Lexifabricographer For when the right word just won’t do…

January 13, 2008

Easing back towards normality

Filed under: fitter/happier,friends,joey,wordsmithery,workin for the man — lexifab @ 11:03 pm

Evan’s been visiting for a week – a jolly good and exceptionally inactive time was had by all, thanks for asking – but with him away on the plane this afternoon, things are starting to settle down again. I have another week of leave, during which time we must hope that some sort of routine emerges that will allow me to get to work in some sort of fit state and not looking exhausted and covered in suspicious stains. Little hope of that, I fear.

I seem to recall that about this time last year I was going batshit insane thanks to a slightly stressy work environment, a period that unhappily painted virtually my whole working year. I don’t really do New Year’s resolutions (which is to say, it’s possible that on occasions I am moved to make some sort of grand declaration of my intents and ambitions for the forthcoming year, but at no subsequent point am I apt to enact or even recall them) but this year I am rather determined not to get to the same point of utter out-freakedness.

I have Responsibilities now, after all. It would not do to set my boy the example that life’s little crises are best dealt with by not sleeping for days at a time and forgetting not to retch uncontrollably in social situations. I’m not exactly sure what the alternative is but I am cheerfully optimistic that one exists. Tips are welcome.

But here, clearly I am in a dreamy forecasting mood, so let’s think what the forthcoming year might possibly have to offer. I have the growing inclination to get some more writing done this year, which may well culminate in a hitherto-unprecedented serious attempt at a novel. Talking with Evan this week has helped get a better perspective on what I want to get out of writing (apart from rich, obviously).

Of more immediate importance, I have to learn how to be a father. (I gather there are classes you can take?) Plenty of hopelessly underqualified people seem to manage it, so I suppose it’s more or less a matter of on the job training plus some pop exams. I suspect the key qualities to be cultivated are Patience, Diligence and the capacity to keep smiling no matter how loud the screams are, yeah?

Then at the end of the year I get to road test both of the above, when I take a year off working to look after Connor (and somewhere in there, I hope, find time to hammer out a quick best seller). I don’t really have any conception of what to expect from that year. I don’t think the last five weeks will have done much to prepare me, and Fi has yet to commence her term as solo parent. I’m not sure whether to look forward to that with gleeful anticipation or wretched dread (certainly the latter has little to recommend it other than familiarity).

Ideally, I’d also tack “Finally become enamoured of my working life” to the year-to-come plans, but I’ll settle for “Find the strength to endure for 11 months”.


  1. Of more immediate importance, I have to learn how to be a father. (I gather there are classes you can take?)

    Hahahahaha. Fatherhood classes. You could get tips off the internet. Hire a supernanny. On my experience, when it is your turn to be the house-husband, you’ll be craving work stress over domestic stress. At least with work your hateful energies can be focused on the boss what causes your stress. Whether you like it or not you will have a great deal of trouble at home. When things get out of control you no longer even have the safety net of taking time off. You can’t take time off being a father. I had a few successful years fighting off depression by escaping work stress with home stress and visa versa. Work was a temporary fatherhood escape, weekends were a temporary work stress escape.

    Comment by Marco — January 14, 2008 @ 5:43 pm

  2. I suspected your position would be suitably foreboding 🙂

    I think you’re wrong about craving work stress, if only because domestic stress at least has novelty value in its favour. We’ll see, I guess.

    Comment by lexifab — January 16, 2008 @ 12:43 am

  3. You’ll be singing “Better the Devil You Know” soon enough :). Children generate great rewards as well to compensate. And in 14.5 years they can work for you. Belinda is selling school uniforms as we speak. Everybody’s experience is also a little different – but the theme seems to be that it is life-changing.

    Comment by Marco Parigi — January 16, 2008 @ 12:37 pm

  4. So you’re saying that sometime in the next dozen or so years I have to quit the Public Service and go into business for myself in anticipation of the cheap labour available from my son?

    Oh, wait, perhaps that wasn’t your point after all. Still, good idea though.

    Comment by lexifab — January 16, 2008 @ 9:55 pm

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