Monday, August 25, 2008

Knife Juggling, Plate Spinning, Bullet Biting

Theory: Reducing work hours means more home-work can be done

I laid out my quandary here.  I've thought about it for a month.  I've talked to several people I trust.  I'm no closer to a solution, because it seems complicated.  I have several options, but how to set myself up for success instead of failure.  Or is it that simple?  Only two options?  

Could it be that once again, I simply have standards that are too high?  Is there a perfect scenario?  Is there only success or failure?  Could we not argue that this should be more about quality of life than meeting impossible expectations?

The things I love about my job (and it's truly the first job I have really loved) collide with the things I hate about my job.  However, I'm realizing the things I hate about my job would likely exist in any other job, so changing jobs would be a ridiculous waste of time. I also hold a high priority on volunteering, so my 4 hours a week in that doesn't change. 

I really don't want to reach the level of frustration where I end up saying or doing something at the wrong time to the wrong person in the wrong way. I also don't want to be so exhausted at the end of the day (physically and emotionally) that all I do is drop on the sofa and fall asleep.  I have realized one of my core beliefs is that my first and greatest calling is to care for my family. I feel like a failure in that area, even though I can recognize some positives in spite of the mistakes or lack of accomplishment I had hoped for.  It's eating me up.

So, all that being said, I've come down to five options:
1) choose to accept the way things are in my work and continue exerting influence where I can, 
2) negotiate reduced working hours to hopefully do only those things that I love, 
3) resign, or... 
4) continue the status quo (which is making me crazy, so that's really not an option),
5) defer the decision until my next two large deadlines are met (October 16).

Things I'd Like to Do (If I only had a brain and some extra time to use it):
sort of in priority sequence
1) Ensure my family (me included) is cared for (ie. nutritionally balanced meals, clean clothes, safe and clean home environment, lots of nurture where necessary, and so on)
2) Recreate together with family more frequently
3) Exercise at least 30 minutes, 3 times per week
4) Reorganize home bookkeeping
4) Publish my father's book of poems
5) Scan my family slides (circa 1960-77) into .jpg files
6) Submit my poetry for publication
7) Do more writing
8) Read more
9) Organize and archive photos, cds, cassettes and videos
10) Entertain several times per month in ways that cultivate new friendships, build relationships with neighbors, strengthen old friendships and give a sense of community and belonging to my family.
Well, there you have it.  For some it could be simple. Perhaps I need to see if there are ways I can start implementing small steps to do the top ten list a little at a time.  Maybe I need to just stop writing lists.  Perhaps what I really need is to stop doing and start being present in the moment, engaging my heart fully in what is right in front of me - a gift of effort, labour, creativity, healing - be it mundane task or noble venture. More often it is the former, and when these daily trivialities are done faithfully, life becomes the latter.

"Make it your aim to lead a quiet life, mind your own business and work with your hands." 
I Thes. 4:12

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