Getting back into the swing of things ….


We’ve had an absolute beauty of a holiday, and I’m slowly easing myself back into something approaching a routine with my work and writing.

2009-08-12-JaveaPort (14)

Wish you were here?

A part of me still is, I think – certainly I’m still moving on slow-time and feel disinclined to re-engage with the dull, mundane doings of everyday life. I’d much rather be sitting on the beach ….

Of course, now I’m back, I feel like I ought to be piling back into the work, but the holiday rhythms persist and I find myself struggling to do without a mid-afternoon siesta. I strongly suspect that if it was just me and Bellaboo, and the others were back at school, then I would be taking a little siesta whilst she napped in the afternoon – I slipped into the routine so easily, and adapted so quickly to that burst of morning activity, the lazy lunch and long rest afterwards, then another burst of activity, longer this time, in the evenings – it feels like a very natural rhythm by which to live. I’m looking at ways I can try to bring some of that into my life on an ongoing basis, whether by meditation or relaxation or a quick yoga session or something in the middle of the day that will induce that sense of pause and rest – given that I’m not sure a nap is feasible.

It felt good to have the pressure off for a while – even though I took some writing work with me, I didn’t feel compelled to sit at it – I picked it up and set it down as I pleased. I was surprised how well I managed without my routines – being able to live in the moment has never been one of my strong points, but somehow having so much less and being in a different situation completely removed the ordinary pressures and stresses of my daily slog – to the extent that I felt there was a valuable learning for me in the idea that having so much *less* than normal actually gave me more freedom and removed so much of the must/ought pressure of the ‘to-do’ list that rides my back here so often.

It’s a reinforcement of what I’d been feeling for a while in the early summer, and had somehow lost in the fatigue and flurry of the last few weeks of term: that the (domestic) to-do list has to go, and instead what I need to do is view most of the things on it as optional activities that I can choose to spend my (free) time in doing, that possess value only in the utility or satisfaction that they give to me, and not in the expectation of recognition or reward.

Of course, it’s easy to make such space at the moment, outside of the frenetic term-time, but feeling less driven and less harried is something that I’m hoping I can carry on even after the children go back to school, and that I can build on to resist the gradual, toxic buildup of stress by allowing me to see clearly what is important, and what is not, and help me to keep my priorities straight.

But, for the meantime, it’s still the holidays for the children and we’re away again next week.

And so, for this week, I’m just keeping things ticking over, continuing the recharging process and trying to build new habits in terms of managing tasks and my own expectations of myself.

After all, I’ve got plenty of time.


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