There are so many wasted hours, that pass so slowly, when the job you do, is not the job you want to do. It steals the day, sometimes even the evening as well. Doing something you hate, diminishes your energy and therefore your dreams.
It is hard to find time, in between work and other tedious tasks, particularly if you are a woman. I say as a woman, because if that woman is both a wife and mother, she is often the one who undertakes the majority of the housework. As well as the family meals, childcare, taking and picking up children from childminders, schools and nursery. As part of her working day, she must take her children to childcare, prior to going to work and pick them up after work. She must then provide a meal for her family. If she is lucky enough to have a partner or spouse that helps, it is unlikely, in most households, that the dividing up of household and family tasks is equal.
If such is the case, there is precious little time to do anything of the things you love to do. For instance, if you are writing a book, ½ hour is frustrating; better than nothing, but exasperating all the same. When you get to the half hour point, you often find that your imagination really starts to flow. So you have a choice, you can do one of two things. Stop, which is unlikely, at this stage, because the words are gushing through your brain and onto the page. Or, you think, “to hell with it!” And keep on writing. Another pleasant and exciting hour passes, as the flow accelerates and your imagination is sparking like electric bolts. Ideas and whole passages passing at lightening speed, through your head, faster than you can write or note down.
You keep going until sleep starts to call you, your brain full of magical ideas, is slowing. Your body is aching from bending over the computer or notepad, upon which you are writing. You yawn and stretch. You know you have done as much as you can this evening. A brief glance at the clock, catapults you into panic. You have been writing much longer than you had intended. You haven’t done the children’s lunches or your own yet and you haven’t fed the cats. By the time you complete these tasks and get ready for bed, you will have less than five hours sleep. You groan inwardly. Another day; when you have to drag yourself out of bed, to go to that infernal workplace.
By the time you manage to get through your working day, plus the travel and get home, you are totally exhausted. Your brain is barely firing. You sit at your writing desk with a large cafetiere of coffee, next to you. Your beloved book, that you are writing, in front of you. You take a swig of coffee and read over your last paragraph, to pick up the story. Despite your determination to write, your brain is not engaging. You write two, faltering sentences, which you re-read. The words sound dead, unimaginative, bland and dull.
Work has been particularly stressful today and now you have absolutely no energy left for just living, let alone writing. You push yourself, hoping the motivation will kick in and the ideas will start streaming again. You write slowly, nothing amazing coming out onto the page. You struggle on, praying for illumination, imagination; even, decent sentences. You hunt for a great word to describe the autumn but nothing comes. You think, “right, I will put autumn leaves for now and hopefully something better will come to me tomorrow. I can replace it.” The next two paragraphs are even harder. A five year old could have done better. The writing is coming in a slow trickle, like lumpy porridge.
Finally, you give up. You look at the time and realise that whilst you have been fighting in vain for your writing, the hours have disappeared. Once again, you have precious little time for sleep before having to get up and go to work again. The pattern repeats. You groan inwardly; feeling empty of all creativity. Frustration surges through you. “How am I ever going to become a successful writer, with work claiming every ounce of energy I have?”
As you shut down the computer or close your note pad, you remember that you haven’t walked the dog. She has sat patiently, throughout your attempts at writing. On top of that, you need to iron your clothes for work tomorrow and wash your hair. Argh! Now you’re angry. “Everything revolves around my bloody work.” The frustration courses through your veins and although part of you thinks, “why do I bother?” The part that wants this more than anything, fires you up. “No!” You shout out loud! “I am doing this and if I have to battle with sleep deprivation and frustrations, I am not giving up!”
When you finally crawl into bed, for the precious few hours available, you are overwhelmed by exhaustion. Suddenly, your previous determination dissolves, as a wave of despair overtakes you. You find yourself crying, whilst arguing with yourself, that you haven’t got time for emotional outbursts. You tell yourself that you must sleep. You so want to be able to do this and your heart sings when you can, but so much of your time is taken up by the mundane. Your frustration bubbles up, finding expression in gasping sobs of despair. Eventually, sleep overtakes you but it is not restful sleep. You toss and turn and when the alarm goes off, it feels as if you have only slept for an hour. You feel groggy and your eyes feel gritty and sore.
You jump in the shower and rush around, trying to get everything together, ready for your day at work. Grabbing your coat from the stand in the hallway, you leave the house. You walk briskly up the road towards the station. When you board the train, you sit looking out of the window. There is a fine drizzle of rain hitting the glass. The day is dull and depressing, mirroring how you are feeling right now. Then it hits you. The train! “I have 40 minutes of free time on the way to work and back from work.” Suddenly, as the possibilities broaden, despite the short hours of sleep, your body feels energised. Your imagination starts to flow, like a well-oiled engine.
You fumble around in your bag for a pen and a piece of paper, to capture the ideas as they come. Excited now, it is like a window has opened up inside of you. “I can write on the train and type it up when I get home!” if you only have half hour to yourself, at home, you can make good use of it. A full hour and twenty minutes is yours on the train journey. Excited, the possibility of your finished book, takes on a more definite probability. Now, you can take on your day, boring as it might be, because your dream can be your reality.