear how I’m getting on! It’s been a mixed bag so far, for a variety of reasons, so here’s a quick update to let you know where I’m currently at:

At present I am signed up for three MOOCs (I added a third on becoming a more confident trainer, also from Open 2 Study, which seemed manageable at the time…) and have commenced work on all of them.

One of my biggest challenge at present is time. Time is something I just don’t seem to have enough of when it comes to MOOCs! Alongside my MOOCs I am also doing another Level 4 qualification which, because it has a deadline and I’m paying for it, takes precedent every time. I’m also working funny hours and have had a slew of other commitments to attend to. So, honestly, it’s been harder than I thought to keep up with them all. Three was definitely too many! I’m not concerned about the Microeconomics one – it’s nice and flexible so I can pick it up at my leisure, but I already missed the week 2 assessment deadline on the other two. I honestly don’t get the deadlines – they are pesky and completely pointless! The Open 2 Study two are both reasonably low maintenance – though they’re supposed to be four hours a week they’re probably nearer two if you have half a brain. But the time constraints are really irritating as a week is no time at all if you’re busy. And, though it’s not much time, it’s not helped by the fact that they are…

Boring! Oh. My. God. The Open 2 Study ones are so incredibly boring that I literally dread watching them. Where Saylor really go for a variety of teaching styles and materials, Open 2 Study go for nothing but video with some optional reading (why not make it mandatory?) Saylor are also very factual and to the point with their information; they explain things thoroughly and then back up the information with anecdotes and real world examples. Open 2 Study on the other hand just have someone talking at you. There’s some use of anecdotes on the Trainer course, but pretty much just lists of information on the Project Management one. And everything is delivered very slowly and precisely and in an incredibly dull manner. I take nothing away from the content (which is solid in all cases), but the structure is completely disengaging to me personally.

I have a multi-modal learning style (you can find out what yours is here) with a slight preference for reading/writing and kinaesthetics. It’s no surprise really – I’m a person who loves variety in all areas of their life so why should learning be different? It’s disappointing though that the organisations providing some of these courses are not utilising a wider range of teaching styles – particularly considering Open 2 Study is backed by Open Universities Australia (like the OU in the UK). Though I’m not a qualified teacher/trainer (something I’m working at changing), I regularly deliver courses myself and even I, with my fairly basic and self-taught knowledge, understand that you have to use variety in teaching methods if you want to engage your students.

So how am I feeling about it all a month on? A little disillusioned if I’m honest. I had heard prior to starting that they are a mixed bag, and that’s to be expected when you consider the different levels they’re working at, the different audiences they’re targeting, and the huge range of topics they are covering, but I still feel a little let down. If you’re going to do something then you ought to do it properly or not at all in my opinion. My feelings for the two providers are incredibly polarised – I am actively missing my Microeconomics course and can’t wait to get back to it once my paid course is complete, but I honestly doubt whether I’m going to be able to sit through another six-plus hours a piece of the Open 2 Study ones. I suspect I will become a drop-out statistic of the Trainer course but will just about hang on in there with Project Management. Doing so, however, will not be pleasant.

As it stands with Microeconomics, I have a bigger and more complex goal at present. Presuming I can see the course through to completion, my aim is to go on to complete the complementary Macroeconomics course and also one on maths or stats. Then, if I’m feeling particularly ambitious and that way inclined, what I would really love to do is to undertake a paid-for economics diploma for graduates. This would not only provide some proper recognition for my (not insubstantial) learning, but it would also be incredibly interesting to see how the two courses compare in terms of content, teaching, and so on. But that’s all pie in the sky for now – there’s a long way to go before I reach that point and for now it’s just a dream!

In the meantime, watch this space! I’ll write another update in a month or so to let you know how it all turned out. Maybe I’ll be in a better mood about MOOCs by then…🙂

I’m Outta Love

blog heartbreakI can remember the exact moment I fell out of love with each of my ex-boyfriends. I can visualise the instances in my mind as if they happened yesterday. In each instance there was a defining moment where, while the moment itself was certainly not the sole cause of the breakup, a line was crossed and enough was finally enough. Break-ups rarely happen overnight – they are the outcome of a sum of many dissatisfactions, disagreements and incompatibilities. Things build up over time, you feel as though something isn’t quite right, you try to make things better; to turn it all around, but in the end it’s futile and better for both parties if you cut your losses and walk away.

