In my previous life, when I wore a suit and high heels to work, my achievements were big and hard fought. Would I hit target this quarter? Would I hit target this year? Would I complete all the hoop jumping required to get a pay rise? Would our monthly customer service scores go up?
Most of them were for financial gain and were short-lived. As soon as one target period had passed, another would begin. As soon as one achievement was reached, The Man in the Suit would be there to remind me of the many others that were yet to be attained.
These days my victories are no less hard fought, but they are much smaller. Recent ones include, Mini Mck eating tomato, cucumber, banana (as you may guess we’ve had a bit of a struggle persuading him that 5 a day is the way to go), the ever-expanding range of animal noises he is able to recite, having a spare half hour to sit in the sun with a cup of tea and read a magazine and perhaps the most rewarding, Mini Mck finally sleeping ALL night in his cot without waking….sometimes.
Probably to the outside world, and certainly to my ex-colleagues, my new achievements seem trivial and boringly domestic, but strangely they give me just as much pleasure as those I tore my hair out trying to reach in the workplace.
What I find most sad though, is that I am sure there were many small pleasures and victories that I missed in those busy, high-pressured work days.
For instance, when I did take the occasional lunch break and eat a sandwich in the park, I never appreciated the sunshine on my face and let my mind wander. Instead, I would replay the mornings bad bits and worry about what difficulties the afternoon would bring. It frightens me to think of how many small, precious events I simply let pass by me. What a terrible waste.
Even when I did take time to enjoy the moment, I was surrounded by a negative, bullying management culture, always quick to point out where I was failing.
I keep reminding myself that now I set the culture in which I ‘work’ and that I can allow myself to enjoy my achievements, however small they may be. However, when I do forget, I have Mini Mck to make sure I don’t miss them, because when he achieves something I have to cheer, applaud and dance around, because, as a mother, that’s my job.
The good bits are there, you just have to look for them. Have you found any today?