12 October 2010

a general malaise

Perhaps not quite the headline you'd expect after the preceding tales of love and seaside holidays. If, in fact, you were expecting anything at all, following an entirely silent September here. Life's been roaring along. But something's amiss. I've not been able to quite put my finger on it til today. Self-diagnosis: a delayed bout of post-holiday blues. Fuelled along by an unusually rainy and grey Spring. I've never seen it rain like this... nor missed the sun so much in Queensland.

As usual, work is the nub of my irk. The return from holidays was not so bad... in fact, work was entirely reasonable for a couple of weeks. In the post-holiday glow, I conceded that I would never be entirely on top of it all. Seven peeps to manage, a shirtload of work and an information environment that makes my multi-tab webtrawling a playground. Nevermind that it is kind of a playground. Anyhoo. So the work is amping up. And I've come to a disturbing realisation. Sheepishly, kind of late in the piece. After most of this year warming this particular roost, I've realised that perhaps I don't really like it so much. I don't want to be responsible for other people any more. I don't want to continuously struggle to stay on top of the ridiculous information flow. I'm sick of churning out god-damn widgets. And I hate having to always be 'on', no matter how crap I feel. There's no checking the news, attending to personal errands or taking time for lunch. Sure, I was happy to give it a whirl, and hang about for a bit while they needed me. But now, on the cusp of potentially yet another extension, I feel very much backed into a corner. Like I've been stealthily groomed for it. Maybe I'm naive. I should have anticipated. It gets worse. Next week I am being the Director (bah!) and have to go to Sydney to represent Queensland at a national thingy. Sheesh. I do not feel the love.

Anyway, it all still hangs. Perhaps I'll get to go back to my policy post. I'm trying to remember why I latched the desk shackles back on, chill out a bit and enjoy all the great stuff outside work. But still. I went to the fabulous Women of Letters last week (my cousin said go, then K's sister invited me: fated?). The premise is that a bunch of talented writerly folk read letters they have penned to their most treasured posession. It was funny, inspiring and revealing, and totally worth it even though it made me feel old. (Especially so when I heard the next day that, after I'd bailed, K's sister who is an editor partied on into the eve with the booky-cool crowd, performing a karaoke duet with Marieke Hardy!) Anyway, moving on. Reflecting on the evening's monologues, I realised... I could write like that! I can write like that! I did write like that, once! What has happened to my writing?! Of course, thus ensued my own monologue, along the lines of 'what am I doing with my life, I'm creatively driven, why am I still chained to this god-boring public service desk? Gah! Double gah!! Holy GAH!!!'.

And that's where I'll end this little rant. It's way past my bedtime. And I'm 'on' first thing tomorrow. Any advice about what to take for a general malaise would be much appreciated.

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