January 03, 2012

Like investment banking. Just worse.

It may have been a great experience but I don't look at my time in investment banking as the most stress-free and balanced time of my life. I can give you a pretty extensive list of all the positives about that job.  But truth be told, came a time when these positives could not any longer outweighs the minuses, the largest of which was how busy, running out of time and juggling with dozens of things simultaneously, I constantly was.

Our daily routine right now is a bit like being back in investment banking.

Just worse.

At the time, life could be summarised to pretty much one thing : work and running. Days would be : get to work between 8- 9am, leave around midnight on a good day, not at all on a less-good one, and fit at least an hour of running on the work gym's treadmill in between. When time became slighly more of a commodity, I just added climbing and yoga to the running. Plain and simple.

Looking back at the last few months, it is amazing how much we managed to put on our plate.

It all started when I left my job last Spring. A blessing, for sure, but one which meant that, quickly, I needed to find a fall-back position, as it seemed we could sadly not omit the fact that, job or no jobs, bills needed to be paid. Shame, I know. 

Then, at the beginning of summer and after 2 years of looking around and probably something close to 40 visits, it seemed we had found a house that 1. we liked enough to consider making an offer on (rare), 2. may be in our price range (even rarer). Cool, but it made the job situation even more of an issue, and, since then, our days pretty busy.  Checking whether we could really afford it.  Convincing mortgage provider we could really afford it. Debating future work to be done. Debating how much to offer. Debating if said offer would be accepted.  Debating, following acceptation of offer, whether we would eventually exchange contracts. Exchanging contracts. Starting dealing with architect, builders, contractors. Feeling we are way out of our comfort zone here. And the list goes on.

Very cool house, and we're very fortunate, but boy, I sometimes wish wehad bought something we could straight in!
Then of course, in the midst of all this, I found out I was pregnant. Not that this came as a surprise (I mean, we did work on it). But unlike the relatively stress-free pregnancy #1, it immediately looked that this one may not only be about sitting running around and watching my belly grow.

First, there is Malo, who may be a super easy-going little Monsieur, but needs his fair share of attention (which I am more than happy to give, being the Mother Hen that I am ). Second there is work. The intent here is to try and get a few clients which could provide repeat business, so that, 1. it pays the bills (see above), 2. I can capitalise of this after the birth of #2, when prospecting and marketing may prove a bit challenging (unless in the space of 3 months it becomes OK to turn up at a meeting breastfeeding a newborn). Let's face it, I think I could have chosen a better time to start my own business. Third, there is the new house, which is eating up a lot of my time. Bottom line is, I am snowed under, even without mentioning my attempts at trying to fit some runs in. I do manage to get outside, sometimes, but comparing my weekly activities with that I had when expecting Malo would make me feel like a lazy b*** if I did not know better.

So yes, the good old investment banking life feels a bit like a walk in the park, these days. Fitting in 18-hour work days and a fair amount of running. Phew, easy. Life today is so much worse...

Except I am lying.

It is not worse.

It is indeed busier, if that's possible. It does indeed get frustrating at times, because I miss my running and also hate the feeling of trying to do too many things at once and not doing a good job at any.

But worse? God, no!

I just need to think at the little one growing in my belly, and imagine him/her running around in our new garden or going up the mountain behind our new home. I just need to think about, how, if things work out alright, working for myself will hopefully give me, in the not too distant future, a job I like, time for my kids and time for sports. And most of all, I just need to think that, if I am lucky, like his/her brother, #2 will tell me, as soon as he/she sees me putting my running shoes on : "moi aussi, Maman, courir", while looking for his own running shoes... and it immediately feel so worth it!

(Now if on top of this I could get a few repeat clients before April, and if getting quotes from the builders could be a bit less of a pain, I swear I would not mind).

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