Don’t be fooled by these boyish good looks; I am now looking wistfully over my shoulder at my mid-fifties, and while Led Zeppelin at Knebworth is as clear as a bell, I sometimes forget why I just walked into the kitchen.
The last six months of lockdown and increased parental responsibilities keeps me thinking about the incredible juggling act many of my younger colleagues have undertaken since the school and childcare challenges kicked in.
You see my two boys are both two inches taller than me now. My ability to support with a University degree in Astrophysics stops at knowing where the moon is. And the younger one has just survived the car crash that is his A-level year. Maths, Economics and Spanish were never my strong points, so I can just about ask for 'dos cervezas grandes' and then check that I have been given the correct change.
The ONS says 87% of parents said a child in their household had been homeschooled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and over half of those children were struggling to continue their education, despite all the human and technology support provided.
Like many people out there, I have been living on Zoom and Teams calls with colleagues and clients alike. When someone’s four-year old appears on screen clutching a cuddly toy it really makes me smile, but it also reminds me how so many people have been juggling two jobs and wondering how they manage it.
If you are one of those parents, planning your working day has been an incredible challenge. From talking to people, both jobs can spring unexpected surprises on you and looking after yourself and your own mental health often becomes an afterthought or no thought at all.
So I realise how lucky I am to have pretty much retired from my second job now, so can concentrate on the first, meaning it’s so much easier for me to plan my day, and focus on developing a conversation with a client about their employer brand or candidate attraction strategy without any distractions.
So I tip my hat to everyone out there with two jobs. I don’t know how you do it, and just pray things will get better, although current news stories would indicate this is doubtful in the short-term.
What’s that? Led Zeppelin? They were incredible. And the kitchen visit? It was just another raid on the biscuit tin.