Thursday, 3 May 2012

It's the 21st Century: Surely I can strike a balance?

So I'm looking for what I suspect many people are continually seeking out: betterment. I'm no individual when it comes to this matter, I hope.

I want a great work / leisure balance -not just for me but for other people. I want to be happy, to help people, to communicate, to achieve something. I'm willing to work hard - but only for the things I believe in and I don't think we should work ourselves into the ground. It isn't healthy and it was recently published as one of the biggest regrets (working too hard and not enjoying life more) of the dying in the Guardian (or some newspaper)....

I want to meet people, make lots of friends, help whoever comes into my life and I want to make this world a better place (roll your eyes if you wish but all this is said with earnest and sincerity).

I don't want to make enemies, offend anyone or hurt anyone if I can help it.

I want less stress, less chaos, fewer faulty systems -let's shake up the old ones please -, less blame and passing the buck, less rush and less noise.

I want more understanding and empathy, more connection, more time, more experimenting and I want some things in life to slooooow the hell down. When I communicate I want to take my time and consider all possibilities. I want meaning to be conveyed effectively and when it is not conveyed, I want a second chance at it, please. I want the chance to say 'I'm sorry, you misunderstood me.' or  'I'm sorry but I really came across badly there. What I really meant to say was...' Can we please rewind?

Am I asking too much? So often I am told I need to stop with such lofty ideas and just knuckle down. Get a real job. Sacrifice a few years...make some money. Get some security. Climb the career ladder. Really? Is that the only way? Even in the 21st century?

It isn't like I don't know how to work hard. I've been working harder (dare I say compared to some people) all my life. Maybe not physically with long office hours but certainly mentally. My brain is always 'working'. I don't really know the concept of relaxing because I can't switch off very easily. I dream grammar questions at night for goodness sake! I can't sit down to watch a movie or a TV episode on my own as inevitably I will pause it to do some chore I've remembered every 20 or so minutes (Note however: if I watch something with other people they are good anchors and prevent me from doing this).

 My personality is wired to worry, to perfect and to fret, to list and to plan and to organise every hour (yes, almost every hour) of my day so I know exactly what I am doing at any given point. I organise to cram it all in. I tell myself I am optimising my time.

And when I have some spare time? Well, let's get ahead on next week!

I've done a lot of things with my life and time. A student looked at my CV today and said: 'With all this...why do you work here?' It isn't easy to explain. Maybe I am underachieving but I don't want to push myself to the limit because I think if I did I'd malfunction. Already my body sends me little health warnings and I don't even feel as if I am pushing myself too much...but I do I want some balance if it is possible.

But is it possible? How do you cope with it all? Do you think about these things like I do?

Sometimes I wonder if I'm doing it all wrong. There are the friends with the houses, the babies, the careers, the cars, the pets, the marriages - someone to come home to in the evening. Or a mix of some of these...Por moi? Nada! If we go by normal standards I'm totally underachieving...and yet, whilst society niggles and pokes me I don't feel too bad right now about these things...

Anyway mini rant time I'll try and write about some adventures and insights into teaching. What are your thoughts? xxx


sallyrose45 said...

My thoughts are that I am a big oaf who is totally capable of so much more but is yet trapped by my own unmotivated, whale-esque self.

As for you, you have the motivation and the CV. And you'll be fine in the end. It's easy to want what others have but I defo think our way is better... Marriage, babies etc are important rites of passage but not yet... not when we now (in this century) have the opportunity to do things differently and do things later.

Don't worry!

TKW said...

Ah, that elusive thing called balance. When you figure it out, let me in on the secret.