Balance and priorities.
I've been thinking about them a lot lately.
For one, I am definitely short of time for doing everything I want to be doing - so I prioritise. Over and over and over again. Even now: I have four e-mails from good friends sitting in my inbox, waiting to be answered, but I chose to sit down and write a blog post instead. Sorry friends! It's not a good feeling, but on the other hand if I didn't write a blog I wouldn't feel good either.
The days our carpet goes between vacuums (whilst we have a very hairy dog in the house) - longer than I'd want, but, hey. Dusting - phwt! Doesn't even happen ;). I would like to fix the greenhouse, plant trees, weed the potatoes, sketch up storage plans, sand back windows... do all sorts of stuff around the house but, basically, unfortunately the lack of time makes me prioritise and at the moment, doing schoolwork so I can get trained up as a quantity surveyor takes priority over potato weeds and vacuuming, so... yeah. I sit down and do schoolwork, whether there are weeds in the back yard or not.
I am also working out things regarding our trip to Europe next year and that, unfortunately, is also a very big event of setting up priorities because, you know what?
The thing costs.
Like, a lot.
All up we are talking about $10,000 NZD for our family of four to make a round-trip to England and Estonia next year and though, on international travel scale, $10,000 is actually a pretty good deal considering that, per person, we are talking about approximately $2,500 to get from Invercargill to Europe and back again... still. $10,000 NZD is a lot of money. I think about the things we could do with $10,000 or even the amount of money we could spend on not working to make up for that difference, and it stings a little.
On another hand, the trip has to happen at some point and if we have set ourselves up to do it now, we'll do it. Our families back home are not getting any younger. My grandparents are all gone already, but for The Man who still has several grandparents around this will probably be the last time he'll see them. There are nephews I've never seen. Siblings who've never seen our kids.
It's a case of setting up priorities: deciding what's more important than other things.
And then, of course, it's the fact that New Zealand is heading into its parliamentary elections in a couple weeks' time. (Oh how I wish it was over already. Oh, oh, oh how I wish it was over already...)
It's the first time I am voting in New Zealand's parliamentary elections. Having never done it before I've spent a lot of brainpower thinking, who and why to vote for - kind of, how, when local elections were happening in Christchurch I had to decide, on what basis to select people who were running for local boards then.
Curious sidenote: on those local elections in Christchurch, I have to admit that one of the voting decisions I made was actually racial. Straight-out racial.
I don't remember what board it was exactly, something to do with health? Social services? Something along those lines. Of the approximately ten people that were running, I had to choose - again, sorry, I don't remember exactly, but it was something along the lines of - five people, one of them I chose purely because she was a Maori. Of all the others I read through their application letters, their CVs, googled their names, researched their backgrounds, but with this woman... I just voted her in.
Because as much as it was important to me to care about why the candidates were running for the local board and make an informed decision, I did not want to see a local board made up of singularly (and mostly middle-aged) white people - which it otherwise would've been. And so because there was only one candidate of any other racial profile - other than white - running for that board on that particular election, I voted her in. I wanted to make sure that there was a Maori voice represented. Credentials or not - I wanted someone of that background in, and she was the only one, so I voted her in.
Which is basically to say I made a racist decision, but heck. I can live with that.
And now New Zealand parliamentary elections... man, what a Cirque du Soleil it's been this year. Sorry for such a reference, but really! The people who live here probably know what I'm talking about, and the people who don't and want to know what on earth I am talking about - sorry, but you'll have to do your own googling. Several parties have changed several positions (and leaders!) over a very short time, and from a voter's perspective it feels like quite an election to be part of. Wow.
Up until two weeks ago I thought I knew what I was voting for - Greens. Labour and Greens had a memorandum of understanding, which basically meant that by voting Greens I was voting for both Labour and Greens. (If gathered enough votes, they would form a coalition.)
But now... now... now that this whole Hoopla-lala-land is going on with Labour and Greens and several other parties, I've started to feel like I've needed to change my priorities. Remember the potato plants I referenced to earlier, full of weeds? A greenhouse that needs fixing, but hasn't?
I don't really want to equate New Zealand's political landscape to my backyard, but at the moment, it's kind of the same thing: I can't do everything at once. I need to choose what's more important, and then stick with it.
I'm no longer sure that Greens and Labour will form a coalition. I'm not even sure if they, themselves, know.
But I don't want the current government to stay on.
So I am voting Labour. I want to see them gather enough votes to stand a chance of forming a coalition, Greens or not, and forming a government. Having Labour in is more important than giving Greens a chance to be in.
Which is basically to say that it's a daily hassle of brainpower, patience boundaries and motor performance at the moment, just moving forward, getting things done, choosing one thing over another, putting one foot in front of the other and looking forward to summer when school will end and I will have time to just please myself again and days will be longer, and warmer.
I can't do everything, but I can choose between things available to me, and prioritise.