Here’s the thing…
September’s here. For most of us that means back to school, schedules and excessive levels of caffeine, as we struggle to turn to-do lists, into done lists. It’s busy. It’s crazy. It’s overwhelming. And sometimes, though it pains me to say it, no amount of coffee can get you through the workload. There are only so many hours in a day. So many minutes in a year. (Five hundred, twenty-five thousand, six hundred to be precise.) The musical theatre geeks see where I’m going with this…
Someone who says it better…
“In five hundred, twenty-five thousand, six hundred minutes
How do you measure a year in a life? How about love?” – Rent, Jonathan Larson
Here we go then…
‘How about love… love. Love. How about’–Oops. Sorry I was singing. (You mean you weren’t? And you somehow stumbled onto my stagey blog post? Welcome. Now go and listen to Rent and then you may return.) Anyway, back to writing. So, other than quoting musicals, what is it that I’m trying to say this month? Well, it might seem cliché, but I’m talking about work life balance, and, yes, the dreaded schedule. For me, and perhaps many of you, this often rears its ugly head in September at the start of the new academic year. And, no, I’m not writing about it because I’ve got it all figured out. I’m writing about it because I don’t. Schedules are the bane of my life. As a Freelancer, Ineed a schedule. And as a Type A personality, I NEED one. (As all my friends will tell you, having been subjected to many a spreadsheet over the years. Ah, I do love a spreadsheet.) So, I think it’s fair to say that schedules are important–especially for us creatives. But it’s a very slippery slope. My attempts at scheduling, slide from friend to foe, and back again, more times than Regina Mills in Once Upon A Time. (Seriously, Regina pick a side and stay there.) I always end up straying too far from a schedule, or sticking to it like glue, whilst placing ridiculous expectations on myself. So, how to find the balance? Don’t ask me. I just told you I’m really not that great at it. Perhaps it’s time for a bit of fiction then?
Let’s get creative…
I started this blog to embrace my creative writing, so I’m trying to challenge myself to write a poem, short story or flash fiction to accompany every post. (Makes another coffee. Procrastinates. More coffee.) Right, here goes…
A piece of verse by Chrissy Kett
Jobs to do.
Schedule to follow.
The pressure of a list.
The guilt of a mounting list.
Just a simple little list…
I’m listing a list even now.
So simple, yet they hold us.
The power of a tick
First two stanzas – Tick.
Surely there is more to this life
Than ticking our jobs?
Than following our schedule.
Yet, we give no further thought to this tick,
as soon as it is drawn, we move on.
Let’s just stop shall we?
Stop scrolling down that never ending list
and take a real look at what you’ve done.
Look at it.
Yet, I bet that all your most wonderful
achievements aren’t even there.
Why? Because they’re not list worthy.
Here’s a thought.
Write a new list.
A list of those you love.
A list of your hopes and dreams.
A list of all the things you want to do this year.
It’s this list
that will define you.
Enough creativity. I’m a ‘Type A’ personality–give me a list! (That’s an ironic subtitle for this month.)
Four Important Things to Add to your Schedule
- Rest – Seriously write it into your ical. Lie on the sofa. Watch some Netflix. Take some time for you.
- Coffee with loved ones – You can always find time for a coffee. Make time. Schedule it. Work can wait. You need the caffeine anyway, right?
- Laughter – It’s beautiful. And it’s the best gin and tonic out there.
- Make Some Deadlines – We all know how to hit a work deadline, so make some personal ones. Weekend trips, family lunch, go on make some plans.
Let’s cut to the last eight bars shall we?
I confess I’ve stolen this from my mother-in-law, but it’s one of her many sayings that I just love.
Let’s finish with a question–if you had coffee with a friend you’ve not seen for over a year, do you have much to tell them? After, you’ve said, ‘Darling, it’s so lovely to see you. Work’s been crazy, life’s mad, and thanks heavens for gin and tonic’, do you have much else to say? Because I don’t. And it’s time to change that. So here we are. September again. Back to school. Back to schedules. Now ask yourself, how are you ‘measuring this year’? In ‘cups of coffee’ and ‘strife’? Or ‘love’?
A bit corny? Okay fine. But that’s what it all comes down to, isn’t it?
Laughter, friends, family–love. We only get … come on you know this now, don’t make me type it out again. (Fine, here it comes) Five hundred, twenty-five thousand, six hundred minutes in a year.
So make them count.
Spend them well.
Seasons are always shifting…
Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn…
Make them all seasons of love.
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Hi, I’m Chrissy! I’ve started this blog to celebrate the Arts. I’m a performer who’s taking a little break from being a ‘talking prop’, and am enjoying the teaching and writing side of things. If you want to know a little bit more about me and my writing journey check out my About page.
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