Things to change

Sunday in lockdown, but it feels little different from a typical Sunday. I’m tired and lazy. I shamble around, doing this, poking into that. A few chores, some reading, a brief but cathartic spat online, then half an hour looking at old Leunig cartoons for balance (the irony!).

All these months, in my over-thinking way, I’ve scurried down the rabbit holes of my mind searching for an explanation, and maybe even a solution, only to awake today to the simple and obvious truth I had so long overlooked: I have nothing to live for, and nothing to look forward to.

I guess, in a way, I knew that, though never so bluntly, and with many detours and dead-ends. All the perambulations of my over-active mind boiled down to this, and many of what I thought might need boiled down to the same thing: I need something to live for; something to look forward to.

For the moment, my best opportunity is in change. It feels a desperate hope – change does not make more meaning necessarily, distraction is temporary, and what starts fresh becomes stale in the end. If change is to come, I need to find something in the change I can cling to and find meaning.

I know now that the shortlist for the job I applied to is down to two ‘strong candidates’, and I’m one of them. The clubhouse leader must be my rival for the job as they have the application experience I lack. They’ve been the favourite from day one. But I’m in the mix, which says that I offer something else in comparison. There’s still another interview to come, and so nothing is played out yet – but I feel in myself as if this time the job will be offered to me. I’m ready to accept it.

The head of digital at work called me the other day, and we discussed what’s to come. He’s aware that I’m unhappy and frustrated at the situation with my salary. He explained that the pay rise they tried for won’t happen because it’s ‘out of cycle’, and no-one is getting a pay rise. He might be able to finagle an alternative in March, but he could guarantee something in July – though no numbers mentioned.

I’m about to kick-off a pretty serious project at work. In ways, I look forward to it. It’s a transformative project and challenging at any time, but more so now that the rest of the business has decided they’re too busy to assist and it’s all up to me. I like that in a way – it’s guaranteed to get the best out of me because the odds are stacked the other way. I can do it.

It pisses me off though, too. It’s the glib refusal to buy into the work that riles me. It’s the smug washing of hands and the belief that I’ll get it done and they can pick it up at the end of it. It’s flattering in a way, the faith that I’ll manage. But it’s pretty bloody rude, too, especially with what they’re paying me. I’m at the stage when I think, you want this, you gotta put some skin in the game.

My inclination before was that, given a choice, I’d probably stick around in my current job. When the money comes, it’ll probably be better. Plus I have long service leave just around the corner. Plus the challenge, and the satisfaction of steering home a niche product. I feel different now.

I’ve come to think that changing my job might be my best chance to get out of the rut I’m in. I have concerns that maybe it’s not a great idea to start a new role while in lockdown and with the low-levels of energy I have. But then, it might just work the other way. And the money is better than I thought originally, and the difference in getting an extra 40 or 50K becomes marginal. Either way, it’ll make a difference.

I have to be offered the job, and now I’ve put it all on paper like this I’ve probably jinxed it. But anyway. If I choose to leave then the big project I’m about to start will probably be canned because there’s no-one else who can do it. I’m sort of okay with that – I need to shrug off the sense of duty that makes life harder for me. They had their chance, and more than one. This has been coming for a while, and this time I have to look after myself.

Inshallah. I won’t know for a few weeks yet and I’ll manage, either way. My mind is not yet settled, and may not until I know. Something has to change, that much I do know.

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