Well, well, well. Guess who's back at work, earning a living for his family like a sucker? That's right, it's me! My paternity leave has come to an end and I'm back to the 'ole Gas, Break, Honk, Honk, Gas Break routine. Who invented this 'work' and why, in God's name, do we participate in it? Oh, yea, money....
I am back and though, as I expected, the first week has been somewhat of a slap in the face it's not too bad. I remind myself that I am extremely fortunate to have had the time off in the first place, and doubly so that I can return and provide for my entire family on the single wage that I earn. Not everyone is so lucky, and for a good many years neither was I. In fact, in the last 6 years I have spent more time unemployed than employed so it's not always been the limo and champagne lifestyle I now enjoy (or at leat the Nissan and moderately-priced wine on a Friday lifestyle I actually have).
I realize now that there must be a good number of men today, and indeed in days gone by, that are like me in that they would rather stay home with the baby(s) than work. My job is rewarding on many levels but yet, if given the choice, I'd stay home. My frequent encounters with unemployment have rather forced me, over the last few years, to look at things a bit differently and all that time alone does lend rather well to some serious introspection.
I have found myself in a variety of roles over the years (both professionally and personally) and learned that I have an uncanny knack for blending in. I've mentioned this before, but for instance when I was living in Ireland everyone thought I was Irish. Accent, manneurisms, etc all changed to the point that folks from my own home city in Canada (where I lived for 13 years) didn't believe I was Canadian and when I told Irish people I was Canadian they were a bit shocked. I sitll use "Y'all" once in a while from my time in Texas (but I never, ever refer to a bag as a sack- that's just wrong).
Right, so- is there a point? Nope. Not on Friday, sorry, it's just one loooooong ramble. Oooh, and speaking of Ireland, everything is booked for the trip back. Planes, cars, ferries- it's all set. We've had to do some serious budgeting to make it happen, and have slashed our days away from 14 to 10 (not much of a slash really, more of a trim) but I will still get some time to slip away on my own (awww, so sorry in-laws in miserable 'ole Scotland, no visit from me this time) to see friends down South (the Republic of Ireland, not Arkansas). See what I mean about being lucky? "Hey boss, I'm back, thanks very much for the 9 months off, now I'm off to Ireland and need two weeks holidays. Cheeers."
In this case the grind isn't so bad is it?