hiatus

I have decided to have a little break from this blog for a while – there are a couple of reasons for this.

Firstly I have limited energy at the moment and running two blogs is quite difficult. I want to focus my energies over at my main site 

Secondly my great spiritual crisis is over, well, not so much over as not a main focus in my life right now. I am happy in my own path with my own beliefs. I have stopped reading everything which is spiritually related and I am finding that has helped – not having lots of conflicting messages. What are my beliefs? Well I think the biggest one right now is being as good a person as I can be, to my moral code. I think it is is quite a stringent one and I am happy with that. Beyond that, right now, I am happy not to go any further right now.

I think at any rate.

Who knows, in a couple of weeks time this may change and I will have a great outpouring of spiritual thoughts and ideas and I will be desperate to share. But right now, I just want a bit of a break.

Flikr focus

Another post of how proud I am of myself! I have to say that this isn’t usual for me, but I thought I would share being proud. It is a good thing and we should all do more of it!

I wanted to get more creative and share that with people. I set up a Flikr account, or started using one that I set up years ago more to the point! And I am now sharing photos on a weekly basis, sometimes more sometimes less.

Sometimes I upload quite a few at once, which means you don’t always see them on the side bar. So, do click on the more photos link at the bottom of the pictures from time to time and have a look through

 

Looking after myself

Leonie is a business coach that I subscribe to (a), I have talked before about how I find her a little hippy for me sometimes, but sometimes who works for me too… I take what I need and leave the rest – I am sure she would be happy with that, especially as I keep revisiting it time and time again!

Recently she issued a post entitled Self Care Smack Down

In the past I would have answered not a thing to pretty much every stage of this! And then felt shit about it.

But with the help and encouragement of my wonderful husband and actually Leonie’s advice I am getting much better. After watching this video I listed my self care routines

Massage twice a month.

Like Leonie I would wait until my neck completely seized up, or my back solidified before I would get a massage from my amazing masseuse who always managed to get me back together again. Now I see her twice a month and it keeps my body moving and relatively pain free. As I am a stressy person, no matter what I do, this helps my stress pain points.

Therapy.

I have therapy every week, this is a big financial and time commitment but one which I have come to realise I need in my life. It is wonderful to be able to speak about all of the problems I am facing and everything which is going through my head in a non judgemental space. I never have to worry about boring her and talking about the same thing time and time again. She helps me reflect on patterns in my life and having that objectivity is wonderful. I highly recommend having therapy. I do try not to start sentences with ‘my therapist says….’ for fear of sounding horribly American (!)

Morning routine

I love my morning routine and I hate it when it gets disrupted, to the extent that I will go back and do it later if I have to. It involves gentle yoga, meditation, journalling, 1000 words of writing and then my Most Important Task from work. All before swtiching on the internet! It takes discipline and practice to do, but it is totally worth it.

Days off

I now have every Friday off and it feels like a complete and utter luxury. I often still do a 35 hour week just working Monday – Thursday, so having Friday is amazing. I don’t do any work stuff, but I do do other stuff. I will write more about it later.

I felt so proud of myself – I am taking care of myself and it will hopefully start to show when I get sick less and all out so burned out that I have to cancel all of my appointments and seeing all of my friends. Hurrah!

Compromise

Following on from my lazy or genius post I have reached a compromise and not going so far. There is a middle ground apparently. I am rather known for being binary in my thinking – I think it is a side effect of the depression – its either all or nothing.

I either write 1000 words each day or I write nothing.
I am eating really healthily, or I am eating junk.

There is a middle ground, always. I just need to remember that.

So I have simplified my work wardrobe, just not to entirely black, but everything does go together well, so I can just pick up what ever and wear it and know that it will match. I am also heading back towards trousers and shirts, just not the very formal dress shirt with a French cuff which need ironing, I hate ironing. I am much more comfortable and confident in trousers, so I don’t know why I keep thinking that I should wear dresses or skirts and then spending the day feeling uncomfortably girlie. I actually like Craghoppers shirts, they don’t need ironing, look smart and I can wear them walking if I want to. Clothes that do double duty – hell yeah!

I am going to sell lots of it on ebay and then send the rest to the charity shop. I am also not buying any more work clothes until I absolutely have to and then it needs to go with everything else. I have stayed with the colours, blue, black, purple, grey and that is it. Simple! I may add in some green if I come across something I particularly like.

I have one pair of work boots which are actually doc martens, which makes me smile, they are just not as clumpy as traditional docs. They are smart and go with everything

Well, it works for winter – I am not sure about what to wear in summer, but we will cross that bridge when we come to it. I am much happier about dressing in spring, autumn and winter, but summer always leaves me befuddled slightly!

Brain detox

There is so much information out there – we really are bombarded with so much data, images, opinions and other types of media that it can be difficult to figure out what is going on in our own brains.

For the last two weeks I have stopped reading all blogs, self help books, spirituality/religion books and the news. edited to add, I wrote this over a week ago now, hence there is a quote from another blog on here!

It has been so refreshing to say the least! I feel great for it. My anxiety has dropped somewhat, not least because I am no longer comparing myself to everyone else, feeling like I should be doing this that and the other.

I am not sure how much longer I can keep it up, I do need to go back to reading work related news, so that I can stay current in my knowledge, but as for the rest of it….I’m not sure at the moment.

I might stay blog free for a while longer yet, and maybe go back to some of it at a later stage. I might just pick one or two to read, those who don’t necessarily make me wish for a better or different life, but just those who interest me. I’m not sure.

