I forgot to switch off

I spend a good deal of energy trying to reduce our energy use as a family, I am regularly turning off lights, chargers, TVs, all that sort of thing.  Sometimes though I forget to switch off my own brain.  It’s not quite as easy as flicking a switch.  Ooh it riles me when I write that – it really is as easy as flicking a switch, why is that so difficult for my housemates?

Anyway, back to switching off the brain.  I finished a work day by continuing to work on a train journey and then switching to doing some volunteer work via emails and some thinking about a new project.

I didn’t stop when I got home and did some more thinking and emailing (apologies to those Scouts who I inundated with emails last night).  I headed to bed later than I should have, but I did go through the usual rituals and I did unpack my case, so I thought I was well settled.

Nevertheless, I started to wake early, possible about 04.30 and my brain was already back in the Scout emails I had been occupied with last night.  Not in a bad way, not worried or anxious, just back in that zone.  I gave up trying to sleep at 05.30 and have done the emails before I can even settle to this.  I don’t feel tired, I feel productive.  I will not at 2pm this afternoon.

I am guessing that settling down to watch an hour or so of TV last night may have helped.  It is these times that TV is perfect for moving my brain into a different space. It honestly did not occur to me to switch the TV on.

Or maybe I just need to accept that sometimes I just don’t sleep as well as I need to, and today will be hard, but it’s one tired day.  I will of course be fine.

Coffee consumption is go.  And I suspect will continue

Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow

I now have a muse in this blog writing.  I have just asked the husband if we are supposed to be running this morning; we try and run three times a week.  We spent yesterday at a wedding, so it was a late night and there may have been Guinness and gin involved in the day, so we feel a bit slow this morning.  And he got in one more run than me this week due to the vagaries of work travel , so he has got to his three runs.

So the answer to the query to this morning’s running obligation was an emphatic, “no we’re not.” I know we are supposed to be running, but the emphatic response was followed by, “I thought we should take advantage of the Bank Holiday and ask why do today what we could put off until tomorrow”.  That is possibly not the way to live the whole of life. But it is a great way to really relish the Bank Holiday weekend, we have a whole three days to fit in everything we usually do over two.

It is three days of sunshine in which to enjoy all the lovely things we do at weekends. Sounds like most of it will be at walking pace rather than running.  In itself that is a holiday from the usual pace of life and just what long weekends are all about.




Keeping it small

The photos that accompany these blogs are generally not mine, they are from the free photo stock on WordPress.  This is because I am not good at taking photos.  Technically the photos I take are not great , probably because I never really think to take them., so I get little practise.   I love photos and love it when people share their photos with me, but I don’t get around to taking them myself very often.  Sometimes I have a phase of taking lots of photos, and then I forget again.  I can go weeks without taking a single snap.

Every time I choose a photo to illustrate this, I regret my lack of photography and I have considered trying to take more photos as I go through my day.  In reality that is another challenge and this was about writing, not photographing, so I am trying to resist the temptation to turn this into a bigger task.  Keeping things simple does keep me happier.  My aim is to write a blog nearly every day.  That is what I am doing, so I am persuading myself to rest in that satisfaction for now.

I have a similar view of running, I don’t run very far or for very long, I still cannot get to 5k. But I run, I run three times a week, every week and six months ago I had never run before.  So that is an achievement and I feel proud of it.  The fact that I am not trying to do more is ok for me, I am getting some cardio vascular exercise, I am getting fresh air and that is all I need.

Keeping a habit easy to do feels like a key to keeping the good habits going.


Running out of thoughts

I think I could have anticipated this, but I feel like I have run out of things to say today.  Not that I haven’t got lots in my head, I have, it is a busy season at work and at home, there is a lot on my mind at the moment. But it’s too busy.

I am very aware that in order to be as efficient as I can be I need rest, which is proper sleep and some time not doing anything.   That’s not the same as doing something really good for my brain like a mediation or a yoga session, or even taking an Instagram photo of whatever is in front of me.  Those things are good to do, but that is still being deliberate and active in some way, Instead I need to let mind wander and not think about anything in particular.

It is doing nothing. I firmly believe this gives the brain time to put all the busyness together in a useful way.  I’m also sure it’s where my brain finds the ability to write, to have good ideas, to think up effective processes.

Sleep is also in relatively short supply.  I sleep well, and do everything I can to make sure that is the case.  As long as my exercise routines are in place and I don’t accidentally drink tea late in the day, I can sleep.  I need a lot of sleep though, at least seven hours, anything less and I can feel my brain slowing down.  I sincerely hope no one else can tell, but I certainly can.  It’s one reason I try and write this early in the morning, if I struggle to write, it’s a sign I have not slept enough.

So today I need to find time to stare out the window.  To go for a gentle walk at lunch time instead of trying to do chores. To get to bed early enough that the mind has time to recover.



Clothes shopping

I hate buying clothes. I think I always have.  As a young person it was lack of financial resources that seemed like the problem.  Now I am really clear it is the process.  I feel overwhelmed with choice, I feel confused by what will suit me, I loathe the whole trying it on process.  The problem gets worse because  I go shopping for clothes so rarely that the pressure on each shopping trip is way too high. I have to find something that suits me/fits/is affordable/right for purpose of the outfit and it all feels like the last chance saloon, because if I don’t find it today, I ain’t coming back.

Online shopping doesn’t seem any easier.  I buy things and leave them in the parcel for days whilst I pluck up the energy/courage/enthusiasm to try them on.  I feel like a failure when I have to return anything.

This is all totally ridiculous and I have no idea where it comes from.  Right now, is a crisis period, I need some new clothes and it all feels far too difficult.  I suspect the old problem of lack of financial resources is a problem still.  In order to find bargains it seems like you need to really shop around, and that is just not going to happen.  I love the concept of a capsule wardrobe, but lack the confidence to decide what goes into it.

For a while a friend sold seconds of high street brands and she had an excellent eye for what suits me, so it was like having an amazing personal shopper with really bargain prices for the clothes.  Sadly, for me anyway, she decided to move on from that venture.

I probably just have to bite the bullet and blinking well go shopping don’t I?  Wish me luck.



Letting go of the routine

My son has just asked whether I write every day.  I try to, but do not succeed.  After a successful run of posting daily, I was feeling a bit of a failure.  Yesterday, I decided that writing a blog was not a good move, I needed to do some urgent tasks instead. Well they had become urgent, having lurked on a to do list for a while.  I had a nagging feeling that I had failed throughout the day though.

But the offspring’s question this morning was swiftly followed by another: “so how many people read it?”.  He is the generation of media users where if there are no reads or likes, there is no point.  Is this a clue to that nagging feeling of failure, am I getting swept away with that sort of thinking?  I am very grateful indeed if you’re reading this, and more so if you respond to it in some way.  I am posting this into the public for a reason, to have an audience and to feel accountable for making the piece readable.

The main reason for writing though is to have a positive habit every morning which enables me to face a complicated day having exercised my brain with something enjoyable, but still a bit challenging.  Yesterday I knew I had not let myself down, I needed to do the tasks more than my brain needed this.  Yet, I felt that I had broken the habitual nature of the exercise, and maybe I missed the interaction as well.  But, of course missing one day does not destroy a habit, it’s making sure I get back to it that counts.  Hopefully someone will read this today. And life feels a bit smoother having spent some time catching up on domestic stuff.