I have spent time with my family. Consecutive days worth of time, without the buzz of work in my head, playing with my children all day, chatting with my wife at night. It was good, a little too much so, as I return to work and the grind.
I was bored and sought out a new job. It is a good job, actually it's in many ways the best I've held. The work is high level, relevant, and I like reading the judicial decisions and journal articles that form the intellectual underpinning of my daily bread and butter. But work is so often all or nothing, or as a famous KC (going back over a century) once said of being a barrister; all bed and no roses, or all roses and no bed.
I'd settle on a nice bundle of herbs and a reclining chair as a compromise...
So I went from having 1 page letters changed over and over by people who couldn't write, to being out on a limb running things well beyond my ordinary capability, and although I didn't take on the kind of hours common to the Paris end of Collins, 9 and a half hour lunchless day followed 9 and a half hour lunchless day, week after week, with my arse in the wind as I ran things well beyond my comfort zone, and I was often still staring out of a scratched train window as Mitts went to bed.
At the same time Beloved's work, family unfriendly at the best of times, went manic, and her official (ie paid) 3 days a week went from the usual 'in practice' 4 days over 3 to something approaching full time, picked up in late night telephone conferences and urgent documents turned around on weekends.
By the time we got on the Spirit of Tasmania, we'd just about had it. The holiday didn't start at that point, not with long delays getting on board, rough weather, and the realisation that for a boat full of families with kids they'd provided 1 tiny annex room with a few toys, while a huge casino area and multiple bars hosted a handful of over-serviced adults.
But once we'd cleared Tassie customs (all I can say is !! - they claim it's about fruit but I think it's just that the process remains as hectic as it was back a decade or two ago when aboriginals and homosexuals were being weeded out) we were off and for the next 10 days we were on the island, away, mobile phone (in my case anyway) largely left off, bantering with the kids about Santa, relatives, maps, music on the car stereo, and slowly losing the toxins of several crap months.
I barely thought about my father and his issues- I've been putting some work into that, an old suggestion of Zoe's, and am gradually bedding down the new paradigm (it's really just the old 'understanding', with some new clarity, after my stretch of hope and expectation that came with the kids). I barely thought about work.
Leaving this morning I realised how long it had been since I spent so much consecutive time with my family. I didn't get sick of it at all. I was not happy as I walked to the train. However, inside, I'm a whole sunbeam happier than I was a month or so ago.
A new New Deal? - I’ll be talking to the Fabian Society in Melbourne on Wednesday night, looking at the failure of neoliberalism and options for a new “New Deal”.
15 hours ago