So, I switched off twitterfox and immediately started to feel better/free, then I read a quick Q&A with Helmut Lang in The Sunday Times Style magazine. The following comments resonated:
- I never settled on minimalism – that was attributed to me. I’m completely against categorisation. It doesn’t allow anyone to see or feel what they might be able to experience. It takes away the emotions.
- I don’t separate work and life, which is a blessing. I don’t have to divide my time into something I like more and something I like less.
- I need time to be alone. For me, a waste of time is the most productive time.
It has been said to me on many an occasion, ‘I am very good at compartmentalising‘ and I tend to reply: ‘Yeah, me too, I’m great at that’. LIE… I am rubbish at that. Everything I experience has an effect on everything else. I am hedonistic in that way. I like to indulge in experience, that sounds potentially rude/disastrous, but I don’t mean it like that. I mean that I love meeting interesting people, talking to them and indulging myself in discovering new things through them – be that worky stuff or social.
It does mean that I can be a complete bore at dinner parties (talking about work) and sometimes at work I go off on a complete tangent – because it interests me and the person I am talking to has an enthusiasm that piques something in me.
I have often felt guilty about this, seen it as a lack of discipline that I respect in others. It has not helped in my attempt to define my online ‘brand’, how I present a professional front whilst retaining the Emma bit that people invest in. But I take comfort from Helmut’s observation that by categorising everything, you take away the emotion – emotion can be good, well lack of it is very definitely bad. So, I am going to stop feeling so guilty and see what happens.
Separating work and life
This is a forever problem for me. I love my work, really love my work. I also happen to love my life – most of the time! I struggle to find the dividing line between the two. I do run my own business and my business is me – as in, I have my own consulting business (but that sounds a bit too wanky).
I happened upon my line of work by doing what I loved, explaining stuff to people in a way that they would ‘get it’ and would feel good about ‘getting it’, not stupid, but informed.
I don’t do this at home, but what I do do at home is what comes naturally to me, being a Mother of two girls aged 11 and 6. This I love, as much as I love my day job. (I know, lucky me).
So, I don’t want to stop one to be the the other and how can I? I can’t stop being Mum and it seems unnatural to me to stop being ‘work me’ when I am home being Mum.
This leads to the scary blurring of lines as explained in my latest post about twitter. And this I need to work on.
Being alone and wasting time
I have always valued being alone. As long as I can remember I have been the ‘geek girl’ the one who sits absorbed in books, ‘living in my own world’ or just alone. I love that time in my own head. Recently I have found my way back to it through running. Living life as a working Mother brings little solitude, at least little solitude without guilt! The perambulatory needs of my dog has created a wonderful opportunity for me to get at least half an hour a day to myself.
Wasting time: now this I do online. It does often seem as if I am wasting time when on here; but I never am. I am either learning or communicating – often both. And this is also important! Again there is the guilt thing. If I am on my computer, I am not doing something else that needs doing, therefore is it a waste of time?
I don’t know, I really don’t and as I write this I begin to feel the edges of guilt creeping in.
So, twitter et al
In this post I have been brutally honest. And I feel as if I am wasting your reading time because I do not yet know the answer to balancing work and life. But I do know that there are no defining lines and I am trying to find my own balance.
I do know that my use of twitter has had a detrimental effect on my own life: for example I started to text my friends and acquaintances as if they were on twitter. Passing on titbits of information that I found fascinating about my life and wanted to share – twitter stylee – regardless of their wish or need to know this information. Wrong! Sorry gang, you know who you are, and actually most of you don’t read my blog. 🙂
Somehow a line needs to be drawn, I think it is a very wobbly line, that frees up my ability to keep learning and sharing, but protects my friends from my tendency to over-communicate the stuff I am not sharing at work.
You see, it is not my professional life that I need to protect – that is enhanced by my overt nature and mind that loves to learn and thrives on other people. It is my personal life and my friends who suffer. I need to work on this.