It’s been a pretty isolating week – three days working from home- busy with admin, audit and telephone reviews – with very limited contact with my work colleagues. And then even when I was at work, in the office, I barely saw any of my colleagues, the place is relatively empty, these days. The office at work continues to feel like this sad and awful place, I’m not in love with this ‘new normal’.
However I have had to embrace and be eternally grateful to have the priviledge and opportunity to work flexibily in this way. It is nice to have the choice and the infrastructure to be able to deliver a service from the relative comfort of my home , without an expensive 120-mile round daily commute. For that I’m grateful. Things change so quickly, at times, so I am sure one day I will look back at this and realise just how lucky I am.
I do still miss being able to catch up with colleagues. I miss popping into their offices to ask a question, or just having a chat and catch-up or the rare but lovely spontaneous lunch gatherings. I miss the social connections. It’s what has made work bearable, even fun, in the past. It has made me think about the other connections in my life that I can engage with and nuture. Since I have been back at work, I have been spending Friday evenings with my mother. It has been a good way of spending more time with her and breaking up my onerous commute at the end of the week. So far I have been arriving at her house, my old childhood home, and either she or I will make a small pot of Eba for me to eat. Eba is delicious with a tasty chicken or fish stew and okra. It is just the thing that my soul neededs after a souless and uninspiring Friday at work. This week however, I thought it might be nice to take Mummy out to eat, so neither of us was cooking and we could enjoy a meal that somebody else had prepared.
I decided to pick ‘Turtle Bay’, a Carribean food chain with a menu that was reasonably affordable and tasty – well at least that had been my experience in the past. This evening I chose a watermelon slush (tasty), Trini Doubles and a salmon and squid dish.
I’ll be honest, I was not a big fan of the salmon. I didn’t like the coating and I found myself peeling it away to get the to fish. Maybe it was a mistake, but I enjoyed the meal a little bit better after that, but not much! I think I had really high expections for taste and flavour and I was very disappointed. The Trini Doubles however, where a different. Somehow I liked that little side dish. Spicy, crunchy and very moorish, right up my street. It’s all still good, the salmon did not dampen the spirit of the evening. We had a nice time, chatting and catching up and thinking about the future. I guess I know now, if I come back to Turtle Bay, what dish I will not be ordering! As for next week, I’m not back in the office until Thursday for my clinic, the Friday for my clinic and the child protection on call. When I am working from home on Tuesday and Wednesday, I will be as social as I can be on the platforms available and also hold onto the feeling of gratitude that I can get some balance in my life.