How did it get to be the last day of January?* Other than the obvious answers, I am slightly alarmed that the month has flown by and we are now on the cusp of February. It has been a bit of a blur in all honesty and I’m sure that next month will be something of the same. My dad used to tell me to enjoy being young because I’d miss it when I was older – well Dad, you were absolutely right. I do miss being young, when the sum total of my troubles was whether I’d done my homework and whether or not I had clean school uniform. Now, those days seem like a very far off time. I’m not ancient (ahem….almost 32) but time does seem to be flowing rather too quickly for my liking.
Today is a rare day off from work. We are given what is known as a Family Day over the Christmas break to be used by the end of January and in true to me form, I waited until the last possible day to use it up. I had intended to see my mother in law today and have a catch up, but the great british weather conspired against up by dumping a load of snow over the higher ground and stranding her at her partners house. Plans on hold until my next random day off and I have a list of things to do. It could be said that a day off is for relaxing, doing nothing and being a bit self-indulgent. To that I would love to say yes it is – my actions however would beg to differ. The list includes hoovering, cleaning the bathroom, washing up, filing, clearing out the kitchen cupboards and taking out the recycling. I’ll balance it with some crochet this afternoon. After I’ve bought cat food.
Why then, when a day off is supposed to be about relaxing and doing something pleasurable, do I feel so guilty if I don’t do the productive, useful things that need doing? Why does the feeling nag at me that I should be doing something that is helpful, good and domestic before I am “allowed” to have some time for things that I would like to do – like watching an old film or sewing or crochet? Is this a learnt behaviour from our upbringing or is this a sign that as women, we are expected nay, expect ourselves to be able to do it all and have it all? Or does it go beyond gender – people simply are too busy doing housework, life admin and paid employment to be able to allow themselves the time to switch off and indulge in their hobbies and interests?
I’ve recently had a bit of a mental health wobble and after speaking to my husband, my GP and my friends, started new medication. In addition, I am trying to increase my exercise levels from zero to something – starting with the reintroduction of my turbo trainer. 2 weeks in and I’ve managed 3 times a week for 30 minutes a session and I’m less sore of arse and slightly firmer of leg. It helps lift my mood and while it is boring, is getting me ready to start running again when the evenings are lighter and I’m less inclined to fall over my own feet/the curb/a non-existent item. My husband is also right when he says that time to exercise shouldn’t be seen as a chore when it is built into the daily routine. It becomes part of who we are and I remember when that was the case. I’m looking forward to it being part of me again.
So, with my list in hand and time marching on, here I go. Productive and motivated. Just one more cup of tea first though, ok?
*Edit – clearly I’m wishing life away. The eagle eyes of some of my friends have rightly pointed out that today is 30th…and January doesn’t finish until tomorrow, the 31st. Idiot.