Creature of habit

Estée Janssens

As we grow older and (somewhat) wiser, we soon realize that one of our most precious commodities is time.

I have always had trouble with achieving life balance. I work full-time, am a single mother and always have a list of my personal projects on the go. I habitually overextend myself and want to be the perfect mother, the ideal employee and the present friend. In order to achieve some semblance of this (despite not always being perfect, ideal or present), I have turned to time management and routine as the means of accomplishing more and achieving a better balance.

I began doing this a little over two years ago as my daughter had become a young adult and I realized that I had a lot more free time and did absolutely nothing constructive with it. I agreeably joined others’ plans, gave my all at work during the week and lived according to the rhythm of my daughter’s routine.

I felt like I didn’t have an agency of my own within my own life. I didn’t really make any decisions about my time. I drifted and got things done without really thinking about it. I watched an interesting Youtube video where an author I admire was speaking and discussing designing one’s life. It really made me think about my own aspirations, what I enjoyed and what was a chore.

On Sundays, I began to list what I wanted my weeks to look like. I included self-care (such as time to simply read). As time went on, I bought a planner and began to really block out time to accomplish what I want to do. Over a few months, I realized that I was at the best moment in my life to begin writing again which up to that point, I had decided I would do when I would retire.

I still struggle with maintaining my writing routine as life happens. Unpredictable things come up and we all have moments where we need to simply take care of ourselves and rest however, planning my time is still my go to when I feel like I have suddenly started standing still and am no longer accomplishing what I wish to accomplish.

It’s back to the drawing board over and over. I switch my routine all of the time but I stay focused and I stay on track, chipping away at what I wish to accomplish little by little.

Camp Nanowrimo 2021 – “O”

I have been working on a trilogy for a little more than two years now.

Due to mistakes I have made while writing this trilogy, the last instalment has been a bit of a frustrating journey. It is alright though as I will definitely not make the same mistakes twice. I will undoubtedly make many new ones.

For this reason when the time for Camp Nanowrimo rolled around, I decided to enjoy the newfound freedom of Summer with a capital S and the release of COVID restrictions. After two years of being inside, I just wanted to enjoy myself.

I decided to start a new story (temporarily called “O”) which I will post on Wattpad (for the first time ever) on August 1st.

This new story has taken the form of a twisted fairy tale, loosely plotted to allow the bizarre last two years of my (our) life to take on a life of its own.

It is exactly the breath of fresh air I needed. Written in a neighbourhood cafe illuminated by colourful lanterns on Parc Avenue surrounded by all the drama of inner city downtown life & also written all tucked up in bed, with the patio door open to let in the night’s cool breeze, “O” is the perfect summer project.