This weeks blog title was suggested by my former colleagues when I met them for dinner the other night. We were laughing about how mad I had got when a senior manager asked me ‘How are you? Living the dream?’. Looking back I think it was meant as one of those silly throwaway comments that the person asking is not really looking for an answer. Unfortunately it pushed a button and as they say in Scotland I went a little ‘tonto’. It wasn’t a particularly happy time then.
A couple years later I’m in a different place – mentally and physically. I’m in a different workplace and I’ve also gone part time. It’s amazing!
So am I ‘living the dream’? I’m not really sure what that means to be honest. My dreams are weird at the best of times so I definitely don’t want to be living those! That could be another blog though….
I guess the whole thing is about work life balance although I think that very term will soon be redundant if the current trends in the workforce continue. I was reading about Millennials (people born between 1980 and the mid 90’s)
The work to live rather than live to work is something that has resonated with me this year. The idea that there should be more flexibility in not only where but how you work. For example does being at your desk or being seen on the ward after 6pm make you a more productive or better doctor (or any other worker)? Are you doing it merely to be seen? Or out of a sense of mouse wheel duty that probably someone else can do?
My new commute is far longer than the 10 minute journey I used to make every day. It’s now somewhere in the region of an hour or so each way. And yet I feel more energised and on top of things than I ever did before. How I use my time is different though. My emails are done on the train. Any projects or pieces of work are also done on the train. I do mindfulness at the start of every day which quietens and focuses my brain. I also like to think time spent staring out the window is a form of mindfulness too… I get loads more fresh air and exercise which I’ll admit is also a great excuse not to go to the gym.
I finish pretty much on time every day so when I get home that’s me. Work is far away and that part of my brain switches off. Recharging even. The other part of my brain switches on. It’s not too dissimilar to the work side its just more fun and more silly.
This week I was at the Edinburgh Festival, the Fringe to be exact. It doesn’t get more silly than a skeleton puppet singing to Frank Sinatra in the rain. I hadn’t been to the Festival in years and it didn’t disappoint. While I wasn’t organised enough to get tickets the day was spent wandering the streets watching various street performers and soaking up the atmosphere.
I tried trampolining at Airspace for the first time. The safety video of ‘you may die’ did slightly alarm but I was not put off. Dodgeball and gladiator style jumping over rotating bars all proved I have no sense of balance. I also seem to reflex squeal when I fall over. I had thought this was limited to falling off inflatables in the sea but apparently not. It was hilarious fun!
The point of this….? Living the dream is whatever you want to make of it. Did my dream include being stressed out my head and blowing up at stupid comments? No. My dream is to work hard, make a difference but most of all have fun.