A Woman, Thinking

Enough

Life Organizing and CQ ThoughtsPoppy LochridgeComment

Edit: Long and rambling post ahead is the result of writing without actively thinking about what to say.

Today's a difficult day for inner organizing.

It's 4 pm, and I'm tired, restless, and bored. I feel as though I never have enough time for the things I want to do, the things I yearn for , and never enough energy. Afternoons at work tend to be slow times, but I'm given very little options with my schedule - Management insisted that we have two people here in the afternoons and they haven't retracted it yet.

I keep coming back to the "Enough" question - how would I live if I were enough, had enough? I'm not sure I can envision a world where I have enough. Time, especially - I yearn to be creative, I yearn to just go have fun and play games.

My average day, though, time monsters and all.... I get up 2 1/2 hours before I need to be at work, and spend 90 minutes of that browsing web sites, catching up on my email, and posting or preparing a picture for the day. Web browsing - reading blogs, reading forums, rating pictures on Usefilm, looking for responses to my comments - is probably my biggest time monster. I could probably easily replace some of that time with something healthier - some of the week, at any rate. I've given up most of the blogs that I read regularly, cut a list of 15-20 down to 3-4 that download into Thunderbird so that I get them with my email.

While I'm reading email and blogs, I eat breakfast. Then, an hour before I have to be at work, I shower, brush my teeth, get dressed, and leave. My commute is too short to really take advantage of the time I'm in the car - realistically, if my ankles were stronger, I could walk to work in about the same amount of time it takes me to drive. On the bright side, I'm not stuck with an hour long commute like someone in a larger city would be. On the other hand, it would be so easy to take advantage of the books on tape or meditation cds in the car to remind me of what really matters.

Then, I arrive at work. I have enough leeway in my job and workspace that if I'm not actively taking calls from the minute I walk in, no-one objects, as long as I'm being productive. And first thing in the morning is when I do an initial sort through my email, look for anything new or pending that needs to be addressed immediately. Then, I log into my phone to let the system know I'm here. And I wait. Some days, a call comes through right away and I'm busy until my scheduled coffee (cocoa) break. Others, it's quiet and the phone doesn't ring for an hour. Either way, when I come back from lunch, I sort through my email again, handle anything that's come in or hit its due date, and call back as many people from my outgoing call list as I can before their offices close. From then until the end of the day tends to be fairly quiet; perhaps one call in the afternoon, but otherwise, I'm only there "just in case." Just in case a lot of people need to call in, need help, need me.

By the time I leave at 5:30, I'm exhausted more from the effort of trying to keep myself productive for the last 90 minutes after spending the first part of the day trying to find creative solutions for situations that were never foreseen. It's time to go home. Part of the week, I go home and have about an hour before I need to start dinner so that my fiance can eat when he gets home from his 12 hour shift. I usually spend that hour downloading the day's personal email and checking all of the blogs again to see if there's something new and interesting. I also make sure the cats are fed and petted.

So, looking over my usual schedule, my two biggest time monsters are work and web browsing. If I could just get rid of both of those, I'd have plenty of time and plenty of energy. But I'm rather fond of supporting myself, which lets out just giving up the job entirely, and web browsing is how I stay in contact with the world around me. There's a whole sub-thread I could go into there about my mother and her belief that it is Right and Proper for each voting individual to stay informed about the world so that we are part of the world, but that's a tangent I don't want to follow right now.

Add to the mix that I'm a photographer. My preferred subject is the natural world - of which there's pitiful little I can make photos of after 5:30 when I leave work. It's just now getting to where it's light enough to see my way to my car when I leave the office. So the hours after work which I could salvage by letting go of some of the blog reading, comment hunting, and web browsing really won't do me any good in terms of creating. It's the hours when there's light to paint with that I'd need to free up for that to help me create. Perhaps there some other way that I could use the night-time hours during the winter, when it's dark and dreary and there's very little that's attractive enough in Willamette Valley to photograph. We don't have many pretty winter landscapes, we have mud and rotting leaves and wet.

So, I guess, long story short, right now I don't feel like I have enough time because I'm working during the hours I'd rather be creating, and letting my time monsters eat up time outside of work because the conditions aren't perfect for doing what I yearn to do. I don't feel like I have enough energy because I'm such a morning person, and I spend my mornings working for someone else. I'd love to start my own business one of these days, selling photo products, but I dread and fear the business end (although there's parts of that I'd be good at) and I'm currently the primary income for my household and we need that right now. I believe so strongly in fairness that it infects my feminism - it's no more fair to ask my DH to take on the typical male role and be strong and sturdy and primary wage-earner than it would be for him to insist that I give up my dreams to be the typical housewife.