Tuesday, 27 January 2009

We've been having some turbulent weather here recently, and it has meant I've had to stay indoors much more than I like. It feels like enforced idleness, if I can't get out to walk and take photographs.

When I had babies and then small children at home, I used to rush around in a whirlwind of activity, almost all centred on the boys. I rarely had a minute to myself. When they were older I was able to return to work, so spare time continued to be at a premium. By the time they were leaving home, I was looking at a career and invested all my energy in that. All those years went by, and during them all I used to indulge wishful thoughts of what I would be able to do when I had more time, all the hobbies I could take up, all those things I wanted to do but couldn't fit into my busy schedule.

Since December last, I have no longer been employed, and I should be putting my wishful thinking into practice. There is no whirlwind activity any more, in fact there really isn't any activity worth talking about, so I can do anything I like. But I haven't been able to remember all those "things" I wanted so much to do, they no longer seem compellingly interesting.

I had only a month's warning that I would be losing my job, so no time to prepare, and now that the Christmas and New Year's activities are over, I am suddenly faced with a void. Is this something that other people face? As the economic situation worsens, more and more people must have more and more time on their hands.

Today the weather has improved, and a beautiful dawn looks promising. What were those things I always wanted to do? What, I wonder, should I be doing?
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  1. I hear you on having too much spare time on one's hands. A little bit is nice, but too much is too much. I seem to have a lot of too much time, so I fill it by doing fun/entertaining things. Sometimes I write, sometimes I take photographs, or cook, etc.

    I spent ages trying to work out what I wanted, and in the end, I realised that there wasn't one thing. it was lots of little things, so I planned them all into my day, to try them out, as it were. Once I figured out what meant the most to me, I did more of them.

    It's led me down some surprising roads - cookery, origami, psychology, etc. But I wouldn't change it for the world. Life is way more interesting these days.

  2. You have entertained and educated (the latter more about problems in Africa, particularly on women's problems - female circumcision, clean water, independent income what with AIDS, etc.

    You see, I was paying attention.

    You might find it of interest to do more research into that kind of issue, and publish it.

    (or, of course, there is always Fred Vargas - cryptic remark)

    How's that for a positive recommendation?

  3. When I struggle with things in life, my wife always say: 'It works if you work it, so work it, your worth it'.

    I think it is difficult to advice people in this and you know; the answer is inside you, so just listen to your inner voice - both in your head and your heart.

  4. @Solomon, I think we're on the same wavelength here. I like doing lots of little things too. I'm afraid I bore easily, so I do need to find plenty of variety. I like letting things lead me off into unexpected directions.

    @Elaine, I'd have to give you full marks for paying attention, yes! My goodness, we do go back a long way. And you are on the right track, I'm thinking along those lines for part of my time. Fred Vargas, en version originale? Yes, there's that too, or even in translation.

    @Renny, that's a great quote of Diane's, and of course the answer does lie within. In fact, I do have some ideas of direction, but was just wondering really, where on earth did all my ideas go from earlier days. They seem to have evaporated without trace.

  5. I have had a bit too much time off myself, it's not the work that I miss but the money. Still, it is good to have some time to think about what the future may hold. It is also a bit bad to have time to think about what the future may hold. Such is life.

  6. I too wondered what it would be like not to work-well for me the answer is great, I do all those things I never had time for, photography, writing, gardening and just taking it easy. I figure that I have earned it- you should too.

  7. @A. I'm afraid I bore easily

    Oh, join the club. I've started new hobbies before now, with plans of becoming the worlds greatest whatever, and then hours later, I'm completely bored. I think it's my brain looking to take in something new and different.

    With regards to the fun things you wanted to do, perhaps they were something that you couldn't do, and so you were more interested in them? Maybe it's like what I said above - now you can do them, they don't hold any attraction?

  8. I hear and feel your pain and boredom. You are an intelligent and passionate woman and I am so glad there are people like you in the world. Thank you for all that you have done.

    You need a whole tool box of things to do because you get bored so quickly. I am like that too. I always needed a great paying job because sampling difference can get expensive!!!

    I tried to buy a craft shop so that I was surrounded by different things to sample...but I couldn't get the amount of money they were asking. Instead I bought into a home based business that has no geographic boundaries...now I can travel and claim all my trips as a deduction because I can do business anywhere in the world. It is the best thing I ever did and I am having a ball. It's almost like I welcome the boredom so that I can challenge myself to a new goal.

    What ever you do, please don't ditch your blogging. I look forward to my visits to and reads of you.


  9. @Decartes, yes the money comes into it too, and that puts a limit on what you can do unfortunately.
    @Mike, thanks for thinking I've earned it the time to please myself, and I suppose I have in a way. I just can't remember the things I always wanted to do.
    @Solomon, I'm sure you're right. Now that I can do more or less what I like, the attraction has dimmed. The grass must have seemed greener than it actually is.
    @Megan, you're very kind. I do like the idea of a whole toolbox, and no, I don't intend to ditch the blogging. For me the great advantage of my blog is that I haven't kept it to a niche. It's not the way to go about "success" but I can blog about whatever interests me.

  10. Seems to me that when one has a job, one wishes one had more time to spend doing what one loves. But when one doesn't have a job, one misses the money that comes with it. Either way, it's hard to strike a happy balance.

    In any event, I get the feeling, A., that you are the kind of person who won't stay unemployed for long. So hope you can enjoy the spare time you currently have but also that you'll soon be bringing in money once more.


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