The moment that I have any free time I go and fill it up with something, anything at all to stop me from having a calm and peaceful life. For the first time in over 10 years I do not have my own business. I don’t have to work 7 days per week, I’m not checking emails at 2am and I am not waking in the middle of the night terrified that I have forgotten to do something that will have devastating consequences for the business. In case you haven’t realised I am a drama queen – both in my writing and in real life. And yes, poor Mark (my husband) – he has to put up with it, as well as many of my other endearing features. I guess it can’t be too bad for him as we are coming up to 20 years together next week. Either that or he really is a SAINT!!
Now back to me filling up my life with stuff. I work 3 days a week (for someone else’s company). I have flexible hours, don’t have to travel in peak hour and get the social interaction that I have been missing over the past 10 years while working from home, on my own. When I leave the office, my mind gets to be blank, I don’t have to worry about a single work-related thing until I walk in the door the next time I am in. TWO whole days off to do nearly anything I want. I put in ‘nearly’ because I do have to manage washing, grocery shopping, cleaning and cooking. I have plenty of time to catch up with friends for coffee and a chat, go to the gym, go clothes shopping, get my hair cut, see a movie or watch Oprah. But instead of doing any of those things I do the following:
Register for a 2 year course in professional writing and editing which has a workload of at least 15 hours per week and a bucketload of reading (please note, when I registered I thought it was a brilliant idea and a great structure for me to write – didn’t think about… actually, just didn’t think at all!! My friends tried to warn me, tried to tell me I was taking on too much (as usual) but I didn’t listen.
Register into a photography course 1 night per week for the next 8 week
Starting going to book club
Volunteered to create a blog for a friend
Became coach of my daughter’s netball team
And the list goes on…..
The result – truly shocking hair that has grey tips and hasn’t been cut for months, friends who are wondering if I have moved to another country, kids who are wondering what the monster tucking them in at night did with their real mother and a bum that is expanding by the second due to underuse of the gym. And what’s worse is that it is an all too familiar feeling. The second I have some free time, I fill it and usually with more stuff than actually fits in. Why? Or maybe the more important question is – how can I stop from doing it next time. I don’t know the answer to that so for now I am just going to have to settle for fixing up the mess I make when I do this, forgive myself for being human and move on.
So I have withdrawn from my 2 year writing course, but not from writing itself. It is my self-expression and I intend to explore it in whatever ways allow me to have the balance I want in my life. Maybe a blog! LOL
On a final note, a very big thank you to my friends who have not gone down the “I told you so” path (the sign of a true friend) and I look forward to catching up for coffee and a movie very soon.