Do you ever ask yourself where the day went? While I’m aware of basic time management rules, well I guess, it seems harder and harder to apply those to my own life. Don’t get me wrong, for work I am perfectly capable of sticking to my to-do lists, tackle tasks in 20 minute blocks or just touch one issue once. In my other life we have a family calendar and a basic idea what’s going on each week.
In the lasts months I’ve been bending over backwards to realize my idea of job fulfillment, which is freelance work. The German word ‘selbstständig’ roughly translates into two components: ‘self’ and ‘always’. Unfortunately, while you are puzzling jobs together you can also lose a whole bunch of time in between; preparing, commuting or simply waiting.
So, while I’m not stuck at a 9 to 6 job, plus the hour travelling, I still do not have the amount of time you think you’d be having freelancing. It seems the day only has 24 hours. Set aside 8 hours for sleeping and that leaves you with 16 hours of productive time. Well, maybe 15 and a half. You have to have some coffee.
Even if you are not working full-time, there are general household chores, errands and all that kinda fun. If you have kids, schedule in crafting, labeling stuff for school or baking up a storm near midnight because, magically, there’s a cake sale tomorrow. At this point, you didn’t even have a shower yet or any other time for self-care. Squeeze in work and family and a life and if you’re lucky you’ll find some time to exercise.
When do you read your emails or just read? When do you take care of your plants or write? When do you get in contact with friends so far away? (Or even manage to catch up with friends so close?)
This year we’ve been invited for family Christmas (which is a blessing and a curse). At least, xmas baking and the roast and all that are sourced out to someone else. So, for the rest of the month my present to myself is time. Writing this, I’ve already booked a writing class for some inspiration, kicked out all those writing jobs that certainly take up my time but don’t pay my rent (…) and Santa had bought all the Christmas presents already in November. Fingers crossed, I might even get out the sewing machine before the new year. Maybe I should be doing something with that hair of mine before the family celebration. Chances are I’ll just wear a Christmas hat. In the meantime I’ll be petting the cat.
So, while you are running around like crazy chickens next week (which is usually me), I’ll be relaxing at work and concentrating on the new year. After all, where do we ever go, if we never really focus? Funny, how there is so much talk on WordPress about being mindful. If you are constantly trying to catch up with your life, this idea sometimes seems very, very far away.
Enjoy your Christmas season. May the patience be with you.
What is your present to yourself?