Wisdom for the Week

Image found here via Pinterest.

Now coming to the end of a busy second week of the new school year, this quote seems very apt! After the luxury of a long holiday it can feel like a bit of a shock to the system when the working days and weeks are flying by and it seems I barely have time to eat and sleep, let alone anything else. But reading is important. Reading teaches us things and reminds us of things we know but might have forgotten. Reading takes us out of ourselves and helps us reflect on ourselves. Reading is an adventure and a quiet space to rest in. So we must make time to read, no matter how busy life gets.

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Spending Time

  
This morning I am having to go into work later than normal, due to a doctors appointment which I couldn’t get outside of working hours. Normally this would mean me having a lie in and enjoying an extra bit of sleep. (I’m very fond of sleep!) Or it would mean me waking up early and worrying about the doctors appointment. However, I decided that instead of having a lie in, and instead of sinking myself in worry, I would get up at my normal time and just enjoy a leisurely morning. Best. Decision. Ever.

It might seem strange (I know it does to me) since we have just had a weekend in which there were two lesiurely mornings when I could have done everything I did today, but there is something different about a leisurely morning before you have to go to work. Somehow that time is more precious. It shouldn’t be, but it is. 

I was able to get up and do half an hour of yoga (something I always say I’m going to do anyway before I realise that I prefer sleeping). I managed to eat breakfast sitting at the table instead of rushing and standing next to the kitchen sink (a small thing but amazing how much of a difference it makes). I could take my time getting ready for work and even painted my nails! 

Even then I had some time left. So I sat and did a little bit of work (funny how productive I felt in the quiet and comfort of my own home) so that my day when I eventually reached work would be well prepared for. I did a little bit of reading and have even managed to write this post for my much-neglected blog.

I ended up with just over 2 hours of ‘free time’ this morning that I don’t normally have and I got so much done. It’s the nicest 2 hours I have spent by myself in a long time. Reaching the end of this time I feel calm, productive, content. I feel a strange sense of achievement. I actually get quite a lot of time to myself; I usually get home from work before my husband and I only work during term time whereas he works full year, so I get a lot of me time during school holidays. It seems, however, that I am not very good at using that time wisely.

It was half term just a week ago. I had a full week to do what I wanted, to rest and recharge and do all the things I always say I wish I had time for. But by the end of that week I didn’t feel rested, I didn’t feel like I’d done the things I wanted to, I didn’t feel like I had spent my time well. Honestly, I felt exhausted. I had somehow spent most of the week rushing and worrying and yet not really doing anything. Then I felt guilty for not doing what I ‘should’ have done. What a waste. 

So what is the problem here? I often say that I don’t have time but in reality I do, I’ve just not figured out how to use it in a way that feels fulfilling. The problem is that because I think I don’t have time, when I do get an hour or so I see as ‘free’ I end up spending the whole time worrying about the things I think I should be doing, or trying to decide which or my pastimes I want to fill that time with: Do I want to read? Write? Draw? Dance? I really should go to the gym. Maybe I could do some exercise at home instead? Yoga? Dance workout? But I really should vacuum. Have we got food in for dinner? I need to go to the shop. I should clean the bathroom first…and then that lovely hour I could have had is gone and nothing  practical or pleasurable is done.

So I am resolving to stop worrying about how I spend my time, and to remind myself that all the time I have is as precious as this morning’s 2 hours.

Procrastinating

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I have always been a talented procrastinator. Excelling at putting things off, I am the master of the last minute.

Lately, I seem to have taken my procrastination skills to a new level; I am somehow managing to procrastinate away my free time…

On those occasions when I have the time to sit and read my book, write something, make something, DO something, I seem to fritter away my time with nothingness. I scroll my Facebook and Instagram feeds; I read endless articles about the incompetency of our government (and irritate my social media friends by sharing said articles…); I spend time gathering the notebooks I’m going to write in, the pens I’m going to use, the books and pictures that inspire me…and they sit in a pile next to me whilst I scroll through Twitter and Pinterest…

Something isn’t working. I’m not allowing myself to unplug and do the things that I really want to do.

Part of the problem is this weird sort of anxiety I have about not doing these things well enough. I want to write, but I don’t think my writing is that good. Of course my writing would be better if I just got on and wrote! I want to read but sometimes find that I’m not quite in the mood for *that* book, and I really shouldn’t start a different one, or I know I’m tired and will probably fall asleep after a page. You see reading actually makes my brain relax and stop it’s daily whirring, and when that happens I find it hard not to fall asleep. But if I fall asleep now¬†then I’m not doing all those things I could be doing with this precious free time…

And so the cycle continues.

Letter to Father Christmas

Dear Father Christmas,

For Christmas this year I was wondering if you could add an extra day into the week? Or maybe just an hour or two into each day? I’ve really been quite good and this is a very selfless present to ask for because it would benefit EVERYBODY. Even you. I bet you would like an extra 52 days in the year to check who is naughty and nice, finish building toys or even just to put your feet up for a bit.

I just find there is simply not enough time to get through all the things I want/need to. Here are the things I hoped I’d get through today:
Finish the lesson plans for my intervention week
Collate the resources for said intervention week
Do a food shop
Trip to John Lewis for fairy lights (because it’s always necessary to have move fairy lights)
Cook something nice for tea
Read through the requirements for my portfolio
Read some of my book
Watch something Christmassy with the hubby
Plan tomorrow’s lessons
Do some exercise (since there’s no dancing at the moment.)
Update the (long neglected) blog

If course I had to go to work etc. as well so I managed to do about three of these things in the end. I think you see my point.

So, a bit of extra time stuffed in my stocking this year would be lovely, thank you.

Best Christmassy wishes
J. xx