In my experience, jobs are like this as well; with just one exception I remember the moment I fell out of love with each of my jobs. As with breakups, I didn’t fall out of love with them overnight and many factors contributed: There were no career prospects that matched my career plan, the job had become repetitive or unenjoyable, my role was insecure, management had different values to my own, and so on. Many times it had nothing at all to do with the organisation or what it stood for but, instead, that I had grown and developed and that my wants and needs for a role had changed. As with relationships, I wouldn’t go down without a fight – conversations to try change things and improve the way I felt, suggestions for new ideas, learning more about company plans… Sometimes it was a success and I moved internally. Sometimes it wasn’t.

With both jobs and relationships, I personally have a point of no return. That defining moment where all hope is lost and I fall completely and utterly out of love. Once this line has been crossed, no amount of bargaining and incentives can convince me to change my mind – things have gone too far and it’s time to move on. But even though this is perhaps a severe response, I have no regrets or hard feelings about any of my experiences (no matter how unenjoyable they may have been at the time) because they have made me who and what I am today, and I’m glad that they were a part of my life.

Though I haven’t worked properly as a direct line manager for any serious length of time (such is the joy of working in matrix organisations or as a contractor) I have seen many colleagues fall out of love with their jobs over the years, and I often wonder what it looks like from a manager’s viewpoint. I can’t believe that the signs aren’t there to be read, but knowing that something isn’t right doesn’t necessarily mean that you know how to to fix it or that you are able to fix it.

So my thought for the day is this: Look around you at your staff and colleagues. Look at them without judgement and ask yourself – are they happy? Are they falling out of love with the job, team, company, management (statistics vary but nearly all research ranks line managers as the number one reason for employees wanting to leave their jobs)? Read between the lines and ask yourself whether there are tell-tale signs that you have failed to recognise before now or have spotted but are trying to ignore. And then ask yourself whether you really want to or can afford to lose that staff member. And if you’re not sure whether they’re getting close to the point of no return then sit down and have a chat with them; find out a bit more about what they’re thinking and feeling at the moment. Do it now. Don’t wait til their appraisal is due in several months time when it might be too late.

Sometimes the best thing for everyone to do is to go their separate ways; after all there’s little more poisonous than a negative and disengaged staff member. But any breakup – job-wise or relationship-wise – is much easier handled when it’s not a complete surprise to one of the parties.

Talking yourself into it

blog pic Feb 14Yesterday I noted with some amusement how easily Mr J and I can talk ourselves into something when we really want it. I guess this is true of a lot of people generally; everyone has their weakness, whether that’s swapping your car every year or so, constantly redecorating, or regularly buying the latest tech. For us it’s holidays.

As I got ready for bed I looked back on the day and realised we’d done what we always do when it comes to holidays. And even though I’ve known for ages that it’s something we fall foul of, and I’m very aware of it, the whole thing just makes me smile. I make no effort to change the outcome or break the pattern because, ultimately, I’m getting what I want.

This is how holiday hunting goes in our house. The destinations may change but the format rarely does:

Me: Wouldn’t it be nice to get away for a few days. We haven’t had a holiday in ages.

This is blatantly not true however I conveniently don’t count long weekends or UK breaks as holidays. In reality we probably haven’t been away for three months tops. Probably less.

Mr J: Yes it’s been ages [because I’ve brainwashed him into my way of thinking…] Why don’t we do a city break somewhere?

This is fatal mistake number one. We always start our holiday negotiations with this line but in reality we’ve done the majority of Europe and what’s left we’re probably not that fussed about. I also have a “don’t go anywhere twice” rule on account of still having so much of the world to see before I die so, stubbornly, can very rarely be convinced to revisit a place.

So now the Internet search starts…

Me: There’s nowhere I want to go in Europe. The only possible options are the Italian lakes or [insert somewhere incredibly obscure and eastern European which is probably only accessible by a flight, two buses and a donkey ride here].

Again, this is a preposterous claim. Though I have been lucky enough to visit many countries I have not been to all 50 countries in Europe and there is certainly more than one decent destination in most countries too…

Mr J: Well the lakes would be nice. Look, we can go quite cheaply for 3 nights. It’s under budget.

Me: Ohhh but look at the flight times. We’d have virtually no time there [the fact it’s a short city break being completely ignored…] and would spend so much time travelling that we wouldn’t get a chance to relax at all.

Mr J: You’re right. How about this 3 night mini cruise instead? We can just relax and be waited on. It’s twice the price but will be worth it.

Me: That’s a great choice but the dates aren’t quite right. How about this five night one instead? It’s longer than we planned but a complete bargain.

