When I was commuting and working, work was pretty much life. Plus as much family stuff as possible and the bare minimum to get by for everything else. I yearned for more sleep, more exercise, more time with friends, less careering from one must do to the next, and more time to do something with all the ideas and interests that reared back up in my consciousness during holidays or the occasional ‘getting away from it’ weekend.
Last year I stepped off the corporate wheel. Not for the reasons above, but to make sure one of us at least was able to be present in our children’s daily lives, and to keep our family (or me) from going over the edge.
But one year on, I can’t help noticing how life fills the space you give it quite stupendously well. I find myself wondering where I will find the time to do all the things I’ve taken on – a triathlon, parent governorship, writing picture book stories, potential business opportunities, let alone the current building work at home.
And all that is to be done in the still small pockets of time when I don’t have the children – if my commitments impose on time with the kids, then what was the point of stopping working?
I’ve talked before on this blog about knowing I would return to work – stopping was for 1 – 2 years until Littlest H started big school. But I wanted, and still want, to find a way of working that fits with family life better than commuting up to London, but also doesn’t require me to do something I don’t really want to do or don’t find fulfilling. But the reality is that working around family feels even harder than working a regular job.
I’m looking at a new business venture. It is a risk – we need to test it for a few months before knowing if it could go somewhere. It will require a modest financial investment to test it, but modest matters right now. It will also require a huge time commitment. And I’m wondering how on earth I can manage that without giving up everything else I’m enjoying finally having some time for.
The thing is, I know I need to work – both financially and for myself. I know I have always wanted to do something more interesting than a straight corporate job. And I know setting up anything takes risk, money and time, at the very least. But I don’t want to end up in the same position I was when in the corporate world. Ambition is all very well, but blind ambition obliterates all else.
What to do. As usual, I want it all ways.
The fact is, one can’t have everything. And anything worth doing takes effort. (Answers on a postcard: any other pithy sayings I could add?). As always in life, it’s about priorities, positive realism and will (one of my own).
I’m sure my doubts are de rigueur for budding business-owners. It’s a massive move to make. But if I believe the business is viable and could be a route to fulfilling work that fits with family life and pays what I need to earn, I know I have to take the jump and suck up the whirlwind ride.
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” says Neale Donald Walsch. So is it time to live? Hell, yeah (real answer: umm, I think so, but I’m not quite sure). I just need to decide which comfort zones I’m going to stay in so I don’t do my usual trick of leaving too many of them all at the same time. Or indeed missing some third way that magically keeps all the balls up in the air. Oh, oh wait. I know, that’s called winning the lottery. Damn.