Laptop on desk

Return to working with a new outlook

A new day, a new week and it's time to return to work. I've thoroughly enjoyed my time off and feel that I've make good use of every minute. Finding new routines and different ways of thinking, but most enjoyable was not having to watch the clock.

Liberation from not having to be somewhere, my desk, at a certain time was bliss. Having the time and space to think, to mentally escape was wonderful. My first proper pause.

Reading, writing and thinking have been the tools that have really helped me. I’d never have imagined how much I would enjoy these and now fully appreciate how they each build on and integrate with, each other. That’s bloody obvious really, but as someone who struggled throughout school and only relatively recently found out they’re mildly dyslexic, this is a big deal. These daily pages – just writing without worrying about where it may wonder, have been brilliant. I’m writing for myself and really they’re not for anyone else to read, but I think publishing them helps me get over the fear of writing too.

Reading some Stoic philosophy, such as A Guide to the Good Life, has also helped to provide me with tools to make sense of what I should and shouldn’t worry about – the trichotomy of control. This, I think, is the nucleus of my thinking. A lot of what I’ve been reading recently, and the people that have been inspiring me, appear to be rooted in Stoicism. It’s a path I will continue to follow with the hope that it will help with my newfound balance. Of cause, returning to work will test this, but I hope to stay on top of everything. Starting with the intention of protecting myself and my time so that I can be more useful to others by inspiring them to be the best they can be. I will need to say no to lots, which may appear to be less helpful, but the intent is to help more by getting out of the way. I will try to be clear with everything I say or request, always explaining ‘why’. I wish to be an inspirational leader rather than a managing leader. My wellbeing and happiness are important as they will filter down to others. Bringing my best self to work will benefit me and everyone around me.

Photo by Parker Byrd on Unsplash

Latest thoughts

Mental Health Week: How photography helped me

During the second half of 2017, I hit a psychological wall. Not suddenly, it had been building for a while. I’d lost interest in almost everything outside of my family. At work, everything was going fine, but I was on autopilot. I was struggling to understand what was going on. I no longer wanted to socialise, go to car shows, build cars, make photographs, paint or cycle – all things that had been a massive part of my life up until then. Was it burn out? Mid-life crisis? All I knew was that I felt sad and unable to find joy in any of my interests.

Thinking about time moving forward

Having free days, for three weeks, has allowed me to appreciate the the enjoyment of not being beholden to a schedule. Not having to think about when the next Zoom call is lifts a massive weight from my mind.

What if… I stayed home?

What if I didn’t return to work next week, could I cope with the situation? Would I be able to handle not working and what might happen if I took the decision to pause for longer?