The Art of Getting By

It had been my intention since things first began falling into place, to find a flat, work to fund the flat, save the left overs for some worldly travelling, and continue my blogging, magazine contributing, art making, socializing and daily-life-activity running at the weekends.

I consider myself to be both organized and able to multi-task, but cramming so much activity into one week is proving very close to impossible.

The weekdays:
I love my job. I hate my job. I wake up thinking about my job. I go to sleep thinking about tomorrow’s tasks that are always related to my job. I think about money, accounts, wages, bills and tax. I think some more about my job.

The Weekends:

Ideally –
I explore the City. I catch up with my flat mate. I visit the Custard Factory and the Ikon. I meet up with friends. I process what I’m seeing, feeling, experiencing; I have time to think about it, before it becomes something expressive. I clean the flat. I get my groceries. I go for cocktails before a night out. I write my articles, and submit them before their deadlines. I update my blog. I cook. I meet new people. I paint. I relax.

Actually –
I go to the bank. I get my groceries. I check my accounts. I choose between lunch, the cinema, cocktails or a night out. I phone my providers. I am put on hold. I do laundry. I hoover. I transfer my wages. I watch some telly. I make pack lunches. I read. I exercise. I get ready for the next week at work.

Somewhere, something is not quite working.

I have just moved in (and the flat is looking gorgeous, largely thanks to mother)…


… which means that bills, direct debits, accounts and other dull details are in the process of being sorted. I suppose when all of that is out of the way, my life will be a little simpler, and my weekends will be free.

Talking to the guys at work, it seems that time, and the lack of it, is a common theme amongst those of us with individual projects. As a group of creative minds, it’s interesting hearing about what everyone is into. The graphic designer makes art and sells it at underground events. The photographer is writing and producing a film, at the same time as building a website. The fashion reps are both designing, tacking and sewing clothes; selling them on an online outlet. Work is demanding for all of us, and it requires committed attention that eats up hours. The weekend is free yes, and it can be used to source inspiration and pick up new ideas, but it also needs all the attention that weekday evenings would usually receive, were they not consumed by work-related planning/thinking/commuting/doing.

Another problem is continuity – or lack of it. If I go to the Ikon and see a great exhibition, it won’t be until the next weekend that I can more profoundly engage with what I experienced there. If I have a deadline for an article (they are all creeping up on me now that I’ve fallen behind), it will be another 5 days before I get to write something for my blog, by which time another deadline will have reared its pushy head. Bit of a looped (and doomed) routine?

Life in the City is obviously a balancing act that I have not yet figured out.

So, apologies to my friends who have been trying to contact me, to my family for constant queries about bills and maintenance, to my flat mate for the urgent money-related demands, to the editors of the magazines who continue to extend my deadlines; to my blog readers, who have had nothing to read since I began my new job, yet have opted against the dreaded ‘unfollow this blog’ option.

Clearly, I need to figure out a balance, and it’s this that will enable future investigations and discoveries.

I’m going to call it The Art of Getting By.


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