Lately I’ve been struggling with time management.

With the bookstore gearing up for conferences and events this fall, I’m having to figure out if I can cut back hours on my other main part-time job.

My attention is too divided.

It turns out I can’t work three jobs and really be good at any of them. I might be able to be pretty good at two jobs, so it’s a matter of finding freelance writing that will supplement my income enough that I can just focus on my writing and the work I’m doing at the bookstore. Because I do enjoy both of them.

Between working, sleeping enough, cooking myself food, taking care of the house, and spending time with my significant other, it’s hard to get any time for myself. Let alone getting out of the house to make friends.

Maybe I just have to accept the fact that something is always going to suffer, and decide when friends or self-care win out over chores.

But I keep thinking back to when I was in college. I took 20+ credit hours a semester, plus play rehearsals, and still managed to keep a 4-point GPA until Senior year.

I did have a nervous breakdown when I was twenty, but that was more due to personal issues than my workload, per-se. Though I’m sure both contributed.

How did I ever balance seven classes at once plus memorizing lines and participating in student organizations?

In a lot of ways, play rehearsal was self-care for me, plus social time mixed in as a bonus.

So that might account for some of it.

Maybe this is just a part of getting older. Less stamina.

Or maybe I’m finally learning to accept my limitations instead of pushing past them to burn-out.

Semesters were only 15 weeks, so I could count on at least 2 weeks of doing nothing at all over Christmas vacation and during the summer. I’m sure that helps, too.

I know I’m fortunate and some people have to work 50-60 hours a week to get by. I’m trying my best to find a way to work 30-35. But it’s hard.

Until the past year or so, I hadn’t even heard of the idea of a quarter-century crisis. Perhaps it’s the economy, pushing us into a mid-life crisis sooner because there just aren’t good jobs for anyone anymore. But the idea makes sense to me. It feels like I’ve been smack in the middle of one since I left graduate school.

I’m so tired and scattered and lonely.

I’m doing my best, but it’s hard to know what might actually make things better.

This song came to mind today. Perhaps the worst part of higher education is the way it doesn’t prepare you for “the real world,” whatever that means. Professors and parents try to warn you it doesn’t, of course. But it’s hard to see past your current situation and imagine how different your life could be when everything seems full of promise and possibility.

I used to judge my parents for not having more friends, because I didn’t understand – couldn’t understand – how difficult it is to make friends as an adult.

It’s time to re-visit my priorities. Perhaps I need to accept that I’m always going to have too much to do and not enough time to do it in. So I need to always know what is most important to me. Otherwise it will get lost in the shuffle of “shoulds” and I will keep feeling dissatisfied.

I don’t know what the answer might be, but I’m doing my best to find it.

Leave a Reply