Saturday, 30 June 2012

work/life balance

I love working part-time. In fact it's almost perfect. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in work. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday are mine. And I've been making sure they are mine.

Digging at the allotment. Planting. Weeding. New little design projects involving baths, tyres and scaffold planks. It has been very freeing to spend so much time there. 

One night, I was there at dusk. I stayed until about half ten, when it was just too dark to stay any longer. The sounds of the birds was so immense, all chattering as the sun went down, and apart from the birds it was so quiet. Only me, filling up watering cans at the tap. Watering the greenhouse. The smell of tomato plants, coriander and basil as I opened the door. 

Some days, I've been at the allotment all day. Six hours of my own company, with dirt under my nails, a spade in my hands, nipping home in the middle of the day for lunch, and back again to pick loganberries, strawberries, redcurrants, rhubarb. My fruit is beautiful. My veg, not so great. We're all having a bad year with all this rain, and some days it has been wellies / waterproofs / and a few times, getting soaked to the skin, or running into the shed to hide until the rain eases, or hot tea in the hut with allotment friends. I always come home grubby and smiling, for a hot bath and hungrily prepared food.

Now, I have time for myself, time for everything I love. My god, when I was full-time I never stopped. I never spent time with myself. Everything had to fit around everything else. 

Now, I have space. Hours pass. I can't remember what I did. I read a book in bed. I wander. I potter about. I dream. I didn't even realise that I had become so stressed with full-time work that I lost my dreaming time. Now, I dream all the time.

And I have the space to make these dreams real.  

Like, heading back to Montenegro with a small suitcase to see how it might work out with the man I met in a restaurant only five weeks before. No guidebook. No plans. Just pulling my case on wheels down a dark bumpy road, hoping he would be there to meet me. 

Like, learning to roller skate. Yes. At my age. And loving how free I feel when I skate, even when I fall over. Actually, especially when I fall over.

Like, having the time to think about what I want to write, without feeling the pressure to write even a single word.

Yes. Maybe having a good work/life balance is about having choice. I don't have the money to live this way for long. But for now, this is my time and I plan to do with it whatever I want.


sonia said...

lovely. having time to oneself is priceless! I think the birds have had my currants - do u net yours?

annie clarkson said...

Hi Sonia, yes I net my currants, also gooseberries, I learned that from the birds last year!!