Why is it that there is no happy medium?
Not so long ago I had lots of time and not very much money. I’ve (re)discovered that when time seems to hang heavy there isn’t much pressure to ?put out.? If I didn’t do the laundry today, there was always tomorrow. Or perhaps the day after. Productivity plummeted but there was time to smell the roses or drop everything and go into Edmonton or help a daughter with one project or another.
There was time to craft a to-do list and time to ignore it if something more enticing came along. There was time to cook better meals but it didn’t always happen. There was time to bear down and begin, for the umpteenth time, a sustainable, for-the-rest-of-my-life fitness regime. It didn’t happen.
I didn’t spend more time visiting family and friends, reading the classics, taking on ambitious projects, or discovering the cure for cancer.
Perhaps I’m being overly harsh or dramatic. Obviously, I didn’t lie about watching soaps and eating bonbons. I didn’t become a burden on society. I did do things. I did produce stuff. I was a helpmate to my husband and a support to my children.
If we, as human beings, have value by virtue of simply being, then I had value. Still do, in fact. But I discovered I wanted more structure, more productivity, more impact, a bigger contribution to the financial well-being of our household.
Watch, as they say, what you pray for. I now have all of the above but it comes with a price. I wake up earlier. I scramble to make lunches and, God help me, a quick, easy, nutritious supper each night. I’m forced to get creative at managing my time, saving steps, multi-tasking, and choosing what to leave undone.
Some days I run the dishwasher before the sun comes up. Some evenings I’m up and ?doing? long after I should have laid my head on my pillow. Incidentally, I also know first-hand that the amethyst I slip under my pillow each night does help to quiet an overactive mind and let me fall asleep.
My days are jam-packed with satisfying, meaningful work but I bet my blood pressure is up. My wardrobe is better but my bedtime is sometimes nine p.m. I’ve got money for gel nails and quicker debt repayment but It’s hard to connect with Roy, who’s working equally hard.
The struggle now is to reward and balance all the hard work with some downtime and some goofing off time. To that end, today I booked a week in Mexico in January.
Cliche alert: Work will expand to fill the time available to do it. If you want something done, ask a busy person. Time management and setting priorities are the only way out. Someday I hope to find that middle ground where going from extremes of working crazy hard to being underemployed are a distant memory.
In the meantime, there are visions of Mexico, from where I sit.