This evening, I did have one job. It was to put beans and spaghetti hoops into the microwave and not burn them. Heat them to a civilised and edible temperature. Not burn them or make them incinerate our mouths. Well the beans didn’t quite burn and Mr Dr Ross’ mouth is mostly intact.
Mine bloody kills. Spaghetti hoops can take on the thermal properties of lava: of this I am CERTAIN!
My one job this evening was undertaken in the context of having spent the day with the Small Human, running round Trowbers, climbing on climbing frames, going on my exercise bike, fielding work emails (it’s a busy one this week) etc. etc. So the one job, wasn’t really one job. There was a lot more to today. I also must say that Mr Dr Ross’ day had been much more difficult than mine at this point.
But jobs and tasks and roles never exist in isolation. In Love Actually, I think it is, Hugh Grant’s character says at the end that no man is an island, and it is so true. I wear about a gazillion hats and the number of zeros which denotes a gazillion is like entropy: ever increasing!
So how do we prioritise? How do we know which hat we’re wearing and which role matters the most in any given moment, so that the ‘one job’ we have is done as well as possible? Honestly, sometimes, I really don’t know but Google calendar and wall planners help me. Talking to colleagues helps me. Spending time with like minded folk helps me.
This weekend gone, I did that. I spoke at the Dyslexia Show in Birmingham and realised how many amazing people there are out there, who are also doing a gazillion jobs and wearing different hats, sharing amazing knowledge, propping up their rent/mortgage payments while they follow passions. So many amazing people, who all live different roles and jobs, and somehow make it work. The thing we all had in common was dyslexia and most of us were working in entrepreneurial-type, free-lancy-type roles where ultimately, we’re in charge of ourselves and lives. Everyone had a different journey but somehow, we all manage it fairly well and are making our ways in the worlds we inhabit. In that respect, I am nothing special- pretty middle of the road in all honesty.
So I do have one role, and that is running my life so that we can pay the mortgage and live as well as possible. But it’s the sub-tasks related to that job that get tricky, confusing and sometimes a little bit messed up. I don’t miss deadlines, I don’t mess up work stuff, I don’t tend to forget important things (except Andy’s birthday- ALL THE TIME) and I generally turn up where I need to be and when. But I do eff up things like micro-waving beans and spaghetti hoops, because sometimes that one job is a subtask of something utterly insane and all consuming. Or because I’m just a bit crap at cooking.
But no one ever has just one, simple job, even if it seems like that on the surface. We need to go easy on ourselves and other people because we never know their background journey and how many plates they have spinning!