As mentioned in a previous post, I am going back to work mid-January, after what will have been 13 months off work. Having never taken more than 2 weeks off in a row before that point (and I’ve only done that twice at that!) during the entirety of my 10 year career, it was and still is a long time to be away in my mind. I was very good at my job and hopefully will find I remain so. But whilst I was never a real ‘work horse’ and was very disciplined about making good use of my time rather than working all hours, pre-H I still had the flexibility to work a little longer or differently if I needed to.
I have been giving some thought to what is making me the most anxious in the hope that ‘blogging it out’ will help me put my worries in a box at the back of my brain!
- 1. Being away from H: Until mid-November I’d only been away from H for a few hours at the most and when I left her she was always with her Dad. Through December we did some gentle introduction to nursery and I found it very strange being without my little sidekick. From the start of January she’s in nursery for our new BAU week whilst I don’t start work until mid-Jan. It’s going to take some time to get used to not seeing her for more than a couple of hours a day for 3 weeks days. I’m hoping it will slowly feel more normal by the time I start work and that being back in the office will also keep me suitably distracted.
- 2. Getting-up early to make a train: It’s been a year since I’ve had to get up and get myself out of the house in a presentable state by a set (and early) time. I have no qualms with getting up early – 7am is late for us now. But it was always reassuring to know that if we had a really bad night, I just had to mooch downstairs, make food and then sit around in my PJs with a cuppa whilst entertaining H. In a couple of weeks, regardless of what the night held, I’ll have to wake-up and make myself ‘office ready’ and get to the station in time for my train. AND I’ll have to wait until I get to the office before having a cuppa… *shudder*.
- 3. Learning how to do my job again: I know I can still do my job. It’s like I know that I can still speak Spanish even though I haven’t conversed en Español for ages. But as with everything like that, I need to root around in my head and find the box with all the necessary instructions and ‘How To’ notes. I won’t be able to do much of that until I’m actually back in the office, by which point the work treadmill will have already started-up again. Hopefully I’ll be able to get up to speed quick enough…
- 4. Having to juggle work on top of everything else: We seem to have reached a happy equilibrium where our house and lives are loosely in order most of the time. But being out of the house three days a week means have less ‘slots’ during which to squeeze in a wash load etc. It’s not unmanageable but we’ll have to fit more of that stuff in to the evenings alongside exercising, cooking, washing-up, relaxing, doing any catch-up work, personal admin etc etc. It’s going to require a bit of practice!
- 5. Having new limitations in what I can take on at work: Previously I would try and get involved in big and demanding new projects. I also did a few ‘extra curricular’ activities too which included helping to run a weekly Computer Club for Girls at a local primary school and help to lead a group looking at behavioural change within our company IT function. Whilst I’ll still be able to do interesting and demanding roles, there are some projects which will require a level of availability and flexibility I cannot match. I will also need every minute I have in the office to do my day job and associated admin and personnel. So the other stuff is just going to have to wait. I just need to keep reminding myself it’s so I can leave on time to go and see my small person!