The fast lane

I was queuing at yum cha on Sunday when a glamorous woman walked past me. It was someone who worked for me during my magazine days.

I flamed out of that world almost a decade ago, but she has survived and thrived. She edits one of the major titles and looks exactly the same as she did the last time I saw her many years ago.

I ducked my head and she didn’t notice me as she went into the busy restaurant.

I should have said hello, but I didn’t.

She looked so svelte and stylish in a tan leather skirt. I looked so old and squishy in Kmart leggings.

I feel very removed from my magazine days and the distance between who I was and who I am now felt like a bridge too far to cross.

It has been difficult to shake the feeling that I have failed by no longer being a magazine editor.

But I enjoy having a low-profile working life, well, aside from getting occasional selfies with Irish Consuls. I like that when my working day ends, my life is mostly filled with neighbours and people with whom I share a long history.

I was profiled in the staff newsletter at my new workplace a few months ago. One of the questions was: “If you could invite three celebrities to dinner who would they be and why?”

My answer: “Celebrities don’t float my boat as dinner companions. My dream dinner would be going back in time for a Sunday roast at my grandparents’ house in Hawks Nest.”

Simple meals with people I love are much more my speed these days.

So I bowed my head and ate my dumplings and headed home to pack boxes as I prepare for my big move into my little apartment.

As I filled my wheelie bin with accumulated crap, I told myself that while my collagen may be deserting me, my belief in my professional abilities is returning. I am working with people who value my opinion and expertise. I am making progress and achieving things each day, which I find rewarding.

The pace is a bit crazy, but it is uplifting to do good work and be appreciated for it.

There have been a few roles in the past decade where my expertise was not appreciated. And while I worked hard and achieved good results, it wasn’t appreciated.

I found those periods so confusing and demoralising. It feels good to be rid of that negativity.

It also feels good to be rid of the clutter that I have accumulated over the past 55 years. I even took a deep breath and tossed one of my most cherished childhood possessions – an orange bird puppet purchased at the Newcastle Show in the 1970s.

It was decaying and shedding feathers and I decided it was time, but I made sure to take a photo before saying farewell.

Speaking of cherished orange things … the youngest arrived home for a brief 24 hours over the weekend between the National Jump Rope Championships and a trip to see her grandparents in Albury. And she bought me a gorgeous necklace from the markets.


Did you have a good long weekend?

Song of the day: Dionne Warwick “Walk on by”

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