Day 1, Year 2

Today was the first anniversary of the start of my new job, and so I got a balloon to commemorate it.

(I’m also wearing the same shirt and trousers as a year ago, and the same socks – not sure about the underpants, because I haven’t been assiduously colour coding them with the rest of my outfit.)

It’s been quite a year.

On reflection, most of the jobs I’ve had have aggravated me after the first six months. (Apart from lastminute.com, my first job, where I seemed to alternate between oh-God-I’m-going-to-get-sacked-for-incompetence-terrors and a frenzy of rage that my brilliance was not automatically accepted, on a daily basis from the first day to the day I left.) The first six months is beatific calm because nobody (including you) is really sure what you’re doing there or what you’re meant to be doing, and hen all of a sudden you realise you’re not doing what you thought you’d signed up for and it’s not such a cakewalk. Whereas here I haven’t had that.

Is that sudden maturity after all these years? A better understanding of what I’m actually meant to be doing? A company that makes a titanic effort to enable you to do what you’re meant to be doing, and nothing else? Probably a bit of each. It’s not as if there haven’t been stresses (this week has been a low point, what with my foot, my wife’s ankle, trying to do a million things at once) but they haven’t been like the lows I’ve sunk to at times in the past.

Maybe having children helps with that. Yeah, maybe you’re better able to deal with stress if somebody wakes you up at 2 every morning…

I got an email from my HR team asking me to reflect on the last year and what I should be doing next. Realistically, I won’t do that in the next few days – it’s a hard charge to the end of the week – but while I’m away in Europe I’m going to try to pause and figure out what the next 12 months should bring.

Onwards and upwards, at least to the next balloon…

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