The byline of my food blog is “what to eat when your world revolves around food”.
So I find it ironic that I am currently contemplating a new, and less fun, dilemma: what to do when your world revolves around work.
More than ten years ago I did little else but work. Moving back to Ireland briefly, I set my sister Annette off on regular rants about the fact that she could not get me out for a quick drink in our local pub because I was routinely too tired to get off the sofa. I had no life. It took quitting my job and a couple of years travelling to get some perspective on life. I continued wearing a bindi when I came home, to remind me never to get sucked into the rat race again.
Now, twelve years later, the main difference is that I have a better shoe collection than I did back in Malahide (when I was the owner of no more than three pairs of shoes, none of which were appropriate for anything fun). I still wear a bindi every day. But somehow, over the winter, I lost my personal life and my perspective.
OK, it was a tough summer and autumn, and perhaps I relaxed into the “simplicity” of focusing on work. After all, what we do is important, right? Over winter I stopped calling friends, going to the cinema, going for walks along the beach… everything really. I literally woke up every morning thinking about work, and Red Cross was the last thing on my mind before I went to sleep. I stopped blogging because I literally had nothing to say.
One evening over dinner with a friend (and workmate) I realised that I was little better off – and perhaps significantly worse off – than my Blugas days. I was shocked. How could an otherwise intelligent woman fail to learn from her very own experiences? How could I take such a backward step?
Well, as they say, recognition is the first step. I tried to remember all the things I used to do outside work, and couldn’t think of a damn thing. Then, we went to the cinema for the first time in ages. A week-old Arts and Culture pullout from Saturday’s Age reminded me that I had not seen any live theatre, dance or music for ages. I’d missed God of Carnage at the Melbourne Theatre Company, and the Dali exhibition at the National Gallery. I was horrified, and galvanised into action.
Now, my aim is to remember and act upon one enjoyable thing to do every week. So far I’m doing OK. A gig by comedian Daniel Kitson, going out for dumplings with mates and a Pinot Week wine tasting and gala dinner featured this week alone.
I am back on the mailing list for the MTC and a couple of ballets are booked for the run-up to Christmas. The sun is shining and walks on the beach are back on the agenda. We fly to Fiji in three weeks for an idyllic ten days on a tropical atoll.
I even went to see a medium – all things are possible!
And now I am back to blogging too.