You know, I have always been in Praise of Slow. Normally it’s in the context of crafty ditherings but it can also be re life choices and similar trivia. I was made redundant almost 5 months ago. I had Little One almost three years ago. I was dx 5 years ago. Yep, it’s my diagnosisary folks. And where have I got to? What have I learnt?
My thoughts have meandered and then centred on how my choices would have been so different had I not been so convinced I needed to stick with my (large, dependable, safe) employer. I now know that it’s perfectly possible to pick and mix AND progress, develop and be commercially successful. I learnt a lot at the mumsnet Blogfest last year, mainly from other, more experienced freelancers. Step up mme Lindor, Mme Guillotine et al. I have also learnt from my RL friedns most of whom are self employed. And then I’ve discovered that the world does not stop when you get your P45. Actually, it changes and it opens new possibilities.
What has fired me up to write more than my habitual haiku? I recently submitted a piece to the wonderful Jump magazine and I got to reflecting on how, when I was at school and later university, the knowledge that a portfolio career could be preferable to a traditional one would have been gold dust to me.
I have been known to lament that you can’t have it all. You either sacrifice advancement or family time. I still strongly believe that a hefty dose of realism is needed when the concept of SuperMums is aired. But maybe, just maybe there’s a third way?
Start off in life willing to bend with life’s ups and downs, collect transferable skills, access technology and all it can give you, refuse to be bounded by the traditional working models of 9-5 office life, focus on results and deliverable rather than process, network, share, blend work and life. What if we taught our young these values? Could we help our children avoid sleepwalking into mediocrity and achieve their potential? Boys too. I think so. I really do.
About 6 years ago I wrote a list of what my perfect day consisted of. Despite Parkinson’s, I reckon I’ve got about 90% now. And it’s thanks to going portfolio. I know things could change but whatever, it’s taught me that boundaries should be guidelines and career cliches challenged.
What do you think? I’m going to expand this issue, build on these bare bones of an idea. What is your view?
Way back at the beginning of the year I said I would Choose Life this year. Wel, here we are almost at the midpoint and how am I doing? A mixed bag, I’d say. I’ve become better at stopping to smell the metaphorical flowers of Life, I’ve grown to realise how lucky I am with the friends and family I have around me. I’ve managed to do a reasonable amount of making too, which is good. Those are the pluses.
What about where I need to work on for the next six months then?
Well, I’m writing this post by the hospital bed of a (now) gently snoozing Little One. He has had a nasty chest infection which has led to us having the opportunity to leisurely explore the inner corners of Stitch City’s’ local hospital’s (very well stocked) playroom. And other fun sights. It’s been a worrying time but I think we’re ok now, thankfully. But it’s reinforced my bond with him too and made me very clear that I want to live my life in colour. By which I mean try to enjoy my life and family more without unnecessary stresses playing with my attention and turning everything into greys. What do i mean? Well, i want to work on my health as a priority. And my boys. Lots of playing is on the agenda, oh yes. And similar stuff. Lets sort the wheat from the chaff shall we and focus on the important bits.
So, my resolution holds good. Choose Life. A life in colour. And knowing my little terrors, with the volume turned up to 11.
Life is about choices, no? Tuesday’s are now Choose-days for me. I’ll choose to do one life-enhancing thing each week. Well, I’ll try. I might even save a cat in the process.
So I was torn about this post. Do I reflect on times past, review 2011, or do I look forward and consider my resolution(s). Well, dear reader, as a nod to optimism I choose to go forwards, move on.
I could have made a massive list of resolutions, I normally do. But then, as they fall by the wayside you feel such a fraud, well I do. So instead of that, this year I’m keeping it simple. It’s very chic, non? Everybody’s going back to basics, why not me?
So my resolution, slightly naff though it may sound, is To Choose Life. Well, I am a child of the 80’s (ok, teen) and I never got to wear one of Those t-shirts. What do I mean by my little slogan? Whenever I have to make a choice I will choose the option that’s enhances my and my family’s life. Simples.
So, do I eat that bar of chocolate? No, I’ll have a bit and save the rest. Do I actually listen to my physio and do some exercise? You bet I do, I’m not going to start shutting down quite yet if I can help it. Do I have a sleep rather than do the ironing? Ah ha! Trick question! I don’t iron unless physically forced and no doubt that will remain unchanged, I am not a saint or weirdo after all.
Anyway, that’s the theory. My hope is that I’ll be able to keep true to this goal. Let’s face it, I have to, don’t I? Now, do you think Ms. Hammett has an eBay shop?