With a Lighter Heart

I am smiling more. I know I am. The work isn’t exactly dropping into my lap, but there’s enough to keep me hopeful. And way above that, there’s this feeling of lightness, of a weight being lifted off me. Like I am breathing properly again for the first time in a while.
There was a lot about the salaried job that I have left that I liked, and I don’t just mean the regular, reliable income. But some of the people were, to put it mildly, difficult. I had a boss who never praised me to my face. Instead she would always find something to complain about. Her attitude was picked up on by some staff, and there were a few who copied her example. Others would talk quietly to me, supportive but not obviously so. Too dangerous. Yet my work was recognised by outsiders, in reports; rated as outstanding. Reports and ratings my boss didn’t share with me. Didn’t repeat to my colleagues. Reports I fortunately read for myself. It took its toll. I feel as though I have spent several years just trying to keep afloat. Now I find I can swim. Magic.
When I told a colleague in another department I was leaving, she was glad for me. She had witnessed how I had been treated. “This has really undermined you,” she said. I wasn’t expecting it, and my eyes filled with tears.
Actually, I don’t think I realised how pushed down I felt until this week. I suddenly had a buoyant happy feeling about what I was doing. There was an email from an ex-colleague remarking how positive I sounded, and the whole business, the whole place seemed such a long way away.
I was working today. It was a cold but beautiful day in London. Even as my fingers chilled in my gloves I couldn’t stop myself from removing them to take some photos as I made my way home.
Some of you will know already I am a fan of the Shard. Apparently Renzo Piano was inspired by engravings he had seen of church spires in the City and tall masted ships on the Thames. I didn’t do too well with the tall masts, but I did get a couple of spires. Enjoy the blue skies, and may your heart be light and your glass half full as January tips towards February.

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20 thoughts on “With a Lighter Heart

    • It did push me rather closer to the edge than I’d like. Fortunately working at other things with other people underlined the fact that it was the place and the people there kept me sane.

  1. Oh Isobel, it is so good to have posting photos of London again. I have been missing them. I am so pleased that you are feeling lighter. I can appreciate the courage it took to quit a salaried position but I admire your integrity. Too many people only want money and are willing to pay any price for it. I never felt it was worth it.

  2. I am a boss. I have a boss. It boggles my mind that even in a corporate or governmental situation full of safeguards against lawsuits, tiny minded Managers use the workplace as an arena in which to confront their personal failings by projecting them on those who work with them. No excuse for how you were treated and I am happy that you’ve found a path out.

    You need to write a local London guidebook. Or a more narrative commentary on special places in London. You really do.

    I realize these don’t pay the rent but as long as you are reaching for the stars….which are out in profusion here since we have no rain, no fog, and summer time temps.

    • Initially I was able to shrug my shoulders and get on with the job I enjoyed, but gradually it became more corrosive. I still liked my work, but the joy had gone from it. Every day I was braced for another assault. I used to think of them as drive by shootings. I would be doing something and would be compared unfavourably with someone else, ignored or have my work dismissed. It was routine. Although that manager has now left, I found my relationship with my work had suffered and although maybe I shall one day go back to something similar, it was high time I moved on.
      Should I ever write a book, I am sure London will feature!

    • Thanks TBM. Oppressive is the word I’d use. Also, I don’t think I appreciated just how much effort was involved just keeping myself going. Money concerns aside, I feel much better now.
      Blogging was definitely a help. By posting about other things in my life it helped to balance the perspective.

      • I started my 50 year blog when I was stuck at a job I hated and yes, it was so helpful. The blogging community was so supportive and helped me keep my mind off my evil boss. I liked my job, but my boss made me miserable.

        • Blogging as therapy? Maybe. I do feel that recording thoughts and daily events, good and bad has a beneficial effect. Whether one needs an audience, I am not so sure. But feedback and encouragement, positive affirmations can only be helpful.

    • It makes me so sad to read of this. I had to fold over all my politics to work as I do now in management, but at least I work for a corporation that doesn’t tolerate that sort of behavior. One of the few, I hate to say.

      How soul sucking it must have been. You and my pal could have a good chin wag on this subject.

      • Well, probably best we didn’t chew it over. Since leaving, I have remembered lots of good times, great memories. The rest can sink to the bottom and leak out of my memory. I really don’t want that crap perpetually in my mind, why would I want to hang on to things that made me unhappy?

  3. Hi Isobel, you gave it your all. We had some great times. I am so glad that you feel that you made the right decision and the only way is up now xxxxx

  4. The picture of the Shard and the Thames!!!! I am delighted that you are smiling more now and that you can feel some magic back in your life. You deserve to be happy. We all deserve happiness! Working or living in an oppressive situation can suck the very life out of a person. It takes away our confidence and chokes out all the good we feel about ourselves. I am just so happy you are going through life now with a “lighter heart”! Hurrah! Hugs Isobel.. 🙂

  5. So pleased for you Isobel. Like so many here I spent a year in a job that nearly killed me and my marriage. To this day I don’t know how or why I stuck it out so long. Magazines are full of articles telling you it’s not worth it etc etc but it still takes real courage to say enough is enough. Whatever the future holds you’ve done the right thing. Cheers. Lindsey

    • Fear of what will happen to us keeps us from leaving bad situations. That said, I felt that with the situation with my mother, I did not have the energy to start a new job. At least with this one it what it was about, and ghastly though it was at times, it was familiar. Twenty years ago I left another job because I felt if it had been a relationship with a man, I would have left him. I knew it wasn’t good for me. This decision was similar.

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