I live an unusual life. By day, I am a mild-mannered tax official, doing a job which doesn’t exactly stretch me. But away from the office, my life is… complex. I switch from the (relatively) intellectual slow lane to a life of high drama, low politics and intrigue, albeit some of it vicariously.
You can see my problem, perhaps. Or perhaps not. You see, I quite enjoy having a low-octane job in that sense, as it comes as something of a relaxant, a relatively straightforward task which, without false modesty, I’m pretty good at. I can apply some intellectual rigour, explore the morality of what I do and to whom, experiment with organisation and process, and work in a way which suits the way I feel. I’m kind of lucky like that, in that my manager and I have reached a position where he trusts me to deliver, and I do just that.
I do enjoy the rest of my life. I enjoy politics, I enjoy the sense of doing things to help others, I enjoy the strategic manoeuvring, even if I’m not horribly good at it. The touch of glamour that infiltrates my existence appeals to my sense of theatre, and the opportunities to meet amazing, fascinating people are just that, amazing and fascinating.
I’m even happily married. Trust me, this isn’t something that I take for granted. I’m amazed at my good fortune, and would never have thought, after my previous experience, that I could find someone that could deal with my idiosyncrasies, baggage, cats and taste in shirts. Ros has persuaded me to relocate to a small village in Suffolk, where I appear to have found my metier at the lowest level of local government, and am more connected to be community than I have been at any point in my adult life.
So why on Earth am I musing about change? There are, I think, two aspects to the question, what do I want to change and why? The question is easier than the answer. After all, what would you want to change if you’re happy in yourself? Work, social life and relationship are all good, and whilst the definition of ‘good’ is entirely subjective, it’s my definition and I can ‘tick all of the boxes’.
I’ve been travelling today, and I tend to do most of my ‘big thinking’ when I’m on a long journey. I’ve reached life-changing decisions in Paris, on a train between Strasbourg and Brussels, and in a resort in Borneo. And perhaps I’ve had one today.
It is high time I paid myself more attention. Alright, I accept that this sounds a bit selfish but, hear me out, I may have hit upon something. The thing is, I’ve been so caught up in enjoying myself, that I’ve rather forgotten that, like anything else, the whole mechanism that is my life has been rather neglected. It isn’t like a Swiss watch, it’s more robust than that, but it does need to be maintained and nurtured, protected from misuse and generally cared for. A bit more sleep, a better diet, more attention to the running repairs that a soul requires from time to time.
So I’m going to try to do just that for a while. I don’t have any goals, or targets, there are no big achievements that I want to define. I simply want to be able to be better at the things that matter. Interestingly, I’m not sure that anyone will notice the effects.
Lucky that I’m not doing it for effect, really…