Fatal mistake number two: being sucked in by a bargain. By now the budget is blown.

Mr J: My only issue with that is that it will be cold. We should go somewhere warm.

Temperature being completely irrelevant when the first mini cruise was suggested just moments prior…

Me: So where is hot this time of year? The Canaries will be freezing [lie], as will Turkey [lie also]. How about Africa or the Middle East…?

Mr J: Yeah they would be good for sun. But we’ll have to go for a week if we’re going that far. No point going for less with all that travelling.

All that additional couple of hours… More Internet research being done. Budget now disregarded altogether.

Mr J: I dunno. A week in the sun would be great but I don’t fancy any of the destinations in those regions [Africa being tiny and all…]. What about Florida or the Caribbean?

Me: Ohhh YES! That would be awesome. But we probably need to go for nearer two weeks if we’re going that far.

Mr J: Well that’s ok. We should do it properly. And if we’re going to do it properly we should stay somewhere really nice too. Here’s the perfect thing – let’s book it!

Me: I love it! Book it straight away so we don’t miss out!

And lo! In the space of a couple of hours we’ve gone from a £300pp city break in Europe to a £2000pp fortnight holiday in somewhere like the Americas. Just like that! And only at the expense of delaying the kitchen refurbishment for another few months, too!

We have the power to talk ourselves into many things but we tend to do it selectively. Rather than aiming high in everyday life we talk ourselves down, tell ourselves that it isn’t possible, and don’t make that extra effort. Problem solving is not always easy, but where there’s a will there’s a way and, while there may need to be some sacrifices or give and take along the way, that’s surely a small price to pay for something you really want. When you take things one step at a time you don’t notice the extent of the change or what you’ve achieved until you can look back on what you’ve done and see how great the overall impact of that step change really was. Other people can have an impact on our success as well – a negative comment or conflicting opinion can be really demotivating, even where it was well meant. But having someone to coax you along is incredibly powerful and that, combined with the right attitude, can really lift the ceiling on your aspirations, whatever they may be.

It’s quite remarkable what we’re capable of talking ourselves into with enough motivation. But don’t worry ladies and gents! I’ve been to this country before so it doesn’t really count as a holiday. We’ll have our “real” holiday later in the year and will splash out properly on something then. This is just a mini break after all………😉

MOOCing About

mooc 2This year I’ve decided to undertake my first MOOC. If you don’t know what one of these is then I’ll let Wikipedia explain it to you as it’ll do a better job than I, but fundamentally it stands for Massive Open Online Course. It’s online study, mostly free of charge (sometimes there’s a paid option if you want actual credits or a particularly flashy certificate), and as far as I can see, on most any subject you can think of.

So why am I interested in undertaking a MOOC? I finished my undergraduate programme this time last year and was due to start my masters last October, however things changed and that plan has unfortunately had to be temporarily shelved. I enjoy learning though and, having worked with at least one foot in higher education for the last four years, I’m really intrigued by the MOOC offering, particularly at a higher education level. Is it possible that a free online course can really be as good as that provided by a university? Well, yes, it can in terms of content because many well known universities all over the world have their own MOOCs. But when you go to university you’re not just in it for the content, your also in it for the life experience, the learning experience, the support, the great qualification, the networking… University is about more than just the content of your lectures.

So far a MOOC won’t get you a degree or even university credits (except in some rare instances in the US). The whole system is based on honour, trusting that you want to learn and that you complete the course and exercises off your own back and that you take any tests unaided and in the conditions requested. In its current form this works well – all you get at the end is your learning (but provided in a structured, engaging way way) and, I’m told, some sort of e-certificate of completion which doesn’t count towards anything but presumably makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside and as though you’ve accomplished something. But, while you don’t receive any official recognition, the knowledge is what you’re presumably there for and who knows, maybe there’s a challenge or entry exam you can take to demonstrate equivalency of knowledge at your institution of choice.

So my journey starts here. I’ve signed up for a couple of courses, both different formats, subjects and providers. Here’s a bit more info about them and the differences between them:

Principles of Microeconomics

  • Provider: Saylor.org
  • Level: Undergraduate
  • Start when you like
  • Structure: 7 units, done at your own pace
  • Anticipated completion time: 124 hours
  • End of unit exams for practice purposes but pass determined by a final exam after the course has been completed
  • Part of a bigger programme for those who wish to continue their Economics studies (you can effectively “major” in economics if you complete 11 courses)
  • Anti-social (no tutor contact and minimal contact with peers. Though there is a discussion forum it appears to be mostly unused)

I don’t know much about economics so I’ll be starting from scratch on this one.

