I painted this ten years ago, feeling as much a slave to time as I do now it would seem. It feels particularly precious to me right now, because I have so much I want to do. . . and my enemy in this endeavour is my old nemesis, the ticking clock.
If, like me, you have set forth into this new year full of plans and dreams, you might recognise something of yourself in the coming paragraphs. I’m someone who enjoys life, and I do know how to relax and take it easy. But I also have plenty I WANT to do, and in between and amongst all that, are things I NEED or MUST do in order for my life to be bearable. They are completed in order of priority, and the bottom of the list never ever gets reached. Way down there at the bottom are things like ‘dusting’ and ‘sorting clothes’. I’ve recently taken myself in hand, and picked up some things I need to do, and put them near the top of the list. You’ll recognise the words ‘My Peak Challenge’ by now; if you don’t, it’s a hugely successful endeavour, spearheaded by Sam Heughan, to raise funds for blood cancer research, and inspire people to improve their lives. (Mostly by detailed and supportive fitness goals, and nutritional plans and help, although by no means limited to that.)
Now don’t laugh. My day now goes something like this:
5.45 am Alarm. Spend 10 mins in quiet reflection/meditation
5.46 am Remember to put on face stuff that needs to wait 30 mins before washing off
5.48 am Back to quiet reflection
5.55 am Get out of bed, change, and drag mat out on kitchen floor. Warm ups and
exercises as per MPC guide
6.20 am Go through the shower, dress, change dress, change mind, back to first outfit, put
on makeup, watch it slide down face.
6.35 am Make breakfast, pack a lunch, eat breakfast while answering emails/facebook
6.45 am Clean teeth, gather things together, step outside
6.47 am See it is about to rain, return, collect umbrella
6.50 am RUN OUT THE DOOR and briskly walk to bus stop regretting choice of clothes
7 am Catch bus to work, sitting in usual spot
7.40 Arrive in city, have coffee at cafe near work
8am Be seated at desk, chat to co-workers, think about lunch and look forward to it
I won’t tire you with the rest, but the morning is TIGHT. Now if I were to do ALL the things the health magazines and articles suggested, I would never make it to work before midday. (Truly, HOW do mothers with children needing to get up too, ever get out the door?)
There is a growing part of me that realises I cannot possibly do as much as I would like, and is quietly rebelling. So some pretty obvious tasks remain undone, while I slip outside onto my satellite chair in the fading light, and simply read. It all comes down to being selective – something I struggled to do when I was younger. THEN, if I was asked out, or someone wanted to go somewhere, I tagged along. I wouldn’t have dreamed of saying no. I was pretty driven. But as I’ve gained some wisdom in my later years, I know I don’t have to attend every event, or tick every box on my daily list. I don’t have to chase every distant acquaintance and try to maintain a friendship with them. That all may seem obvious to you, but it’s taken a while for me to loosen my elastic bands.
I took this today, outside with my street bike, newly restored to going order.
I am SO going to waste some happy hours peddling the local streets on this one. See – combining the NEED for exercise, with the joy of adventuring. It’s a win:win. And while I’m on that topic, I started the food plan on the MPC website yesterday, and to my surprise, am finding the meals and food choices great. Here’s breakfast this morning:
I think I’ll go to bed – I can see my blog post is meandering in a very untimely fashion, and I’m wandering off down side tracks. Forgive me for taking up your time (grin).