So, this morning, I got up 15 minutes earlier than usual because I wanted to leave for work earlier, because I wanted to get to work earlier. This isn’t some sort of altruistic move, I work flexi-time, and that means if I get to work earlier I get to go home earlier. There is a period of time in the morning, which I haven’t yet got to grip on, when the traffic is so thick that it takes me nearly double the amount of time to get to work. The crux point is around 8am, and I need about 45 minutes to an hour to get ready, extricate myself from my children, and get out of the house. I usually leave the house at about 8.10. No matter how hard I try I can’t get out sooner than that.
Now the easy solution would be to just get up 15 minutes earlier. This is a problem for 2 reasons. Firstly, even though it is only 15 minutes, I can’t get past the psychology of getting up before 7am, voluntarily anyway. And here’s the other thing: it probably wouldn’t even make any difference anyway! Seriously. A few weeks ago I needed to go into work really early, to rectify a problem that erm, well, let’s say someone caused [hint: I was the one going in early]. Anyway, I got up an hour earlier but still only managed to get out of the house half an hour earlier than usually! And this is why:
Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.
Even though I know I want to leave the house early, my mind sees that it is nowhere near my usual leaving time, so I take the time to do things I wouldn’t normally do, add a slick of mascara, help DH out by making Betty’s lunch, sticking some cleaner down the toilet, and before I know it I’m only half hour early, so I might as well have stayed in bed an extra half hour. The above quote is known as Parkinson’s Law, and it basically means that the work never ends, no matter how much time you have, or think you have, you will fill it. And there will always be more to do.
Lots of people say to me “I don’t know how you find the time to blog and make all that stuff, I couldn’t possibly do it” and I genuinely can’t tell if I should be offended or feel complimented. Are they saying that I am clearly a superwoman who manages to juggle multiple tasks, or whether they are implying that in doing the things that I love I am neglecting other more pressing duties.
My children are in bed by about 7.30. I’m not being smug, it’s taken a long time to get to this stage, and I appreciate that not everyone has that luxury. But I imagine that the majority of families have at least from 8pm till bed time to do such frivolous activities as blog, Tweet, crochet etc. I mean, my house is just the right side of hygienic, and DH and haven’t been out together since before Iris was born. Oh and I don’t iron. God, life is too short to iron. More crochet, less ironing, that’s what I say.
And let’s talk about Time for Yourself. It’s in magazines, on blogs, forums etc., How Do You Carve Out Time For Yourself? The thing is, I don’t see time out for yourself as something you should have to carve out. It should just be a part of your day, like breakfast time or bed time. What it even worse is when these articles link it to motherhood. How Do Mums Find Time Form Themselves? That makes it even more guilt-ridden. Mums, you are so busy, how do you find the time for yourself, and if you do then you are obviously not fulfilling your motherly duties. Well, I am obviously not busy enough, because I have just spent the past hour writing this blog post with The West Wing in the background. I think is absolutely essential that you spend a period of time doing whatever it is you like to do to relax, wind down, or even energise yourself. Otherwise what is life even about. It is essential for your mental, and therefore your physical health.
Now hopefully the fact that you are even reading this post means that you are having your essential down time. And while I have your attention let me point you in the direction of blog that is about crochet and about time. It is called, funnily enough, Crochetime. As well as the blog she has an Etsy shop selling crochet clocks, and the patterns to make your own clocks. I’ve ordered a pattern from her, got some yarn and buttons, ready, I just haven’t had time to make it yet…