Half term and the usual balancing act of home, kids and work is scaled up a notch, especially with the spectre of GCSE revision in the house. I’ve resorted to a strange schedule of working from when I get up until when the kids get up, followed by a quick half-term activity, then back to snatched emails and computer work into the evenings, with plate-spinning attention paid to the kids throughout.
Yesterday the plans were scuppered when the local swimming pool was full, 5 minutes after opening (clearly all the other families doing the self-same thing had chosen swimming that morning too) meaning an additional 30-minutes-there and 30-minutes-back trip to the next swimming pool deemed suitable. Sad that my first thought was ‘that’s another hour off the work time’ rather than ‘that’s another hour with my kids/granddaughter’ (it was a big swimming trip!)
I love both. I love time with the kids, love playing with my granddaughter, and also love my work. I know I am extremely lucky to be able to say that, but it genuinely is my passion.
I’m working on such interesting things at the moment – I’ve been creating a new website for a series of events that I am engaged it (it’s not ready yet, but I’ll link to it soon), I’m doing some research for Creative Scotland which has meant speaking to fascinating people about the results they are achieving, I’ve been creating a presentation based on a series of meals I’ve been hosting around Yorkshire for Food for Thought – amazing reflections that could lead to significant shift and change in the cultural sector… and so it goes on. There isn’t a thing I am doing that I’m not 100% committed to and I just love it all.
The kids are very understanding, and relatively helpful. They cook meals, help walk the dog (occasionally) and are good at keeping up their side of the bargain work-wise. But oh god, you should see the house! The impact of everyone being at home has really taken its toll. Kitchen, living room, bathroom, bedrooms – the mess and piles and plates and all the rest of it. Today I will try to carve out an hour or so to sort it too, alongside everything else. Promise.
Emotionally it’s like surfing. Often on top of the wave, flying through work or play and feeling on top of the world. Then pulled under – disoriented by the mess or the pressure or something that I’ve realised I’ve missed that needs to be done NOW. I’ve stopped trying to be ‘on top of it’ all the time – it’s just not possible – so I have to accept the ups and downs and ride them out as best I can. And do you know what? I’m starting to enjoy all of it, oddly.
I do need to get more on top of the house cleaning though, but I can’t do it now – at ten we are off bouldering!