I have been brought up in a self employed family environment for the majority of my life. My parents work bloody hard but they also play hard too. I never felt ignored by my parents when I was growing up. Homework was always done before dinner and we then had dinner together before watching TV or playing games. There was a strong distinction between work time and play/leisure time. In the social media environment that most of us live in now it can feel like we never quite focus on the present and what is going on around us. 33% of my work is wholly social media based and the rest is also improved with the help of social media. Liam and I are rarely not holding our phones and that’s pretty sad/pathetic for many reasons. I ADORE my phone, I ADORE social media and the capabilities that it has in both a dreams sense and in a tech sense. This being said there is something so special when you aren’t thinking about it. Also, it is so much more fun to log onto social media when you haven’t been on it for a while, there’s so much more to see from those you want to find out more about, rather than scrolling mindlessly through tosh! Anyway, here are the main things that I learnt and I am going to try and continue doing.
WORK / LIFE BALANCE
As I said above my parents have been self employed for most of my life and worked their arses off. What I hadn’t always noticed was that when they work, they work. When they play they are not thinking of (or at least don’t talk about it) work. Liam and I do not stop thinking, discussing, doing work. We have such an un-structured work schedule that we often feel guilty if we don’t work until late. This in turn means that our evenings aren’t too special. I am actively going to try and work harder and get less distracted during the “normal” working hours of the day and not work in the evenings. …let’s see how that goes hehe.
NO PHONES IN THE BEDROOM
I am embarassed to admit it but I am totally guilty of this. Not every night but 90% of them I am having a late night scroll or Pinning session. I don’t even know why? It has definitely become a habit. My mum was flabaghasted that we even had our phones in our bedroom. Last night I decided to set my alarm and then put it aside and read a book and I do think I fell asleep a lot quicker. We do use our phones as an alarm clock so we couldn’t fully get rid of them from the bedroom but I am not going to scroll through my bed now…well, I am going to try and not ever do this or at least limit it.
I used to read so much more when I was younger and it’s no coincidence that I only had a mobile phone that texted and Instagram didn’t even exist! Now I flick through a book, read the titles or a couple of chapters and never actually finish it. I only complete books when I go on holiday and now with free phone contract abroad I barely read then either. Ugh, I am so disappointed in myself haha.
What I really love about being with my family is doing things. Like, going out for breakfast, going for a proper walk, going shopping in town, going to a garden centre, going out to buy the newspaper. Really simple things which make coming home even more special. Liam and I have been saying for ages that we want to do more with our weekends but we literally never stop working. Even when we aren’t working we are procrastinating and talking about the work we need to do. We are actively going to try and do something even small each weekend. In turn it will probably make us more interesting and cultured people. Keep an eye on my Instagram, I am sure I will put it on my stories haha.
One of my most favourite moments this weekend was sitting in the living room with mum, dad and Liam eating delicious croissants, drinking tea/coffee and reading different sections of The Sunday Times newspaper and magazines and chatting about interesting things we had just read. We had Classic FM playing faintly in the kitchen. The civilised calm vibes were strong!! It felt so leisurely and relaxed. I really want to do this more often. I grew up with mum and dad always buying the Sunday newspaper and reading it in bed. The newspaper would be scrawled across the bed in its many pieces, cups of tea on their bedside tables and plates of toast and croissants in hand. I would grab the Style magazine and sit at the foot of the bed reading about what was going up or down on the hot barometer. I adored those moments and really want to do that more with Liam.
THE RIGHT TV TIME
I love TV, I love film. I love everything about it, working in the industry and watching a gallon of it. I don’t feel guilt for watching it because I find it inspiring for my acting career, I feel I am learning as well. That being said, Liam and I definitely watch WAAAAY too much of it. I think that when we say what can we watch and there’s not something that immediately springs to mind then we should turn it off and not bother. There is so much more we could be doing with our time. Mum and dad couldn’t believe it when we said we often spent our weekend mornings watching TV. They only watch TV in the evenings and mum actually said she feels naughty watching TV in the day and feels like she is missing out on something. I am definitely going to think about this and appreciate evening TV time a little more by reducing my day time consumption.
What do you think about these points? Do you already have a good work life balance?