Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Delegation and relaxing

I wrote this in response to Mary Anne's journal entry.
My life is filled with lots of things to do and unfortunately many of them are unpleasant and draining. I can't say I'm always sanguine, but I am coping better than I feared.

Here's what helps me:

  1. Delegate, delegate, delegate. As my friend Jenny says, "these are your rainiest days, so spend money if you need to." I ask myself "Would I enjoy my life more if someone else did this job at least part of the time? I ask this one first, because it's harder for me to admit that other people can do the job as well as I can.


    Cleaning and child care are tops of my list here. With both I struggled, because as a stay-at-home mother, I felt like I should be doing both these things all the time. However both can take infinite amounts of time, because they never end. I still have to train someone. And I still do the bulk of both. Someone just helps me.

    Some folks ask "How can you have servants?" Well the fact of life is if you live in the first world, you have servants, but most of them are invisible to you. There are people paid far less than most people on the Internet w/jobs who make our electronics, clothes and toys, pick crops, wash dishes, etc. Almost all are paid far less than I pay my nanny/cleaner and have worse working conditions. I almost never have the opportunity to say thank you or try to help them in any tangible way. I'm sure my nanny would rather have a nice office job, but due to reasons I won't get into here, this is actually one of the best jobs she has open to her. Not that I pat myself on the back for being better than any other mother. I think most mothers are at least sometimes grateful; Nanny Diaries, not withstanding. What I mean is most working class jobs suck. At least I pay her what I say I will. If she's sick, I try to give her extra hours to make up for it. I'm courteous most of the time and at least never outright rude. And my kids are cute.

    Some folks say "I don't have the money for that luxury." Some of you genuinely don't. But some of you have Internet access for recreational purposes, eat out, buy clothes, electronics, computers, new cars, and/or other luxuries. These things involve money and servants just as much as hiring a nanny or cleaner does. Personally I'd rather have a cleaner every other week than eat out with the family. But my point is that most of you do have discretionary income and make your own choices on how to spend it.



  2. Time relaxing is not wasted time. Your body and mind need time to rest. If you don't rest, you actually end up doing less, because your battery winds down. You need to recharge your mind and spirit. What recharges you is different for everyone. I used to think it was sitting around meditating or being still. Maybe I'm not evolved enough to do this, but I find it makes me more restless. Letting my mind wander too much right now is a bad thing. I start worrying a lot. But reading a book, talking to C, watching tv and reading and writing certain kinds of email, and taking leisurely walks with Special K and Little T all recharge me.


And now I have to go back to the hospital, but I'm glad I got a chance to recharge a little.

1 comment:

Plantgirl said...

Time relaxing is not wasted time. Your body and mind need time to rest. If you don't rest, you actually end up doing less, because your battery winds down. You need to recharge your mind and spirit.

I know this, but I have such a hard time acting on it. Thanks for the reminder.