How do you manage all that time is a question I get asked a lot when my husband is doing long swings at work.
Initially, I was never able to respond because I just did it. I went on to auto pilot, but when I stepped back and thought about it, I did have a method. I wish I could tell you it’s because I had outside support coming out my ears, but I didn’t, a failing on my part. That outside support, no matter where it comes from is vital not just for FIFO but life in general and not having it and not asking for it is how I lost the plot and not managed at all.
How I have come to manage my life since is very simple because the reality is for me while I have that outside support now I still can’t ask for it again, my own failing. I have however come to manage another way its simple, pride effective and for me, life changing.
What is it?
I have come to live every day as it is laid out in front me. Moment to moment, tantrum to tantrum. Breakfast to dinner. I don’t often think anymore beyond tomorrow; it’s why when I travel infuriatingly to my husband I pack the day of departure. My week planning consists only of appointments and hopes nothing is set in stone anymore.
I have not always been this way because I recall writing lists and procedures on getting ready for my work, school and travels when I was much younger. So living for the day was how I came to manage long stints of the husband being at work after my plot loss which in hindsight has come with an incredible side effect. Living this way brings with it thankfullness, appreciation and gratitude. I’m not sure if it’s mindfulness, but it is certainly is living in the moment. It delivers with it a surety and happiness of sorts that even on the darkest of days which I have had many has as seen me through to tomorrow.
Personally, I think, thinking too far in the future creates stress and sometimes we just have to think about now. It’s great to have a goal and plan we need those to stay on track, live and create the life we want but to live too far ahead of ourselves is missing the point of life, of those goals and plans. When you think about how much time is in front of you or lack of it becomes consuming.
When the husband was at work, and it was just me alone with a newborn it became consuming. It dragged time, and the old saying a watched pot never boils was never truer, and so it became to a point stressful. It created a focal point not only of time but that I was ‘alone’ and ‘tired’. Problems became bigger than they were and if I’m honest resentment started, ironically about rest and sleep. It’s all I wanted but never got.
That focus on time is when you lose track of it. You lose track of moments; the crux of what life is. What memories are made from? We are often so busy looking ahead of time to a place we have never been to only to miss what’s passing us by a place we are already at. So if you can just bring yourself back to this day and this minute and live it, survive it and the realities of it (and let’s face some people’s day is a struggle for survival) everything is doable and more. It simplifies it. You see it for what it.
And with the doable brings gratefulness and appreciation that you will never experience looking too far forward.