Balance

I really don’t like the expression work-life balance but at least it says what it means. I have definitely, without any doubt, been working too hard over the last, oh, three years, probably, and things are going to change. However, there is still stuff left over, and February is going to be busy with the things that were postponed because of the snow.

This week has been productive and fun – like most of my weeks, really. I wrote a poem, for a start, which is always a good thing; although it’s too personal to put up here. I’ve had to a lot of mindless typing this week, ready for a training session I’ll be running soon, but that was good because The Son has been home most of the week, and I could do it while sitting with him; a lot of it was done on Monday.

Tuesday was meetings day. The Literature Festival Schools plays project is making good progress; we’ve nearly decided on all the topics for the plays and in a post-meeting meeting with the lovely Fi Ross, drama practitioner, we worked out how we would approach the development of each of the playlets. Getting the balance between the historical truth and the dramatic truth will be interesting. Straight afterwards I had a meeting with Maggie, the Education Manager at The Roses Theatre in Tewkesbury about continuation work with my surgery group; it was great being able to bounce ideas off someone with enthusiasm and knowledge.

Wednesday was a bit dull, sorting and preparing stuff, but the new sofa arrived (it’s lovely) and I did go swimming in the evening. There, see – I’ve started on the balancing act! Oh – and I saw Avatar on Sunday. I get really involved with movies, and this one was great. I know some people have criticised the storyline, and there were little continuity oddities, but I was totally engaged in it from start to finish.

Thursday was prison day. Things have changed dramatically at the prison, and it looks like I’m going to get a really big writing group there; only problem is I have nowhere to work with them. I think it will be the library, one of the coldest rooms in the whole prison.

But Friday. On Friday I had a fantastic time with the cancer patients. That sounds weird, but really, when you’ve spent an hour in fits of laughter working with a wheelchair-bound cancer patient (“Wheels are the future!” he said) you come away inspired and ready to face anything. My surgery group were great, too. I made them work really hard, on things they would never have tried on their own, and they all had a go and did really well.

The avalanche of emails put a stop to the enjoyment, of course, but never mind; I got through all of them, and yesterday managed to catch up with most of my writing up. And I went shopping. It was fun. I remember fun, from my past, when I didn’t work all the hours there are, and you know what? It’s worth revisiting.

Very soon the lead actor in my new play will arrive and we’ll have our first rehearsal – just him, because of the huge part he has to learn. The play will take over my life for a few weeks, but as well as that I have meetings to prepare for, my end-of-month stuff to do, a gig to work at, and so many other things. But I am determined not to let it drag me down. Getting the balance right is a bit of a tightrope thing – but hey, I can ice skate, I can windsurf, I can stand on one leg; I can do this too.

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