Somehow it seems I have even less free time. Between washing up after tea, settling the toddler at bedtime and making the baby’s bottles, we usually don’t get free until after 9pm. I have to get up at 5.20am the next day for work, so I can’t stay up too late either. But the biggest problem we have right now is that Gabe, our youngest, is a terrible sleeper. Not only that, he’s got teeth on the way and he’s currently ill with a virus. Even if he settles down quickly for bedtime at 7pm (not guaranteed) he often wakes up again at half past ten. He usually then just has a bit of milk and quickly goes back to sleep, and Sarah does the feeding. But it’s enough of an interruption that I just go to bed at that point too. It’s not uncommon for us both to get less than an hour of uninterrupted free time per day.
It’s not even much better at weekends. The kids take just as much time and effort through the day, and on top of that there’s a to-do list of jobs around the house that never seems to get any shorter. I bought a petrol strimmer for the garden and it’s already taken two weeks to even put it together and get it to start. Maybe this weekend it’ll actually cut its first blade of grass.
But things will improve. Gabe has to sleep eventually. And with every job we complete, things get that little bit more comfortable around the house. Plus, I’m soon going to be able to work from home for two days a week, which will recover six hours I’d otherwise spend on motorways.
With these things in mind, I need a Step for September. Something that can be done in short bursts. Something that won’t annoy me much when I get interrupted. In fact, something that won’t annoy me if I barely achieve anything. So I’m going to listen to music. REALLY? That’s the whole month is it? Listening to music? OK, I’ll explain.
The long commutes and DIY mean I’ve lost some free time, but our new house means we’ve traded time for space, and that means that for the first time in over five years I’ve had room to get my records and decks out. I’ve already enjoyed a couple of hours listening to almost-forgotten tunes since we moved in, and so has Toby, but I can probably fill countless more re-learning how to mix properly. I have to keep the noise down a bit so as not to wake the boys, but my office is two storeys above them so it’s not too big a problem. I might try to record some mixes once I’ve got the hang of it a bit again, though I’ll have to reorganise some cables for the PC to record, and I hate cables.
Secondly, as part of our ongoing chore of unpacking everything we own, we decided we’d leave all our CDs boxed and stored, but to do that I want to rip them all as mp3s. I’ve already done a lot of them in previous attempts at being organised, but there’s still plenty to go. It’s an onerous task, so I decided I’d just do three or four every time I work in the office and eventually I’ll get through them. Three or four CDs later and the DVD drive in my computer broke. Of course. So I’ve ordered an external Blu-Ray drive to replace it, which will arrive next week, after which I’ll crack on with the ripping. It’s an easy job, something I can do in parallel with other computer work, and nice that I can once again enjoy my collection of awful singles by unsuccessful 90s indie bands.