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Real Life

February 3, 2011
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I realized the other day that this blog and its contents more accurately reflect what I wish I were doing all day than what I’m actually doing.  There’s a pretty significant disconnect between my Monday-Friday workaday existence, and the kind of life I’m trying to build for myself.  I want to be clear – I don’t want to complain, or indulge in pointless self-pity.  But I do want to be honest; though of course no internet presence is ever a complete picture, it feels disingenuous to separate this space so completely from the rest of my life.

Don’t get me wrong – I work for an organization that I think matters, with some of the best people ever, doing work that I (usually) enjoy and that makes a positive (though sometimes small) difference in the world.  I’m using my brain, my education, and my talents, and growing both personally and professionally.  And above all, I’m incredibly grateful to have any job at all, let alone a job I care about.

But I also commute an hour each way, which limits the number of waking hours that I get to spend in my home.  There are periods during which I work quite long hours.  I spend most of my time in a community that is not my own, where I don’t vote, and where commuter culture makes it hard to form bonds.  And while in the grand scheme of things these are very small (and very, very common) complaints indeed, for a homebody like me it’s often hard to find a balance between home, family, creativity, community, introspection, and becoming the kind of person I want to be on the one hand, and much-needed income, independence, mental challenge, and working for a larger goal on the other.

And so each weekend, I find myself absolutely loath to leave home, except for weekly (local) treats like the local farmer’s market.  (I may have thrown a very tiny tantrum about this last Saturday.  Sorry, Chris and Lily.)  I throw myself into creating, into soaking up the seasons and the little homey things I miss during the week.  I’ve thought a lot about potential solutions (Move closer to work?  Find work closer to home?  Chuck the law degree and knit my way to happiness?), and I’m not sure there’s a good one right now.  And so for the time being, I will continue to commute with my knitting, read craft and homemaking blogs when I have a free moment, and try to find that ever-elusive balance.

(I will also try to not throw any more tantrums.  Really.)

P.S. – I want to mention a couple of things that have made the balance a little bit easier.  First is the FlyLady – behind the brightly-colored homepage is an absolutely invaluable (and entirely free) resource for people who have trouble keeping on top of many responsibilities.  Second is my new commitment to lessI wrote about it a few weeks ago, and with less stuff and less television, there really is more room for the things I value most.

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