The reason for my brief disappearance has been work and I thought that now would be a good time to let people know how it's going, given that lots of lovely people have taken the time to ask me how things are going.
Basically, it's brilliant and I love it. I've never worked so hard in my life and I'm working longer hours than I've worked but I don't resent it and have relished finally having the opportunity to use my brain.
From my very first day I've had a challenge looming on the horizon - a strategy meeting with all the Directors and other members of the senior leadership team up in Scotland. It was my job to organise it and although on the surface it doesn't sound particularly complicated - get 15 people to North Berwick - this has almost consumed my life getting it sorted.
If it had been 15 people all coming from one place that would have been vastly easier - instead it was 6 people going from one place, 4 coming from 3 different places, 2 people coming from America, 2 people coming in a car - my head has been spinning at times. But luckily the fact that I have an obsession with spreadsheets meant that I knew who was coming in from where and at what time and when transfers would be picking us up from Edinburgh airport etc etc
Even then it wasn't easy. Trying to keep a group of 15 high powered people is a bit like trying to herd cats (now that would be a job) I would have one group under control, turn my back to get another, and turn back round to find they'd all wandered off in several directions, talking into/trying to get a signal on their phones.
I was responsible for making sure the meeting ran smoothly, people were fed and watered, and for taking the minutes and the actions of the meeting.
By the end of the 2nd day I was pretty much beside myself. I was tired and my eyes felt like they were bathed in acid, from staring at my laptop screen all day as I took down the minutes. I was the only person that had to concentrate through the whole meeting - others could let their minds wander and dip in and out but I had to remain focused - and my brain was feeling the strain.
I'd also arranged spa appointments and golf for the following day and in the breaks during the day, whilst getting people to sign documents that I'd been asked to bring with me to get Director's signatures, and giving people train tickets for their travel the next day and being asked when appointments were and when taxis were and when dinner was, I was ready to snap.
I had one of those moments where I was like "I am not cut out for this. My job is to organise these people and at the moment all I want to do is tell them to organise themselves."
Then at the dinner table that night the Director stood up to propose a toast. I wasn't surprised - it'd been a long couple of days and a lot had been talked about and it seemed right to acknowledge that.
So imagine my surprise when the toast was for me.
For little old me. To acknowledge and thank me for organising everything and making sure everyone got where they should be and for ensuring that the meeting ran smoothly.
I was flabbergasted and then I realised...
I have never been thanked for doing my job. Ever. I have never been sincerely told "Well done" or "Thank you" or "That was great." Isn't that bad that I've been in the employment game for 13 years or so and have never experienced that?
I know there are those that believe that you shouldn't need to be praised for doing your job - after all, it is what you are paid to do - but there can be no greater motivator to ensure that you continue to try and do your best than being shown a little bit of appreciation for a job well done. It was genuinely surprising to be in an organisation that made me feel valued and whilst it was lovely it also made me a little sad that it's taken me this long to experience it.
And that is why I am happy to take these eyeballs that feel like they've been bathed in acid to bed and get up ready to do it again, and better.