When I worked in Singapore, I used to hate Mondays. You know that there is something seriously wrong with your job when you start mentally picturing "Arbeit Macht Frei" on the entrance to your office. (**for those of you too lazy to google, this is the slogan inscribed above Dachau and Auschwitz concentration camps and it means "work makes one free") The gallows humor was what kept me going for a while I think, but finally I am glad that came to China.
Here, I actually look forward to work. I have the resources from the firm to cultivate and look after my own clients, do my own work. It's a prosaic relationship that I have with the firm - I do my own thing and bill the hours, and they give me a salary and leave my alone and everyone is happy like this. Of course, a congenial working environment and an excellent mentor are bonuses, but even without it, I would still be reasonably content - I don't ask for much.
Now on maternity leave, I am enjoying the time as a stay home mom. I am enjoying the silence at home. My husband is having a meeting in Paris (he left on Sunday night), Sophie is in school, the ayi is doing the laundry, and above the soft hum of the washing machine, I am cuddling Alex while we listen to "Hey Jude" in the Beatles for Babies version.
My job now is just Dairy Cow and diaper changer. I also moonlight as sandbox companion and climbing frame spotter. My dare-devil daughter and her climbing frames. This is a kid sometimes too shy to talk to strangers, but will be up on those "spider web" type climbing frames all the way to the top in a flash (if you let her). I usually am torn between wanting to keep her safe and letting her explore. My luke-warm compromise is to let her go up half way (up to where I think I can catch her if she falls).