26/04/2010

Making time

I find it incredibly difficult to keep any kind of structure in my life. After a change in routine or schedule it usually takes me several months to reinsert some of the things that 'drop out' because I can't make the time. And I'm an academic, married to a husband who actually does half the chores and childcare! What must it be like for the average professional woman with children and a husband who doesn't believe in domestic responsibilities? I can't even begin to imagine.

In fact, I wonder there are any such women at all! (Ok, I know you're out there. I just didn't want to say something as trite as 'I don't know how they do it!' Much less offensive to question your existence, right?)

I'm thinking of all this because this week, I'm GOING BACK TO THE GYM! I will go, that is, provided I've filled my quota of words on the book, which I can't very well be doing if I'm blogging...

But if the last few weeks are anything to go by, I should be ok. I typed out the requisite number of words and still had time to grade essays. In fact, I'm beginning to wonder (for the nth time) whether it's not actually easier to get things done when you've more to do (within reason!). My first experience of this phenomenon was writing my Ph.d. For the first three and a half years, my writing style had been pretty much the same as any other grad student, i.e. spend an afternoon in front of the computer, go out and get drunk to celebrate, have a terrible hangover the next day and stay in bed, then for the rest of the week alternate between running around like a headless chicken trying to get your teaching done and feeling sorry for yourself because you're not writing.

And then I had my daughter. And then, for one, I couldn't get drunk (breastfeeding and all) and also, the hours I had for writing were so precious I simply couldn't waste them. Knowing that husband and baby were out for a duration of precisely three hours and that I would have to do the same for him later so he could write his Ph.D. thesis meant I sat down and wrote the damn thing. It also helped me to acquire some pretty good writing and organisational habits. I don't spend so much time not writing now. I'll always manage to put some words on the screen, even if I know they're not very good words. It comes down to knowing it's not that hard, that it doesn't matter that much, that it's just a job.

And as far as realising that time just isn't flexible is concerned, just put a hungry child at the end of a stretch and try see if it will extend!

But if time were flexible, what would I like to have more time for? That's an easy one: sleep. I'd like to go to bed at night, not worrying that I won't get enough sleep and that the next day will harder as a result. I'd like to wake up rested every morning, and then have the chance to stay in bed a little longer. Without children jumping on me, with no one there except my husband. And I'd like this while at the same time keeping the wonderful hectic lifestyle I've got right now. So yes, it is an extension of time I'm after, not a change of life.

Can anyone arrange this for me?

This post was written for Karen and Carly's weekend assignment#315: The Thief of Time.

3 comments:

Carly said...

Hi :)

Oh hon, I wish I could give you the gift of more time. I have never been a mom, but I have always admired those who could balance everything and look amazingly rested while doing so!

Sleep is so important to the mind and the body, and there is nothing like a long nights sleep, followed by a drama free morning. Excellent assignment post!

Well done!

-Carly

Karen Funk Blocher said...

Hmm, I think I agree with you that sometimes having less time imposes a structure that helps you get more done. Or, more correctly and as you say, that situation can lead to you structuring the time more, knowing that it's precious. Thanks for the insight!

Sandrine said...

Thanks Carly and Karen for dropping by!
Carly - believe me, I don't look rested, I look a mess. But then I always have...nothing to do with motherhood!
Karen: yes, but what I should have said, is that this only works if you go from having far too much time on your hands, to having a little less - I don't think people who are truly busy benefit from being yet busier...

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