When I lived in the UK there were so many things I wanted to do but I never had the time, or at least that’s what I said.
Master an instrument beyond beginner stages – I didn’t have the time.
Watch all of those must see series – no time.
Go to the gym – no time. (OK so maybe that one was more of an excuse!)
Learn a language – no brain space, let alone time!
Start a blog – yeah right, like I have the time for THAT.
I didn’t even have the time or head space to sort out my life, which was stuck in a rut and going nowhere fast.
It was no life changing bucket list but it’s those little things that give you something to look forward to doing in your supposed free time.
I was working two, sometimes three jobs, spanning an area of around 50 square miles sometimes in one day. Some days I would put in well over 12 hours once the multiple commutes were taken into account. Breakfast, lunch and often dinner were munched behind the steering wheel or skipped entirely. Supermarket meal deals were my bread and butter. I became a lover of coffee. Strong coffee. Often.
I wasn’t working like a mad woman because I was desperate for money – the jobs were relatively well paid, especially for Cornwall. Unfortunately in the line of youth work, full-time jobs just aren’t out there unless they are managerial desk jobs that I wasn’t ready or willing for yet. The charity based work with young people that I had entered youth work for was all little bits – 6 hours here, 18 hours there (if you’re lucky). It was a juggling act and my life was the circus – with little old me running around like a headless clown sometimes turning up for work in one town when I should be at another one… 45 miles away.
I was never going to be suited for the 9 to 5 but sometimes I looked on at my friends with their office jobs and their free evenings and weekends and I was insanely jealous. I guess they looked at me and my job with similar feelings though – I got a have fun a good chunk of the time I was working – playing sports, doing outdoor activities, art work, music, camping – I’m under no illusion that it’s a great line of work to be in some of the time.
I made a big decision one day that enabled me to stop for a minute and take stock on where my life was heading and I came to the conclusion that I wasn’t happy and now was the time to man up and do something about it. I moved back in with my parents which for some would be a backwards step but for me it enabled me to make the decisions that moved my life forward. Decisions about not only my career path but the country I was going to live in.
Those decisions not only gave me the opportunity to try out teaching in Thailand, they gave me something that I could previously only yearn for; I finally had time.
I now work in an almost 9 to 5 job (it’s really 8 til 4 but let’s not split hairs). Of course I end up doing planning outside of school but I don’t mind.
I get every evening off. This is the first time since I started working as a school girl in the local hotel that I have ever been free in the evenings. It’s so nice to come home and put my feet up or to come home and do a workout, or some yoga, or play my guitar… or whatever I want to because I can. I have the time.
In the past year in Thailand I have started to do things for me that I was never able to do. I started this blog, which I had wanted to for so long (trust me, I had some entertaining tales from my many youth work jobs). I re-started teaching myself the guitar (and have finally passed that beginner stage I was stuck in for so long). I have finally watched all of The Sopranos from start to finish. Books have finally been read after sitting on my to read list for too long.
I should have mastered Thai by now but some things take a year until you realise you really need to do them… the same for getting into fitness… Looks like 2014 will be the year for learning a new language and getting fit and that’s OK because I have the time! I could get into patchwork quilting if I wanted to, but who needs a quilt in this climate?
Sometimes I still get those niggling feelings of things I should be doing now I have all this spare time – I could make my own jewellry, I could start painting, I should be out mastering my SLR camera… at least now I can say, all in good time.
All in good time.