Focus on what matters
I was struggled to decide on a quote for this week. Usually something tends to jump out at me, but on Saturday evening (I doubted I’d have time on Sunday), I sat for a good hour and tried to find a quote with no success. Eventually I abandoned it, and decided to go for a walk and a drink with my family.
On Sunday morning I was due to head back up to Newcastle, after a weekend at home for a little bit of a chill. We were leaving at 9:30am, and my plan was to sit and work for a good hour before that. However, after eating breakfast I wanted to meditate, and I wanted to journal. I set a timer for 10 minutes when I began journaling, and told myself that after this I would have to get on with my blog posts, emails, and uni work. But after those 10 minutes, I simply didn’t want to. I wanted to continue journaling. It wasn’t a morning to be productive, it was a morning to write.
And suddenly, as I was writing about my weekend, I knew which quote I wanted.
This weekend just gone I came home in order to chill out, be with my family- and to work. Though I did get to chill out, at times I really lost sight of the first reason I had come back to Yorkshire. I came home because I needed a break, but I really struggled to draw a line between work and play.
All the time I was home thoughts of everything I had to do were in the back of my mind, and no matter how much work I did, it never seemed enough. Realistically, I couldn’t afford to not bring my work home with me. To put it into perspective: this weekend I had to finishing reading three lengthy poems and pieces of information attached to them, two extra reading pieces surrounding these poems, one novel, three essays surrounding this novel, a novel for my creative writing, and I’ve also edited poems. I tested two recipes for the blog, typed three blog posts, and took some social media pictures for my freelancing work. And I had more to do, which- unlike the above- I didn’t get done.
When I felt like I’d been away from my work for too long, I became snappy. And much as I tried to reign this in, it sometimes wasn’t possible. Saturday evening, I finally put all of my work aside, and fully embraced what mattered: spending time with my family.
We went for a walk, had a drink at our local, cooked a meal together, carved a pumpkin, and even set off some fireworks as I’ll be in Newcastle for Bonfire Night. Over the days I’d been home I’d also been to the gym with my mum, walked my dog, and even dragged my dad on a dog walk as well. And when I was journaling, it clicked that at times this weekend just gone I had lost sight of what really mattered. Suddenly, having laid my work to one side, I had my quote.
We’re pushed to be productive 24/7, and sometimes this just isn’t realistic. I type this in the car, on the way back to Newcastle, so I definitely feel this. But right now, I am filling time that would otherwise be empty. When I read Newcastle I’m going to put aside all of my work for the rest of the day, and fully enjoy the remaining time I have with my family.
Yes, we all have to work, and we’re all busy. But this weekend, I was at times fighting a losing battle with work. I gave myself too much to do, and didn’t strike a balance that allowed me to appreciate, and keep my focus on, what mattered. I work a lot, and I work hard, and I know many of you are the same- but this week I am going to try and keep things in perspective. And I want you to try too. You may find, as I did, that ignoring your work actually helps you figure something out. So keep your eyes on your friends, family, and your own wellbeing- your emails can wait for at least a few hours.