Back in the Saddle

A Light Highway - Matthew Shiroma

Having taken five months off, being back at work takes on a whole new meaning. I wake up in the morning and appreciate that I have an office to go to, people to see, and things to do.

There is no 15-minute walk to the Tube in the cold dark mist, or dreadful Tube ride. My commute now consists of a 15-minute drive from my house - with a coffee run thrown in. I leave my house around 7am and arrive here about the time I used to arrive at the Parsons Green platform. (And believe me, after six years of District line commuting, this takes on a whole new level of appreciation. I don’t arrive at work angry, frustrated or wet.)

But at the same time, I don’t walk up Cannon Street and look left at the familiar site of St. Paul’s Cathedral with the first of the morning light starting to frame its outline. No one has any idea that a White Americano is with a splash of milk, and yesterday I ended up with a milky sugary soy latte which they tried to pawn off as my precious drink. The energy of the City at 7:30am is pumping, with people already busy and rushing to get to where they need to go. Here, life takes a more leisurely pace, and I find myself tuning out during my peaceful drive. I am in an office on my own until we move some people around, and I find myself missing the days I used to come into the office and start abusing my guys for, well, for anything really, just to get the morning banter going. Here, if I called someone a  c*nt at 8am...what am I saying? I can't even imagine calling someone a c*nt at 8am.

So I am learning that I need to adjust to this new way of life. One of my reasons for moving back was precisely to get away from the frantic pace my life had taken on. However, a happy balance is needed. We always long for what we can’t have, and think that the grass is greener on other people’s pastures. Now I am just learning to appreciate. I appreciate what I had in London, and my friends and the culture and the proximity to places to which I wanted to travel. But I also appreciate that the sun shines 340 days per year here and that people are nice and happy. They take care of themselves and have a high regard for their health, both body and mind.

Being back in the saddle is not just about finding my feet at work again. It’s much more about finding my feet in a completely different environment and starting to be happy with what I have - rather than missing what I don’t.

“If you don’t like your life, you can change it.” Well, I did just that and you know what? It ain’t half bad here.