I am feeling a little paralysed at the moment. Not literally, of course, but metaphorically. My brain is a swirl of issues and worries and matters that all too often threaten my smooth nature.
It’s not very hyggely. Work (by which I mean my day job as Office Ninja at Peter Kneale Solicitor) has recently expanded to 6 days a week as we trial Saturday morning opening for the summer. With Church on a Sunday as well, I have no chance of a lazy morning, cup of tea and slice of rye toast in hand, just spent reading in bed.
Homework (by which I mean my second career as a tutor) has stretched out and now takes up at least an hour every day, so my return from the office is a return to work. I’m missing that wonderful feeling of kicking off my shoes, sinking into a warm sofa, sipping a cup of chai and knowing I’m off duty until the next morning.
Family issues never go away. I’m guilty if I spend too much time away from the teenage children (teenagers need your presence every bit as much as school age children, I’ve learned), guilty if I don’t see my parents (thank God they’re still quite self-sufficient. I dread anything happening) and guilty that my extended family are now only people I meet occasionally at big family parties (because that’s how life goes and we don’t live in each other’s pockets). And I DON’T DO GUILT. That’s my promise to myself from ages back. No regrets.
So, yes, I am feeling very Bilbo Baggins (at the start of Lord of the Rings: “I am old, Gandalf. I don’t look it, but I am beginning to feel it in my heart of hearts. Well-preserved indeed! Why, I feel all thin, sort of stretched, if you know what I mean: like butter that has been scraped over too much bread. That can’t be right. I need a change, or something.”)
It’s at moments like these (and we all have moments/days/weeks/months like these) that I remind myself to go into self-care mode. To stop and re-centre myself. To concentrate on building my strong base back up before I build a bigger tower of plates.
Hygge is what I turn to now. I need to re-frame my responses to life, to practise some careful editing and to re-align with my core values. That’s easier said than done, but in practice this is what I aim to do over the next few weeks:
- Look at my schedule. Can I make small adjustments that will give me the time I need? (I could twitch a lesson or two to clear a day, plan to miss a couple of Sundays for a day playing hooky, either alone or with a friend, and make sure I don’t say yes to anything else in the next few months while I get through the overload)
- Plan something lovely. I love craft sessions, so I need to find and book into some over the next few months. I’m already booked on one in June with the excellent Jane Crowfoot, a crochet hero of mine. Add that to the fact that I am in London for The Handmade Fair and already booked to go to Yarndale in September and I have a lot to look forward to.
- Take care of my basics. Dr Rangan from the BBC series, Doctor in the House describes 4 pillars of health: nutrition, training, stress and sleep. He says that these are responsible for many illnesses we face today, and I can believe it. I know my health suffers if I let myself slip too much off the path of sensible eating, moving, sleeping or not giving a f***ery. This week I’m monitoring my food to make sure I get plenty of fruit and veg, because that’s often what I miss out on when I’m racing myself. I’m also aiming for early nights twice next week. With crochet and hot chocolate as well.
- Remember how lucky I am. Gratitude can re-frame many situations. How lucky am I that I have written a book and that I’m writing a second one? How lucky I am that I have a job I love with a boss who loves me back. How lucky that I have a family who love me unconditionally even when I’m a cow and whom I love as well! I’ll be writing the list in my gratitude journal and reading it often.
- Do something crazy. I am thinking of bunking off a day this summer just to visit the beach. I can feel my toes itching to sink into sand, and my head wanting to watch the massive forces of nature at work. Actually, I don’t even need a fine day to visit. I’d sit and watch the sea on a cold, wet, raining day and enjoy the change of scenery. I definitely think going a little Ferris Bueller is in order this year.
And, yes, at times like these I turn to quotations to carry me through. I’ve dotted a few throughout this post. These are the ones you see on Facebook, and save, and sometimes never look at again. They’re my affirmations for the days ahead. Because I am going to get through the fog and into the sunny water again. I always do.
How are you feeling? What are your top techniques for balancing plates? I’d love to know.
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One thought on “Finding Hygge in the Small Things”
Getting all the things that are swirling around inside my head out and onto paper. I can exhaust myself mulling over all the things I need to do or remember but getting them in black and white and then setting to and trying to work out some ind of strategy.
An early night with a hot water bottle.
And yep that Pinterest board with all those quotes from people so much wiser than me.
Oh and lavender balm and a bit of deep breathing.
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