It's Friday afternoon at last, another week in the office is almost over and two whole days of freedom ripe with possibilities await. It's not very gardening related I admit, so I hope you can excuse the change of topic and tone for today, but I have to ask, am I alone in feeling that way?
I know most people would obviously prefer to not have to go to work (footballers, actors and rock stars aside), but I imagine most people also get some kind of enjoyment or satisfaction out of their work at the same time? I don't. I work as a computer programmer and I genuinely hate it. It's not that the company I work for, or the people who work there, are horrible, they're not. In fact I'd go so far as to say if I liked computer programming then it would be a lovely place to work. No, the problem is that the longer I do it the more I realise I hate being a programmer. I get no job satisfaction from it at all, I'm not particularly great at it so there's a continual sense that I'm never far away from making a huge job costing mistake and I'm surrounded by people clearly enjoying themselves and being good at doing the exact same thing, making me feel even more out of place.
‘So change job' you may cry. I'd love to. The problem is, change to what? The skills I have are so specific to what I currently do there's very little that's transferable in any way. I'd also want to get out of the IT industry as a whole; I no longer have any real interest in the world of computers and have long since tired of keeping up with the continual forward march of technology. The problem, obviously, is that with no training or skills suitable to doing anything else I'd be starting at the bottom rung of whatever ladder I chose meaning a massive drop in earnings that we as a household simply couldn't support.
Yes, we could downsize our (small) 2.5 bed house to something even smaller, cut back on the few luxuries we buy and perhaps find a way of scraping by. But is that really the kind of life I want to live and subject M to? We don't by any stretch of the imagination live an opulent life; we drive old cars, holiday in this country and think about money before we go for a rare meal out. I earn a wage that's at the bottom end of the scale for the job I do (as I said, I'm no programming guru) so there's not exactly much room for belt tightening as it is, a substantial drop in wages would mean a substantial drop in everything else too. Basically I'm stuck.
Of course with all the economic problems in the world at the moment I'm grateful to have any job at all. Don't get me wrong, I know I'm lucky in many many ways and I appreciate more than ever how blessed I am that this is pretty much my only gripe with life as a whole. But still, with thirty five odd years of my working life still to go I do wonder if I can really do this for that long.
I keep my eye out for horticulture jobs from time to time (an unlikely dream), I've thought about re-training as a plumber (if I could magically afford the training course and somehow come up with some savings to tide me over while I started up a business), I've wondered if I could earn a living from writing in some way (unlikely even if I was good enough) and I've speculated about somehow growing something like chilli's, brewing or producing 'something' on a more commercial scale (again, would need start-up capital), but it's really just to keep me from going spare rather than because they seem like plausible escape routes.
Perhaps in the future something will present itself, perhaps I'll magically win enough money to buy a smallholding somewhere and forget about work entirely. Until then I'll keep counting down the minutes till 5pm on Fridays each week and dreaming of ways to avoid having to return to the office on Monday mornings.
Apologies for the wildly off topic self-indulgent venting, normal service will be resumed tomorrow...