Now I don’t have a Monday to Friday 9 to 5 job it’s much more difficult to know when I should be thinking about work and when I should be able to switch off. I have always had a problem with switching off, finding myself answering work emails at weekends, replying to texts from troubled students etc but this new world of work, whether it be my own business, writing or whatever I am doing it is hard to know when I can switch off. I don’t think I am very good at it and it means that when I am feeling tired and unfocused it all projects itself onto my professional self and the change in circumstances that I find myself in. I have trouble with Sundays and have done since I left home in 1979. Back when I was a youngster Sunday’s were busy, purposeful days – Sunday school, church, lunch with the grandparents and erudite chat for the rest of the afternoon. No TV, a walk to work off the pudding and then a quiet evening before starting the week again.
When I started nursing I found it difficult to know what to do on a Sunday, it was always easier when I was working – back then the shops weren’t open and many of my fellow student nurses came from 30 miles away so they all popped back to their families. I hated it and it was really “dead time” and I still have that feeling of melancholy hanging over some of my Sunday. Means I’m a bit of a pain and when it comes to planning for the future it feels a world away from a capable, self motivated and confident woman who can encourage and facilitate others.
I don’t miss the “world of work”, the meetings, the politics etc but I do miss a structure and some reason for waking up in the morning, above and beyond the domestic. Much of this has given me a great deal of material to write about and it has given me the chance to really find what makes me buzz and what I feel plays to my strengths and my expertise.
Too many times we compare ourselves with others without knowing what really is going on under the surface. It can feel risky to share one’s inner monologue but I also think there is a risk to not letting it out and sharing it. Rumination and self absorption isn’t very helpful and certainly causes me to lose self belief and confidence.
It might seem a bit self indulgent but sharing it is also a route to some insight and direction. The journey I’m on at the moment seems a bit bumpy but I am hoping that I can be kind to myself and to others and let that be the touchstone of the projects I pursue.