To put you in the picture…

I have been home for 1 week… prior to that I was overseas for a month or so working 18 hour days on a pointless exercise in a scenario in which the system I manage will never be used… but I do as I’m told ;)

Over the last week I have carried out the annual training packages which are in place to ensure that I am up to the basic standard required to ensure that I can carry out my role in any situation…

Tomorrow I go away for another week for a training course which includes such wonderous subjects as Languages, Cultural Information, Security and a plethora of other 1 hour snippets which in themselves could take up the week on their own… it’s being done so that my employer can feel secure in the knowledge that they have trained me to cope with whatever happens… (and to ensure I can’t claim should anything go amiss!)

The week after that I am away again, after two days at home, on a technical course which will,in fact, benefit me in my job… I’m then home for a week or so before jetting off on a two week vacation which I have been planning, with my Father, for a number of years… (this, they tried to cancel, regardless of the fact that the leave has been booked for almost a year!)

On my return mid November I have another 3 weeks of training to fit in prior to a few weeks off before leaving my family and home for approximately 6 months with limited contact throughout that period… I should manage two weeks at home during this period, but I’m not holding my breath…

Depending on certain factors I will then have 1 month at home to set my affairs in order prior to leaving home again for 9 months, this time for an educational course which, while I am not forced to attend, would halt my career prospects should I choose not to.

All told I foresee about 13 weeks at home with my wife and children between now and June 2008… and this after a similar time apart between February 2003 and June 2004… while last year was meant to be relatively peaceful I did, in fact, spend over 30 weeks away from home for one reason or another…

And all this time I am finding myself unsure as to whether I agree with the reason for it all, with my part in it, or even if I want to play that part anymore.

My priorities have changed now, I want to be there for more than the 1 out my Son’s 6 birthdays that I have managed to see… I want to be able to arrange a party, or at least a dinner for my Wife’s birthday or our anniversary, I want to be able to go to my Daughter’s ballet recital or a parents evening…

Now don’t get me wrong! I enjoy my job, and feel that it is worthwhile and I get a great deal of satisfaction from it… but the dedication and sacrifice that it demands, not to do well, but merely to do the job, places an unfair burden on my wife and leaves my children asking far too many questions… At this point in time, I don’t know what the future holds… but I’d like to think I will have the courage to make a change, or at least a stand.

Slainté,

Spkr 4 Th Dd

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