Going away overnight for work is now once more a possibility as my sons are slightly more self-reliant (and my other half is willing and able to cover for me). Having returned from my most recent trip yesterday, it struck me again that one of the most challenging things about work-life “balance” can be transitioning from different roles. This can perhaps be summarised with a description of two recent breakfasts.
Wednesday 1st May: Manchester Premier Inn, SAMBBA meeting, alarm at 7.45, full English breakfast accompanied by discussion of TV programme on air quality, the potential impact of raising entrance grades for undergraduates, and the comparative membership benefits of various learned societies.
Thursday 2nd May: Home, normal work day, alarm at 6.20, cereal, Thomas the tank engine and Noddy. Conversation featuring which cuddly toy to take to nursery, whether PE will be indoors or outdoors, and what isn’t in the fridge for dinner tonight.
I’m not saying that one is necessarily better than the other… but they are definitely different. Returning from trips accentuates my different roles, but in a small way this transition happens every single day, and managing it successfully is one of the keys to work-life balance. I’m still learning…