Principles of Project Management

  • Provider: Open 2 Study
  • Level: Unknown
  • Fixed start date
  • Structure: 4 modules over 4 weeks, complete with deadlines
  • Anticipated completion time: 16 hours
  • Individual end of unit exams only
  • Standalone course
  • A little social (I don’t think there’s any tutor contact but, again, there is a forum and presumably this will be used more considering everyone will be completing the course at the same time)

I already know a good bit about project management and have an Agile PM qualification so it will be easier for me to gauge the content for this one.

I have already started the microeconomics course and I’m really enjoying my first unit. While economics is certainly not an easy subject, the materials are well written and use lots of everyday examples to describe more complex ideas and models. I am finding it very accessible. There is a real mix of materials: some videos, some recorded lectures, some articles, some “textbook” reading, all broken down into bitesized chunks. Each unit and sub-unit suggests the amount of time you will need to allow and these can be as short as 5 minutes or as long as an hour. I’ve accessed various resources on PC, mobile and tablet but the only downside to studying on the go is that you really do need to take notes (on this subject anyway!) so you need a dedicated notebook and to have that with you at all times if you don’t want to have to repeat your activity.

So how do I think I’ll fare? I’d like to think I won’t become one of the drop out statistics (allegedly up to 90%) and, having completed my undergraduate programme on a part-time distance learning basis, think I’ll work better with the more flexible, deadline-free format as this is familiar territory for me and I’m used to managing my own study time (or, you know, not…). I think I’ll probably be a bit half-hearted with topics I find less interesting because ultimately it doesn’t really matter if I pass or fail the final exam as I’m not getting any official recognition for my work. I think I’ll find that lack of recognition frustrating when I finish, particularly if I have studied hard. But mostly I think I’ll be pleased with what I’ve achieved, and with the fact I will have have discovered, for free, whether I’d like to pursue my studies more formally in either field.

So we shall see! I’ll be keeping you informed over the coming weeks and months about how I’m finding my programmes. I will share my experiences and feedback, good and bad, and hopefully pique your interest to try a MOOC of your own🙂

About a Boy

I know, I know… I haven’t blogged for ages. I’m debating taking it up again but we shall see. In the meantime, here’s a little something Christmas related🙂

***************

I think most everyone has at least one year in their lives that stands out as being incredibly difficult from start to finish. My year was 2011. It was a year of loss, job woes and a whole raft of health concerns (mine and others) that left a black cloud hanging over me pretty much from start to finish.

One of the most upsetting features of the year was the death of my grandmother. Many people don’t understand my level of devastation from losing her but my grandma lived with us for 20 years of my life so it was like losing a member of my immediate family. I didn’t realise until a while after she’d gone just to what extent she’d left a hole in my life. I took to calling it my “Grandma shaped hole” and it represented all the time I’d have otherwise spent with her – talking on the phone every week, playing board games, taking her shopping (she was wheelchair bound in later years), and just generally spending time with her.

When you enjoy doing something you don’t notice the amount of time it takes up in your life, and when that time suddenly frees up it can be quite astonishing. I decided I wanted to do something else now she was gone. Something to fill the Grandma shaped hole; another way to spend my time with someone who could do with a little extra love and company in their life. My initial thought was to other old folk. There are so many of them alone with so little company and comfort and I was quite used to their needs. But my grandparents are irreplaceable and after all the recent losses I didn’t feel emotionally strong enough to put myself in a position where I might lose someone I came to love yet again. And when I spoke to a local charity about the level of commitment they asked for I was disappointed at their lack of flexibility, something which was an important factor for a full time worker with a big commute and irregular hours. So while I still believe it was the right decision for me at the time, I decided I couldn’t go the old folk route, but in all honesty I’m a little ashamed of myself for it. I don’t have any children of my own and there’s a very good chance I’ll end up as one of those lovely but lonely people one day, and I’d like to think that someone would do the same for me. I hope in a few years I find enough strength to re-evaluate my choice and walk that path.

So next on the hit list was animals. My husband was the first to try and talk me out of this option. Knowing my weakness for any animal in need of some love he had visions of me turning into a Dr Dolittle, bringing home all sorts of random and raggedy animals, or getting too attached and being upset when they were homed (or worse…). A friend of ours volunteers in a shelter and she told me how hard it was plus, yet again, it meant a very rigid commitment. So another choice off the table.

