Taking Jack back to University this weekend was, for me, officially the end of Christmas. That voice in my head keeps saying. “Back to your lives people, nothing to see here now”. The tree has been dismantled and is back in the loft, the wreath has been removed from the door and I’m taking one for the team by polishing off the gin baubles and gingerbread decorations.
So. Right. Back to work. Of course I have been back at work since Tuesday but it is never the same when family (who are not usually near) are at home with your tea on the table when you get in, having left work a bit early to be home in time to watch Pointless with them. All day I find myself watching the clock, begrudging the time spent away from them and rushing through tasks in the hope it will make the hours go more quickly.
At work, we all agreed that going back on the 2nd January was harsh. Those days in between Christmas and New Year, now being very aptly tagged “Chrimbo Limbo”, don’t count as holiday in my book. The time is still spent entertaining, cooking, clearing away, fighting a losing battle against Christmas tree needles and inevitably eating and drinking too much, especially as I find it impossible to walk past the strawberry creams in the Quality Street tin. My New Year resolve to “improve my lifestyle/eat more healthily/get back into the clothes in my wardrobe” failed miserably this year and I’m putting it down to the knowledge that I had to be up at stupid o’clock the following day to drag myself and Jon back to school. (Not even an inset day to cushion the blow for him!).
Because of this, and the fact that a lot of schools had much more sensibly shifted the holiday in order to get the week after new year, I have found myself in a kind of four day New Year limbo this week. Nothing in my professional wardrobe fits me and I feel like a walking sack of potatoes as I enter Reception (believe me, not a great way to start a day). Suppliers and service providers have been on “annual leave” (all their bounce back emails tell me) and will respond on their return. No one has arranged any meetings because they have all wanted to “get our feet under the table” after the holiday (but they still demand your time just when you are in the middle of a spreadsheet because you thought you had a free couple of hours).
Then, to finish off the week, at 2pm on Friday afternoon, the Caretaker arrived to shift my desk further back into the corner as we have a new colleague starting in a week and we all need to bodge over to make room. At (nearly) the end of the day, I did my usual trick of just downing tools and walking away, knowing that I will come back on Monday morning to an office that looks like a hurricane has been through it. All it needs is for a crow to have fallen down the chimney on Friday night and spent the weekend flying around the office, doing what crows do best.
So, my New Years resolutions start tomorrow. I plan to get back into looking after myself, eating properly, sleeping well, moving about more. New for me this year is that I have resolved to make lists. There is so much going on at work, so many conflicting demands on my time, that my confidence in my ability to hold them all in my head is waning. Finally, I plan to continue writing, learning and improving.
I’m convinced that 2018 is going to be a positive and successful year for us all and I’m so looking forward to getting started. There are so many exciting challenges and opportunities waiting to be tackled, new colleagues to get to know, deadlines to meet and ideas to plan. With hindsight, going back to work on the 2nd January was a crazy idea, who in their right mind would think that the holiday season was going to be over…?
…it is now.
PS Its not only me with a voice in my head I’m hoping?