Monday, 16 April 2012

Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit

Would it be ok, if this was it?  I mean, if I do not get a "better" job, if I grow older on my own in a foreign country on quite a low (though so far sufficient) income?  If I spend the rest of my working life at the bottom end (literally) of the service industry?

Most of the people I meet here in Brussels speak a minimum of two languages; some speak four, five or six.  Most of the people I meet are highly-qualified professionals, or have a skill-set that fits a particular industry niche.  It does occur to me, at times, that the odds might not be in my favour.  So is it all right, where I am?  Well, I saw four bunnies all together this morning, and that rather made my day.  But for every bunny-sighting there can be hours of tedium.

I have never been ambitious.  Not through laziness, although I do a very good lazy.  As a migraineur of 38 years' standing - successfully medicated only for the last three of those years - and a spasmodic mental, my main aim in life has been to stay employed and employable.  I am glad to say that I've succeeded in this and have never been out of work, or off sick for any considerable time.

My most recent job was something I really quite enjoyed and which my brain used like an imperfectly-equipped gym.  At times I swear I could actually feel my neurons getting more muscular.  Now I rely on this blog to keep my head fit, and reading through the contents of the wardrobe.

This might be as good as it gets, and is that good enough?  What does "good enough" mean?  I am not qualified to do anything at all, although I nearly achieved a life-saving award in 1980.  At the end of the day, does it matter what you did before the day ended?  There are currently three small children who are going to grow up with a dim, evanescent memory of my ready kisses and cuddles, and my singing loudly to them in the street, and my wittering endlessly about parakeets and diggers.  Although outside a very small domestic sphere this is not considered important work, it is important work. 

Is it enough?  I'll get back to you.


  1. Any work with children is of vital importance; to them, to society and to humanity as a whole.

  2. I urge you to read a book called Affluenza by Oliver James. He makes a very good point that the constant pressure to have a better job, be richer, be thinner is not doing our mental health any good at all. Those who refuse to be defined by their job are generally more content. I'm re-reading it now, having given up my job after 30 years of working to live. If you have any doubt about yourself, re-read the comments at the bottom of all your posts.

  3. Of course it's good enough. More than good enough. Working with children is a job that is valuable. My daughter is very well qualified and managed a Montesssori school for some years because she loves children and loves that she can provide a good start for them before they begin school. Since she had her own children she registered as a childminder so that she can be at home and earn money. She wondered at first if it was good enough, but very quickly realised that in fact she is doing exactly what she wanted to do anyway.

    I think I will also look for a copy of the book that BacktoBodrum mentioned. It certainly sounds like it's worth reading.

  4. I read your blog to keep my head fit - I think you are extremely clever and incisive and the children you are caring for are very privileged.. they will know this one day.
    I would never aspire to be defined by my job - avoid definition at all costs. Axxx

  5. Wow Annie, thank you. That is really an amazing thing to read. If I didn't write this blog I think I would just go nuts. To discover that it actually is relevant to someone else...well, I'm speechless.

    BtoB - I've heard of that book. Sounds very pertinent - I might treat myself. The wardrobe can bear the weight of one more book...

    Ayak - I have to say that I find the good parts of the job as satisfying as any job I've had. I love it when the girls and I are in a heap all laughing together.