What's happened to me? I'm honestly unsure. I got back from a 3-11pm shift last night completely charged up. And then today I wrote the organiser of a work trip in March - to take students to a Cardiff Devils' game! - about the possibility of helping out - despite the fact that it's a 4pm-midnight shift, and I'm already down for an 8am-3pm shift that day. Whether I'd regret it on the day is an open question, but that I'm even contemplating it... It's, well, mind-boggling.
I'm completely unused to thinking about work this way.
And it isn't just work. More generally, I find myself wishing I had more time to volunteer. There are so many great organisations and causes right here in Gloucestershire, like The Butterfly Garden, that I still haven't given time to. And I do still have some free time. But, the thing is, I know myself: I need time to recoup; otherwise, those folks I'm trying to help simply won't get my best. I'm hoping my stamina will increase as I get used to this lifestyle, but the fact is that I've spent decades sitting around at work, and then at home on my own pursuits; it's a work in progress.
Then there's other time that is free, to a point. But those evenings - and every second weekend - are, well, really important to me. I've made a lot of mistakes in my personal life, but if I had to pin down the biggest, it'd be failing to properly invest in my relationships. Back then, it wasn't about any causes I was supporting - it shames me to say that, up until a few years ago, I was living entirely selfishly - but that tension is the same; and I don't want to lose sight of what's most important to me, hands down.
Phew. That got a bit heavy. Sorry 'bout that.
Another concern is that my current roster of charities really represent squeaky wheels, of a sort. In a nutshell, they responded quickly and often to my early offers of help. They're all great, and so I'm now struggling with the idea that I should probably step back from a few - particularly some of the weekly commitments - so that I can devote time to other causes. It's particularly difficult because the motivation is mostly selfish: I want to try new things. I landed my current job that way, and a big part of me wonders what else is out there that I might like and be good at; it'll likely be related to social care, but, my goodness, what a breadth of roles that covers, even with my limited understanding.
In summary, I need to either a) prioritise where I really want to help, or b) get my mind and body fit, so I can spend those days off more effectively, or c) clone myself... Or d) all of the above.