Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Poor me (not)

Feeling time-poor lately. I wish there were two of me to accomplish all the things I want to get done!

I have so many projects and interests running through my head. Am I mad? Or just constantly creatively stimulated?

Work is absorbing. I work 7 shifts in a 14 day cycle. Currently I am working all day shifts, so that means I have no time at home during the day. Days in which to daydream ... not enough.

I see that in print and it looks wussy and whiny. I don't have 5 children to bring up, I have a comfortable home and resources to spare. I don't live in a famine or war torn country. I have a supportive husband who loves me, and whom I value more each day.

I like being absorbed by work. I love practising and thinking about midwifery, and plan to do a LOT more of it, for the next 20 years! Midwifery is a meeting of my heart, intellect, experience and soul. It enriches me immensely and I feel like my inside matches my outside. Its all good.

Yet what I put on hold to study and become this fulfilled midwife was my stay-at-home, free to create-while-kids-were-at-school self. What I mean is that my artistic, creative life is feeling cramped.

Since I finished studying and started working I feel like I never have any time to 'myself' any more. I suppose it has coincided with my children finishing high school and not being out of the house at regular times daily. If I think about it, it is probably the kind of stress that working people, especially Dads, have felt forever. Sigh. Welcome to the real world Laura.

I have kidded myself that the good thing about fabric is that it is non-perishable. I can build my stash and pick it (craft/sewing) up again at any time. But I never seem to have a time when I can get a good run at it without feeling like a. someone else needing my attention, b. someone else needing the room I am using, c. selfish for ignoring all other demands and just doing what I want, d. guilty for having all that stuff and not using it thoroughly enough, e. overwhelmed about which project to start / finish first! So I don't do as much as I would like to do in the time available, which leaves me feeling guilty and frustrated, and almost panicky for some reason.

Do I feel like this because of some inner sense of impending mortality? I know some people who have died young lately, and I just have a sense that I may not make old bones (for lots of reasons). Sounds morbid and/or strange I suppose, but I feel that I have so many things left to finish. Remember that old joke "My to-do list is so long that I can never die!"

I am also daunted/getting hassled (and wouldn't know where to begin to sort it) about the clutter caused by my stash. I am a pack rat. I hate people moving my stuff. HATE IT. Feel very threatened by it. But if I died tomorrow - boy would it be a pain in the ass to clear up my stuff! And as much as my husband would cheer if I (meaning me, myself and I) were to clear it up tomorrow, it would be a dreadfully painful task for him to do it without me, plus he wouldn't know what it was, where, or to whom, I wanted half the stuff to be distributed.

However I am quite capable of ignoring the mess and creating within it. Quite lovely things really. That bring me joy to plan, select materials for, cut out, make and finish to a high standard.

I feel time-poor because I want time to play, create and just DO some craft stuff. When I'm not tired, so I can see well. When I'm not tempted to just snuggle up with my favourite squeeze. Without having to set the task aside. Without eating if I don't feel like stopping for it. Without stopping to answer the phone, or even pee! Without being obliged to anyone. I like it to work out. I hate leaving a project abandoned in the middle cos I get stuck. I will adapt and think my way through a project wherever possible. But I need the time.

I am working for the next few weekends, including Mother's Day. Then I somehow have a week where I am rostered off. Just all my shifts smooshed up at the beginning and end of the cycle, including a 6-day straight stretch. I may be a blithering idiot by the end of it! But at least I will have time to recuperate. Hmmm......

What will I make first? A drop-dead list with instructions for my stash distribution? Or another bag.....?


Frogdancer said...

You did a far better job than I did with this idea! I know exactly what you feel like.

Lesley said...

Make a bag, of course!

marybeth said...

Dear Laura,
You write so clearly of what so many of us struggle with. A full time vocation so fulfilling yet leaving little to know time for creativity. I for one would love to hire both a professional organizer and consult with a time management specialist. As I delve into my own small business- I feel pulled away from my camera, my journal(one sacred one sent from an amazing lady in Australia)
I have not forgotten you. I continue to add things to your journal box as it sits piled next to 4 other boxes long overdue to special creative ladies. Why I cant successfully mufti task like I once did...I don't know
I Plea lack of Estrogen!
I do apologize for being the worst swap partner in history-but don't give up looks like spring swap surprise!

Laura Jane said...

Lack of Oestrogen!!! Of course!!

THAT must be my/ the common problem! It does make perfect sense MB, and you are excused endlessly. I love surprises, and also love your blog and photos. As the Scots say - dinna fash yourself.

Nice to hear from you.

Laura Jane said...

And from all my friends of course.

And for the record - I have knitted more of The Sock. GOD, Moss rib is boring on those little DPN needles, I'm being a bit flexible with the pattern, but accept the need for rib on the lower leg portion, so I just suck it up and do it. It was my idea.

And I have made more (brown) pouches. And am searching for a particular pattern for a bag for my niece - its in this pigsty somewhere!

Alby Mangroves said...

I think you should make yourself a cuppa ! I heart Midwives :)
Cheers, Magda

Alby Mangroves said...

Hello, I hope you don't mind, but I've tagged you for a 7 Random Things Meme, only if you feel like it of course! It's just that I find your blog a good read :)
Cheers, Magda

Thora said...

That is what happens to creative minds -we need to create to be fully fulfilled.

Jennifer said...

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. Yes. That's it -- the constant struggle to find time/make time/have the energy and the will in the odd moments when the time comes up. And then, too, how to focus and accomplish and relax when you do have the time. I feel as though somehow I've lost the ability when I'm at home to simply spend an hour or two on a project of my own. I pop in some laundry and get the dishes going and answer my son's inquiries about where his book's gone and then fix lunch and wonder why I never seem to accomplish anything. So I don't have the answers, only the reassurance that the feeling's universal. At least you truly love your work -- that's got to make such a huge difference. If I had to name a disappointment (that I still haven't figured out how to fix) it would be that my entire working life spun out from doing things I really wasn't passionate about -- so I've lost out on opportunity for better sense of purpose. And I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up....