My little boy, let’s call him ‘M’, is approaching 18 months and is a massive bundle of energy. He quite literally doesn’t stop moving: walking, running, climbing, crawling, bouncing, jumping, shaking, wriggling, twisting, spinning, falling, sliding. Whatever. Until he’s ready to fall asleep. And when he’s ready, fortunately, he goes down quickly.
Inquieto is the Spanish word that describes him. Restless. But I think inquieto just sounds better, to me anyway. It seems more like ‘unquiet’ – an inability to keep still even if he wanted. Not in a bad way, because he explores. He’s massively inquisitive. He tries to do new things, he watches, he copies. He wants to see, touch, feel, lick, bite, taste, hit or squeeze anything and everything!
Anyway, watching M and listening to what people say about him has got me thinking. And related to what I do, or try to do in my professional life, I feel an affinity with M’s need to do stuff; to experiment and to explore.
I can’t keep still either, but in the sense of work, or business. And thinking back, I’ve always been like this. There are positives and negatives about this. Benefits of staying in one place for a while and also of moving around and trying new things. However, I get the feeling that this restlessness in the modern, digital age – looking to the future of employment and the workplace – is probably more of a benefit than a drawback. Staying in one place for a decade or more is all very well, but then if that is suddenly taken away, what would you do? Maybe I’m just trying to convince myself that what I am doing is right, or better, but I do think I have a point.
While teaching, I never stayed in one place more than two years. As a well-qualified English language teacher, the world’s your oyster, so why would you? Assuming you’re free of responsibilities that might tie you down. If anything, I regret not going further afield and spending too much time in Europe. The only time I did leave, Kazakhstan was a pretty good adventure! Not many people can say they’ve lived and worked in a ‘stan. Working for Cambridge University Press, from January 2012 to October 2015 was the longest I have ever spent in any job. Maybe I’ve always been destined to be a freelancer.
Now that I am a freelancer, I am faced with many choices: what work to accept, or turn down; where to focus my skills, in terms of the type of work I want to do. What’s my niche? What professional development opportunities should I explore, and what can I afford to pay for? Never mind trying to filter out all the great things to read, listen to or watch online and then find time to appreciate and learn from them all.
All these choices can be quite overwhelming though. There are so many possibilities, so many more choices than even a decade ago. The internet has released these possibilities and for a restless person who’s always looking for a new challenge of some sort, this can be extremely distracting. So part of my need to blog, is to not only write about this, to have an opportunity to think things through, but to actually have the blog as another challenge. I want to see if I can keep it up and I want to get better at writing.
I like writing and it’s something that I can almost always get into, without really having to push myself. I can reach a state of flow fairly easily. It’s something I’d like to do more of, so I’m working on arranging my time to be able to do it. I’ve planned out an ‘ideal’ weekly schedule, hour by hour, for each day. I say ideal, because I know this isn’t always going to be possible and I don’t want to get frustrated if it doesn’t work out. I have other people to think about, after all. I have set aside two hours of my schedule to write. Not much, perhaps, but hopefully enough to fulfil my restless need!
If you have a blog, how do you manage to keep it going amongst all your other responsibilities? It would be good to hear your strategies! There are actually some good tips here in this podcast episode from Evernote.
Thanks for reading!
Featured image from by lumpi on Pixabay