Friday, July 29, 2011

Big City

I went into the city today.  No small feat.  It meant that at school drop off I needed to be showered, hair done, clothes other than trackies on, maybe even a smudge of lippy.  In other words an atypical day.  I was looking forward to it.  I actually don't get into the city much.  One day/night last year, I had an indulgent night in the city with my lovely friend Kristin, which even though we sneaked in some shopping was largely spent indulging in luxurious glasses of lunch time white wine, then early evening glasses of wine and nibbles, followed my mid and late evening drinks, followed by mid morning greasy brunch to soak up all the wine we'd drunk (oh no, we forgot dinner?) before a crashing-back-down-to-ground bus ride home.
In Sydney, for me, going to the city is a physical transformation from suburbia to city with a bridge "bridging" the two.  When I'm in the city, it reminds me of how I used to feel when I worked in a corporate - purposeful, career oriented, equal.  I love the buzz, I love watching the corporates in their corporate gear, and as today is Friday, I was imagining the corporates in their "Friday" clothes - didn't you always save the special outfits for Friday?  Those ones that could move from office to pub to karaoke. I tried explaining this to The Husband, I feel that I love my life in suburbia - it's real, 3 dependent boys, 3 sets of activities, but then I miss the feeling of purpose, of importance, of independence.  In NZ I had the best of both worlds, a corporate gig with some fun colleagues, but a family to go home to, I was secretly so smug that I had the absolute best of both worlds.  In Sydney, it's different, it's that bridge, that road leading up to the bridge and the knowledge that in an emergency it would take me 40 minutes to get home in light traffic.  In NZ, it would take 7.
I feel a dichotomy of what I want on my terms (no school hols thanks) and what I can't have.  And god forbid, the tragic realisation that when I last worked in a big city job, those young people are now even younger and even though I was an older Mum back then, I'm even older now.

And as I start to dust the CV off, are my JK Rowling dreams over?  Do I get sucked back into the corporate vortex?

If this post sounds confused, it's no surprise, I am too.


  1. Oh Lisa, the constant tussle of balancing work and family is never easy. I think I continue to struggle with it weekly. If I can add anything to your deliberations - it's only 25 minutes in a cab out of peak, it's amazing how true emergencies are few and far between and there is a wonderful community here of mums doing the same thing and helping one another out - a modern example of the old and wise adage "it takes a village to raise a child". Also resilience and self sufficiency (a great life skill) is learnt quickly when the answer from mum is "no I really can't come back to school in the middle of the day to drop off the
    assignment due today which I reminded you twice to put in your school bag".
    Oh - and the corporate lunches at the latest restaurants are still pretty good!

  2. Thanks Julie, I love seeing this from a positive perspective...for a change!

  3. I retired from my job (at 55)in order to move to the USA. My husband had been offered a permanent job overhere. It was a huge step to leave behind my family and friends. I didnt realise how stressed I was until I moved here. Yes, I do miss some aspects of my life, particularly as my children (adults now who have their own lives) still live in the UK. But, when I hear from my ex colleagues about all what is going on within the profession I worked and the constant pressures they are under; I think how lucky I am to be given this opportunity. I think the main thing is to keep your brain active, and having 'adults' to talk to. What about taking a course? From reading your blog, you are quite normal! Family life is great, but when you have worked in a demanding industry you do miss the challenges it brings. However, dont forget the hours you spent working to prove yourself for little pay back (I certainly did). These young years with your family are precious. Can we have it all? at what cost though? Finding a work/life balance is so difficult.