Dropping a project

Last night I sent an email pulling out of writing and/or assisting with the schools programme for our Blackball Museum of Working Class History. It is a great project and worth contributing to.

There are a few other great projects worth contributing to in my life. In deliberate random order of importance, I present to you the project of going to work. My work is about as elastic as my parenting job - never completely done and always more things I could be doing. Like all other health and education sectors on the West Coast, we struggle to get a full complement of specialist staff. In practice, this means I am often asked to take on more work. I said yes to part of a request a while ago and have felt the extra pressure (and the extra satisfaction - it was a task well worth doing) ever since. I have said no countless times to work related requests lately.

I present to you the project of running this house. The lovely C has stopped cleaning for us and devoted her time to her God's work of running a local food bank and charity shop. I got better from my lurgy and started doing housework every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday afternoon while Brighid was at kindy. Then work started to use up that time and more often than not I wouldn't get home until after school pickup. The house still seems a bit cleaner though, so I must be managing some multi-tasking magic in some other little pockets of time.

I present to you the project of raising my son and daughter. This seems to be going okay, judging from the fact that they are breathing and happy. Their father, the much admired-by-me Favourite Handyman, isn't getting to do much handymanning because he is dedicated to his job and doing lots of extra work for it. Overtime for Daddy means overtime for Mummy. Or that's how it feels to me.

This parenting lark also involves helping with their community involvements. So I did sit on the kindy raffle table recently (despite my chagrin at Kidsfirst Kindergarten head office management) and yesterday, for the first time ever, I got to go on a school trip with Fionn. I was only there for the afternoon as I was working in the morning but they had such fun out at Shantytown with their Commonwealth Games programme and I adored seeing how enthusiastic and unfetteredly happy the 23 children were. The three lovely children I took back to school didn't mind the mess in the car. Phew.

I have declined to put my name down for cleaning at the end of term for kindy as I am cross that it is a community kindy when it suits Kidsfirst Kindergarten (who could be paying for end of term cleanup instead of sending out endless full colour glossy brochures), and not when it comes to consultation on major changes affecting ALL parents and children.

I present to you the project of providing food for my family. I shop for it or grow it. I cook almost all of it, with the wonderful exception of weekend mornings and Saturday nights when Favourite Handyman does it. It is going along alright. No one has been refused food at a mealtime so far. Well, actually they have indeed been refused particular items of food, but my point is that there is always something provided for them to eat.

I present to you the project of the garden. My beloved garden has been a casualty of my increased hours at work this year. Today is sunny and my day of not working and there being no kindy, so I am hopeful of putting some more plants and/or seeds in the ground and burying some bokashi and and and. This will feed in, in turn, to the project of feeding my family.

I present to you the project of good health. It has been a most engaging project this year, with leaps and bounds amongst the challenges. The time I have invested in learning about vitamin C, omega 3 and bone broths stand out amongst my reading for their usefulness. The time I have invested in my family's food in order to strengthen our immune systems is a useful survival strategy in a town where waiting times to see a doctor extend to 2-3 months. I have been part of discussions about how we can improve medical provision in our area, but I'm not confident to wait for change given the scale of the challenges. Peak oil websites pose scenarios about reduced infrastructure which in terms of medicine, I think we are seeing right here without the specific influence of peak oil.

So when you are in a conversation about the lack of community effort in your town, the way it is so hard to get people to join committees and the wondering why this is, you have a name/face for the malaise. People who simply don't make enough effort, who are too busy raising families and working and cannot find the time to contribute further, like SANDRA.


Johanna said…
'Tis far better I'm sure to bow out from a committee or other community project, than keep saying yes and then making a hash of it, which I have been guilty of recently.
Anonymous said…
Sandra Just last week I had someone asking to spend more time with me than I am able to carve out for her.
Your post illuminated the obvious - while I may not be going out to work each day, I am educating eight bods as well as parenting them (and although it may all be mostly at home, it still amounts to two jobs) doing that other stuff you mention with regards to cooking, healthing, gardening, knitting.....and sometimes other stuff does not fit, even worthy community stuff.
Katherine Josh said…
i've been drinking bird nest soup every night (i only get the homemade kind back at home). the only reason why i drink it is because it's supposed to be good for complexion.

i’ve been taking the store-bought kind online (e.g. www.geocities.jp/hongkong_bird_nest/index_e.htm of famous branded only of course) which is directly mailed from Hong Kong. this would be at a more affordable price.

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