It’s that time of the year where I seem to be doing a lot of travelling for work. Three days in Sydney at the start of August, conferences in Wellington and Christchurch and now a training course in Dublin and a customer/ partner summit in Sydney. It’s fantastic to have the opportunity and I am very appreciative of it, but…
The guilt. The guilt of not being here for my small boys’ school concert, missing countless cricket, hockey and waterpolo games (including two I am supposed to be playing in and three where I am supposed to be poolside managing), leaving my husband to cope with twice as much of the daily grind as normal and having to rely on other parents so my children can meet their commitments.
Yes, I will be working almost all of the time I am away (apart from three days with my wonderful friend Rhonda in California). Yes, my weekends will be taken up flying halfway round the world. And back. Yes, I will be in a classroom environment in Dublin for a week, and then fly back into Sydney at dark o’thirty on a Monday morning, straight into working in our office and then organising and entertaining customers for a couple of days before being back in the office in Sydney for some more training. There won’t be much in the way of junketing or sightseeing, and the jetlag may be extreme. I’ll be living out of a suitcase and sleeping all over the place.
I won’t be producing family meals every day. I won’t be a taxi service. I won’t have to get anyone else organised in the mornings. I’ll only have myself to think about. I can get up when I want to and go to bed when I want to, within reason.
So even though I will be working, I still feel guilty about those left at home. And being given a ticket for the rugby last Saturday night for work only made me feel worse. As you can tell though, I stayed home:
What am I doing to offset the guilt? Planning and organising in advance as much as I can for my husband. Spending as much time as I can with him and the children in the time leading up to my departure. I will probably spend a good chunk of any free time I have looking for keepsakes for the family. And I’m going to find some time this weekend to make some dinners for the freezer. But I suspect that as I’m nursing a pint of Guinness (and pretending that it doesn’t contain gluten) while I chat to my colleagues in a pub in Ireland, that little edge of “this isn’t fair” will still kick in. Nonetheless, I shall strive to enjoy myself. And make up for it over the next several months!
When have you felt guilty about heading off for work or pleasure? What do you do to make up for it, or do you just revel in the chance to have a break?