Making big decisions

The last few weeks have been hard for a number of reasons, including Mum and I both being sick, being very busy at work, out-of-work commitments and so on. In among it all I had a lovely weekend away with my best mate, Sandra, in Hamilton. We went on a family picnic with some of her ESOL students and their family, to celebrate Moon Day. It was a lovely day in the Hamilton Gardens and the food was fabulous.  There has been almost no art go on for quite a few weeks now and that makes me unhappy – I hate the feeling of my art taking a back seat. But I also know I have to take care of myself and my family.

As I said to Mum the other day, I also have to take care of my career as I have 20 plus years left in the workforce. As part of planning my career, I’m going to be doing Post Grad Museum studies by distance through Massey University next year. This will sit well beside my PG Dip in Sociology, Advanced Diploma in Art & Creativity (Honours) and professional registration with LIANZA (Library & Information Assoc New Zealand Aotearoa). But it will also be a lot of hard work and I need to ensure I can devote enough time to it. There are other factors too. I’m currently Co-Chair of PubSig, a national organisation for public librarians. I’m on the communications committee for next year’s annual LIANZA conference with responsibility for setting up, maintaining and promoting a Twitter presence. So things are busy on the career front.

However, like the adverts say – but wait, there’s more! Mum is getting older, frailer, and her health is becoming harder to manage.  We were at the Doctor then the Emergency Dept on Friday. I was talking with my sister yesterday and she commented that “managing Mum’s health is like having a 1,000 piece jigsaw where some of the pieces get muddled up and you have to figure out what happened”. We promised Mum 14 years ago that we’d care for her at home. Then 5 or so years ago we promised she could die at home as long as she did her bit. “Her bit” includes spending two days a week in day care with me collecting her on my way home form work, and letting other people care for her when needed, even if it’s really me she wants. We’re keeping those promises because it is who we are and what we want to do.

So, where is all this leading? I’m making some decisions and changes to how I organise my life and what I do with my time. I was playing an online game – that’s gone. I am completing artworks for anything I am booked into but will not be entering anything new through till the end of 2012.  I’ll keep an art journal going to relax with, and keep my hand in, and do the monthly Crusades over at Green Pepper Press. I’m back to doing the washing every night or two so it doesn’t build up. I’m limiting the amount of time I spend on work stuff while at home so I have some down-time with Tony or  a good book. Currently, I watch the news and maybe another hour of tv throughout the evening – I’ll be back to pretty much news only from now on.

Next year, when I start studying, I need approx 12 hours a week study time. I’ll set myself a timetable so I do 2 hours a night 5 nights a week, and 2 or 3 hours on a Saturday. That means I have enough time after work to cook dinner, see to Mum, the washing, and fit my study in. That’ll give me Saturday night and all day Sunday for self and family. It’s a plan – it might not be the best plan ever, but at least I feel like I’m getting things sorted.

In terms of this blog, I don’t want to lose touch with people, so I’ll keep doing short posts about whatever and will still follow my fav blogs. Thanks for being part of my support network.

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3 thoughts on “Making big decisions

  1. And who ever dared to call women “the weaker sex”? Take care, superwoman!

    I used to “paint in my head” while driving between schools, in my super-busy times. I have a whole exhibition that noone else can see. Sometimes I am frustrated that those works will never appear (they are complete so I have lost the urge to paint them) but sometimes I am just grateful that my imagination was able to do that. I think that your art journal idea is a much better one!

    Wishing you good health and quality “time out” along the way.

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  2. If you want something doing – ask a busy woman.

    I really like the idea of an art journal. I’ve had to resort to short and sweet for a fair time now. It works, and when you have more time you will lots to inspire you!

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  3. Just this single post tells so very much about you, your focus, and your priorities. I know it’s not going to be easy to keep all those promises to yourself and your family, but it somehow helps to write it all down the way you have and turn it into a plan. You have my great respect and admiration for your commitment to your mother. You’ll look back and know you did the right thing.

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