It is already Friday 23 September 2005, the week having passed as though a techno-beat of stroboscopic flashes. On Monday of this week I started a new job at the University of Sunderland, UK. I have been appointed as Senior Counsellor in the student counselling service. I feel proud and excited, and also somewhat breathless at the pace of events.
Having been out of work for several months, everything in my life had progressively slowed down. I was on holiday in sultry south west France for two and a half weeks during August. On returning to the UK, I would watch movies on video until one or two in the morning, and then sleep in until eight, breakfast, shower, read any mail, and then prepare lunch. After lunch, if I felt energetic I might go for a walk, or go shopping. Otherwise I would read a book until dozing off until it was time to prepare the evening meal. The rest of the evening would be spent watching television, then a movie, and the cycle would have restarted. Sounds like retirement: pleasant enough, but pointless, without direction, and living on borrowed.
Already one gear up, the pace of life is faster and, thankfully, continuing to accelerate. Work is important to me. Work provides me with part of my identity without which I start to fade. I am meeting and getting involved with people new to me. I am encountering people whose need can be addressed through my competence.
[To be continued]