Thursday, 6 September 2012
Why the simplest things seem so hard to find -- like free time
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.