After the week I had of UNI from 9.30-4.30 daily, I found that among other things (and apart from the obvious of completing another unit) it was also another window to look in at my life, from. A different perspective from which to assess things, to analyse them.
There's plenty of time while on the bus and train, to reflect, ponder, and all that kinda stuff. Or read text books... but I found I was reading without reading the text... not taking it in. So I pondered instead. For some of my thoughts, this quote summed it up
When our schedules are simple with space in between commitments, we give ourselves time to process and recharge the batteries before moving on to the next thing. I am less likely to be worried about moving on to the next thing when I know I have time before my next commitment.
In order to attend just one day at UNI, I was organising other people for school and kindergarten drop offs, pickups (thankyou S!), lunches, morning teas, fruit and notes to take, bags and spare clothes for the youngest who was going between Grandma (thankyou!) and a good Family friend C (thanking you too!), for the day, notes to the various people involved in the day, car seats swapped over or ready to go, notes on the bench for final directions for Miss12 to complete the dinner (as she had to eat before everyone else), note on the fridge re afternoon tea etc. Lunches and afternoon tea for the day organised the night before. Dinner in the slow cooker in the morning because there was a school event that night and I knew I wouldn't be home before 5.30. The weekend before was washing, clearing, washing, cleaning, washing, baking, stocking and organising - so that there were fresh nappies, wipes and clothes, enough fruit and home-baking for lunchboxes, after school etc and that the usual stock levels were there for dinners, menu plans and the like. And some one on one time with each child the night before because I knew it would be sparse in the days to come.
Then it would be get home, get dinner on, showers done, school bags and lunchbox reminders, some hugs, an argument to sort, load of washing in and a few out, check the basics for the next day for the children and the house, bedtime, stories, washup and clear-up from dinner, complete lectures from the other unit. Snack, a few minutes of 'me n a cuppa' time then in bed (hopefully before midnight) only to start the day again in what felt like just minutes later but was actually morning. etc etc you get the idea. Oh, and getting my stuff ready too lol.
Yes. I chose that for that week. But I wouldn't want to choose it all the time. It's constant breathing in and no breathing out. That doesn't work for humans as a basic (gotta breathe out!) and for me, it doesn't work in terms of balance. You gotta stop somewhere, sometime and hopefully well before the stage where the 'machine' just breaks - physically, emotionally or mentally.
But on the flip side of that... I found myself having a lunchbreak while I was at UNI. Completely as a lunchbreak. for me... [ .<----insert pause of wonder] no washing to do while munching, no spills to clear while sipping (and no little person chatterboxing, making me laugh.. which I missed) ... just a lunchbreak. 'free time'... extremely wierdly ~quiet~ time...
so I studied lol because I am too accustomed to not sitting/standing still, being idle (yet somehow I still manage to 'waste' time and procrastinate - work that out). I found myself with time to ponder on the bus rides to and from. And I got a lot done in that lunchbreak. So there was 'down time' but it was in a way I wasn't used to ('forced downtime, perhaps?), so I didn't use it as downtime... and while the day 'at home' is usually busy and sometimes really busy, and hectic, starts early and ends very late with an 'on call' wakeup somewhere in the night, it's a different kind of busy. One that allows you to create and follow your own rythym rather than being set by someone else(s).
BUT - having to fit with that 'someone else(s)' rythym made my OWN at home rythym more efficient. You know how they say 'if you want something done give it to a busy person'? Because I had so little time when I wasn't at UNI, when I was home I had to be more efficient than normal. I couldn't just 'do it tomorrow' because it had to be done in the few hours between getting home and going to bed. There was no 'space between committments'. No thorough 'breathing out'... Good for productivity, perhaps (in the short/medium term) but certainly not where I want to be long term... AND put my long-term goal clearly in it's rightful spot in my brain. At the front, right up the top - as the gauge by which to work out if other stuff is something I need or want to do on the path to getting there.