Work Life Balance is Dead.

Wait, wait WAIT! Before you bite my head off, hear me out.

I know the title seems to be very definitive, but stick with me. The way we work is changing rapidly. People no longer seek a job for life, but rather, we look for roles that allow us to be parents, to work from home, condensed hours, etc. In the words of the wise philosopher Dolly Parton: Working 9 to 5 what a way to make a living! Or is it? In a past life perhaps, but more and more people are doing over and above their contracted hours. In a perfect world, all would venerate and aspire to the mythical work-life balance, but for most of us, this is not achieved. Or at least, not in the way we think it is. Globally, working life has morphed, and how we think about work also needs to follow suit. We are more connected than any other generation before us, and with that, it means that we can do almost anything, and traditional 9 to 5 patterns needn’t be adhered to.

In his blog 20 Successful Habits I Learnt While Working For Two Billionaires, Paul C. Brunson shares; Lesson #7 – Take no days off(Completely). I’m not quoting this as an instruction that we must work all the hours God sends, certainly not (and some of you are probably doing that anyway). However, there is a principle to be understood about how we separate ‘work’ and ‘life’ and what value we place on each. Please permit me the cliché; life is far too short to be doing something that you just don’t love. And born of that love, the drive that will birth our next success. This is the key because the real myth is believing there is a difference between ‘work and life’. All jobs are becoming lifestyle jobs, meaning, we check out emails from the beach for the love of the game not because we have smartphones. That and we are working towards our first billion!

Within the first 6 months of this year, I had attended 3 funerals. One in her 30’s, one in her 40’s and one in her 50’s. Two to cancer and one to brokenness and poor mental health leading to alcoholism. Within her life, the 50 something year old worked as a model and later went on to enjoy a successful career in manufactioning high-end clothes for a very well-known fashion designer. Our 40 something year old, a very well respected barrister. And our 30 something year old, during her five year battle with cancer, chose to retrain, achieved an MA in fashion, and later started her own personal styling consultancy. In addition to this she also interview and was hired by ITV for a job in presenting. One of the many things these three women have in common is their choice to not settle and do something that made their hearts sing. All three worked all the time, but for them it wasn’t “work” it was sharing knowledge, helping someone out and making a difference. Work life? Life life? Work love? Life love? Love life, love Work!


  • Are you using all of your skills?
  • Do you enjoy what you do?
  • Are you settling?
  • With the introduction of flexible working, don’t be afraid to book some time to have a chat with your HR representative.
  • Have a look at the company policy, could you work from home?
  • Get skilled up. If there is something that you would rather be doing, look for training in that area.

The Early Years

When I opened my eye for the first time on that autumnal afternoon (or was it morning?) of the 25th of September , I was ready and already rocking the 70’s look. Yep, my mummy told me that I came out with a fully formed fro! But as soon as it my hair was introduced to air and water the fight begin

From as far back as I can remember until the age of about 7 or 8, every Sunday evening I would have my weekly cry as my mum would braid and twist my hair the the schooling week. My natural hair is so thick and my scalp so sensitive I would spend the following 30 minutes after ‘the ordeal’ (and of course during) weeping and I remember my dad saying ‘just cut it off it it’s causing so much grief’ or something to that effect. So as a compromise, my hair was permed. You remember that scene in Coming to America when Darryl’s family leave a parting gift of a Soul Glo wet patches, sadly I remember remember those days. For a number of year I curly permed then moved to relaxing. Why am I telling you this so you understand that my hair has know a lot of chemicals over the decades and I think as a result my hair will respond diffidently… She says!

2 Months Mark

So what I’m finding is that my hair DOES NOT like transitioning one little bit! The having two textures thing is a no no. My hair is breaking left right and centre, and before you ask I am doing only co washes, deep conditioning weekly but it doesn’t seem to be making much difference to the relaxed hair. It’s not massive clump of hair but I’ll notice a new shorter area from time to time. Honestly I’m not too surprised as the difference between my natural hair and relaxed hair is like oil and water. My nature hair is very thick and strong and my relaxed hair is weak and thin and it’s a simple as that. I wanted to try and transition without doing the big chop but I’m thinking that I either need to braid or weave or cut it. I might pick a super short style that wouldn’t look too odd with super curly roots haha!

