Thursday, 3 November 2011

A Different Sort of Day

Hello all

Mmm, have had a different sort of day today - one that might be best described as lazy.  We got back from a short break away (only four days, our first holiday in a year!) on Tuesday evening, and I was amazed by how much better I felt for the break.  Presumabaly Paul and the kids did too.  I should ask them.  Lazy AND selfish!

Anyway, the holiday feeling had already dissipated somewhat by yesterday evening, as I realised when I found myself haranguing Paul for not helping enough with the boys' bedtime (on the grounds that yes, he was shattered, but SO WAS I!)  I was a bit disappointed with myself about this, as I had decided that I would be calmer and more patient in future (with everybody about everything) and it hadn't lasted nearly long enough.

Today, I got up at six thirty.  I prepared this evening's meal, put it in the slow cooker.  Fed everyone (well, supplied them with a cereal bowl and a spoon) made some tea, and filled four lunch boxes.  To cut a long story short, three hours after I woke up all the children were at school or play school and Paul was at work.  It was half past nine.  My time was my own until half past two.

I started to work out in my head what I could do in the alloted time and how.  Take a book back to the library. Walk the dog.  Collect the newspaper, read some of it (I am usually in too much of a hurry to read all of it properly).  Write something.  Write lots.  Here panic set in.  Should I try to write a humourous poem? (I have had an urge to do some more of these for a couple of weeks now). Or a short story? (for some reason I think the time is right to embark on a short story - I have not ever written a good one of these, but perhaps I need more practice).  Of course, I should look at this blog, and maybe do a diary entry too, but I should also begin or preferably complete something more concrete, as confirmation that my writing career is progressing. 

The stress was building.  What should I do first?  What was most important?  Then I did something unprecedented - I sat down and watched catch-up TV for an hour.  It was episode one of the Food Hospital on Channel 4 - a fairly graphic programme showing why you should eat healthily.  It was very good.  And very relaxing.

Then I put the lead on my little dog and took her out for a long walk.  Almost an hour.  Came home, had a leisurely lunch and read several chapters of my book, which is an Alexander McCall Scotland Street one, very reassuring and gentle writing, calming, good for the soul. 

This was great.  Then I got on my blog (hi!) and looked first at the writings of others who I follow.  Ended up watching video clips of Pat Deegan (thanks again to Gianna from Beyond Meds).  From that went to look up Peter Chadwick, because I remembered that for some time I have had a note to myself on my phone to look up both of those people (both doctors).  Brilliant.

This is the sort of day that I could have every time Toddler is at play school - except then I would have to do the house stuff on his days off.  Or in the evenings.  I will have to see how I feel later - whether today's strategy leaves me more energised later in the afternoon and early evening so that I can achieve more, workwise, at those times, or whether these are just lost hours.  But are they lost hours, even if I haven't achieved anything?  Maybe not all achievements can be measured.  Maybe my achievement today is to relax a bit. 

I am waiting to hear about the Time to Change job.  Interviews are supposed to be held in London next week and I have not yet heard anything - does this mean that I am not called to interview, or that they have had so many applications that it is taking them longer to sort them?   It is exciting to think that my life may be moving on properly at last - to think that I may have proper paid work in my life.  If this job is not for me, then I am sure something else will come up - I feel that change is not far away. 

Anyway, I have just ten minutes left before I have to embark on the school run, which includes an after-school meeting with elder son's teacher, and then taking him to his first choir practice (sweet).  I will be busy for about two hours, but luckily dinner is done already so I can hopefully stay calm into the evening.

I am not complaining by the way.  I love all this. I need all this to get me out of bed in the morning.  I love having all the kids and looking after everybody.  But I would like to enjoy it all more, rather than feel as though I am chasing my tail just to get things done all the time.  Slow down and smell the roses (wake up and smell the coffee?)

Anyway, I guess this post has not been about mental health very much, except my own individual experience of it, which today has been a good one.  I feel very lucky actually - especially after listening to Pat Deegan's experience.  I have many more good days than bad - I can say that I am recovered with almost complete confidence these days (although I am more than conscious that I am not even vaguely perfect, and that some things are definitely more difficult for me than for the average person).

Must go now, hope all ok with everyone else out there.

Louise x 

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