The path to dotage

It’s a depressing fact that my generation will be required to work well into what was, by previous generations, considered to be the dotage period of life. I for one am particularly aggrieved by this knowledge, because hand on heart I can’t say I have ever had a job that I have ‘loved.’ I’ve come close once or twice, but generally speaking ever since I left university I’ve been drifting from one job to another, each time hoping it would be the ‘dream job,’ each time being disappointed.

At times I have questioned whether the ‘dream job’ does, in fact, exist at all, but I believe for a lucky few it does. My best friend, for example, works long hours and is often dog tired, but she enjoys her job enormously and freely admits it. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve only had one job that I could say I hated (with every fibre of my earthly being, but that’s another story that we won’t go into here). All the others have been good in some ways, but ultimately not fulfilling enough to stay. But maybe, as I say, such a phenomenon is rare, and those of us who aren’t blessed with the perfect job pairing in our lives should seek fulfilment elsewhere, through hobbies, volunteering and so forth.

One thing I have learned in the course of my ten year (has it really been that long?!) career is that it’s better to be too busy than too quiet. If you have to spend eight hours (and the rest) a day in a soulless, strip lit office, you may as well fill your hours as much as possible to make them go quicker. There is nothing, and I mean NOTHING worse than being bored. And it’s just as well I feel that way, as this week most days I’ve  been in the office by 8am every day and haven’t seen daylight until gone 7pm, notching up an impressive 13+ hours of overtime.

Of course the downside of being rushed off your feet at work is that the days tend to just merge into one long round of waking before it’s light, commuting, frantically trying to plough through everything on the to do list, commuting back, eating, sleeping and getting up again.

But I shouldn’t complain. In the current financial climate I’m lucky to even HAVE a job, and the world of PR is a fickle beast – when I’m flat out busy it’s downright exhausting, but it’s also exhilarating when all the hard work of selling in a story pays dividends.

Nonetheless, I’d rather like to make my millions a la JK Rowling in the not too distant future, because the thought of spending the next 39 years with my nose to the grindstone, slogging my guts out for somebody else’s reward, just isn’t that appealing. And living in a beach hut in the Philippines, well, that really rather is…

Image

This photo was taken towards the end of my travels last year, whilst languishing on the private balcony of my friend’s 5* hotel room in Koh Tao, Thailand. I remember thinking as I lay there that my freedom was nearly at an end, and revelling in the twilight of what had been an amazing adventure. The book, The Beach, has always represented to me the ultimate freedom, a form of escapism (as reading itself is), and so when I look at this picture I feel somehow this is what I’m aspiring to get back to, if that makes any sense. It’s been a long week.

 

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