Each weekday I awaken at (somewhere between 5:15 and) 5:30 am. I spend approximately one hour making myself presentable to leave the house and spend 8 hours at my job and then drive home for 15 minutes. So essentially, from the time I go to bed each night… which fluctuates between 10 and 11pm… Eighteen hours are used up for work. I’m counting the 7 or so sleeping hours because I need sleep for work. If I didn’t work, I wouldn’t sleep half that much. So I get approximately 6 waking hours per weekday to take care of non-work crap and attempt to have a life. Subtract about an hour that I spend “winding down” when I get home, usually answering mail and reading blogs. More if I post. Subtract one more hour for dinner. Another for a shower or bath and bed-time prep. A grand total of 3 hours per weeknight. A trip to the grocery store or to take PD on a “movie run” leaves me with about 1 or 2 hours left to myself. If the phone rings, it dwindles more. And there’s pesky things like paying bills or watering plants or emptying trash.
Weekends are for getting caught up. Subtract approximately 14 hours for weekend sleep from 48 hours, that leaves me with 34 hours. Subtract an hour for laundry, 3 for household chores, 3 for shopping/errands, 2 for catching up on friends/family (mail, phone calls,) another 3 for personal hygiene (showers, hair, etc) and 6 hours for meals (prep, eat, clean-up x 6). That’s 18 hours. Subtract that from 34 and you have 16 hours. I figure I have about 20 hours per week, tops, that come under the heading of My Time. That’s out of 168 total hours in a week. (Is that right? It sounds awfully unbalanced to me!) Dear Lord, what if I had kids at home to take care of?
Do I sound greedy? Maybe to some. I know plenty of young mothers who would kill for a couple hours a week to have for themselves. But, geeze, I did that already. I remember how glorious it felt to get everyone in bed at night just to have some quiet time, too exhausted to enjoy it. But I’m past those years. It’s just me and PD here, not even a pet to take care of and I can’t find the time to do what I really enjoy.
If I didn’t have to work I would:
~Bake fresh bread. Often. ~Make a quilt. ~Make all my greeting cards. ~Read more. ~Visit my mom and family more. ~My house would sparkle. ~I would get back to my Poetry Group. ~I would paint. ~I would cook more. ~I would exercise like a fiend. ~All my old photographs would be in albums. In order. ~I would plant fantastic gardens. ~I would take road trips. Often. ~I would do lunch with the girls. ~Balance my checkbook. ~Organize files. ~Rearrange furniture. Often.
I wouldn’t know how to act. And no one would recognize me because I would be deliriously happy and yeah, I know what you’re thinking…
I’d find something else to bitch about. Oh yeah? Just give me the chance and I could prove you wrong.
* this is boring as hell. don’t even bother reading. what? you didn’t see the asterisk??? aw… pay attention next time!