Sunday, September 23, 2018

Feast or famine

Apologies for the delayed blog. I got home late from work Saturday morning and I'm trying to meet another deadline. The newest page of the Koko comic did make it on time! Which brings me to this week's blog topic: Time.

Tammy in this week's page. 

One of the biggest challenges I face in my life is time management. Professionally, academically or in my personal relationships. There just never seems to be enough time in the day for me to accomplish everything that I want to do. Sometimes, I just wish that I had some sort of life-hack like in the Sims were I would have infinite energy and money so I could devote all of my time to my relationships and my hobbies instead of wasting time at work or sleeping.

But this is real life. Time marches on. The world is there and it certainly isn't waiting for you. It becomes a balancing act. You have to allot time for the things you have to do- I mean, the things that you need to do to survive. You have to eat, sleep, and use the bathroom. There is no real way around those three things. You can try to override one need for another but your body will rebel against you. You can be so hungry that you can't sleep. You can only hold your bladder so long before you should leave your bed. And the human mind can only tolerate so much sleep deprivation before it starts shutting down.

Since those things are unavoidable needs, you have to factor them into your day or else. People joke about being, "hangry", angry because they are hungry. But it's true. If you're body is not getting the things it needs, it impacts your mental wellbeing. People that are tired, tend to be grouchy.

Then there is the time you need to factor into your day for the things that you are required to do as an adult. If you have to work full-time, you have to factor in time for getting dressed, hygiene, your commute to and from work, and then your time at work doing professional things. You have deadlines and times for when you have to be places. You are a shackled by time. You make the decision about whether you can skip lunch to work on a project or if you can get by eating at your desk. You'll sometimes sacrifice a decent meal for snacks to get things done faster.

Then when you get home from work, you have to figure out what else you have to do. If you have a dog, like I do, I get to change my clothes and take the dog for a walk. It has to happen or else the dog will mess in the house, then it's one more thing to clean up. Then I have to try to balance time with my husband and any coursework or hobbies I might have. Do I have time to blog? DO I have time to work on my book? Do I have time to watch tv? Can I manage doing assigned reading for college while watching things with my husband?  Will Shep be satisfied with the shared time or do I need to take the time out to devote more specific focused time?

I don't feel like I have enough time but the truth is, that I have enough time as I give myself. If something is important, I will make the time in my schedule for it and then adjust my workflow around it to compensate. Time with my husband is important to me so I will make the time and then lose sleep to meet a homework deadline or I will tackle homework in a dead time at work.  I am grateful that I have great communication with Shep about how I devote my time.  If my schedule doesn't mesh up with Shep's, it means we're not doing focused couple things together all the time but that's okay too. Our relationship is strong enough that we appreciate what time we do get to have together even if it isn't technically, a "date". 

I have the freedom to work on what I need to or want to. And when I am free, or want to spend time, I can just let him know and we can do it. If he's unsure of what I'm doing, he'll just ask and we'll find the time. I think I get the most time with him in conversation when we are walking the dogs or driving somewhere for groceries. It's important to me to make the time in my day for all the things I need to do but I can't do everything in a day. So I try to spread it out.

When I am between classes, the opposite seems to happen. I don't know how to structure my time because I am not under a  deadline. And I feel unproductive so I make work for myself. I am glad for Google calendar since it helps me structure my time. So it brings up the question of how to fit another person into my already busy schedule. If it's important, I will make the time. Having a short conversation via text while doing something else is less of an investment than going out for coffee. If I know something is coming up, I can adjust my workflow or adjust my sleep (or lack thereof). But it means timing is everything. Communication is also important to set expectations for any relationship.

Will your partner be satisfied to only see you for X amount of time? Do you need to go on X dates to feel validated? How often do you need to physically be in the same room? You will never know unless you have that conversation.

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