Winter evenings are long, time for contemplation or reading a good book. But I am too restless to read and I have a lot to think about. Life twists and turns and decisions have consequences that cannot always be foreseen. Sometimes the right decision could be the wrong choice.
I am not doing what I most want to do. I wanted to work for myself, as an artist and sculptor, but unfortunately that doesn’t put bread on the table. For a while I worked as an art teacher, running projects in primary schools, creating murals and sculptures with children. I loved doing that, but funding for the Arts were cut and so I ended up working in an office, doing awkward hours spread over six days. The work is neither stimulating nor interesting, but at least it does put bread on the table and hay in the hayshed.
I work on my own in a small office, which is a satellite office of a big practice in the city. It is hard to get time off, because it means my office will have to be closed. My request for two weeks at Christmas has been turned down, the most I can get is a week. The reasoning behind this is that if it is possible to close the office for two weeks, then there is no need to have this office at all. One of the partners already wants to close it to cut costs and a two week closure would add fuel to his fire.
Meanwhile, I have been asked to fill a maternity leave in the main practice. This would double my working hours and add two more hours of travelling time to my day. The deal includes a pay cut. Hardly an exciting offer, but I am not in a position to refuse. I could end up with no job. I feel trapped. Accepting the offer is the right decision. I have responsibilities. Children. A mortgage. Two horses. But it is not what I would choose for myself.