Being a manager is awful …

So this week I kinda handed my resignation in. I say kind of , as there is a process of interviewing and being successful at getting my old job back ; before I officially resign my post , But that is practically In the bag so to speak . I basically told my boss that I had deduced management wasn’t for me , That I would gladly go back to my old job or I would find another. Luckily , I know I’m valued enough for her to want to keep me and give me what I want.

The relief I felt when I sent off that email and then had the inevitable conversation about it was palpable. I could feel a release like an autumn breeze flow through my soul – I literally didn’t realise how much I disliked the job until I tasted the freedom of relinquishing it.

I was so proud of myself when I got that job , Team manager of a busy multi borough service , coming such a long way from being a student nurse not 8 years ago. I felt such a sense of pride . But the subjective kudos it comes with will never make up for the reality of the role! Many arbitrary, mindless , soul destroying tasks. I just don’t have the ambition , I don’t see the big picture or yearn to develop the expansion. I just want to trundle about in my little car again, responsible for a group women and go home at the end of day and forget.

I loved my job before & it was perhaps pride or a desire for recognition that drove me to take the post . Thankfully , I have enough humility to take me back to my happy spot and leave all the bureaucracy to some other climber.

I’m getting out the tree!

Mabon.

It is one of my favourite times of the year, I have quite a few seasonal highlights in my year, but the Autumn equinox is one of them. That balance of not too dark mornings , where you can get up at a reasonable hour again to catch the dawn, after a summer of early dawns , once more you can taste the moist sunrise, see the glow of life. The slight chill to the air signals to you mother nature changing her course. Yet , I still mourn losing the late sunsets , where the day seems to expand into a timeless existence . There is a sense of excitement with this Autumn, and with this year , without a lock down and Christmas approaching , birthdays , Halloween , work nights out , annual catch ups, crisp morning swims where you can see your breathe…

Brave new book club?

SO , last week I decided that I had a distinct lack of friends in my life, real friends, the kind you go and spend time with to rejuvenate you , the kind who live round the corner and you can just knock and collapse in their garden demanding a G&T. I have only one of these who are in my vicinity. I have other close friends, who probably fit the old adage that I can count them on one hand, but they don’t live within spitting distance, one is far far away in Australia , which may as well be the moon.

Anyway , my one friend who is my treasure , could one day up it back off to South Africa. She has no plans to , but life is a funny thing and no one really knows. I guess the only person who I can depend on to be with me for the rest of my days is my husband. And yes , he’s my best friend too , but he’s also my husband and that’s just not the same. Sometimes he’s hard work. Sometimes we argue. Sometimes you just need the simplicity of friendship with other women.

So , In my infinite wisdom and rather impulsively driven nature , I decided to post on the app ‘ Nextdoor’ to see if I could join a book club nearby , or if not , try and start one. I love books and I need more doorstep friends so this seemed to be a perfectly fabulous idea.

This is my habitual trend in my life, I have an idea and I throw it to the wind , or commit to it in some way and then it happens. I love this about myself , but I also go through a whole process of regret while it unfolds!

So , I sling it out there, 45 year old nurse, mother of teenagers, lover of books, nature and wine requires book club type post. A couple of days pass and I get a couple of eager responses , then it suddenly gains momentum and I have 12 women all desperate to join a book club. So at this point, regret and panic is setting in, I have committed to creating a book club, I have 12 women at my disposal. I quickly shut the post down , as I envision all these women trying to fit in my home … I now have to actually set things in motion to begin ! I have never been in a book club. I read books like a small child gobbling up sweets , but I know nothing about the nuances of a book club.

So last night , myself , my dear friend who was reluctant to join ( she’s a I only read a book a year person ) met with 6 other women in the local pub. It was like going on a blind date! It was such a surreal experience. There were moments of awkwardness as we started conversations, but overall we all had a pretty amazing evening! We laughed and got to know one another , shared our favourite books, shared what we did with our lives and who our children were. A right eclectic bunch of 40 something women creating new friendships. Who would have thought it would be so easy!?

I think as you get older you fear making friends, or that it’s a past-time of the young, where somehow you only make friends in the situations that life puts you in, like work, or the gym. Who would have thought making new friends off your own back , pushing yourself out there could be such a ride! We have made a plan , we have chosen a book and we all meet later this month to discuss it. With another 5 women who we haven’t met yet!

I think it was partly to do with the freedom of being yourself? Going out with work colleagues in my new (ish) job is a painful experience – I am naturally an outspoken , gregarious person , with a tendency to blurt stuff out without thinking, this gets worse when I drink wine! So I often spend the day after the night before, in a cloud of shame and anxiety about what I have said or done! This has got much better with age, as I learn to not give a fuck.

But what struck me as I remain on quite a high from this simple experience , is how easy it would have been not to do it. To spend my life in the same place, avoiding people generally is my usual disposition , not really sure why , as they obviously make me happy when they are the right people.. I think I have this odd tendency for being an extrovert while at the same time yearning for solitude, which can be a tricky balance as last night made me realise that I need to be around other women , they feed my soul..