Old habits die hard, or so the adage goes. And I’m afraid to say it’s true, for me anyway. I wouldn’t go so far as to say ‘you can’t teach an old dog new trick’, there is always something new to learn. I just haven’t learnt it yet.
Allow me to explain.
I real life, I am a chef, and three months ago, I returned to work full-time, two years after having my son.
Finances dictated I must, so off I went back to work.
Why is this so bad you might think? Lot’s of people work full-time you say. This is true, and I do love my job. I also love my husband and son, and love to indulge my passion for writing, which, if I manage my time correctly, I have plenty of time for both.
The problem? I’m not managing my time effectively. This is where I’ve fallen into the ‘old habits’ trap.
My problem in the past has been the simple fact that I work nights, and my work day doesn’t begin until 1pm or later, therefore I stay up ridiculously late..or early, depending how you look at it.
So, because I work late, by the time I get home of a night, my family has been dead asleep for hours and I’m still wide awake and wired from just coming off a dinner service.
So, I get home, have a shower and get myself some food and turn on the TV. While I am wide awake, my brain cannot cope with coherent thoughts at 11:30 at night, hence TV instead of writing. By the time I’m crawling into bed for the night, it’s anywhere between 2 and 4am…
I wake up the next day and there’s no one home. My husband has already left for work, dropping our son at daycare on the way…see where this is going? I can easily go three days without laying eyes on my family.
Cheffing is not easy on the home life, I’ll tell you.
Last time I worked these types of hours, it nearly broke me and my marriage. We barely saw each other, and the 5 mins we did spend together, we fought. All the time. And I was so tired I almost didn’t even notice until it was almost too late.
But I did realise, and today we are fine. But it was a long road back to normal.
So you can imagine my panic when it dawned on me I was falling into the same pattern again.
Staying up until 3am, sleeping until midday, therefore wasting those hours in the morning to see my family off to work, do a few chores, write…
Before, I worked two days a week, was at home with my son five days, saw my husband five nights a week, writing everyday and keeping reasonably up to date with housework. Now, I’m squandering those precious hours and, surprise, surprise, I’m tired all the time. Which makes it hard to adult on the best of days, let alone do the mummy thing, the wife thing, the chef thing and the writing thing.
So why have a fallen back into this habit?
My life is extremely hectic these days. Wife, mother, chef…aspiring author…I have very few hours to myself. Except when I get home from work. The house is silent, and after the rush of service, all i want is some peace and time to wind down.(Weak excuse right?)
Winding down before bed is fine, I just need to stop winding down until 3 in the morning…
So what to do?
Go to bed before midnight and manage my time effectively would be a good start.
I know my life will be better for it.