I’m not here

OK so I haven’t been around much recently. To be honest I’m not even really supposed to be here now.

But I just wanted to sneak in quickly to explain my recent absence and let you know that while I’m not actually here at the moment, I will be again soon.

I’ve had a bit on recently – work has been full tilt and we’ve been flat strap at the weekends slogging through the boys’ never-ending rugby season. Unusually, I’ve also been quite the social butterfly as is evidenced here and here and spent an awesome week entertaining some lovely NZ visitors (hi Dean 🙂 )

My boys hanging with their NZ cuzzie at Movie World

My boys hanging with their NZ cuzzie at Movie World

But the main reason I have been MIA is that I’ve had some modules to complete for a certificate course I’m doing at work. These modules have to be completed at home in my own time… the time usually dedicated to blogging/auto-shapes/associated mucking around on social media.

I would like to be able to say I approached this with maturity and gravitas gained from my previous study experiences. That I scheduled the appropriate time, broke down the work into manageable chunks and completed all set tasks well in advance of the submission date.

I would like to be able to say this, but I can’t because I decided to take the polar opposite approach.

Yes, that’s right friends. Instead of buckling down and getting it done, I faffed like a MOFO.

And while faffing is always enjoyable it created inner conflict because I KNEW I had shit to be getting on with. So to balance out the turmoil I felt about not doing what I was supposed to be doing, my subconscious stepped in and made a declaration…


Note: You should mentally read that last bit in a “god” voice, perhaps adding thunder-clap at the end to emphasise the seriousness of the situation.

This sounds like a sensible rule doesn’t it? It sounds like something that should have helped. Nothing could be further from the truth. The result has been utter paralysis – not doing the things I DON”T want to do while also not doing the things I DO want to do.

Basically all the bad parts of self-denial and NONE of the benefits. Winning, right?

This immense faff-a-thon couldn’t last obviously, and was finally broken this week as the deadline approaches for the modules to be submitted. So my subconscious and I have come to an agreement. The deal is that every time I complete a module I’m allowed a night off to faff, write and make pictures etc. And slowly but surely I am making progress.

You may be surprised to know that the key to resolving this conflict between needs and wants was Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

And no, I never thought it would actually turn out to be useful either. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Maslow (or went to the pub instead of going to that tutorial at uni) his theory states that we can separate our needs into several categories.

The premise is that once we fulfil our basic physiological needs we can be motivated to fulfill our other needs. My conflict stems from needing to do the study for work so that I can continue to fulfil our physiological needs, while my dominant motivation was directing me to fulfill my self-actualisation needs.

I’ll admit this is still somewhat confusing so I got hold of a diagram of Maslow’s Hierarchy and made some adjustments to illustrate how it applies to my particular situation. As you can see bacon, coffee and sleep pretty much cover all my basic needs. My self-actualised needs can be summed up by blogging, mucking around on the internet and auto-shapes.

Maslow's Heirachy of needs explains my inner conflict

Maslow’s Heirachy of needs explains my inner conflict

So let’s hear it for Maslow and his very helpful Hierarchy of Needs. Reducing complicated shit into colourful triangles since god knows when…

26 comments on “I’m not here

  1. Clair says:

    Speaking of Maslows Heirachy of Needs: https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-Zlvsdn_WoNM/UUbSxvm4WwI/AAAAAAAAVHQ/2WPEGh8bXzI/maslow%2B2013.jpg I think you’ll find this image very useful for justifying your blog today xx

  2. Ness says:

    My basic needs could be covered by cakies, tea and sleep. I did notice you were MIA and missed your musings. Trying to juggle 3 boys is hard enough without a job as well, not to mention study also, so I can’t imagine how busy you are. I’d have to give up the blog if I ever got a ‘real’ job. Ahem.

    • Rachel says:

      Women are amazing creatures Ness – I reckon after a period of adjustment you’s be back blogging in no time 🙂 I should have included cakies in my basic needs- very remiss of me because they are indeed essential to life in my opinion!

  3. Shit, I couldn’t do it – well I might be able to do it – if I didn’t have work that I hated and had to do! LOVE your diagrams, think I might have to employ you to make some shit-hot ones for my blog! How much longer have you got to go on cert?! You know you’re not off the hook – WE.WILL.MEET 🙂 xxx

    • Rachel says:

      Like I said to Ness, being a woman and a writer you would simply shuffle things around until you could fit the writing back in to the equation! I’d be delighted to do a diagram or any kind of image for you – you could pay me in drinks when we FINALLY get a chance to meet! Which will be soon I promise xx

  4. Julie says:

    When I was studying, I called this the 101 Things to do other than do Work. Assignment due… oh go on paint your nails. Presentation tomorrow, the shower grout needs attention. So I guess that equals Need to do uni work, want to do anything other than that

  5. Emily Morgan says:

    I love the diagram – you should be a lecturer!

  6. haha I remember old Maslow from uni! Your diagram is infinitely better than my lecturers though … I agree with Emily – wish you’d been my lecturer! I’m a massive fan of faffing around like a mofo too:)

  7. Grace says:

    Haha love it! Although, I couldn’t quite make out what that image was in the physiological basic stuff part…between sleep and coffee. It looks like sperm. If there is such thing a pink sperm. Sleep, sex and coffee are the basics? Just thought I’d confirm 🙂

  8. Alison says:

    Lovely triangles. I am currently ignoring the fact that I am a week behind with my studies too, considering I am studying psychology you would imagine I would have found a way to quit self sabotaging, but it turns out, not so much 😀 Good to hear from you, I was wondering where you’d gone.

  9. Well done Rachel! Good luck with the studies

  10. Great post Rachel – I so relate.. And I haven’t been using that word ‘faffing’, which is such a wonderful word that your post was worth reading just for that alone! I’m also really pleased that you put blogging (and associated faffing) in the self-actualisation bit of the Maslow pyramid – it makes it sound so very important. Ps – good luck with finishing your studies.

    • Rachel says:

      Always nice to find a fellow faffing fan Kathy 😉 (see what I did there…). And actually if the world was fair we’d put it in the Basic Needs bit – it’s definitely as important as bacon but maybe not as important as coffee…

  11. maxabella says:

    As a fellow faffer and general all-round procrastinator, I hear you loudly. Nothing worse than being forced to do boring stuff against your will!!! x

    • Rachel says:

      Lol Bron, maybe we should start a 12 step group for faffers. The only problem with that would be we’d have to WANT to change and I’m not sure any of us could really give it up forever 🙂

  12. I’d been wondering where you were! Time well spent creating a very excellent triangle that you can now use to rationalise any and all other actions while you finish your course! Nice.

    • Rachel says:

      You’re on to me Lara! I intend to rationalise the crap out of any further faffing I may or may not do while I’m meant to be finishing these modules. Like right now;)

  13. That pyramid is far better than Maslow’s original! Have you ever thought of a career as a theorist?? 🙂

  14. Mumabulous says:

    We’ve all missed you. Now tell me where does admiring crumpets rank on the pyramid?

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