I’m away with my family in Greece at the moment, and while talking, swimming, resting and generally putting the world to rights, inevitably the subject of my businesses and my working life came up.

Mermaid Kerenza Sapphire swimming in Rhodes | carlawatkins.com

Last month I was granted part time hours for a year, working three days a week until the end of June 2018 – this is mainly because Mum and I have so much to do following the loss of Dad, that it is impossible to do around a full time job and still stay sane.

But… I already know I don’t want to go back full time. The balance of part time is so much better, with work not taking over more than 70% of my days in a week. I know, I know, it’s “only” a nine hour working day, but by the time you factor in getting ready, getting there & back, and then prepping food and keeping on top of housework in the evenings, plus vital things like sleep, there is very little time left for life, business, exercise or wellbeing.

Having aired this a few times, and also the fact that I am frustrated as hell with the recent lack of enquiries for hen parties, my family (Mum, my uncle and my aunt) stepped in to give me some much needed advice – not all of which I wanted to hear!

The main issue is visibility – when people find out what I do they are super excited, but I am not visible enough by a long, long way. To combat this I am looking at all kinds of things – wedding fairs, t shirts to wear when I’m out and about, collaborations with venues, lots of things. Some may come to nothing, but they’re all worth a shot.

Another frustration has been the ideas I have for shoots & great images to use in my marketing, but lack of time to make these happen. So now I am on a mission to make these happen in the next month or so – so I can get my name and my business and my mermaid self out there!

Wise friends have also told me to remember some things: that I am still grieving, and have achieved a tremendous amount despite that; that I have only actually been part time for a month, and the majority of that time has been spent on recovering from near-burnout and dealing with deathmin; and that now is the time to throw myself at it heart and soul, and see how well I can make it work.

I want to build up Ink Drops and also my photography work alongside this, so as ever I will be doing a juggling act. But I work better in every business and in the day job when I am happy, engaged and crucially, not bored… and boredom happens when I’m forced to focus on just one thing.

I have to try. If I can’t make it work to support myself, I’m no worse off in a couple of years’ time – I’ll just find a job to tide me over. But at least I will know I tried!

So… here’s to action, visibility and the madness that may ensue…