04 Jun

real person update

Way back at the beginning of the year, I wrote a blog post about making 2015 my year of being a ‘real person’.

Let’s face it. I’m a workaholic and I’ve sidelined a lot of the things I love to Get Shit Done. As a friend and a family member, I might be physically present, but I am generally cognitively absent, with my brain going a million miles an hour all the time. The kids think it’s hysterical I have an office because I work everywhere. Have phone; will answer email.

I think generally it’s fine to be a workaholic if you love what you’re doing, and I really love what I do. But at the start of the year, I was missing other things I used to do. Reading, sewing, hanging out with my family, and spending time with my friends. Taking days off work.

So I said I would make a commitment to doing the following things in 2015:

  • work weekends as an exception
  • sew one thing every month
  • read one fiction book every month
  • spend time with the people who matter most.

How am I going with these things?

Hmmm. Not so great. Embarrassingly ungreat actually but I’ll fess up despite the embarrassment.

I’ve had two whole days off so far this year. The first one happened because I came home one Saturday after staying in Brisbane on a Friday night, stepped down the two steps from my hallway to my kitchen, and fell flat on my back in the water that was pouring out of the cupboards under the sink. It was very surreal. There was a really loud water noise, which I heard as soon as I opened the front door, and I thought the dishwasher was just very loud. And I thought the tiles looked very shiny and in my head I said ‘Oh, the cleaner must have come. That’s strange’. In the back of my brain somewhere I knew the house was full of water but it didn’t quite translate into a proper thought or an instruction to my limbs, so I ended up having a nice swim, with my laptop in the water beside me (fortunately it was fine – no idea how). So I had that day off because I had to salvage photos and paperwork, get all the furniture elevated, spend hours on the phone to the insurer, organise emergency accommodation, and sob my heart out every time we found some precious thing that was ruined. It’s now four months later and we have just had the final work done by the insurance contractors. I just have to get a broken roof tile fixed and mould on the ceiling removed from where water got in during a storm (and we didn’t notice because the room was uninhabitable and closed up), then we can lay new carpet and the house will finally be back to normal. So that was day off numero uno. Then on the twins’ birthday party day, I spent the day partying and then came home (confession: I did do 15 minutes of work when I first walked in the door cause I had makeup on and I wanted to take advantage of it to shoot a video) and discovered we had a leak at the foundations and the lounge room (untouched by the January flood) was sopping wet. On moving furniture, we discovered it had probably happened in the storm a few weeks earlier as well, because the cabinetry and carpet were full of mould. I got into bed and put a pillow over my head and cried and gave up on working. So that’s the story of my two whole days off. (And as an aside, maybe this isn’t my year of being a real person. Maybe it’s my year of water. Three lots of water damage in five months. Unfun.)

Why no days off? It’s been a crazy semester, and I’ve been madly trying to finish my thesis while juggling a much bigger workload than normal. I’m tired, but I’ve survived it and soon I really will claim those weekends back.

Moving along…

I sewed two things in January, on 31 January, to be exact. I was so happy I got them done. It felt like I proved something to myself (which didn’t last long!).

I read about a third of the new Marian Keyes book and then abandoned it. I have, however, been reading *heaps* of lifestyle, sewing, interior design and fashion blogs, which works really well for me because the content is bite sized. So I am doing fun reading, just not fiction.

And lastly, I haven’t spent anywhere near enough time with my people.

Three weeks ago I was feeling pretty crap about all this. My boss said to me a while back that the PhD not being done is a big cognitive load to carry around. I brushed it off with ‘ah, I’ve been carrying it for years! It’s fine!’ But now that I’m close to completion, I see how heavy that load has been, because it’s starting to lift.

So while it hasn’t been the best of years, and I may not have done the things I wanted to do, I’m okay with it. 2015 will still be the year I become a real person again; it’ll just happen a bit later than I hoped.

It’s so very nearly re-entry time, and I can’t wait.

#blogjune 3/30 (belated)

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