I had originally omitted children from my research because, frankly, I don’t know an awful lot about them. At the time not many of my friends had them (this has since changed – I think 95% of everyone I know on Facebook has had a baby in the last couple of years – something which throws up its own separate challenges) and I thought that, of all the options, it would probably require the most commitment. But I decided to research it nonetheless, particularly when, through work, I met an inspiring man from a charity called Norwood and one of the children they supported. My research brought me to several organisations, one called NYAS, who were looking for Independent Visitors (IVs) and who I ultimately decided to go with. IVs are a bit like the US big brother programme I suppose. You are matched with a child in the care system and simply spend time with them and act as a good, stable influence on their lives. Unlike most kinds of volunteering, working with children requires an epic amount of training and checks. It took the better part of 8 months to be trained and cleared to work as an IV. Eventually though, I was matched with a boy.

For obvious reasons I can’t tell you much about The Boy. But I can tell you he’s a fantastic character who I love spending time with. He’s done nothing to deserve being where he is today; his situation is entirely a consequence of other people’s actions and his life is not always an easy one. In the six or so months since I met him he’s been moved homes, moved schools twice, had a new key worker, had a new social worker… You name it. NOTHING stays the same in these children’s lives.

So my blog post today is about a boy. It’s about a boy who showed me that, for some children, Christmas can be a challenging and sometimes sad time. It’s about a boy who has very little stability in his life and yet still manages to bounce back every time and make do with the situation. He inspires me constantly and has a truly profound and positive impact on my life.

Christmas is a wonderful, happy time for most people, but not for everyone. So my cheesy Christmas wish is that you spare a thought for those who won’t be laughing and fighting round the dinner table this year, but who are unable to spend it with their families, who are homeless, who are alone, who are giving their time to others, or who are unwell and having a really tough time of it.

And if you are able to do more than spare a thought then please also think about sparing some of your time. My commitment is 4hrs a month plus the odd text message and phone call. It’s tiny in terms of time (and incredibly flexible) but big in terms of impact. And if you can’t do something regularly then help at a Christmas shelter or even just ring up that great aunt who’s on her own and invite her round for dinner. Your time is so very much more valuable than your money and, while money will of course help any charity, the rewards you reap from giving your time are ten fold and the impact so much greater.

I hope your 2013 has not been my 2011. For some of you it will have been and for some of you it won’t have been the first awful year you’ve made it through either. There is always so much to be grateful for though, so however your year has been I hope your Christmas is a happy one and wish you all the best for the new year.

Merry Christmas!

-Wendy

I want it all, and I want it NOW!

So for the last couple of days I have been coveting something that will never be mine. I’ve been doing this a lot recently. It’s becoming somewhat of a trait!

There are so many things I want…

  • To win the lottery (I don’t even play)
  • To live forever (but strictly not on my own, you understand)
  • To be married to Johnny Depp (sorry Mr J!)
  • To travel the world (in luxury, no less)
  • To time travel (in a non-impactive way)
…Too much to list!
But is this normal? Does everyone daydream of fanciful things that will never be theirs? And if they were theirs, would they really be grateful that they had them?
I’ve already travelled the world a fair bit and, if there’s one thing I learned from the experience, it’s that the same sh*t happens in our lives wherever we are and however scenic the backdrop.
I also like to shop – there’re lots of things other people have which I want desperately until I have them, at which point they suddenly become as boring as my next possession and a new want takes it’s place. I remember even at school the same thing happening – I wanted to be friends with the cool girl, but once we were friends she turned out to not be that cool at all really. Definitely high maintenance though! Which always makes me think of the saying that no matter how good looking or cool or funny a person may appear on the outside, someone somewhere is sick and tired of putting up with their crap! So true.
So maybe it’s better if I get nothing I want, and then I can just dream on about how amazing my life would be if I had all these things and more. Even though my life is pretty damned amazing as it is, thankyouverymuch. I always joke that for every dream I have there is a parallel university where it actually happens, and maybe it’s better that it stays that way. Because if I had everything I wanted, what kind of person would I be? And what kind of life would I have?
I don’t suppose I’ll ever stop coveting my neighbour’s oxen (or whatever the commandment is), but I can try. So I won’t tell you what it is I want right now, because it will probably have changed by tomorrow anyway and because, all things considered, I’m a very lucky woman.
Here endeth the sermon😉

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About Me

Over ten years’ recruitment, employability, HR and sales experience in both the private and public sectors. I've worked in construction recruitment, FMCG headhunting, and in higher education on the employability agenda.

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