When I got offered a new job, I thought it’d be a nice idea to take some time off in between to transition. Working a mix of day and late night shifts is tiring and if I took the week off before it, I could re-train my body into getting into the ol’ 9-5.
Of course, this didn’t happen.
Money worries kicked in, and quite a few staff were leaving my work as it was. I would’ve felt bad for skipping off, or ended up spending money before I knew when my next wage would come in. Also, I’d been saving up all my tips and I wasn’t ready to give that up yet. It couldn’t be that taxing to fit in an extra couple of shifts, surely? In between work I figured I’d maybe buy some new work clothes or catch up on my reading or nap. NOPE.
Last week was been exceptionally busy and it’s not even let up now. My brother moved into his new flat, we took a jaunt to IKEA, I went to an induction for said new job, tried to familiarise myself with editing again, started editing, made not one but two trips to the dentist, caught up with family and fit in full time hours in between. Yeah, it was hard going- especially the IKEA part. Since most of my time is about to sacrificed to a Monday to Friday routine, I wanted to take as much advantage of having daytime hours as I could.
I don’t even mind being busy either. For better or worse, if it’s a task I enjoy, I never feel like I’m taking on too much. Like I’ve said before, I only have a finite amount of time before I can’t go anywhere without enough gear to warrant taking out content insurance on a pram. It’s nice to dart about and just get stuff done. I spent three days last week in and out of the library, as well as editing at home (usually I spend four hours a day there, one day a week). As much as I’ve loved working front of house, a few new projects have presented themselves. The point of volunteering, to me, is to get involved with things you might not be able to otherwise. Pick what you’re interested in and run with it. When a call went out to help film and edit a video, I put my hand way up.
It’s been especially good for me to rediscover some old hobbies: for one thing, I haven’t edited anything in a couple of years. It was always something I wasn’t all that bad at. I had something of an existential crisis for a while there, and couldn’t think of any particular skills that I had that set me apart. I had some vague capabilities (I can write fairly well, but so can everyone these days, no?). Some people, like Ally, can create amazing drawings.
Some write engaging fiction, or know a lot about a specialist topic. Others are involved in singular causes or are utter wizards of graphic design. For me, getting back into editing has been a lot of frustration, and a steep re-learning curve, but also a lot of fun. It’s meticulous, time-consuming and can often feel futile. When it works though, it’s pretty great. Until you watch what you’ve made over and over until you don’t ever want to see it again.
Same goes with swimming. I started swimming lessons at age four and continued for about ten years. Practising three times a week seemed like such a chore, and I was doing the bare minimum to make any progression, so I stopped. Due to significant bump growth, high impact exercise is a no-go now, and aqua natal has reaffirmed my love of the water. Again, it was one sport I was really good at: I couldn’t run fast and had terrible coordination on a hockey field, but I could swim. When we had to do it for PE, I was one of the few who were good enough to venture into the deep end.
I decided eight years was enough of an absence, and thanks to some sweet maternity swimwear from Mamalicious at ASOS, I felt sufficiently ready to delve into old familiar waters. I’d forgotten how wonderfully therapeutic it is- the feeling of weighing nothing was a relief as I could move as I pleased, with nothing to concentrate on other than cutting a line through the water. I got some pretty good thinking done in my 45 minute splash. I’ve always found exercise to be therapeutic anyway, but swimming just (front) crawled its way to the top of the list.
Revisiting old skills and positive affirmations have been good for me as I venture into unknown territory. I worked in hospitality to support my studies and have kept it up since graduation. I can do it in my sleep. Sometimes I even forget entire shifts. Being on my feet ’til late into the night is proving harder though, as is the strenuous physical activity. In order to maximise my pre-baby working time, I went and got myself a job in customer service- maybe not where I’d thought I’d be this time last year but it pays better, has better hours and involves sitting down. I’m always looking for new challenges: that’s why I did a Master’s degree, it’s why I agree to projects I might not be all that clued up on, it’s why I threw myself back into blogging when I didn’t have much spare time as it was. I said I wanted a new challenge on the job front and I’ve certainly got one. It might not be the challenge I envisioned but then again, I’ve never been one for having a plan.
For now, it’s a gateway role to maternity leave, but it’s still entirely new. I’ve done a little retail customer service but not as my main, five days a week job. There’s a lot of training first, which is good, but it’s still a new frontier for me. Hell, I might even find myself liking it. I’m sure there’ll be days where I feel like something isn’t clicking, or that I’m not picking it up. I get annoyed when I don’t just know stuff. On days like those, it’ll be nice to know that I can forget it all by retreading familiar waters.
…and believe you me: he’s been quiet lately but if li’l bean continues to grow like he’s doing now, I’ll be spending a lot less time on dry land.
TL;DR Highlights and Lowlights
Meeting fellow volunteers who work different days to me and getting involved in new projects.
Seeing my wee brother getting set up in his own flat. Proud eh ye fam *thumbs up*
Realising how much I’d missed swimming and getting back into it.
Stopping to smell* the flowers. I walked past these every day and they always made me smile.
WHERE IS ALL THE TIME WHERE DID IT GO.
The return of the long forgotten swimmers’ ear. If you want to talk to me, you might need to stand on my left.