Fork In The Road

By | January 5, 2007

I wrote this on Wednesday Morning …

As you’ve probably gathered returning to work this week has been a less than thrilling experience for me. I’ve always loved my job, and I still do, but not with the same vigour and enthusiasm that I have in the past. I can’t seem to find it within myself to make the effort in the way that I once did. I get up and get there on time, both yesterday and today I was at different client sites 30 minutes before they opened the doors. In fact I’m writing this on my laptop in the carpark. And I do my job, even if it is just going through the motions uninspired and with little gratification.

If I told you what I do for a living (though I’m not going to do that 🙂 ) you’d say “Oh, right, you spend all day doing X, Y and Z”. You’d think that the majority of my work is about the execution of what my clients want. But you’d be wrong. The majority of my day is finding out what the clients need and making that happen in the context of their current business and working practices. So the most important part of my work is communication and an ability to create and innovate.

And now I’m fed up to the back teeth of inventing for other people.

If I were prepared to give up our home and move to somewhere smaller and in a less pleasant area I would be able to quit work for a couple of years and strike out on my own. But I’m not, I can’t. In all likelihood we’d never be able to live in such a beautiful place again and I am very attached to this house and its location.

“Oh poor thing!”, I hear you say, “At least you’ve got a home.” And you’d be right, but we’ve worked bloody hard for this place and the sensible, logical, practical part of my brain tells me I should keep coming in to work every morning and earning money to pay the mortgage. We’re lucky to have what we’ve got but we earned it.

When I get home much of my creativity has been soaked up by the day’s activities. I’m starting to resent it. I’ve felt like this before, and may even have blogged about it before. What’s different now is the acuteness of the urge to change things, the intense feeling of gloom that descends over me when I contemplate the working day. No, that’s not it perhaps it’s better described as the feeling that my job is robbing me of the chance to do what I now want to do.

So what do I want to do? Create. Partly to write more, but there are as many starving writers as starving actors, I don’t deceive myself about that. Work for myself too, on projects that I choose, if only life were so simple. I’m not a great author, competent maybe, but I can’t see myself on the best seller list.

If I could go freelance, earn some money at my current profession and have the time to express myself I would be a happier man.

In essence it’s not the working hard that I’m worried about, it’s not being in control of who gets the best of my skills that is at issue.

The New Year is making me assess where I’m going and there may be some difficult and painful decisions ahead. Sadly I suspect that, for the boring, sensible reasons I mentioned above, I’ll be plodding along on this dreadful treadmill same time next year.

But you never know…


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