It’s a luxury I’ve not had in so long, and it has made life just feel so much better.
But why now, why have I suddenly got so much relaxation opportunity? Why do I feel that I don’t need to work Saturday and Sunday mornings and am able to go swimming instead?
This isn’t because I don’t have things to do. I’ve got some lovely homework waiting for my approval, I’ve got to sort out banking details and forms to fill in governmental wise (being an immigrant is generally a pretty uncool thing in this regard), I’ve also got to tidy the place from having a little welcome party on Friday night.
Now, a Swede would most definitely have tidied that away by now and probably sorted out their paperwork. However, I don’t think that homework would have been touched. Life and work here are kept separate, and yes the professional image transcends both, but free time is free time and the culture is such that phones are switched off and emails not checked in this time.
Coming from the 24 hour student world, this is a pleasant surprise. I also feel so much more relaxed than even teaching in the UK last year, where I felt the pressure to succeed was constant. Here it seems to me that pressure is step-by-step, manageable, fair, and we are encouraged to, at loss of a good phrase, simply ‘have a life. (this especially so by my swimming membership being partly paid for by the Swedish education system).
I have still kept a few things with me from the hecticness of the last year and beyond. I grab my laptop at any opportunity (this is on the tunnelbana coming home from swimming) and will work on the move, and I’ve not seen any of my colleagues do that. They don’t need to as they are that fantastic and I do need to work hard to keep up.
That’s the problem with spare time. I feel relieved that I can enjoy my weekend, watch the Auld Firm game later in peace and enjoy life for what it really is all about. However, I think I’m getting lazy with it too, without the high pace I’m used to, I’m beginning to put things off, smudge around the corners of life and it’s so not very me.
Things are going well, very well, but I don’t want it to crumble around me if I don’t secure the foundations.