The irony that one of my last posts was about what happens when life gets in the way, is not lost on me. I have been somewhat absent from this space and didn’t really anticipate going back to work after the holidays would have that effect. It isn’t that we have strayed from our D/s track, more that my creativity and momentum to write and engage has been used up elsewhere. I think I had naively thought that because I was back in work before it would be fine, but the return of all pupils full time had a huge impact.
I have always needed to juggle work and home and blogging, and that has been ok. Sometimes it can be tough and other times easier, depending on how things are going in each area. Usually I can focus on one area if it needs more of my attention and keep the others ticking along a bit. There can be the feeling for me that there is never enough time when this happens, but generally I enjoy being busy and so it works pretty well.
I think that juggling is a pretty good analogy in that there is one ball in the air and others in the hand. I work to keep them in sequence and although my focus can be on one thing more than the others, they still have my attention and it doesn’t really move from seeing them as part of the whole. As with anything, you develop your own technique and expertise in juggling things and so for the most part, it can appear pretty seamless to others.
My job also involves me being able to attend to a number of things all at once, but I would say that is more like spinning plates. It feels as if I have to be focussed on each of the things all of the time to keep them going, and not allow them to fall from the front. It is very difficult to explain to someone who is not in the situation. It isn’t about the physical aspect but more about the mental. I cannot literally be dealing with 8 things all at once, for example, but there will be 8 things which are going on simultaneously.
I don’t mean long projects; these are things which are short term and will require a response. Because my role is about supporting other people, more of things require a part of me – my time, my thought, my energy, my input. When we went into lockdown and I was working from home I had the constant feeling that I was missing something. I would wake in a panic wondering what it was that I hadn’t done. I felt out of control as my usual structure and routine was gone.
I realise now that what I was missing was the spinning of my plates. It felt wrong to be able to focus on things one at a time and sort of go looking for work rather than have it coming straight at me. I no longer had a queue at my door, and worked more from an inbox of emails that contained endless spreadsheets and lists and requests. While this was hard for me and it took up my time, it didn’t exhaust me the way that working face to face does.
I have struggled to adjust to the spinning of plates and the levels of concentration and focus that it takes. I no longer have the feeling that I have forgotten something, but it has been replaced with the reality that I am not able to do everything I need to do. I know that as I get more used to that way of working again, I will adjust and find something left mentally and emotionally to share outside of work, but for the past few weeks I have just sort of crawled through the door and flopped.
HL has been great and we have spent time together relaxing and talking but there hasn’t been the mental energy available to put into my blog. I haven’t had ideas of things to write and when I have thought about it, my inspiration just hasn’t been there. I have no doubt that it will return and so I am tentatively dipping my toe back in again because you need to be in the water if you want to swim. Essentially, I need to engage to be engaged.
It isn’t that work needs me and that I have to focus on that for a while, more that I haven’t had the extra energy to expend elsewhere. And as I get myself back used to working in that way, I am pretty sure that things will go back to being as they were. I don’t like feeling that there isn’t the mental space for missy but that is how it has felt. I want to change things though because this is an important part of who I am, so I think it is time to try to reconnect.