My word of the week: ‘time’. To be honest, this could be word of the century for me. I’m certain this is a problem echoed in the hearts and minds of most people, particularly those living in the fast-paced, modern, want-it-all-have-it-all lifestyles of the first world.
For me, I don’t seem to have enough time in the short term, and I also frequently consider my entire time, my lifespan, how much time I’ve already existed in comparison to how much time I have remaining.
In the short-term, I never have sufficient time to do everything I want and need to do. I say want – these days, everything I want to do is usually also what I need to do. For the most part, I am balancing a life of looking after the kids adequately – ensuring they’re fed, watered, entertained, while simultaneously looking after the surroundings they live in. Yes, this means cleaning and tidying. And yes, I do believe this is important and something that shouldn’t be relegated to the bottom of the list (this is something I’ve heard a lot of people saying – ‘it doesn’t matter if the place is a mess’). It does to me.
That said, I am frequently failing in doing all of the above adequately well because I don’t have enough time. One task blends into the next. The kids are often unhappy at me because my attention is taken away from them for another mundane chore that has to be completed.
More recently, I’ve been embarking on a small business venture from home – this is because I resigned from my job (a difficult decision that was made because the vast majority of my time would have been taken from the kids had I continued working full-time after returning to work from maternity leave).
This new addition to my timetable of working from home has been an enormous strain on me. I know that other parents doing the same thing will totally understand how taxing it is starting up and maintaining their own small businesses from home. Slotting in an hour here and an hour there of work is frustrating – by the time you get into it you have to put the laptop down and peel some potatoes.
I wish I had a whole extra day for each normal day – that way I could play with and entertain the kids completely free of care, not constantly thinking about doing work when I was with them and vice versa. Or maybe have the ability to not require sleep. I think the latter would be an awesome option! (Sometimes I think I do have the ability to not require sleep – I can’t remember the last time I had more than a couple of hours of uninterrupted sleep, and more than about 6 hours in bed).
Perhaps a little more worryingly, I frequently consider the impact of time on my entire life. I’ve been on this planet for 33 years. If I’m lucky, I may have another 50 years left. I may get struck down tomorrow. I hope not.
Before the children were born, I probably wouldn’t have been concerned if I got struck down tomorrow or not. I used to drive like a nutter, drink too much, be out late at night, essentially not be worried about the consequences of my actions on my life. But having children makes you want to live forever. I don’t drink as much any more (if at all). I drive ‘safely’ now. I cross the road with care. I worry about being attacked if I’m out at night. I pay more attention to my health. Thinking about the impact of my absence on my children’s lives is too much to bear. I have to be here for them as long as I possibly can for their happiness.
And when I consider that I’ve been here as long as 33 years, and have ultimately no control whatsoever over how much time I have left, it scares me.
So there you go. My word of the week is ‘time’. Never enough of it, totally out of our control and we can never get it back. I guess that I can conclude that I wish I was a vampire – they don’t need sleep and they live forever. Now there’s a thought!
(This post is linked to www.thereadingresidence.com where word of the week is hosted! Please check out the blog to see more from Word of the Week!).