It’s time for one of those non-craft related posts.
I’ve never been great at balancing my work life and home life, especially since a very large percentage of my work life happens in a small room in my house. Life tends to be a little heavy on the work and chores, what doesn’t happen during the week bleeds into the weekends and I don’t really get a break unless something gets neglected. Knitting has even taken a bit of a trip to the back burner. It still happens, but only because I consider it the keystone to my personal mental health plan. All work and no knitting makes Candy a dull girl. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times, crafting keeps me sane. It’s been the greatest form of stress relief and meditation I’ve experienced and I usually end up with something nifty at the end of a project.
Long story short, last week sucked, and it triggered a lot of anger, anxiety, and defeat. Those are the big three of things I don’t deal with well.
Over the weekend, I pretty much shut down on the couch with a ball of yarn and a complicated lace/cable/beaded pattern (one so complicated that I had no option but to focus entirely on my hands, no brain function left to think of anything else) I declared – I can’t keep doing this to myself.
Everyone has their own struggles with finding balance, and everyone has different feelings about it, but as a single woman, that has the tendency to work very long hours some weeks, I have no option but to do it all on my own. No, do not take that as any sort of hint that I’m dipping my toe back into the dating pool. I have no interest (or time) to start looking for a relationship just because I need help with the house and yard work. Seriously, I do know people that dip in and out of the dating pool just for those purposes. I’m not a fan. Digression over.
So what’s a girl to do?
Schedule, prioritize, have some damned self-control.
When I feel burned out, I get lazy. I’ll hit a drive through or nuke a frozen something-or-another for meals. I’ll mow at the yard instead of really doing the job that it deserves – but at the same time it’s been 90+ degrees with what feels like 90+% humidity in the evenings after I get off work, most Georgians aren’t keeping up with those conditions. Laundry stacks higher and deeper. It may be getting washed but it isn’t getting put away. I think I’ve been rotating the same three pairs of paints, and week’s worth of shirts and underwear for a couple of months. Bottom line: I’m in a rut and I gotta fix it.
So what’s on the agenda?
I’ve got to start cooking real food again. I’ve always enjoyed it, but I’ve been lying to myself thinking I’m saving time by hitting up the drive through, or nuking something in the microwave. Realistically, it’s a 30-45 minute round trip to pick something up and bring it home. In that same amount of time, or very close to it, I can actually cook real food and eat it as a hot meal, instead of the lukewarm, often soggy crap that comes in the door in a paper bag. We won’t discuss all the other things that are wrong with take out. I’ve started hunting down crockpot and Instant Pot recipes to add to the arsenal of an already expansive list of the tried and true meals. If the meal pretty much can cook itself, that’s more time I can use to wrap up my work day, or complete some other house chore. I’m also not going to hide the fact that the near constant news of someone tampering with food, restaurants notifying diners that they may have been exposed to Hepatitis A, or someone neglecting some part of their job triggering recalls has bothered more more lately than it has in the past.
I’m experimenting with the 1-minute rule. The short version of that idea, if it will only take a minute or two do complete, just complete the task when you see it. Dishwasher needs unloaded when you pass by, just do it. Trash needs to go out, just do it. Toilet bowl needs cleaned, just do it. On and on.
I actually need to schedule time to complete certain tasks during the week and adjust my work schedule around those needs, not the other way around, especially when work is busy. I can work all day, but I can’t mow the grass in the dark or when it is at its absolute hottest and muggiest out. I may actually melt. I am fortunate that I do have enough flexibility with my schedule that I can step away for short amounts of time to handle tasks as long as key people know I’m stepping away. I don’t think anyone will be upset with an email saying hey, I’m taking an early lunch and I’ll be back in an hour and a half once or twice a week.
I need to schedule time to keep this blog and all the other little things that fall under the Coffee and Wool umbrella alive. I’ve recently announced I’m willing to take on Saturday individual lessons again. I have a list of informative posts and reviews to write. I have patterns that I need to proofread and have people test. Other than the occasional post and my evening and weekend knitting, a lot of those aspirations just sit in the corner collecting dust.
Weekends are the prize. I need to push myself enough that 5pm Friday through 8am Monday are my hours to do with what I want without feeling obligated to complete something – with the exception of teaching a lesson or two here or there. I need to be able to get the social interaction I need, I don’t require much being introverty, crash into the couch and binge watch an entire season of a series, or load up the dog and hike the woods for hours without feeling like I’m ignoring responsibilities. Unplugged Sundays may evolve into unplugged weekends too.
There’s a bit more rambling here than I intended but there are times you just need to see thoughts in words, and put them out there.
Have any of you worked a similar plan to get back in order? Feel free to share any tips, successes, failures, or recipes.