Yesterday I got a note home in my daughters school bag -‘sports day will be tomorrow’. Those words use to trigger immense stress for me. I would no doubt have had a customer meeting at 10am, where we planned for Christmas. It would have been planned for months and there would have been no way I would have been able to get out of it.
When I worked for a large US Entertainment company, planning for Christmas was finalised by the end of June. ‘Visuals’ of the products we were releasing for Christmas would have been emailed to the US by now, and signed off by the marketing department. Suppliers in China would have received the spec and production would have been just about to get going. The pressure would be building at this time of year previously. So for me to cancel one of those crucial meetings would have been impossible.
So if a Sports Day had been called at the last-minute (due to unpredictable weather) last night. I would have spent consoling my 6-year-old daughter why I couldn’t attend her first big event in her school life.
That explaining happened frequently with my poor son. I had him in tears frequently as I explained why I wasn’t going to be there. When I started my most recent job I was in training in London all week and had to fly back at 6.30pm on the thursday to attend his first ever school play. He was part of a five man snake!
As I went through security the attendant explained that my new Clarins cleanser and moisturiser were too big to go in hand luggage. I looked at them for a nano second and thought, if I check in my luggage I will be last on the plane, late off the plane, will have to wait at the luggage carousel – might miss my wee man in his play.
“Dump them, please” I said to a surprised attendant. The plane was late, I could feel my chest tighten. It was stormy in London that night so we took off late. Traffic was mad on the M50 ring road from the airport towards the school.
I double parked outside the school and ran in to see my wee man scanning the audience looking for me – we locked eyes; his wee five-year-old face lit up.
So thank god yesterday when I spotted the note in the school bag, I was delighted. We talked about what she would wear- she was in the orange team. What runners would match and what socks! We had a wonderful evening, I told her stories about my first Sports Day and how excited I had been the night before.
When I think back to how much corporate life infringed and imposed on my life – its shocking! I, like everyone else thought that was normal and acceptable.
I said the other day to a friend – I think I am getting back to the essence of who I am as a person. Now that the corporate veil has been lifted from me – I am out of corporate sales, doing my MA in Writing and being who Joan was meant to me. I feel more like myself now. I like myself now. I like the mother I am now.