I paused last night to question myself, how it can be that I still feel like life is rushing by when I’ve made so many changes to it specifically designed to allay this feeling. How can the days seem so busy when I no longer work full-time? And they seemed so long when I did. For a long time I’ve felt it must be because I couldn’t do as much as I used to and need more sleep. But it hasn’t felt like the right answer. People keep reminding me that I am a single mum of a four-year-old. Why doesn’t that seem to me enough to keep me busy? Especially since she is now in Kindy 2 days a week.
At the end of today I feel more tired than I have in ages. I woke up very early again, got both of us up, dressed and ready and drove the four-year-old to Kindy. I went to the shops to buy a new fitted sheet because my other set wore through last night. I went to the chemist. I did some work at home for just an hour or so. I drove half an hour to the doctors where I was for an hour and then drove the half hour back again to Kindy where I was for 3 hours at a sponsorship event followed by 1&1/2 hours at the park. I did some washing, I made dinner, I went to the chemist again and I changed the sheets on the bed, washed the dishes and I wrote this piece.
Reading that back it doesn’t seem like a lot to me but what’s dawned on me is it actually is and I think maybe the problem is I am not valuing what I’m spending my time on. My thoughts at reading this was ‘only one hours work?’ and I am stuck on that idea that work is the most valuable task you do in a day. For years it was the activity I spent most time on and most energy on, since I got my first job as a christmas casual at Harris Scarfe back when I was 19. When I went back to work when my daughter was 14 months old, I felt I had to do something important with that time and threw my energy into forcing it to be successful.
Even though I now work for myself, I’ve noticed that often when I am working, I feel trapped, irritated and frustrated, like I can’t get to the end of the work fast enough. I need to work to earn some money, but I was so offended by the way I was treated when I got sick I’ve ended up in a situation where I don’t want to be working when I’m working and I feel like I should be working when I’m not. It’s complicated but I think I’ve realised that work – in the traditional sense of a job you do that pays you money – is just not that important to me any more. It doesn’t mean I dislike it completely of course, being a travel agent is kinda fun and entertaining and I love my clients who are very easy to work with. When time is short I just don’t want to do things that I don’t love anymore.
Because I need to have an income, I just need to be aware of this feeling I’ve uncovered, and just ‘work’ with it, literally. Use the phrase I can do this and just get through it and make the shift from work as being the most important thing I’ll do in a day to it being my daughters smile as she balances on stilts for the first time at Kindy.