Some positive news, I’m loving how my new growth is feeling. After a wash I can feel a delightful bed of ringlet overlaying my scalp :o) yay we’ll get there in the end! I have about a half an inch curl (longer stretched) which looks super healthy a shiny. So really I just want to encourage anybody that is finding that their hair is breaking that they are not the only one. I honestly am not to worries because as I mentioned it’s the relaxed hair that is breaking and by new hair seems to be growing well and looks healthy.

I will add that I did change my diet to clean  high protein. I try to avoid any processed for food anyway, but I am making a conscious effort to make sure I’m eating fresh and lean! I think I’ve just found a new blog title.

The Transition – Relaxed to Natural

My my I have been away a long time (slap wrist) it’s been a journey, but we’ll start from scratch as I embark on another journey that is THE TRANSITION! Okay, for those of you who don’t know what I’m banging on about, in a nutshell; afro hair can be hard to manage without proper knowledge and understanding of what the hair needs. As a result many women with gorgeous locks pay ridiculous amounts of money to have their scalp burnt (not always) and their hair fried aka relaxed (chemically straightened). Goodness that sound like so form of penance.  Well it kind of is or at least it was for me because no matter how “gentle” the relaxer was, I always ended up with scabs on my scalp. Please don’t get me wrong, I know this isn’t everybody’s experience and I know some people have healthy(ish – how healthy can it be when you’re using chemicals to alter your hairs natural formation?) hair that is relaxed and this was my experience for some of the time but if i’m honest, I spent most of my time in a state of hair cardiac arrest and trying to heal damaged and distressed hair. Sadly that is where I found myself again, and after finding my hair had broken in match left and right side patches, giving me two new growth only ‘crop circles’, that was the last straw and it was then, in that moment of utter despair that I decided that enough was enough. I would give up relaxing and baldly go where many have gone before!

I can’t tell you how much time I have spent reading blogs and watching YouTube videos trying to glean as much information as I can about how to manage this process. Interestingly enough, I have actually been making my own natural deep conditioners and hair mask for just over a year so I already had an understanding of the types of products and care that would help me manage my hair. What I have found to date is that there are a TON of videos about transitioning and about caring for natural hair, but what I have found is that most of the information is 1) from across the pond from our US cousins (for which I am super grateful) 2) the ladies in the videos have great genes! With all due respect to all the help and support our US beauties have dedicated to the cause, but, sadly I can’t identify with with their beautiful healthy new growth as mine journey seems to be quite different.

I am two months in to my journey now and I’ll be honest it’s hard work and it does scare me not knowing what to expect from my hair, or if I will be able to manage it. However, I am committed and we, my hair and I, have a number of years to get better acquainted.

Tis the season for being blind!

Let me begin by saying there is no shame in being single. In fact it’s a time in ones life where one is footloose and fancy free! Kicking and frolicking around like a lamb in spring – doing that funny leap thing they do. Yes, it may resemble a spasm or tick, but for the purposes of this article, we are now immersing ourselves in the sounds of; rushing rivers, sweet songbirds and the bleating of bar bar Blackface (yep, that really is the name of a breed – I kid you not)! So we have established how wonderful it should be being a singleton, however I appreciate that it’s not only the weather that can be a little harsh in this season. All around is the stink of coupledom – gifts for him, surprise her with…

“No, just one ticket for the Winter Wonderland big wheel please.”

Why is it that that single sentence not only doesn’t sound right, it feels like an abomination!

“One seat?”

Cue earthquake, tsunami, hurricane, fire hail from the heavens!  Why is it that this time of year in particular, being single seems to have a rather venomous sting in its tail? Perhaps it’s the Bridget Jones theory of yet another year has passed, only to arrive at your parents home at exactly the same point you left it last year, flying solo! Or maybe it’s the simple and selfish fact that there is at least one more gift in it for you? Personally, I think it’s down to a basic physiological desire. The overwhelming urge, neigh, base need and I hasten to add normal function, of what makes us human. What am I talking about? You guessed it, being warm (why what were you thinking?). Going Christmas shopping arms linked or at least hand in hand = warm. Overpriced festive amusement park rides cuddled together in the seats  = warm.

