When I started my current job, I swore I was going to bring far less work home with me. I realised that it was rarely productive to cut into my personal time and space and that proper time away from work was necessary to be at my best at work. To date I’ve stuck to this fairly well but work has a way of creeping into your home life. There’s the really irritating fact that I wake up worrying about things like never before; what I get from not reading the small print of my pay rise as I moved into management. Upon consultation this evening I see it reads that I’m < insert believable percentage – for most of you this will be a figure ending in a seven > more likely to develop an ulcer. Whether this is in my mouth or my stomach presumably links to whether I take the therapy or drink, drugs, rock and roll package.

Actually while I’m on small print, never use Zurich for your insurance! They represent the BMW driver who had a flexible attitude to speed, distance and use of brakes and are arguing over the value of my car that was written off. The value is fairly small and the cost of my rental car is fairly high. Essentially they wish to pay Accident Exchange for the foreseeable future rather than pay the true value of my car as opposed to the lowest possible valuation. My guess is that they have already paid out more than the entire value of the car in car hire costs. The daft thing is that I’m not being unrealistic, can prove the value of my car and am confident I’ll get the money ultimately. Have you seen their advert with the little blue bubbles saying ‘we help here’? Well they don’t refer to their customers; they actually refer to the cost of bureaucracy and highlight the many places where they waste people’s time and money. Just so you know.

Anyway, I’m finding that my job is encroaching on my life. The boyfriend helped with a few suggestions and I now have more of a coming home routine. Getting changed and brushing my hair helps some. On Tuesday I did two hours of intensive gardening (tree chopping) which exhausted me enough to sleep properly. But most nights I wake at least once and I’m not sure why. I’m noted for being a stress head but I’ve never lost sleep before.

Perhaps the strangest change has been the struggle to turn off manager mode. The boyfriend has been irritating me recently. When I get tired I get grumpy. Actually, he does as well although it’s not really worthy of note as he’s a generally pretty grumpy person... but what is different is that he slows down. I rarely slow down. I got up off the sofa the other night in order to clean the kitchen tiles. My rest and relaxation is blogging. So when my whirlwind of exhausted energy meets his sloth on valium mentality, I get quite annoyed. I know I’m lucky that he’ll empty the bin when I ask, lay the table when I ask, put the bucket he keeps stepping over because it’s in his way into the garage when I ask but it’d be nice if he just did these things because I don’t remember signing up to being responsible for running the house when we moved in together. That’ll be the small print again.

The subtext of our lives isn’t all bad of course. Just as the boyfriend comes with cups of tea brought to me in bed (most days), an apparent willingness to use price comparison sites for our electricity etc and doing the supermarket order online (I went to Sainsburys the other night and it was just bewildering, why do people still go to those places?), my job brings me challenges and opportunities. That isn’t putting a gloss on the situation either, last night I actually requested a high five from the boyfriend on the basis of how much I love my job. It’s just about striking a balance.

I’m not sure where that balance lies however. I’ll ponder on it as I do some work that I (physically) brought home with me tonight...

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