Thursday, 6 September 2012

Why the simplest things seem so hard to find -- like free time

After cancelling yet another "just for me" event I had planned to attend the other day, I took a hard look at my life.  I am tired, constantly running from one project to another, and still feeling like nothing ever really gets done well.

I write, I publish, I research, I cook, I clean, I do laundry, I shop, I blog, I help clients, I write code, I run errands, I take care of my family and sometimes I collapse on the couch to watch TV. But I never seem to get to a point where I feel like I am done for the day and can claim some guilt-free me-time. There is always another article to write, another box to unpack or another errand to run.

Now to be fair, working from home has been my choice since moving to Austin last year. There were family obligations that needed to be addressed, and my DH very wonderfully has supported all of my efforts. But it seems that the more I do these days, the behinder I get.

I worked from home years ago when the kids were babies, and it worked then.  But I've realized there are some difference now.

There are no more  nap times or baby bedtimes now to give my day structure. I once worked when they slept.

Now there are no playgroups or park days to give me time with other moms. My daughter now goes to school each day, but the errands and to-do's just multiply while she's out as I rush around so I can spend time with her when she gets home, and my husband when he gets home.

And there are no nearby friends to call me up and drag me out for lunch or a scrapbook afternoon -- or for me to call for a last minute Starbucks gathering or trip to the farmer's market.

I know that I need to get out and do things with other women to make friends in this new town, but it's a circular issue. No friends means no motivation to get out with other women, and not getting out means not making friends.

So yesterday, I decided it was time to make a schedule for my weeks. Not an every-changing daily agenda, but a standard week's plan. I need to plan out that week-to-week structure so I can identify and claim time for the gym or scrapbooking or whatever and still get my work done and supper made and homework help offered.

I could make a schedule on paper, drawing lines and filling in colors like I used to do in school.  But I wanted to print, fill and stick it up on my bulletin board quickly. I wanted to set things in motion.

You'd think it would be easy to find, right? But no. I found calendars, both printable and electronic. I found class schedules for college students and class planners for teachers. I found world holiday calendars and page-a-day agendas. But I could not find a single template for planning out a standard week, with room for all the hours in the days on one single sheet. Dang!

So it turns out that what I thought would be so simple to find is just as elusive as blocks of free time. I guess it's time to get out those markers and rulers. It's time to take control.



Heidi said...

I'm right there with you. Always running, never feeling like I've gotten anything done at the end of the day. I need a plan too. I think I will set a day in my schedule to make a plan. And then try not to reschedule it.

seeker said...

Heidi --

Yeah...I am sitting here right now trying to figure out when I can schedule the time to make the schedule! Seriously! LOL!

Leigh Ann said...

I often state than I feel like I am wading through quicksand. Most of that applies to the fact that I have little kids at home and the laundry, dishes, cleaning is never ending (so I just don't do it!), but it also refers to the fact that I have a long list of things I want to do to my site, but just don't have time or don't make the time to do. My kids rarely nap, so everything I do is after they go to bed, and my husband says he feels like he loses me each night. It's hard!

seeker said...

I hear you, Leigh Ann! "Never ending" is the exact phrase to describe it. But I really do want (and need) to carve out some time for my mental, social and physical health. I just don't know how!