Now that I have you seated comfortably and relaxed… do you lower your standards to achieve the above? In the words of Joseph, “any dream will do.” Bam! In for the jugular. Okay okay! I’m not saying that this is a global pandemic but I have to admit, I might have observed a few fellas that I may not have given a second glance to, when enjoying warm rays beating down on my back, in the summer month(s). That said, one is painfully aware that New Year’s eve is fast approaching, and a repeat of last year’s sloppy bristly wet one from prevy cousin Pat (who really isn’t a relative at all), can not happen again. Nor is the prospect of being grabbed at midnight, by a random who’s been drinking since midday, appealing either.

As we are all in agreement that 1. somethings should never happen (see above) and 2. will NEVER happen again (also see above) here are some things to remember when looking to move from being a singleton to coupledom. Know what you what within a relationship and what value you bring to an “us”. Never pass up an opportunity to socialise in new circles. Standards are not the same as ideals (give up on the Brangelina lookalike.) Think of a first date as just another fun outing with a friend. However above all of this, never never forget “cousin” Pat’s puckered pout and always keep this mathematic formula to love in mind; the longer you wait for “the one” the higher the percent of you being found alone and half eaten by your twelve cats.

Picture the scene…

I’m sat on the end seat by the door on the Vicky Blue, steaming towards Brixton. The train pulls into Victoria station and like all others I share the carriage with, my eyes are fixed to my phone, rows of heads buried in books (or a Kindles these days –  I ask, what is wrong with a book? They still work: Pages, check. Words, check. Cover, half check as sometimes missing or damaged but not essential for reading pleasure, check. (Kindle, I rue the day of your conception.  Amazon, a curse be in both your houses.) Of course not forgetting those looking very intently at the Evening Standard or any of the number of free media  paraphernalia that is thrust in our direction at every opportunity. Arhh, the social etiquette of the underground.

So a guy gets on with what looks like a broken arm, and here’s where the issue arises.

There are no more seats available:

Do I…

a) ignore the fact he has what looks like a broken arm and assume he’s fine?
b) ignore the fact he has what looks like a broken arm and feel terribly guilty that I haven’t asked if he’s okay standing?
c) ignore the fact he has what looks like a broken arm & feel mortified when the train jerks suddenly and he goes hurtling down the centre of the carriage landing face down in another man’s lap?
d) do not ignore the fact that he has what looks like a broken arm and offer my seat and feel utterly humiliated when he declines and everybody in the carriage joins him in giving me that, {head shaking} “tut tut, are you stupid? It’s a broken arm!” look?
e) hope that c happens so I can join the rest of the carriage in doing our best impression of a pack of hyenas?


Chewing over my predicament. Heart wrenched, “what do you do in this situation?” (Answers on a postcard.)

There I was mulling over my answer, beads of sweat running down my forehead and as the train pulled into Green Park, I had made my decision. The train came to a stop. I looked up at the casted commuter only to watch him exit.

Here it Begins…

Let’s talk about stuff, baby!
Let’s talk about you & me
Let’s talk about all the good things and the bad thing that may be.
(Come on, sing it with me)
Let’s talk about stuff!

“Do you come here often?” Well I should hope so because here we find ourselves, or at least this is where I find myself. It’s been a long time coming, incubating in my literally womb, It’s time to share the lunacy and often insightful, randomness that populates my mind most of the time.

Never spiteful or malicious but an honest opinion about the mechanics and imaginations of a situation according to moi. How much more sophistika would that sound if I said; “according to the Dr” or better yet, “unwrapping social origami according to the Professor.” Fail! However I do have prophetic gifting so perhaps I’ll dub myself, “Proctor”. Still not as good as Dr Phil.

Rest assured that Proc or not, I will be mind-dumping and unravelling all manner of fun thing in this space, so do come again soon.

Finally,  hello and welcome to… You me Oliie & the Tracks.