I have just had a couple of days off work. Not the break I had planned when I booked the days off to coincide with the end of a work project and enable some rest and recuperation. My usual rest and recuperation involves catching up with people over coffees and lunches and being out and about doing chores. It would also have been a break between a fair amount of travel (a few days in London last week and an early train to Plymouth this morning), so I was looking forward to being at home for a while as well.
I got that part of the break down pat! I can’t remember the last time I was just at home for a couple of days with no plans. Monday morning was rather odd. Waking up, going through a morning routine with the family and then them going off to the plans of their days and me having no appointments and no travel ahead of me. I do not find it the easiest of feelings, so I am this morning feeling very grateful indeed for the fact I do still have a job and although it is not the same routine as it usually would be, it is a routine imposed on me by someone else, which helps.
But I did ok on holiday. Monday was harder, I felt tired anyway – most likely the reaction to ending the project, the grey day and a belated response to the clocks changing on Sunday. Tired and unstructured should be a good combination, but I cannot let go of the need to be productive in some way, so it felt difficult. Of course, the key is to change the definition of productive in my head. Right now, productive is whatever I decide it is surely. I cannot leave the house except for my morning walk. I am struggling with staring at screens all day in work and then having to do the same to have a social life. This is not my usual life, so why my brain is still measuring a good day against the ‘old’ criteria beats me.
Yesterday I felt calmer and more accepting of the situation, I was actually fairly creative and crafted a few things – not well, but fun to take my head somewhere else. But on reflection there was also a lot more structure than there had been the day before: I had a Zoom craft morning and an afternoon Zoom tea and chat and then in the evening a choir on Zoom. And the sun was shining so we went out into the garden and cleared up a bit more.
All told I am returning to work today feeling refreshed and rested and the garden is looking ever tidier. And I am becoming ever more aware of how important my invented routines are in this time.