I haven’t had a lot of time to write of late. There has been so much to do, so many people to see and places to be. Work has been a bit stressful and the course I am doing all consuming – in many good ways and some that are less healthy and certainly not sustainable. Self-care has gone out of the window. I haven’t been to meditation in months. I haven’t been exercising. I haven’t been eating well. I have been drinking more than I know is wise. I have been sleeping badly and when I do manage to sleep I am plagued with bad dreams. I keep having to put my friends off, and I haven’t been seeing my parents nearly as much as I would like. My body hurts all over from lack of care. I am exhausted.
On top of not allowing myself time to write, or to read anything but a text book, there are all the bigger tasks I should be doing – all jostling for position to berate me for my lack of progress. I need to do my tax accounts, I need to look into a builder to get some work done on the house that is years overdue. My grass is too long. The windows are filthy. I need to get down to the writing project I promised I would do with my dad. I need to sew up the holes in my clothes before people start to notice.
I need to ……..
Oh hell! If you need me, I’ll be hiding in the cupboard under the stairs in a box – a box of things that needs sorting for the car boot sale *starts to sob*
A little while a go I realised I had completely lost all semblance of a healthy balance in my life. And that realisation, at least, is a good first step to making a positive change. Having been on this slippery slope before, I now know the warning signs of overwhelm, and my husband is on close watch for them too – as both he and I know how badly that can go. I knew that I needed to make some changes and start to take better care of myself. But this would need careful prioritisation. Start too big and I may set myself up to collapse in on myself in a heap and then everything else would go to hell. I needed to start with the small things, the foundations, the things that make everything else go. I needed some sleep. I needed to take some action to ease the pain across my body. I needed to pay more attention to what I was putting in my system. Without some energy, and a body that was working well enough, some of the other things just weren’t going to happen.
It may sound silly, but the first thing we needed to do was to order some new sofas. Many, many months ago now we gave away our old sofas to charity. We had already ordered new ones and they were due to arrive the following day. We hadn’t had new sofas in over 13 years so we were pretty damned excited. But, when the delivery guy came he declared that the bigger of the two would not fit through the living room door. We looked at him like children who had been offered candy and then told they couldn’t have it after all “Oh no, sorry, you can’t have that. That will rot your teeth”. He left the house with our beautiful new sofas and our dreams of comfort stowed safely back in his van. He drove them back to Wales – far, far away from our house.
We now had nothing to sit on. Emergency measures were required. We had one small beaten up old sofa at the top of the house – hidden under blankets for the shame of its faded covering. We battled that downstairs between us. Okay good. In the room next door we also had a beautiful antique seat. All rattan, and wood and glorious burgundy and gold coverings. It really is a stunning piece. And the most uncomfortable thing you will ever have the misfortune of sitting on. Plus, it may as well be made of paper. It was when my niece sat on it and accidently put her elbow through the back of it we knew this item was not meant for human use. In fact you really should have a course of training before you endeavour to sit on it.
Nevertheless, needs must. So we brought this seat into the living room too. It was to be my sofa. As supposedly, I knew how to work it. Other people must be kept away from it at all times, or at least sign a health and safety waver beforehand. Not one week into my sitting on it one of the springs underneath went “Sproing!!” and so now only one side of the sofa was habitable. We really had to get on with finding new sofas – and yet our time was all taken up, with course work, and work work and other commitments already made. The sofa search went by the wayside.
We lived with this scenario for far too long. Don’t get me wrong, we considered ourselves very lucky that we had any interim sofa options available to us at all. However, the reason this proved particularly problematic is that I have a bad back. I have had for quite a few years. My back always hurts, every day – it is just a matter of to what degree and how well I have been looking after it (which recently has been not very much at all). And now I am using a sofa every evening that I can’t put my full weight on or lean back on properly for fear of hearing the now familiar “Pings” of beautiful antique rattan-work snapping. Needless to say, my back has not been appreciative of this turn of events. It takes effort and pain to remove myself from this god-forsaken item. And then I go upstairs to bed carefully and with many groans – feeling double my forty-something years. Needless to say, the pain does not help with restful sleep. And so the cycle continues.
So, after living with this for too long, we have finally ordered new sofas. Sofas that will fit through the door. Sofas that are made for human beings to sit on and stretch out on and you can lean back on without fear of serious injury. They are due to arrive in a few weeks and my life will be made!
Eating badly and drinking too much are also not conducive to a good nights sleep and, I have no doubt, contribute to the myriad nightmares I have been having. And so, a friend told me about a detox diet he had done as part of a gym regime he’d signed up for. He has lost 5 stone on this programme and, though I am very keen on losing a few of the excess pounds recently gained, I was also very interested in the health aspects he described. I certainly do not have the energy to return to the gym at present, but an extreme intervention in the eating and drinking department wouldn’t go amiss.
And so my husband and I have just embarked on a 28-day detox diet. It is meant to reset the balance of your digestive system, make the good bacteria happy and plentiful, and show the bad bacteria that the environment really is no longer habitable (much like my antique sofa). It is early days but I must say it is quite liberating – to have only very limited options from which to choose, yet know that whatever you do choose will do you good. We knew it would be hard, and certainly not a diet that is sustainable long term. It is very restrictive food wise and that would become very dull over a long period of time. But one thing I will say about my husband and I is, when we set our minds to something, we are stubbornly persistent at seeing things through. Much like when we gave up smoking, we chose the day and said “That’s it! We’ve had enough of feeling this crap” and so we gave up smoking – as that is what we had decided had to happen.
I have already lost 5 llbs (which, I won’t lie, is very pleasing) but it is the other physical improvements I am most hopeful for. I am hoping this biological reboot will boost my energy and I will feel able to go back to some physical activities. I used to go to pilates with my mum, which really helps my back, and of course offers enjoyable time with my mum. If my back feels better, I’ll sleep better. If I sleep better, I will feel more positive in general and my days will be more productive. That will in turn free up more of my weekend for other things, things not course related.
Yesterday my husband and I went for a long walk in the country – which I always find restorative and we haven’t done in quite a while. Today I am writing – though my mind keeps telling me I am meant to be looking for builders, and cutting the grass, and, and and …..
But all in good time. Rome was not built in a day (and my body certainly knows there is some rebuilding to be done). And then perhaps we’ll be ready to do our own building, not on a Roman scale of course, but an improved home environment at least. Let’s see where we are after 28 days of self-care :)
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