 

Sticking with the stick

I am still having to use a walking stick to get about, I have found out that I haven’t done any major damage to my knee, just worn away a bit of the cartilage, but it is not something which can be fixed. I am going back to the physio next week, but they have told me I will not be able to run distances again, probably only 5 or 10Ks and certainly not on the road. My dreams of doing Ironman cannot happen. And that is ok, I can find other ways of keeping fit. My dog means that I am walking a great deal and it is certainly kinder to my joints. Which really, I do need to start thinking about as I am hypermobile, and not invincible.

But it does not give me the all out high that running does, when my knee is a bit better I am going to try cycling again, but I only really took up cycling proper because of doing triathlons. I suspect they are not going to happen now, although in a few years time if I find ones that run off road then I might be able to. I guess it is a case of patience something I am really, really not known for at all!

In the meantime I will carry on using my stick, because when I let vanity or pride get the better of me and I spend a day out and about without in by the end of the day I am limping and shuffling along at half pace and in a lot of pain, where as using the stick I am able to keep going for longer, with good posture and with only a little pain.

As it looks like the stick is going to be around for a while I have decided that I am going to get a funky one, so I have found the one I want, it is just out of stock for a couple of weeks, so I will have to wait that little bit longer. I have been putting off buying one as I was hoping it was a temporary thing, and it still might be, just kind of longish term temporary – not the few months I originally hoped – it has already been much longer that a few months.

It is hard adapting to using a stick, it is a very obvious declaration of a problem, but when you have something like a plaster cast people seem to be able to process it as broken leg, that’s ok. Whereas I get stared at by people. I am still relatively young to be using a walking stick and when I am using it there isn’t much of an obvious limp, so I guess people don’t know what to do with the information, so they look at me strangely. That’s ok, I can cope with it, but sometimes, when I am feeling vulnerable for using a stick, it makes me feel bad.

I have noticed I keep saying to people, when they mention the stick, ‘but this time last year I was training for a marathon’ as if I need to justify that this is only temporary, its not who I really am. Which is strange and it is teaching me a lot about identity.

I am also deeply uncomfortable using my stick when I am meeting new clients or have pitches, it feels like a massive weakness to be admitting and putting out there. And of course what does this say about my attitude to disability, or societies attitude? I am rubbish at being ill – even just a cold, because I do not like showing weakness, this is something I am working on and its ok to be ill and to need rest. I think in my head it is ok for other people to be ill, just not me.

I have done a lot of work with people with disabilities – I volunteered when I was a teenager at a playcentre for handicapped children and I never saw them as ‘weak’. It is just me I am seeing as weak. I think that also links in to depression too. I have never taken time off of work because of it, even when quite frankly I really needed to.

A lesson in patience, kindness and identity, all symbolised in a stick.

Lazy or genius?

Is it a really lazy thing to do to get rid of everything out of my wardrobe that isn’t black and just create a uniform of black clothes? Black trousers, black tshirt and black jacket, cardigan or jumper. With a range of colourful scarfs that I just could wear to brighten things up.

As a girl guide leader I have a uniform to wear, at least on the top half and I just wear whatever I have had on the rest of the day on the bottom. It is smart, it always looks together and I never have to think about it.

I work in schools quite a lot and sometimes look at the uniforms with envy. The kids (and their parents) don’t have to think about what they are going to wear each day, they just put on the same thing.

Although I have simplified my wardrobe a great deal (inspired by project 333), and only have a limited number of colours in my wardrobe I still have to think about what I am going to wear when I go to a meeting. It would be easy if I had a uniform that I wore when I was client facing.

But, with my limited colours and number of clothes I worry that people think I wear the same things all the time, I am sure that really no one gives a damn, but I notice what people are wearing and remember when they wear the same thing again. Of course I am not judging them, it is just that I notice and think that it really suits them and I wished that I was able to wear that sort of thing. Which I guess is a form of judgement, just positive to them and negative to me.

Of course, within that there is a whole level of worry about other people’s opinion, as well as a stress about such a minor thing. And that is what I mean, will just wearing the same thing take all of that away? Will I no longer waste brain power on such a thing?

Outside of meetings it is easy, jeans, tshirt and hoody/fleece. I only have one pair of jeans at the moment and it is actually working out, about 5 tshirts and about 4 hoody/fleece. Nearly all of my tshirts are merino or bamboo, so they are breathable and non smelly!

I have two pairs of walking trousers, it is very muddy round here and as I walk Buster everyday I need to be able to wash the thick mud off. On the top I tend to wear a tshirt/hoody which I have worn as normal clothes for a couple of days. At the moment, aside from a pair of loose trousers for yoga and my swimming kit I am not wearing any exercise clothes as I still can’t run or cycle. I just wear what ever tshirt I have been wearing to yoga.

So, would eliminating the options for work stuff away from blue, black, grey, purple and burgundy and different types of trousers/dress/skirt make life easier? I think the burgundy is going to go as it doesn’t work with purple and so I have 2 items of clothes which I can’t mix with others so well. Would 2 pairs of black trousers, 2 black long sleeve tshirts/2 black short sleeve tshirts and then a black cardigan, jacket and jumper work? Or would it be too boring? Maybe a black dress and a black skirt for variety?

I then wouldn’t need to think about fashion, new clothes (apart from when my black staples run out), or what to wear when I am heading out to a client.

I am of course, over exagerating, and I don’t think I would go this far, but it would make life so much easier!