Back to what?

Hi all,

This week marked the period where most folks in Australia went back to work after the holidays. Maybe it was the same for you.

But I want to give a shout out today to those who didn’t go back to a 9-5 this week. No set structure, no school times, no communing, no start and stop.

To those of us out there who set their own routines or have no routine at all. To those of us who have to guide our own days. To those of us who have to thrive on self motivation, day in, day out.

To those of you out there, like me, I doff my hat to you.CTRG

What does back to work mean to us? What are we going back to? And who decides… oh yes… us.

Do we do the same as before? Do we shake up the routine of the year just gone or keep it as it was? This week I slipped straight back into the same routine as before the holidays. Ate at the same time, worked at the same time, rested at the same time. Even though I vowed I would change it up.

And who motivates us to change or do something different? Do we need direct inspiration or push?

When I think about it I don’t know how I would change my routine, I simply know it has to change. I thrive from routine… to a certain extent. Go too far and it can suffocate me and restrict me. The freedom of being at home turns into clinging on to the comforts of routine and familiarity.

I want change but as for the details, that’s about as far as I know.

It’s hard being in this position. Many envy working from home (or simply having time at home whether you be a stay at home parent or are looking for a new path) but it is a hard time, and not because of the reasons that you think. It’s not because we have 24/7 access to our kitchens, bed or TV (although it can be a factor). It’s hard because to do anything requires only you. When you realise you have spent too long watching morning TV. When you know you have to write but everything in your head tells you to not bother. When you know what you have to do but depend solely on yourself to do it. When the guilt creeps in because you are at home, your partner is at work and you have a household list the size of your arm that you just don’t know how you are going to get done. And of, course, being alone (which is a topic for another day). It’s tough.

But it’s our world, maybe forever, maybe just for now. Everyone else may be back to school, their commute or a 9-5, but this is your time.

Back to what? I guarantee the only one desperate for answers is you and me. So for now, routine or not, new or old, restful or active, just be you and do your own thing. The way you need to do it.

Do you work from home/ spend your days at home?

Does routine work for or against you?

Are you able to motivate yourself?

Linking up with Thinking Out Loud

8 thoughts on “Back to what?

  1. Cora says:

    Thank you. Thank you for this.

    Although I do have a “jo job” – at the restaurant – I really still do see myself as a self entrepreneur and someone who, in a bit of a different way, “works from home.” And yes. I absolutely struggle with this. I seem to be struggling with it a lot more since the turn of the new year. How do I use my time? What should I do to keep my soul feeling like I am working toward what I want? How do days consistently go by without me having done anything I thought I “should” do? How do I get over this inability to focus in the afternoons, or this procrastination to do the more “important” things?……….. so many questions that I am trying to figure out.

    This was a great piece of writing, Jen. I would be really really interested to see more of your thoughts on this topic – how you manage being a self entrepreneur. What your “day working from home” looks like. Both technically, but also emotionally and mentally.

    Oie I should have just emailed you. Thank you again and I look forward to more.
    Cora recently posted…Latest Kitchen Creations: Soup, Brownies, “Cheese” and Pink Bread!My Profile

    • Jen says:

      I always thought of you as one of the ‘work from home’ crowd. Actually I think that term really does take into account everyone who literally doesn’t have a 9-5ish set routine!
      As you can tell from my posts, my mind us a mush of questions. I can often put them at bay by prioritising – ‘what is the point in stressing about x when y needs to be done, focus on that’. Taking it day by day rather than looking at the big wide picture of life helps me incredibly too!
      I will definitely write more about this, maybe even do a podcast on it. A ‘day in the life’ both physically and mentally, what a great idea! I may not have the answers but I know for myself sometimes just knowing there are others out there like you helps and makes everything a little easier and lighter.

  2. Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets says:

    It definitely can be tough to motivate myself on days when Ave is with the grandparents or in the evenings when she’s sleeping. Half the time I find myself sitting idly on the couch, binge watching something or reading a book, and to be honest I don’t hate it, although I do need to throw some productivity in there, especially when it comes to blogging.

    Here’s to getting back into our new/old routines.
    Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets recently posted…How To Survive The Eighteen Month Sleep RegressionMy Profile

    • Jen says:

      It must be tough both with and without Ave. Do you thrive from routine? Do you have one with Ave or has that gone out the window for now?!
      My issue is trying to not feel guilty about taking a rest or a break – should I nap or do something more ‘productive’? Maybe one day we will find a balance! 😀

      • Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets says:

        I like a good routine and science shows it’s really good for little ones too. We have a schedule but I also know depending on any given day, it may change. Ave’s taught e to be more spontaneous with that, and being a stay at home mom helps too. Our days can be pretty fluid. I’ve also learned to give myself lots of grace. If I take a nap instead of working out, then I must have needed it.
        Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets recently posted…Week in Review: Bathing Suits, Balls and Blogging (#115)My Profile

        • Jen says:

          I have definitely read a lot about the benefits of a routine for a child, but also having the fluidity to change if needed, that’s the sweet spot. I’m really glad Ave has helped you with that. It’s amazing, you always think that being a parent would be all about passing on what you know to another… you never think that often it may end up being the other way around!
          Grace is a beautiful word that I need more of. I took a nap today. Grace helped me to quickly see it was needed with no guilt. She’s a rockstar.

  3. Juli says:

    This basically sums up my struggle of the last week. For the first time in my life, I am at home but have complete freedom of how to spend my time. Of course, I have things I need to do but there is still a lot of time left to do fun things. And I am completely overwhelmed. So far my days are either ticking off things off my to-do list like a maniac or procrastinating and being unsatisfied with how the day went in the evening. I begin to understand that my time belongs to me no matter if I work an office job or not. And therefore I begin to claim it. I know this feeling of being suffocated by a routine. I don’t really want one. I feel like I need to find a good balance instead. It’s a learning curve!
    Juli recently posted…So this was 2017!My Profile

    • Jen says:

      I feel like sometimes I even create a to do list that doesn’t even really need to be done, just so I feel I am doing something! So my routine helps me to feel like I am always ‘doing something’. But now I am tired.
      You are so right about our time belonging to us though, and that we should claim it and own it! And balance over routine… now that is the way to go my friend. We still need to find that balance but it is so much more forgiving and kinder to ourselves than the rigidity of routine!

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