I have time on my mind today, time and how we use it. Maybe its because I turned a year older a few weeks ago, or maybe it is simply because yesterday I printed out my schedule for the next six months, and was surprised to see how busy it looks already! ….
This new and unexpected activity, it’s all part of the reinvention thing …. it’s fun for sure, but it also needs to be harnessed.
Foolishly, I used to love telling everyone how busy I was. As if the mere fact of being busy had its own intrinsic value. Especially when the children were all very young and I was doing the Mom thing of juggling the family schedule with all the rest. I loved being busy then, and I still do now, but today ‘busy’ and I have come to a different understanding. The reasons are twofold.
Firstly, today there is an understanding that just ‘being busy’ to fill a schedule is not a good idea. Today, if my diary is full, I want it to be with the right things, I want to get to the end of each day feeling that I have achieved something creative, constructive … that in one way or another I have progressed. And of course I want to find the right balance … home, family, work, leisure and even those dogs.
The second reason is more about pier pressure and social expectations. Nowadays I am reluctant to talk about being busy. I am at an age when many of my friends are also empty-nesters, and are happily playing tennis or golf every week, and enjoying their garden or the first grandchildren, which is great, but not everyone understands that I have ‘work’ commitments and still want to run around. I really have no wish to slow down, but I can feel a sort of social pressure to do so, the result is that I’ve learnt to create sections in my life. There are places and people I frequent where I can be the blogger/author/photographer: hungry for new material; excited about sharing and learning and looking for the next idea ….. and then there are other people and places that I enjoy but where I necessarily tone it down, adopt a slower pace and where I don’t mention my work unless requested.
I guess the family is the exception to this rule. They know me too well, they know how much I love the blog and the various activities that have grown from it, and they understood long ago that I need this creative outlet for my balance and well being.
You know how strongly I feel about the opportunities that we have today to reinvent ourselves and, health permitting, restructure our lives in new ways, discovering new pleasures and revealing hidden talents. So how about you? I know that many of you have your own fabulous tales of reinvention, but how do you balance your time and your schedule?
Are there opportunities that you turn down, to allow for more free time, or do you simply fit in as much as you can, and drop weary but happy into bed each evening? I’d love to hear your point of view
This piece is illustrated by the gorgeous watercolours of my friend Jeanne McKay, whose schedule is the perfect demonstration of harnessing time, and finding the right balance between work, creativity and leisure.
I hope you’re having a lovely weekend, thank you for reading me.