Shades of Green

Recently I was a guest at a wedding. A perfect, beautiful, wedding. Gorgeous couple, perfect venue, amazing food, fantastic music and most of all the bride and groom were surrounded by people who loved them (envy green). Aside from an enjoyable night it made me realise something. Over the last year and a half I have been a crap and selfish friend. Utter crap.

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Almost 2 years ago I started a new job in the city. It was just the break I was looking for from the job I had been stuck in. This new job whisked me into a world I had not been before. I can honestly say that in the first year of this job I have never drank so much or worked so hard. I even recall following up my morning coffee with a 10am vodka. Yes folks that’s right no more apples at recess, in grown up land apparently apples and muesli bars are being replaced with vodka. 10am vodkas were followed by 2 hour lunches, wine white, red wine, champagne and back to the office if you’re lucky. So this is what goes on in the corporate world? I am never leaving! I had worked in a boozy work place before. Finishing up at lunch time to drink the day away or heading out early, after a succession of long days, to drink the pub dry but I never joined in. I was too busy hitting the gym followed with a couple hours of volunteering or study and I regretted it somewhat. I regretted that I hadn’t let go for a bit, that I hadn’t socialised more, built friendships with my work colleagues so this time when the opportunity seemed to present itself, I quickly took it up. Little did I know that it would lead to such self-obsession. And so it started. The first time I had messaged and called all my girlfriends and arranged to meet them at a local pub after work one Friday night for a drink. It happened to be the same day my boss (a successful business women) was taking me out for a welcome lunch. I was looking forward to dining at such a nice place and we had set aside 2 hours in the diary to take our time. 3 courses, countless bottles and 5 hours later we finished lunch. Business hours were well and truly over by the time I got back to the office. I am not a big drinker, in my younger years always preferring the puff puff pass, rather than my head in a toilet bowl after a big night. Needless to say after the over indulgence of rich foods and deeply satisfying rich red wines, I was feeling somewhat green. My phone was full of messages and missed calls from my friend wondering where I was and why I hadn’t met up with them. I had to sheepishly (or drunkenly) explain and swiftly shifted the blame onto the new situation. I never went to meet my friend that night and this was just the start of the windy road down to the bottom of the friend chain.

At the time of course, I thought my behaviour was fine. I consistently blamed work and I was having far too much fun to be bothered with commitments. The string of up market restaurants and fine wines continued for the next year and I never paid a cent for it. Well not in hard cash. It was only after attending this recent wedding that I really realised at what cost this ‘fun’ had come. Time after time I had let my friends down because of the spur of the moment work lunch that my boss was dragging me to. I made commitments to dinners but by the end of the day I was too drunk or too sick (sickly green) to get there.

In business it seems the harder you party, the harder you work. Accompanying my new found drinking habit came a 50 hour work week. With 24 hour access to me via the new and wonderful technology of smart phones. So when I wasn’t cancelling on my friends for being drunk I was cancelling because I was stuck at work trying to get things finished.

During this year my ego was like a pig in mud. How wonderful, expensive food, classic wine, gifts, powerful business men. How important I must be and oh what a fool (the final shade…naivety green).

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