I’m living a bit of a conundrum at the moment.
I recently(ish) decided I was sick of working from home. I was sick of feeling like I should be with the kids when I’m working, and I was just as sick of feeling like I should be working or having my mind elsewhere when I was with the kids.
I romanticised the idea of going to work. Of going to an office that wasn’t at home, of not having my computer and proofs and drafts and red pens scattered all over the dining room table and of not having my work encroach upon my family life.
The realist in me knew that any job I had would be in my mind a lot of the time anyway. That’s just who I am. I give things my all, and my work is no exception. But turning a computer off, leaving an office and travelling home on a train? Those things would give me time to switch my focus. Then, when I’m home, I can be all about my family. Right?
So I applied for a few jobs. I even met with some recruiters and had a real-life interview with some real-life people who were really actually looking for a real-life person to come and work for them. The job sounded great, and it was for a cause I really believe in. I tried not to, but I got my hopes up.
I didn’t get the job. And I tried to tell myself that I didn’t mind that much, and it wasn’t meant to be, and it’ll happen when it’s meant to happen. But I was really disappointed. I was disappointed with the situation, with not getting to do this particular work for this particular organisation, and with myself – my first interview in seven years had been a fizzer. Boo for me.
I took a break from applying for jobs. Then, just as I was gearing up to try again, new work-from-home offers started coming in. Sponsored posts. Social media campaigns. New clients. A new writing opportunity.
It wasn’t a flood. But it was bigger than a trickle. It brought working from home back to the front of my mind. It made me think about better ways to manage the balance. The juggle. The ebb and flow of work and family co-existing in one space.
And here I am. Still in my conundrum. Because I Just. Don’t. Know. What. I. Want. To. Do.
You might have noticed it’s been quieter around here than usual. I’ve found it difficult to come to this online home of mine and write blog posts about the usual things – grammar tips, music group programs, quirky ditties, even random acts of kindness – because I. Just. Don’t. Know. What. I. Want. To. Do.
I remember a line from Kelly Exeter’s first book, Your Best Year Ever:
When a decision isn’t clear-cut, when we’re agonising between two options, it’s often because the potential difference in future happiness between the two is tiny.
I’m trying to keep this in mind. Perhaps the reason I. Just. Don’t. Know. What. I. Want. To. Do. is that, in my mind, there’s not much difference between the two options.
That might sound silly – obviously, working from home is very different from working for an organisation. Travel, child care, pay, time with family – these are just some of the changes I’d face.
But perhaps there would be no difference in my future happiness. Perhaps I’m just as happy doing either, and I already know it on some level. I love writing, so where I am doing it doesn’t really matter. It’s going to be in my head while I’m with my family, and my family is going to be in my head while I’m writing.
And so I. Just. Don’t. Know. What. I. Want. To. Do.
I don’t know. I just don’t know. So I continue on my little way, just doing, still not knowing, and hoping it will sort itself out. Because that happens, right?
How do you balance your commitments? Any tips, suggestions or anecdotal musings to share?