Small Space. Big Life.

Fifteen minutes for the future

I’ve recently started back to work part-time.

I’m working for my former employer, inspecting swimming pools for code compliance. I’m spending about 15 hours a week on it, and it’s pleasant, low-key work. Outside. In the sunshine. Chatting with folks who are calm because, hey, they’re in swimming pools at 10 in the morning on a sunny day. I’m out working when the kids are in school, and I set my own hours. Plus, it’s a temporary position that ends in a couple of months, so it’s a nice way to see how working part-time would work for us if I decided to seek something more permanent.

It’s about as idyllic as a part-time job can get. I mean, really. Swimming pools. How sweet is that?

Still, I’m finding that it’s thrown a monkey wrench into our household machinery. Sure, that machinery wasn’t a fine-tuned high-performance machine, but it got the laundry done. We haven’t quite devolved into emergency-laundry mode, but it’s a lot closer on the horizon than it used to be. And making progress on longer-term plans? Forgetabboudit.

I’m not willing to completely forgo our longer-term household plans, though. I still want to dejunk the kids’ room and our room and get the bathroom remodeled (and this part-time job may just pay for that remodel). But I need a way to do it on less time (or less time at a time, since my former big blocks of free time are now called “work”).

So the idea I’m kicking around in my mind is to designate the 15 minutes before I go to bed each night as my “15 minutes for the future.” In this time, I work on my longer-standing projects for just 15 minutes. Since most of my long-term projects are organizational or planning-related in nature, I don’t need to have a lot of brainpower to get it done, so the late-evening routine will be just fine. It will also be nice to have accomplished something, however small, right before bedtime. Not everything will fit neatly into this time slot, but enough will to make some headway.

It’ll be my experiment, and I’ll post on how it goes.

In the meantime, back to the grind. Hats off to those of you who do it full-time. I’m definitely not ready for that yet.


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