When I quit my job last August I quickly learned to dread a new conversation - "Oh that must be so nice! I bet you have so much time! What are you even doing with all that time?" I mostly hated because I constantly wondered, what am I doing with all this time? I suddenly had about 60 more hours of it each week, and yet I didn't really feel like I had more than an hour of free time a day - if that. And that bothered the heck out of me! Where was it going? And at the same time, it felt so smug, everyone assuming I had this life of luxurious free time - the strangely unemployed non-mother. I usually found some nice reply, or what I at least imagine was a nice reply. But I wanted to remind people, my husband and I run a business out of our home, and just because we've decided to stop running three businesses, our daily ones each demanding well over 40 hours and the sum total requiring a circus-level routine of aerobatics and antics - doesn't mean I spend my days sipping rose and getting pedis. Mostly, I scoop up animal poop, schedule appointments, pay bills, and run unending loads of laundry and dishes. When it pours rain, I run out and make sure our entry isn't flooding, and if it is, I bail it out at noon or 2am. And, I'm trying to build another business... and figure out what that business is, if there is a client, a need, a talent, a joy.
And most of all - I'm prioritizing, not by deadline or revenue potential - but by value. John and I chose for me to leave my current career path for a few reasons (one being it was soul-sucking), the most important being that we didn't want our lives to be run for us. We knew what mattered to us, but felt like others were dictating how all of our most precious hours had to be spent. I for one wasn't always good at reserving enough emotional energy to give to those I love, after meeting the demands and needs of professional associates all day. What I agree to do, I do well. I have to - it's who I am. I can't miss a deadline, or do a half-ass job even if that's the resources my job provides for, and go home happy with myself. So I'd pull from the reserves over and over and end up dead as I headed home to spend time with the one I love most - and all the others I love too.
So a change. A reorientation. That is what we have been trying to do - that is how we've been trying to spend all that time. We still have a lot of work, but we're trying to figure out how to put what is first, first, and then do the rest with excellence.
And I hope we've built some deeper, better habits and approaches because it seems like before things ever had a chance to really be slow - they are back to being crazy! A different crazy, and it's great - but mad house crazy! The things we decided mattered most, and we wanted to spend time sowing to, well all those things grew. (Go figure!)
Family. Health. Home. Business. All of it has bloomed to fill the room we made for it - and we're back to wondering again - how do we simplify? Amidst all of this good, all that is important, what is most important? And how do we spend our time now?