Sarah O'Connor

Writer – Playwright – Cannot Save You From The Robot Apocalypse

I’m finding a common struggle among my friends and I recently: we don’t have time for fun, or it seems like we don’t. Most of us are finding jobs with more hours now (if we’re lucky full-time) and find it harder and harder to hang out together or even talk to one another. It seems like all any of us do is work. It’s how we start our conversations, all we’re doing, and the most interesting (and most dull) part of our days. It isn’t necessarily a surprising thing to happen, we grow up, we get jobs, and jobs take up a lot of time. But still, I hate when people ask what I’ve been doing and I realize the only answer I have is work.

I had a big problem with this when I got my full-time job. When I was originally hired at my current job it was seasonally, so not long after I applied and was hired on at another place part-time permanently. I worked both jobs knowing that when my seasonal job ended I would still have another job to fall back on. But some months after my seasonal job ended I was called by the owner and asked if I wanted to come back to work full-time permanently since the other person who had trained me was leaving. I accepted, and spoke with my other part-time job to work things out.

I kept both jobs, am currently still working both jobs though it isn’t really necessary. I’ve always been a worrier, one of the big things money even though right not I’m lucky it isn’t something I have to worry about, but having two jobs is definitely helping keeping that fear at bay (or maybe in some ways it’s making things worse, another thought for another time.).

Sometimes it’s hard. At my full-time job I work an eight hour day five days a week, a typical full-time job, and at my part-time job I only work about two to three shifts a week for about three to four hours. That may not seem like much, but sometimes I work double days meaning I’ll have only an hour between jobs to change my clothes, eat, and sit before I’m out the door again and working.

When I was adjusting to my new schedule it all seemed pretty hopeless. I remember being so unbelievably tired and not having time to read, write, or see my friends. It seemed like all I did each and every day was work, and a part of me accepted it as just being an adult. Adulthood meant work, and that meant less time for enjoyment. Depressing, and what I’m learning now is ultimately false, if you choose it to be false.

I had to force myself to do the things I liked to do again, and that was hard in itself. I was so tired and didn’t feel like reading or writing, but I made a point to do it. Even if it took me a month to finish one book, even if I only wrote a hundred words a day, I had to start doing the things I liked or else I would be stuck in this dark dreary hole I was unknowingly digging myself into.

That’s not to say I don’t fall back into it sometimes. Life gets busy, and it’s very easy to get stuck in a rut, to push the fun away, to just stay home and alone and rest. And I don’t always know how long I stay in this weird sad hibernation for, all I know is that I shake myself awake after a few days (sometimes weeks) and realize there’s so much I haven’t done.

Hence, the habit tracker.

I’ve wanted to get into bullet journaling for a long time but have been very intimidated by some of the artistic and complicated spread some people use for them. Though many of them look beautiful, I’d accepted that I didn’t have the time to make something so beautiful, and resigned myself into looking at bullet journals online for fun.

That is until one of my favourite authors V.E. Schwab talked on an Instagram story about a spread she uses called a habit tracker where you can write down certain things you want to be aware of that you do or don’t do in your everyday life and keep track of them per month. She obviously did it more to keep track of how much she was writing every day but also showed some personal goals she was working on for the month.

I decided to give it a try and with the help of one of my friends picked up a journal and set it up. I haven’t had it for long (two days) but I have everything written down that I hope to keep track of for the rest of November.

I don’t know exactly what I hope to achieve with my habit tracker, though the main thing is that I actually use it! I just know I want to keep track of what I’m doing, if I’m being healthy, if I’m happy. It’s so easy to get consumed in work and to forget the fun, and I don’t want to forget it.

(Picture of bullet journal is my own.)


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