Thursday, December 18, 2003

Swapping heads 

Now here’s a little conundrum. Was yesterday’s post a wry sideways look at my situation or was it a thinly-veiled crie-de-couer? At the time, it arose out of frustration with the increasing incompatibility I feel between the person I need to be to do my job effectively, and the person who writes some of the better-received of these blog posts. Yesterday’s words on their own might suggest powerlessness and doom-and-gloom, which wasn’t exactly what I meant to convey. But of course you couldn’t hear the gentle self-mockery in my voice…

Nevertheless, I was seeing a distinct see-saw effect, with existence possible at either end of the continuum – conscientious employee or fledgling writer - but no easy way that those two states of being could comfortably co-exist. A term from my days as a scientist describes the situation admirably – “unstable equilibrium”. It’s just about possible to balance the pyramid on its point, but tip it ever so slightly one way, and it falls over, all one way or all the other. Yesterday it seemed to be tipping, and its weight was pulling it further into the conscientious employee mode, losing touch with the writer.

Now, before I dig myself into a hole, don’t get me wrong – I’m not stuck in a job of mindless tedium. I have a job that on the face of it should be interesting, varied and responsible. But I have to put on a different head to do it effectively, and its not easy to keep swapping heads.

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