I have slowly come to realize over the past couple of years that I spend a fair bit of time trying to find more time to do the things I like that require a certain amount of time to do. Only to discover that, in the end, the 24-hour day is what it is and if I truly want to give more time in certain areas, I will have to reduce it/give it up in others. There appears little wiggle room on this and the stress of trying to alter time has done nothing more than, well, stress me out. Rather counter-productive, I think.
But where to find more time? My Mon-Fri follows the same schedule. Get up at 4:55 am, get ready and head to the city. Arrive there at 6:20 am, procure latte and sit down to write until 7:45ish am. Head to the day job. Take 1.5 hours for lunch where I head to the gym. Head back to work until 4:45 pm then bus home. Arrive home at 5:40pm. Spend the next 1-1.5 hrs making supper/doing chores. Eat supper. By now it is 7-7:30 pm. I am relatively wiped out and trying to muster the energy to do one last productive thing I enjoy such as read or knit or spend some quality time with JB. What I usually manage is sitting in front of the tv or on the couch with JB to unwind before we head to bed for 9:30 pm.
Weekends are a bit less structured but unfortunately no less busy. I spend the mornings from 8/9 am until 12/1pm writing. If I am not writing in the mornings it is because I have meetings (writing related to the group I belong to). If it is a weekend where JB has his son, I usually take the afternoon on my own to run errands, do chores or just take a little downtime (hopefully with my sister if we can swing it) to do nothing more than putter about the city (this often results in me spending money I don’t need to spend on things I do not need – that needs to stop). I tell myself this is time I can be using to do the things I enjoy, but after spending such a structured/scheduled week, I get restless and need to wander. I spend the evenings with JB to tend to our connection and prevent fraying through neglect, then it’s off to bed and repeat the next day. At least once a month we can throw in a family function get-together (birthday, Thanksgiving, mother/father’s day, etc).
So where to find more time? There is time there. Time being misspent, underused, used for the wrong things. A strategy needs to be put in place. Oh, I do love me a good strategy…
First up is to determine the activities I want to spend more time on (besides JB, because that’s a given). I gave this some thought and here is my short list (because a long list would be a little self-defeating):
- Knitting. I have an Etsy shop which has been woefully neglected over the past 2 years because I simply have not had enough time to knit items to populate it with. This, however, has not stopped me from buying luxury yarn to use. I have a stockpile that will more than provide the materials I require to keep me busy for some time. I would also like to expand my knitting skills into areas I have not yet tried or mastered.
- Writing. I do this already but I have reached a point where I need to stretch myself creatively and move beyond what I am currently doing. I have known this for over a year, but what I am writing currently brings in a nice income and that is a hard thing to turn your back on. But I have reached a point now where I can no longer keep going in the same direction. At least for the time being. Once I finish the series I’ve been writing for the past 3 years (completion date April/May 2017), it will be time to spread my wings and fly, creatively speaking.
- Sewing. I was an abysmal sewer when we were taught in junior high. But it is something in adulthood I have desperately wanted to take up. Two years ago my husband bought me a sewing machine so I could learn the craft. It sat in its box for those two years, mocking me and creating a huge amount of guilt that I wasn’t making use of it. I have recently taken it out of the box and my writing room which is no longer in use for that purpose (I write at coffee shops now), is being turned into a sewing/knitting room.
- Yoga. I have done yoga for years but it was one of the things that has fallen by the wayside in the past year and a half. I really want to get back to it at least twice a week, as it’s a good compliment to weight training. This will require time blocked out one evening a week and once on the weekend.
And there you have it. My semi-short list. All creative pursuits for the most part and something I need to fill my well and keep me going in all the other areas. My mission now, is to develop a strategy that gives me the time to take on these projects.
I have decided that while I am putting the house back together over the next week and a bit, I will give my schedule some thought, play around with what I am willing to give up, cut back on, reschedule in order to dedicate more time to things I love. Things that fill me up instead of stress me out. Once I have a plan (I’m a Capricorn, we need a plan), I’ll post it here and let you know how it goes. I suspect it will be a month by month thing as I juggle things around and see what works and what doesn’t.