This past week I rejoined the workforce, not by choice, but rather out of practical necessity. I was blessed to find a good job with nice people in a positive environment with a mission I can personally feel good about. None the less, I would much prefer to stay home than spend my days and weeks going off to earn a paycheck. I'm sure that many, if not most, of the folks I know would agree with that sentiment, at least those of us who are homebodies and content to spend time alone.
I am glad to say that, once I learn the details and procedures, this job will not be nearly as mentally or emotionally taxing as my previous place of employment. I also work just seven and half hours a day, instead of eight (which often turned into nine as we at lunch at our desks while struggling to keep up). A half hour doesn't seem like much, but it makes a difference. It means I have 30 minutes longer to sleep in the morning, or to move a little more slowly as I get ready to go.
The problem is all in my mind, or should I say my heart. I so much enjoyed having the freedom to structure my own hours and days for one short month. It was wonderful to run errands, pick up groceries, make real dinners, and above all... have all the time I wanted to write, read, and interact with other bloggers. I had time to catch up with old friends thru emails and Facebook, I had time to visit with my daughter without struggling to find a time our day/night work schedules matched up. Most importantly, I had evenings to spend with my husband, without feeling like I was being neglectful by taking time away from him to play in blogland or in Facebook. Just a couple days back into the work routine brought me soundly back to the reality that is my life... too little free time. How I wish I was the kind that could function well on just a few hours sleep. Alas, even seven to eight hours feels like just enough to keep me going, and I would easily sleep for nine if I was able, or indulge in short afternoon naps... they are lovely!
I know that I am not alone in this feeling of always racing against the clock. I am puzzled by how I managed to accomplish so much more while working when the kids were young and at home. Did I have that much more energy back then? I don't know. I managed to do much better with housework and meals, and still find plenty of time to walk and engage in craftwork and conversation and even read a book or two a week! I don't do much book reading anymore and I miss it. I need to set aside a bit of time each day for that... but when?
I feel guilty complaining about the need to go to work, when my husband works longer hours, six days a week, on his feet, and has been doing this at the same job for nearly thirty one years now! I know he would love to be able to stay home too. I am envious of the few friends we have who planned their lives and finances more wisely and have been able to retire young. I dream about the day when we can hopefully scale back our work hours to part-time or a few days a week and still make ends meet if we live carefully on our limited senior income. But I know too many who dreamed that same dream, only to have one or other depart for the spirit world before the time for relaxing together ever came.
I am ever mindful that I must -we must - live in the present day, not taking one another or each day for granted. We have to make time for each other now, make happy memories together now, take time to play and relax now, and somehow still manage to fit in full work hours and time to sleep. I treasure the time we do have, we spend 95% of our free time together, because that's what we both want. We are each other's best friend, and who we choose to spend our time with. I enjoy my time alone when I am alone, but when John is home I want to be with him, whether relaxing in front of TV, working on some project for the house, or out about town running errands or finding something fun to do.
Ok, I am done whining now. Time to get things organized for work tomorrow, and soon time to go to sleep. Here goes another day and another week, and already we are half through with the first month of the new year. Time flies when you are no longer a child! As much as I love to write here, you will not see me posting everyday, because I have to find a balance between writing time and sharing time, and life always trumps writing about life! Hopefully, I will find the energy and direction to do a bit of both!
Have a good week ahead, remember to live in the present and to do something to make the world a better place each day. That's something we each can do in our own small way... and it WILL make a difference!