Last week all I wanted was to get through to Friday. Then, after the tree was up and the kids were settled and there were a few precious adult hours left to me in the evening, panic set in.
I didn’t get all the things done last week.
I didn’t even nearly get all the things done last week. And there are deadlines approaching and I am not sure how to do it all!
My solution? Do nothing.
It’s the obvious reaction when things are feeling kind of overwhelming. But also, I kind of have a standing self-date on Fridays – I mostly refuse to do work on a Friday evening and honestly it makes the whole rest of the week that much more sustainable. I have a philosophical belief that if I have more to get done in the week than I can reasonably get done (y’know without pulling all-nighters, giving up my runs, not seeing my children or exploding with stress) then that work possibly shouldn’t be done – or at least should be distributed amongst more people.
I think (in retrospect) this was part of the non-examined realisation that I needed to get out of working in IT and working for myself. There was a constant expectation (both internal and external) that I would do so much stuff that I actually had no interest in doing at the expense of all the stuff I actually did want to do. Now, I’m a decent facsimile of a grown-up, I know that no-one gets to do what they “want” to do all the time – I don’t even want to do the things that I “want” to do all the time – I mean, I’m not after hedonistic pleasure and fuck the consequences. But I do want, no fuck that, need for there to be enough space in my life to pursue joy and contentment. Because three hours spent on “documentation for show” that merely creates a paper-trail rather than actually creating forward motion on solving a problem, well, that’s just bollocks. That’s the opposite of living a meaningful life.
Thankfully teaching tends to be slightly more immediate in the link between my actions and actual solid results, but I can still feel frustrated at the need to document our processes and spend time in what feel like pointless meetings that seem to be more about ticking boxes and filling up government mandated hours than anything else. And I am not a huge fan of the part of my job that’s kind of a form of babysitting, where I have to chase down work and keep myself extra-organised to compensate for the low-organisational powers of teenagers.
Enough! Enough sitting in that negative space. I had a review with management of the class I’m class teacher to – so that’s re-floated all the negative and frustrated thoughts I was already having about that group. I’m not particularly looking forward to the Parent-teacher meeting this coming Tuesday.
In other, less work-frustration-y news, drinking was pretty front and centre in my mind last night. That’s happening semi-frequently at the moment. I guess it’s the season? G. away, putting up the tree, the end of a particularly stressful week, and equally stressful one in front of me, dark winter nights, the oil being gone, so curled up in blankets –
I guess if you don’t experience these as triggers it may make no sense whatsoever why any of them would be an inducement to drink alcohol. I escaped from my stress and my sense of self through junk-food and tv instead last night. I don’t really think that’s a lot better at the core. It doesn’t have the same immediate poison-effects on my body, and it means that I’m not going to be lured into drinking “Just ’til the New Year” or anything like that (coz yes, I’m pretty sure that one drink on a night like last night would quickly segue into Seasonal Drinking to see out 2017). But all the same, I’m not sorting out the difficulties I’m having existing as a (fake news!) grown-up in the world.
It’s not true. The “fake news” part, I mean. I am adulting well enough for my generation, I guess. And when I’m done with my words here this morning, I’ll make myself a list of what to do for the rest of the day. Because that will squish the bulk of my adult decision-making into about half an hour, and then I just have to be the automaton that follows morning-me’s instructions for the rest of the day.
This too, this too shall pass.