I don’t know what is going on but somehow I seem to be even MORE busy than I was back home in the UK. I had visions of actually being able to take it slowly and enjoy my time here – but instead I seem to be manically rushing from one thing to another, writing to-do lists every evening as long as my arm and never quite doing anything properly because I have to move on to the next thing.
It’s starting to get to me a bit. Having newly arrived, I really want to take a bit of time to get to know my new home. I want to explore, visit places, meet people. Experience all there is to experience – including all the yummy cake and coffee shops there seem to be round every corner in Pretoria. I also REALLY want to finish the first draft of a novel I started writing nearly five years ago while we were living in St Lucia – I have had it on the back burner for a long time now and feel the time is right to get it out and dust it down. But I just don’t seem to have a spare minute.
The other day I wrote a post about this for the Expat Focus website – called Why Time Flies in Pretoria! In order to write the post I had a bit of a think about where all my time was actually going – especially bearing in mind that I should, in theory, have more time here than in the UK as the children are out of the house at school for around an extra couple of hours a day. But, I realised, all that extra time was being eaten up in the extra time you need to shop for food here, sitting in traffic jams, driving to the gym instead of stepping out of my front door to run…..
Hopefully some of this will get easier as time goes on (I still plan to get a bit more organised about meal planning and food shopping as, at the moment, I seem to go to a supermarket every other day). But there are some things that will still take more time.
So where can I find these extra needed hours? I work 15 hours a week from home and those hours can’t really change. I could give up my job – but I realise how lucky I am to have such a flexible job that I actually really enjoy, and that brings in at least a bit of income of my own. It will also mean I will have something to go back to when we return home.
Exercise is very important to me, mentally as much as physically, so I am not going to quit the gym. I have really been enjoying it and in fact, if anything, would like to step up the amount of time I go there. Well, one can dream!
There will always be chores. This week I have been sorting out presents and cards for three parties, swimming lessons, hallowe’en and international day events, an upcoming family trip to Cape Town and a couple of other social events. Not to mention the ongoing saga of the plumber, the cushion cover man and all the other stuff that still needs doing in the home. All of this is part of life, it ain’t going nowhere.
So when I look at my week the only thing I can see that I do on a regular basis that I could perhaps cut down on is blogging. This will make me very sad as I love blogging – I love writing basically and I also love connecting with people. But I have been finding it quite hard sticking to my self-imposed schedule of three blogs a week (sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less). I think the pressure of feeling like I HAVE to blog a) makes me more stressed and b) makes me enjoy it less.
Which means I am reaching the conclusion that I will need to blog slightly less often if I am going to retain my sanity. We are hoping to get a puppy soon and I realise this will be even more work for me. I need to be able to make room for this extra little bundle of “fun” in our lives and so perhaps it’s time to start cutting back a bit on the blog.
I may, I may not, I will see. But in the meantime I would be REALLY interested to see how others manage to fit blogging into their lives. Does it mean you have to drop something else – or, like me, do you find yourself manically trying to do it all? How often do you blog? How often is too often – and how often is not enough? Give me your thoughts, you might even help me to decide what to do!