Flexibility in work and in life

Flexibility is a way of thinking both in and outside work and parents are experts at it.



The Easter holidays – a pool of calm after the extreme busyness of the post-Christmas period and before the extreme busyness of the period leading up to the summer holidays? You’d hope there was some time for respite and recovery, but not in our house.

It’s not just that work is still going crazy on all fronts and having ‘a portfolio career’ means as soon as one crazy project is over another starts somewhere. Things are moving fast on the young people front too. Only son was in an Eisteddfod thing in the week leading up to Good Friday. Which was a good thing because he hates attention of any kind and there he was playing guitar up front, hiding behind his rapidly growing hair. But it coincided with a festival thing I was doing which required me to work almost every night for 10 days so I couldn’t attend and my partner had to do all the pick-ups.

Daughter two had arrived home from uni the weekend before in a bit of a gloom about different aspects of university life. She chilled out from much of the first part of the holiday [and went to the Eisteddfod – cue lots of reminiscing about the nirvana of her school days], headed up to meet her boyfriend straight after Easter then returned home late at night on Thursday, only to announce that she was returning to university on the Saturday and had an essay to do by midnight on Friday.

The only problem was she’s broken her mobile screen and she and I were supposed to be going to the theatre in the evening as a belated 21st birthday present. So there we were on Friday night on the tube with her using my mobile hotspot and trying to cobble together 1,000 words about Plato’s Republic. Both ways. She missed the midnight deadline and called me in in an advisory role. I have not studied Plato in depth. I look now at the books I studied at university and the notes I wrote in the margins and I cannot believe I knew all this stuff once. The notes are quite cryptic and read something along the lines of ‘chicken=freedom. Hegel?’  Anyway, at 1.30am I found myself reading about Plato’s Republic and trying to give some advice on a closing paragraph. I managed to get her to mention the UN Sustainable Development Goals in there somewhere [in honour of one of my other jobs]…I left daughter two to fill in the references.

At 6am the next morning my partner was on daughter three duty, taking her to the tube so she could get to work. Except. The tube was down all weekend so he had to drive half an hour away to find another line. We then had to think quickly about how to get daughter two to her train back to uni. We had been planning to go in with her, but there is nowhere to park at the place my partner dropped off daughter three. The alternatives were the overland train [very expensive] or driving to Stratford or Walthamstow. It was Saturday, though. Would there be parking in E17 even though it was nearer? These are the last-minute logistics that occupy parental thinking. We played it safe and went to Stratford. Daughter two and I went to Euston where we met daughter three who had finished work at midday. Only son went into Chinatown with his dad – the bribe to get him to come and drag him away from his screens as well as to assuage my guilt that I was working through most of his Easter holidays due to work overload.

We arrived at Sunday completely knackered and having to catch up on chores. One day, I tell myself, life will slow down a bit. Until then it is easier to ride with the rollercoaster than try to upturn it. I’m never sure if the flexibility I’ve used at work [which involves me being way more flexible in many cases than most of my employers] has helped me to adopt a similar approach to life generally or whether it’s the other way around. Chicken or egg? Hegel?

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your Franchise Selection

Click the button below to register your interest with all the franchises in your selection

Request FREE Information Now

Your Franchise Selection

This franchise opportunity has been added to your franchise selection



Click the button below to register your interest with all the franchises in your selection

Request FREE Information Now

You may be interested in these similar franchises