On the whole I’m pleased with how things are going. I’m beginning to find a pattern to the days and weeks, and am seeing results in terms of a neater and cleaner house, some jobs done and feeling calmer and less stressed.
Splitting some of my time at home into “work” and “my” time is going quite well and at the moment the routine stuff is getting done without taking over. I’ve decided to leave exercise and seeing other people out of these hours, as I can’t decide which category they fall into – sometimes one, sometimes the other, I suspect!
The pattern of 4 days on which I’ll have commitments and 3 days with the diary empty seems about right. I’ve decided that I need a free day each week, on which all the routines are abandoned and I spend it absolutely as I wish – so far I’m finding that that’s when I do some writing and reflection. I’m thinking of adding a day on which I focus on my extremely long “to do” list. This is a notebook in which I write absolutely anything I think of that I need to do, from posting a letter to redecorating the house. I read the list each morning, cross off anything I’ve done and note anything that needs to be dealt with that day. I find this useful in a number of ways: writing down what needs doing when I think of it frees my mind from continuing to think about it; I have an aide-memoire to stop me forgetting to do things; I can identify the jobs that don’t get crossed off and pay them some attention – why am I procrastinating and how do I overcome that? I’m wondering whether allocating a day a week to working on this list might be quite satisfying, in that I could probably cross off a lot of niggly little jobs and make some inroads into bigger ones. Maybe that could be quite energising. I’m very aware of how my energy can be drained by tasks not done.
The weight loss/health campaign is going quite well too. I’ve lost some weight and am becoming very aware of how much better I feel if I stick to the eating pattern I’ve developed, which encourages me to stay with it. I’m allowing myself sweets and alcohol on a slightly different basis to my original plan, , enjoying them if I’m with other people – and having a scone when I go to the M&S café, one of my favourite treats – but trying to keep off them completely at home. I’m adding exercise to the mix now, trying to do at least 30 minutes per day. Sometimes that’s going to the gym, sometime walking, sometimes vigorous housework – whatever the day requires.
I’m doing some sewing most days – the tidy attic makes a huge difference. I’m not doing any meditation and need to pay some attention again to time for that/prayer/reflection – though there tends to be plenty on my free day.
It’s not plain sailing – there have been days when emotional upset or tiredness have sent me back into the old habits of too much time surfing the net or just drifting through a day – but on the whole I’ve felt that I’m moving towards the right balance for me of routine and freedom. I’m still very concerned that I don’t begin to regiment or drive myself, but the give-away for that is stress – if I notice that I’m feeling stressed about what “must” or “ought” to be done, it’s time to stop and reassess. The aim is to find a way for life to unfold and have a gentle rhythm, rather than be a military-style operation. Hopefully, having a certain amount of order and routine will actually make that more possible than the endless, draining, anxiety-provoking firefighting that I previously engaged in.