Good Changes May Not Be Easy

Good Changes May Not Be Easy
Image provided by
Olivier Ortelpa @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/copivolta/

It started this last Thursday.

My husband’s job hours and the group homes he works at were switched around. He’s a Direct Personal Assistant (DPA), which is a politically correct term for “Caregiver” these days. He had been working on the second shift in a group home where the residences were severely challenged (disabled). Now he works in a group home where the residents can do a number of things for themselves and his hours are from 8am to 8pm.

I was a little apprehensive about how he’d react to these changes, but the life in his eyes and the uplift in his voice when he came home that first night told me that this move was a good one.

The changes this new schedule brought home has been good for the most part. I don’t feel what I do, as far as housework goes, is going to be undone within the four hours we’re home together and awake. The living room is going to stay relatively clean for a while. The dishes I wash won’t be replace immediately by dirty ones. Yes, as wonderful as my husband is, he is also a slob most of the time. With these twelve-hour shifts for three days in a row, his one flaw is easier to tolerate.

There is one aspect to this new schedule that has left me completely perplexed. My ability to sit myself down and start writing has diminished somehow. The sitting down part is still there, although I find I have to force it more often. Trying to write has become almost impossible. I find myself looking at a blank page wondering how I should start out, or wondering if I have anything to start out with. Other times, I know what I want to writing… but after the first sentence is down, everything I had been thinking about vanishes. The sensation is one of utterly loss.

Why should having more quiet time to write have such a negative effect? I was expecting the opposite to happen.

As I mull over this dilemma, I try to figure out what the real problem is. Am I disturbed by the longer absence of my husband? Do I work better under some sort of pressure? Or could it be that I’m just taking some time to get use to all of this?

I doubt that I’m uncomfortable with his longer hours at work. He’s worked twelve-hour shifts before and they never bothered me. I’m one of those people who rather prefers solitude. There are times when I’ll retreat to the bedroom to get that time by myself. The longer hours give me more room to be alone.

There is a possibility I do work better under pressure. However, I really don’t think it’s the type of pressure that comes from outside myself. I’m a person who will show up a little early to avoid the stress of having to hurry for someone else. I guess I would rather create my own parameters of pressure. This could mean I need to set up a more rigid schedule for the time when I write.

There is also the possibility that I need some time to adjust to my spouse’s new schedule. Although he has done it before, it’s been years since it’s been commonplace in our lives. And let’s face it, I’m older and more set in my ways now.

I’d hate to think of what disasters would have happened if the hours of my solitude were shorted. I’d probably end up getting the lock for the bedroom door.

 

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3 Replies to “Good Changes May Not Be Easy”

  1. You know, I took a couple of weeks off this summer and I expected to get all kinds of writing done. You know how much I got done? None, absolutely zip. It was as if by opening up the schedule, I closed down the creative. I’m sure if the time had been more extended then I would have gotten my rhythm back, but it doesn’t surprise me that you need to adjust to the change. We are funny creatures of habit. 🙂

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    1. Hi Debra

      Sorry to hear that you’re having problems with your motivation too. It could be as you said, that we’re creators of habit – summertime means having fun in the sun, while in the fall we’re more likely to thinks that it’s time to get back to work. It makes a good excuse anyway. 😉

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