For some reason I've been thinking a lot lately about one of the major messages from Louisa May Alcott's book Little Women
and its sequels. The message is basically that you need to find a balance in life between work and play, and it's most clearly expressed in Chapter 11 - Experiments
. Here's what I see as the money quote, from the very end of the chapter: "Have regular hours for work and play, make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well. Then youth will be delightful, old age will bring few regrets, and life become a beautiful success"
I feel like I'm not doing a very good job finding that balance. I get my eight hours of paid work in everyday, but it doesn't feel particularly useful. In theory I'm making a difference to people's lives, but that difference is so abstracted from what I do that it's hard to see. I put in another hour or two of work at home making dinner most evenings, and try to do some other random chores around the house then too, but I'm so drained by my unsatifying day job that all I want to do when I get home is collapse. So most days when I'm done with work and chores that's all I do. I plop myself in front of my computer and proceed to not accomplish anything for 3 or 4 hours. I'm not knitting, I'm not writing, I'm not embroidering, I'm not crafting, I'm not even playing Sims. I'm just bouncing from website to website, reading a little then moving on.
One of the few websites that has really been speaking to me is Down To Earth
. Rhonda blogs about homemaking as her vocation, and makes it sound appealing in a lot of ways. There's definitely a significant part of me that would like to go that route. It seems like the days I feel most accomplished are the ones that I spend going back and forth between household projects and personal ones. I go to bed at the end of a day like that and I'm both physically and mentally tired, but feel satisfied, not drained.
I don't know... I said these weren't very articulate thoughts. :)