The smell of stale disinfectant in the foyer, the glum faces of everybody I meet, the mouldy hum of my office computer all tell me that Christmas is well and truly over. I’m back at work. Back earning the crust that allows me to maintain my precarious chocolate and Lego lifestyle. Back up to my hips in leaky pipes, malfunctioning machinery and air conditioning that patently cannot or will not air condition.
And am I glad to be here? Am I f***.
I’m quite shocked at how easily I dropped all thought of work over the last 10 days. It was like it never existed. I let go of all thought of university too, my web design business, even my novel... and just wallowed in relaxation and pleasure. So easy.
And so difficult to pick it all up again this morning. Demotivated. Not a good way to start the New Year but, in a way, really quite traditional.
And I suppose it could be worse. Work has its down points certainly but it does have a few pluses too. Mainly that it allows me the time and (just) enough energy to do other creative things – like my novel and university for example; the things that keep me relatively sane when the conservators are sobbing on my shoulder about a painting that has been doused in rain water due to a leaky roof...
Normally this compromise is enough. Normally this molecularly precise balance between the good things in my life and the crud is enough to keep me on an even keel. Enough to keep me content and satisfied and functioning.
But after a long break where the crud has largely been expunged it’s hard to accept it back into my life again now that the holiday period has drawn to a close.
Why should I compromise? Why should I accept any of life’s drudgery and trash?
Because it pays the bills. It pays the bills. It pays the bills.
This is the New Year song that kick-starts every new year for every single one of us I’m sure.
And as for resolutions...
Well, I’m not a believer in compiling a foot long list of things that I know I will never accomplish.
Last year I seem to remember I kept things simple: start a novel.
I did and am now 96,000 words through it. Mission accomplished.
This year my resolution will be to finish the novel.
And in the background, the bills will all, every single one of them, get paid...