Sunday, September 21, 2003

A momentous day tomorrow -- I "officially" go back to work.

I feel like I've been working pretty much throughout the past five and a half months, but the work's been largely done from home rather than from my base in Television Centre.

Tomorrow, though, I take my satchel and packed lunch and head off with all the other commuters to the office.

I'm only going back part-time to start with -- two days in the first week and I'll see how it goes after that. Even so, I must admit I'm rather apprehensive. Will I remember how to do my job? Will I still be able to cope with the pressures of work, both physically and psychologically? Will people treat me differently now?

It's the same feeling I used to get as a kid when I went back to school after the Summer holidays -- except that in this case the holiday has been almost six months long.

Despite the first day nerves I'm looking forward to getting back in the saddle. There have been occasions in recent months when I've felt like my life's on hold, as though someone's pressed the pause button. Going back to work represents another important step on the road to normality. I hope to get back into the swing of things fairly quickly -- there are possible trips to Athens and Rome next week so I need to hit the ground running (or at least hobbling at high speed.)

I said in an interview I gave soon after the accident that I wanted to be known as a journalist first and a landmine survivor second -- and definitely not the other way around. I need to move on from the accident -- not forget it ever happened (not that I could) and certainly not lose sight of how it has changed my life. But recognise that it's just part of who I am -- an important part, but not the defining characteristic.

It's easy to be dismissive of the 9-to-5 but perhaps I need a dose of routine right now to allow me to get back to where I was before I was injured. Plus, I'm sure that within days of returning the workload will be back to its pre-accident levels and I'll be wishing I'd taken more time off.


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