The Trade

What a consolation.
What a consolation.

My head of department is old I dare say. And with him being old, he is wise as well. He’s very keen on teaching us and transferring his knowledge and skills to us the subordinates.

On Tuesday morning I had to sit down with him. It was a long-delayed assignment on my side, but since the priority is low, he just ignored that fact instead of, say, screaming at me.

Anyway, the point of this post is about what we discussed at that time. He was telling me that getting sustainability to be an integrated part of us doing business is a long winding road. It will never be about the Board Papers you submitted for approval only. It is also about the softer side of things – building the foundation for the organisation to accept and buy in the idea of sustainability requires proper networking.

And then we agreed that it needs time.

He confessed to me that being a leader means that sometimes family becomes number two. That’s why he said, some leaders just fail in this part – broken families, neglected children are often the consequence.

Then he said that he finds comfort on the fact that work is also a form of worship, but warns me, rather softly, that sometimes we need to make a choice if we want to a leader – Family or career?

I fully understand why he said that to me. He often sees Isa and sometimes my husband waiting for me to finish my urgent works. He understands and often reminds us that family does matter, and most important. I also know that he said that not because I am failing to perform – my immediate boss will testify that I do well. But I know he just feels it strongly that he needs to say it.

It is a cross street. I love what I am doing and of course I want to progress professionally, if you ask the go-getter side of me. But if it is my family at stake, I am slowing down.

This morning has again defined  ‘slowing down’. I arrived at work seeing my junior colleague holding his passport, and I regret asking him where he was going, only to see his excited face (by then I knew that he’s so eager to let me know) telling me that he’s off for a conference in Switzerland.

Damn it. At that point I found myself almost crying: What the hell has happened to my life?

My work could have led me going around the world if I plan it to be that way – but for the past one year and more I have chosen to be stuck looking at my laptop in the office. I will find every possible way to not extend my working hour beyond 6pm at the risk of my teamworking reputation.

I almost lost a dear friend of mine because of my limited capacity for social life.

All for that little one. My little bundle of joy, and my huge bundle of responsibility.

I know it is going to worth all those that I have been and still am missing, but for the time being, just let me sulk.


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