On Thursday, I hit a pretty bad low. Not the worst I’ve ever felt by a long stretch, but the worst I’ve felt in a while. I snapped at the Boyfriend (he did (sort of) deserve it. Sort of.) and generally stomped about the house being rather pathetic.
This was due to a lot of things, not least my own inability to deal with stress and an often overpowering desire to do absolutely nothing. I’ve not been writing, I’ve not been practising guitar, I’ve not been keeping on top of things no matter how hard I try.
At work for the past few weeks a lot of people have been bandying about a mantra about change. They want to see everyone making a positive change to help the environment and generally make the world a better place. Now, I’m the sort of person who gets cross when the Boyfriend puts cans and plastic in the bin, not the recycling box, but I confess, I’ve been having trouble connecting with this ‘change’ mantra. I’ve paid it lip service, but I’ve not really committed. But I think I’m ready now to make a few changes.
Starting with how I spend my time.
I work long hours, and though I do my best to get everything done while I’m at work, invariably I have to bring things home. It’s just the nature of my job. Things are getting better – I’ve been better so far this year than I was last year, and have learned from my many mistakes – but I still allow it to consume my whole life during the week, then spend the weekend doing nothing just to compensate.
I watch TV while doing jobs, which means I don’t enjoy the TV and the jobs take four times as long.
I don’t make dedicated time for anything.
I am going to change this.
Starting from now, I’m going to get back to doing the things I love doing. I’m going to stop neglecting my blog, I’m going to get back into exercise, and I’m going to finish my novel, dammit! It’s been long enough.
So, here is my ‘change’ action plan. My oath to myself. This time I am going to keep it.
This blog has undergone a lot of evolution in the past year it has been running. It peaked around January/February time this year and has declined in numbers of views/posts ever since. I am going to get back into doing regular updates – I’m thinking probably taking the blog right back to its roots as a book blog, as I have hundreds of unread books I want to get reading. I will try and include at least one post every other week or so about other stuff, as and when things worth talking about occur. I will also post on Sunday a summary of the week and how successful I have been in other areas of my ‘change’ plan, so that even on the weeks I’m too busy to read and review, I will still have at least one post going up.
I am SO close to finishing my novel, but I just seem to keep falling down at this very last stretch. It’s partly because I know there are issues that need resolving earlier in the book, but that’s what revisions are for. I need to just press on. Mostly it’s because I don’t make the time, and I don’t write regularly enough to keep the flow moving. I want to change that. So, Tuesday nights, the Boyfriend is never in the house. He either works the late shift, or has drill with the fire service. Every Tuesday I am going to switch off the TV, my work brain, everything, and write for at least one of the two hours he is out of the house. Even if I only manage to write a blog post and a hundred words of story, it will start to come easier. And everything else I do during the rest of the week is a bonus.
Another shamefully neglected area of my life. There was a time not so long ago when I could quite comfortably run a mile. Today I struggled to make it halfway to the Boyfriend’s parent’s house. I’m sure this has a lot to do with the late night I had last night, the fact that I’ve forgotten the technique of running slowly to go further, and that I was running on the road not down by the beautiful canal path I usually run, but I can’t ignore the fact that my stamina levels – which were never great – have slipped considerably. So, I’ve downloaded RunKeeper onto my iPhone, which tracks how far you go and how fast, and want to make sure that every week I run/walk at least 5k. Even if it’s in lots of little chunks. For starters I can walk to my mother’s rather than driving round every time, and can just go for quick jogs round my estate once a night or something to make up the rest. It’s only a little thing, but if I do the same every day as I did today then I would be more than halfway to that 5k total. It seems manageable when broken down like that.
To be fair, this is the one thing I wasn’t doing too bad on, because it’s so easy to pick up the guitar for a few minutes here and there. I’m a pianist by choice, but until the Boyfriend and I move into our new place (soon hopefully!) we haven’t got the space for the electric piano I own. And I want to leave it at my mother’s anyway, so it’s available for band practise. I want to buy a proper one (Boyfriend is going to take some persuading, but he likes to bash out the James Bond theme on the keys once in a while, so I may be able to talk him round) for the new house – an upright, like my mother has – then I can leave the electric for band practise. I guess what I’m winding up to saying is I want to make sure I continue practising the guitar (I’m getting pretty good… still can’t master Bm though!) and that it doesn’t become one more neglected thing in my life.
I’m still wanting to lose a little weight (just to lower myself from that in-between sizes state) but I’m hoping that the exercise will start to take care of that again. And hopefully if everything else leaves me feeling better, I’ll feel less need to binge on chocolate and coleslaw (not ever at the same time, I’m not that disgusting). The fact that I’m sat here in a flapper dress (don’t ask) I’ve borrowed from the Boyfriend’s mother that has as side zip (bane of my fashion-life… I have a very wide ribcage) and is a size ten and yet I’ve managed to get it on and it’s not uncomfortable (haven’t tried getting it off yet, obviously, so that could yet be, er, interesting) makes me feel like I’m not so in-between as I thought I was, which is a good start to the feeling better. Now I just need to keep it up!