Sunday, 27 July 2014

Balancing act

Back to the city life
The last two weeks have been crazy. I have a proper job again - back to being a policy adviser, this time on water instead of transport. Water in Australia is a very precious commodity. It is the source of much angst as we wait for rain to break a drought or pray for it to stop as the river levels rise and threaten to break their banks. There are all sorts of laws and mechanisms in place to manage our water resources, and much for me to learn.

Walking to work again

Being back in full-time work is a little bit of a shock to the system. After a couple of months of unstructured time I now have to be much more organised – in the right place, at the right time and in the right clothes. This is not necessarily a bad thing but I do need to guard some time to be creative as I can already feel the incursion of work. I am trying to keep up with my morning pages but they are getting shorter as I have less time in the mornings before I need to be out the door.

Some new things to see

With a bit of a twist I can see creativity in my work. I have already been asked to write 600 words on some water projects for the quarterly magazine. I will also be analysing policy documents and writing submissions, requiring both clear thinking and concise writing. I am rather looking forward to getting plenty of opportunities to practise and polish my professional writing skills. And to be able to do this with new insights gained from my studies.

Pay attention
Similarly starting the uni course has required a refocusing of my attention. I missed the first seminar because I simply hadn’t gotten my head around the timetable yet. Luckily for one of my subjects all the work is done during class time as it requires particular software programs. This will certainly help me to balance the load. I will still need to plan my time and get used to doing readings and assignments again.

Needless to say the draft is not exactly zipping along under these conditions. I am endeavouring to practice forgiveness rather than guilt as I adjust to my new commitments. I’m sure it will all be fine. I just need a bit of time to get used to these changes, my new identity as a worker and learn to pace myself in this new world. To find a rhythm which suits me and means I don’t feel rushed. Feeling rushed is an enemy of my creativity - it stifles my thoughts, cramps my sentences and prevents me taking photos.

Add a bit of socialising too
In the coming weeks I shall be spending lots of time soaking up other people’s creativity as Melbourne plays host to mid-winter film and writing festivals. I have already chosen and booked my films – a total of thirteen across an eighteen day span. I have made my usual slightly eccentric selection with films from Georgia, Mongolia and the Ivory Coast alongside ones from France, Germany and Norway. I hope to be inspired to see the world from a different perspective and to walk in someone else's shoes for a few hours.