Putting rest on the list

I had a chat with a colleague earlier this week who was struggling with finding balance to deal with illness and work and family, and well, we know the feeling I would say.  I suggested she put resting on her to do list for the weekends.  There was a surprised silence as this had never occurred to her.  Of course I don’t always put the word ”rest” into the weekend plan, but when I know I have a bit of a hectic time in work or an upcoming event, or whatever it may be that will leave me feeling a bit frazzled, I do plan the downtime too.  Sometimes that is literally putting “have a nap” on the list, I am comfortable with being the only person on the planet who adds napping to her to do list, it works for me.  I like feeling intentional about resting, it is something I really want to do and feel is important.

The usual one that I add into the list is reading.  I am a member of two book groups and also use the library lots, so deadlines and reading seem to go together.  I feel wonderfully justified in having “finish Marie Kondo by Saturday” on the to-do list, otherwise I may get charged an overdue fee.  Heavens forefend!

This week though I have a self-imposed deadline.   I discovered that I have read 10 books so far this year, which is more than I expected, but of course it makes a neater pattern of three per month if I could fit in another couple this week.  So that is my focus for the week – two more books.  One on audio, a self-help style non-fiction: Shawn Achor’s Big Potential and on the Kindle (it’s been a long while since I used it) a light read, lots of fun and easy to have as an alternative to TV: The Strange Disappearance of a Bollywood Star in the delightfully silly detective series by Vaseem Khan.

It feels like a wonderfully productive way to ensure I sit down for a bit every day,  or encouraging me to go to bed a bit earlier to fit in some reading time.  I have a fair amount of driving and bus travelling to do this week, so the audio book soothes some of the traffic stress.

If I can get them read, I will be chuffed with 12 books in the first quarter of 2018.

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A chore tour

One of the upsides of my new working hours is that the inevitable chores that build up in 21st century life all have to be done in shorter time.  And this morning I am thinking this is a good thing.  Like lots of these things, chores just expand to fill time.  Housework and email triage are two other tasks that seem to have that magic property.  Whereas reading seems to stay well within its allotted time.  Unless it is reading rubbish on Facebook, that has very magical time properties.

Back to the chores though.  I have suspected for a while that they tend to grow in size and importance in my head because they make me feel properly busy.  However, the reality of new working hours is that my hours are now controlled by someone else, so fewer are available for the luxury of the chores.  Is there a verb there?  Choring?  Or is that something less salubrious?

This morning I am discovering a new delight in having an hour or so this afternoon when I can indulge in what I call a ‘chore tour’.  Top of the delight list on that tour is a visit to the library.  When I genuinely cannot get there as often, it feels so much more fun to go.  I don’t think I have looked forward to going to the library like this since I was about 10.  And I am very pleased to be getting rid of the bags of clothes that have been waiting for the charity shop for a couple of weeks.  And that parcel that needs to be posted.

Here’s to an hour or so of dashing around ticking things off a list, can’t wait.

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