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.
And the commercial part (you can skip the next paragraph if you like)
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