I thought I was better. I thought I was important. That’s often how work and specifically international business travel made me feel. Valet parking, Business Class lounges and air travel, interesting cities, a four or five star hotel, smart colleagues, meetings with senior and often great people, fancy dinners, more Business Class felt good, especially after a successful meeting. Then home. Jane had the kids. Life was similar most days. Even before kids, it was me who did the travelling with work. I tried to be back down to earth, but looking back, it took a while after each trip. I was sometimes somewhere else when I was just in the office, and again got lost in it all.
It was part of my job that I got to travel, and I saw a lot of the world at someone else’s expense. We understood that is what I did. Looking back, I can see I became too caught up with work and everything accompanying it.
Of course you need self confidence to succeed in work. I learned that the challenge is to adapt to the other reality. I was often short on self confidence, so perhaps I held onto the trappings and compliments more when they came.
I didn’t think I had an ego, but I did. Over the last few years, I’ve met many people doing what would be described as normal jobs, where Seat 1A of a Qantas 747 is replaced by any seat on the number 312 bus. It has taught me a lot, and I can only say sorry to Jane for what she put up with. Of course, there is nothing wrong with enjoying amazing opportunities presented by work, but I think I let it define me too much. If this post helps just one person caught in their ego, then I will be pleased.
What about now? Of course I like it when someone compliments a piece of my writing or says something positive about our family. I last flew in March 2016 and now everyone I know, except for the lady in Room 26, travels more than I do. There are times now however, perhaps due to the morphine and anti depressants, when I am more at peace than I have ever been.