Even though I have been at work this week, I am still suffering from monumental jet-lag – when my alarm went off at 6:30am if felt like I was being rudely awaken by someone shouting in my ear in the middle of the night. Cue lots of coffee to get me though the day and chilled out evenings… which has got me thinking.
I have written before about my struggle with work (see here). I am actually functioning ok at work – though I do struggle mobility-wise and have started to notice that my concentration is not what it used to be. It’s the impact the long days have on me. I come home after work completely wiped out and basically spend any days off ‘recovering’ (read: sleeping), just to get ready to do it all again. I have had chats with both my Neuro and GP (and my family and friends… I bet they are all saying to themselves, ‘shut up Jen and just make a decision!’) where I go over the positives and negatives of working.
My husband and I had another such discussion tonight, where he said he worried that I would get bored by not being at work, that I would feel under stimulated. But I disagreed; yes, I love my job and yes it definitely stimulates me and keeps me on my toes (I constantly have to assess, evaluate, reflect, change). But I am aware that it is pretty much all I have. I’m too exhausted outside of work to maintain hobbies and activities that interest me. What about the part of me that I don’t really see anymore? The one that goes unnoticed, because work and sleep are hogging all the attention?
I was a good student; I enjoyed learning different languages and always told myself that I would try pick it up again once settled in work. Well, guess what? That hasn’t happened, because kids and responsibilities and, well, just life has got in the way. I taught myself to crochet a couple of years ago and so far I’ve made two blankets, one for each of my kids. However, that is all I’ve made because, by the time I have slumped on the sofa after putting the kids to bed, the effort to find my yarn and hooks seems a bit too much to bother with. But what about all projects that are lurking away at the back of my mind?
I’m a lover of books, interiors, music, food, yoga…. the prospect of perhaps having more time (and maybe more energy, though that may be wishful thinking) to do things that I actually enjoy is exciting. I am aware that this will look different to how it was 10 years ago – no more jogging/running for me anymore, for example. But I think that I might even be able to join and be involved with our local MS support group (which traditionally only meets on a day that I work) to build up a network of contacts; people that I can support and who can support me outside of my friends and family.
And, of course, I can work; maybe not in the same way that I am now and perhaps not indefinitely, but something home-based might suit to allow me to rest when I need to. I might not always be able to do it, but while I can, I want to. Whether that means more writing or something else, I am not sure of yet.
So, I might take this opportunity to broaden my horizons a bit with this blog. Everything that I have written thus far has always had an MS-slant but sometimes I feel the urge to just write about more random things, so I might give that a go.
And in regards to work… well let’s just see. I am not so scared at the prospect of it potentially ending as I was, say, a year ago. They have been been working with me to make any ‘reasonable adjustments’ to help me access work (can you tell that I have read a lot of guidance related to disability in the NHS?!) but I know that when the time is right for me to finish, I just need to appreciate the time that I have had and be ready to start a new chapter (both literally and metaphorically!)