It’s been two days since my visit to Broughty Ferry (near Dundee, Scotland) and I’m still feeling mentally foggy. I don’t usually travel during term time, the perk of teaching at a university and all, but I wanted to catch up with my amazing friend. We don’t see each other often, maybe every two years, but this time there’s a lot going on so it was a much needed catch up.

The time away felt properly away. Usually I feel like there’s an axe over my head, hovering just enough to remind me that work is waiting. Nope. Not this time. My attitude to work has changed this past year and during my visit I didn’t feel the need to think about work, let alone do anything ‘just in case’ (hell no to checking email inbox). It was such a great feeling to be free. Well, free isn’t quite the word. I suppose more relieved, like a weight was lifted off my shoulders and I could actually be properly present with my friend.

That might explain why I feel so foggy today. It’s like I’ve been shoved back into a crowded Tube tunnel and I’ve got to make my way through the throng to get somewhere. Find my bearings. It’s noisy and dirty and I don’t have a lot of space to breath. Yet, this state feels familiar and disorientating at the same time. I suppose work is like that at the moment. I feel my mental state is on autopilot, set to cope with the work pressures. It’s jarring to be away in a state of calm, only to be thrown back into this level of stress. I suppose the mental fog is a good indicator that working this way isn’t normal.

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