Monday, 28 December 2015

I'm back ... and planning to stay

I miss writing. The last few months have been tough - nothing awful, a mix of domestic stuff that needed to be dealt with, work / life balance getting out of whack, and work being stressful. Free time has been in short supply; I had to cut down a bit on my music, and writing (and reading) went by the board. It certainly hasn't all been negative. There have been some very positive changes and developments and, all being well, 2016 is when I will start to reap the benefits - including having much more free time. 

The first big change was that our all-grown-up eldest daughter moved out. She is now living in a flat (apartment) in a large town nearby, working hard at her job, and loving her independence. Soon after that M left the small company of which he was a co-founder and director, deciding that it had reached the end of its natural life. He is now semi-retired and doing freelance work part-time from home which, slightly to his surprise, he loves. He is very much happier and more relaxed, and feeling very positive about the future. Middle daughter took her AS exams, got the results she was hoping for, and has been going through the university application process. She has decided to study Italian and linguistics at one of the big northern universities, but under the (highly stressful!) UK system the place she has been offered is dependent on achieving specific grades in the A2 exams she will take in June. She won't know the results until mid-August, leaving very little time to organise a Plan B if she doesn't get what she is aiming for. Meanwhile smallest daughter moved up to middle school in September - our county has an odd system where kids go to middle school from age 9 to 13 - and has settled in very happily. 

While all this was going on I was dealing with extended family practical issues, including what turned into the on / off / on again / off again house sale from hell. Finally - and I still can't quite let myself believe it! - the house is under contract and will be gone in January, which will remove a major source of stress. I will also be reducing my working hours in the New Year. From January I will be working four days a week, then going down to just two days in April. I love what I do but really need to be doing less of it. I am also helping M with certain aspects of his freelance work, and have often ended up working 5 1/2 or 6 days a week, which is definitely not sustainable in the longer term. I have had no margin for too long - barely able to fit everything in, and finding it hard to leave work stresses behind at the end of the day. I am so very much looking forward to having more time and more head space. Writing is among the many things I now hope to have time to do, both here and elsewhere. Watch this space! 


ellie said...

Oh Kathryn what a year! Lovely to see a post and I look forward to reading more as you find time to write. Happy Chrismas and New Year!

Kathryn said...

Thank you Ellie. 2016 should be *much* calmer!

Missus Wookie said...

Oh that was definitely a year.... so glad to hear that dd1 is doing well and loving the independence (not surprised either!), hope dd2 does well with the A2 exams and am delighted to hear dd3 is settled in at middle school. I like that break in the secondary system and wish more counties did it.

Glad you are going to be able to have margin and work with M. Look forward to reading/hearing what else you do in that spare time!

Elizabeth H. said...

So happy to have stumbled across your latest updates. Exciting times!