When I started painting, one common remark I heard was "when do you find time to do this?" It was a good question. Like most people, I'd always complained about not having enough hours in the day. I still complain about it. In fact, if I stopped complaining about it, I'd probably free up a little more time to paint.
Most of my painting gets done between 8:30 and 10:30pm when the kids are in bed and there's nothing of interest on TV. It's not ideal as the lighting is poor and I have Foxtel, so there's almost always something good on TV. I'm also usually pretty tired by then, so often I stand there staring at my paints for a while and then just slowly and quietly make my way to the lounge.
Sometimes I paint twice a week, sometimes I don't touch it for several weeks - and I hate that. My favourite time to paint is during the day with a fresh mind and the natural light filling the room but with that whole job thing in the way, it's easier said than done.
Apart from the obvious time dedicated to my family and on top of painting, I have several other interests that I squish in whenever possible: writing my book (even more sporadic than painting and usually done in smaller chunks of time), writing my blog, managing my Etsy store (which only includes my art that's unaffected by paint fade!), occasional attempts at maintaining fitness (I use the term maintaining loosely) and of course, fuelling the time sucking social media addictions.
Naturally, I can't ignore the "have-tos" of life: the cooking, cleaning, shopping and peg sorting. (If you read my previous blog, you'll know that I'm joking. I gave up peg sorting years ago.)
So I did a little exercise to calculate, on average, how much time I'm allocating to each part of my life over a given week. The result to what is clearly an amateur piece of analysis is that I am using 15 minutes more each week than what actually exists.
Looking around my house, I think I know where the calculations went wrong and I'd say I'd benefit from a little less tellie-watching and a little more Spray & Wiping. But as I've embarked on this new phase in my life (the one where I actually try to incorporate the stuff I like to do, not just the stuff I have to do), I've become somewhat time greedy. Like a kid with a room full of toys - there's never enough.
I want to paint and write and walk and read and the reality is, I have to ration out my time with precision and great care. Quitting work is not an option and it's not likely to become one while there's still nobody prepared to pay an ex-peggie ten million dollars for a small, faded acrylic painting.
So what do we do when there's not enough time? Get over it. Seriously, if my biggest problem in life is that I have too many interests and not enough time to indulge them all, then I really need to take a good hard look in the mirror before I start complaining. It's a pretty good problem to have.
And whilst I'd love to conclude this blog post with something funny or thought provoking, I can't. I'm out of time.
How much can you squeeze into your day?