OK – it may sound boring but I like a routine – when I know what’s happening and what to expect, I can plan my workload and be productive. It always takes me a while to adapt to changes in routine. Most of the time, the changes have to do with my children – right now my son is in the middle of his middle school wrestling season and for the past two weeks he’s had two meets a week which I like to go to. This week my daughter has gone back to club gymnastics – that means almost an hour roundtrip twice a week. With these schedule changes, my routine the last couple of weeks hasn’t been working too well and I’ve found myself stressed by deadlines and not enough hours. This past weekend, since the children were with Dad, I thought I’d be super-productive but that didn’t happen.
What happened instead was I got stuck into a book I couldn’t put down and with probably about 100 pages to go, I just had to finish it. I do love it when I find a book that good, I just can’t put it down. This one was the Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly. It’s a court room drama with mystery, intrigue and believable characters. I didn’t see the end coming which made it even better. This is the first book I’ve read of Connelly’s – don’t know why I’ve waited so long especially since I served on a nonprofit board a few years ago with his sister. Now I’m excited to see on his website he has another book about the same lawyer, Mickey Haller, out now – The Brass Verdict. I’ve added that to my reading list … along with the stack of books I already have on my nightstand!
While I was reading the book however, I couldn’t help feeling guilty about the other tasks I’d pushed aside. I tried to keep telling myself it was Sunday and chilling out was OK – that I shouldn’t always be working and that me time is good. I’m just not very good at that. Since I am self-employed, it’s hard to say no to assignments.
Looking back at the later years of my marriage, I realize that I used work as an easy excuse for not spending time with my spouse and I knew I was doing it. But since I’m divorced now I don’t have that excuse now. I’ve wondered if I use work as a way to fill the time when I’m on own – to some extent that may be true but it’s also tied up with my change in career.
I left my corporate job in 2004 in part because I wanted more time to be with my children – as teenagers I feel they need me more than ever and it’s important for me to be home when they get home. As I was trying to understand my guilty feelings, I realized I’d been drifting away from that priority as I’ve struggle to jam everything into the limited hours. Once again, Melanie Mulhall over at Living the Dream has a message that resonants with me. With Melanie’s guidance, as I’ve thought about this more, I’ve found there are indeed a few assignments I could drop without consequence. There’s some other changes I can also make that will help keep that balance in my life. Hopefully, next time I can’t put a book down I won’t feel so stressed.