I received the following email from a reader. It addresses a pressing issue for many people: time management, especially for women employed outside the home.
(Please see the UPDATE at the end of her email.)
I'm a fairly new reader to your Rural Revolution blog. I have a problem (LOL, don't we all?). My DH and I live in a moderate home. He receives Social Security disability, and I am still working (although I've reached the Great Age of 62 now)... I do work full time and it's not by choice, really.
Having said that, we are trying to prepare for what's possibly ahead, do more for ourselves, etc. We have a small garden and get a pretty nice amount of veggies and herbs, considering the size of the garden. I do cook from scratch, I sew, etc.
I WANT to make our bread every week (or twice weekly). I WANT to invest more time in the garden, try to stretch the seasons a bit (and yes, that will take a bit of money too). I NEED to sew more, I need clothing, the furniture needs some covers, etc (and yes I have material already). I NEED to be more proactive about putting up our garden goodies.
But where does the time come from? As it is, I don't have time to shop garage sales, and really don't have spare money either. I don't watch TV for hours a day. We have "fun" activities like DH's tai chi class, a spiritual group that meets once or twice a week. My sewing is sometimes "fun" and sometimes "necessary". We don't have children, it's just us two. I work 3 to 11, and need to "decompress" (quietly) after work before heading to bed.
I WANT and NEED to do the things above, but where do I find time???????
I sure could use some help here. Thanks for any ideas.
UPDATE: This reader added the following in a later email: The only thing that I might want to note is about my husband (and I didn't think to put it in the first email). Yes, he's disabled, BUT we have a great arrangement. He does all the housekeeping except cooking, dishes, and laundry, and he is the primary garden person (tilling, mulching, weeding, some planting and most of the harvesting) and lawn care person. He even cleans toilets! (He can hardly cook and despises dishwashing.) I didn't intend to give the impression that he wasn't doing a great deal of work here. He does....a LOT.....for which I am very grateful!
A lot of the reason I have the "time" to do the things I do is because I don't work outside the home. Therein is part of your time issue. Don't get me wrong, I'm not questioning your need to work; I'm just saying it will by default limit what you can do otherwise. We work long hours on our woodcraft business, but those hours are flexible -- which allows me the time to do other things such as gardening, dairy production, writing, etc.
I asked permission to post this reader's email on the blog and open up the topic for discussion, figuring many heads are better than one. Since I no longer work outside the home, my advice would be limited. But others may have more experience in juggling multiple obligations and interests. So...give her your best shot!