Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Weekend and thoughts on home life and career

It's so good to be home! I came home on Saturday, thanks to a French bank holiday. I'm such a home girl. I love just mooching around, cooking, tidying, being in my space, being surrounded by my things. It will be so wonderful to have a home of my own one day.

I didn't do anything out of the ordinary, but I loved it. Just went to the supermarket, saw lovely Lizzie, spent time with Dad and Marc, caught up with correspondence, and did a lot of cooking. In Paris I have a strange electricity problem in my flat. The oven uses a disproportionate amount of electricity and can cut off electricity in the entire flat if too many lights are on. This means that I don't do much cooking, unfortunately. That and the fact that we get such enormous portions of delectable cuisine at work that it's impossible to eat a full dinner anyway. But when I return to London and my lovely kitchen, I can't wait to get my hands stuck in.

I made a chicken soup (Jewish pencillin!), the veg bake I wrote about earlier and an apple pie! If anyone wants the recipe just let me know. There are few more comforting smells (and sights!) than that of a piping hot apple pie with cinnamon. Mmmmmm! Through my Weight Watchers time I have learnt handy ways of cutting out fat in cakes, so this was even a virtuous one (well, relatively speaking!).

I did some crafts - I am making a rag doll. Her current state is that of nudity, so I'll spare you the photos, but I hope she'll be cute when she's ready. I do love my sewing machine.

All this cooking and crafting got me thinking of that age old question: home vs work. Of course, stopping to work is not an option for me, nor is it something I would like to do. I firmly believe that it is positive for a woman to have her own life, apart from that of being a wife and mother - something that is hers alone. I know that this is unorthodox to some, and I appreciate and am inspired by other people's choices (see post below about mothers) but for me having independence and a life outside the home is important. I've been inspired by my mother, who is passionate about her career (she's a doctor).

And yet I would love to be at home too, sewing, cooking, homemaking. As I said, not working is not an option, not now and probably not ever. But some jobs are more compatible with home life than others, and I need to think about what I want. I'm coming up to the point at which I have to decide which department to qualify into at my firm. This raises questions about the sort of professional life I want. I know that I don't want to spend my nights at the firm negotiating aircraft sales. I know I want a semblance of a life. A rich home life and a rewarding professional life. How to marry the two? I need to research further what sort of balance a post business school job would give me. I suspect that the balance in a corporate would be better than in a professional services firm. Big decisions are coming up, but it is exciting, forming your life, making choices, sculpting your very own path. Some of the readers of this blog have done an amazing job of taking risks and following their dreams and it is so inspiring. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this!