Monday, June 15, 2009

Are we having fun yet?

Studies on women and work often show that they are working just as long, if not longer, than before they had the education and employment opportunities most enjoy today.

I know I feel as though I'm constantly working!

I'm building a business, I have three children under six, and I need to make sure our home life is relatively pleasant as well. We've got minimal child care and no money for household help, so leisure time is sparse.

If I didn't find ways to enjoy my work I would be waiting a long, long time before I had any fun.

Rewards don't work for me, I'm not good at delaying gratification, and I'm not good at self-discipline either. I can't just 'suck it up'.

Luckily making my bed with fresh sheets, feeling the sun on my face as I sweep the back steps on a cold winter's morning, interviewing a person who has had a rich and intriguing life, all hold some pleasure for me. I try to appreciate some aspect of everything I have to do.

For the one job I really hate - cooking dinner at 'witching hour', if tired, whiny children bicker and climb over each other to cling to my legs - inhaling a glass of wine sometimes helps to get me through. (Not overtly. I hide it behind the toaster, ok?)

What strategies do you use at home or in the workplace to help you get your work done?

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  1. Very true! It's all about finding little rewards in otherwise very yucky tasks - that nice cup of tea when the kids are having their day sleep; your favourite cd on in the car during school drop off / pick up; the quick phone call to a friend. It's the little things during the day that make the difference.

    Have also found it really important to feed the mind, whether it be with hobbies or books. I have found playing a musical instrument, as well as making sure I have a good book to read, makes life so much more fun. Having something to think about while doing the rather mundane tasks like the washing up or hanging out the washing gets me through the day :)

  2. All great points. Tea makes everything better doesn't it?

  3. yes - and did I mention chocolate??? Chocolate also gets me through the day - lots of it :)

  4. Francine couldn't post her comment so she emailed it to me. She has a great perspective so I'll paste it here:

    I agree - So much of life and our enjoyment of it is tied up with our attitude. And when we're trying to do too much, its easy to get things out of perspective - like is it REALLY worth chewing your kids out because they are late for school? Afterall, they'll still be late, and they'll be anxious about the reception from the teacher as well feeling a failure for upsetting Mum - not a good combo for a healthy learning environment.

    Strategies ... my main one is lists, lists and more lists! If I don't get an item off my list on Monday, I write it in for Tuesday etc. If it goes on too long for a particular item, eventually I get so over rewriting it that I just do it!

    The other strategy I have is keeping Sunday for rest and family. I try never to let work encroach on that time. It means that for at least one day a week, I get some real rejuvenation time, and the whole family is more likely to start the week of well.


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