I’ve spent most of January in bed, initially with flu and more recently with complications from flu. It’s been awful and to be frank, for me a little bit of a reminder that I need to look after myself more.
I spend my days either working or running around after everyone, backwards and forwards to school or rushing backwards and forwards around the M25 to get back for school runs. I’ve even got into a mindset where my downtime is used in a productive way, for quilting or knitting or some such endeavour. I don’t just sit, rest and be.I’m constantly interrupted and I haven’t been recharging my batteries.
One of the books that I read before Christmas was H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald. I enjoyed this book immensely and it has made me think profoundly about my life. It’s basically the story of her depression following her fathers death and how she focussed on training a hawk. Her values, her thoughts and her personal journey and that of T.H. White before her and of course, the hawk.
After reading this I came to a bit of an epiphany where I thought that my constant striving to regain some of my career, to define myself by my job was in fact a pointless pursuit and instead I should be pursuing my own personal happiness and contentment. Then I got ill.
Enforced stay’s in bed are the thing of dreams when you are a busy mum. The chance to rest and relax being minimal. However, I must say I didn’t enjoy any of this time. The guilt of leaving others to cope was grim and being so ill that at one point I wondered if I should start writing an ‘if I should die’ type list. I’ve missed three birthdays and times which should have been full of fun and joy became a chore for my husband.
One of the things which being in bed did force me to do was to watch a lot of TV, I couldn’t easily read because of a terrible headache, but I could put TV on and watch/ listen as I wished.
On Netflix I watched this Japanese series about a girl working in a lingerie shop called Atelier. It struck me how different Japanese TV is shot and conceived to ours, I must admit I got a bit sucked in. I also started watching ShadowHunters purely because I wanted to see how they had adapted the Cassandra Clare books. Verdict on that so far is that the first episode was good, the second was not an improvement. I’ve got sucked into The Good Wife and to Grimm, both excellent easy viewing.
Over on Amazon I’ve been completely and utterly loving Ripper Street, something I didn’t watch on TV because I never watch TV really and rather compulsively viewing Transparent which is completely not the sort of thing I’d normally watch but has a great soundtrack and is so quirkily filmed and scripted you cant help but want more. TV- its great, who’d have thought!
Many lessons have been learnt from being this ill, although i’m on the mend now I think that things are going to have to slow down. I’m going to take on less work (and charge more for what I do, which I think is half the problem). I’m going to focus on being the very best at what I do, but do less rather than trying to do everything to please everyone. Im going to indulge myself properly with the crafts i’m interested in and spend time on them rather than feeling guilty and slotting them in when I can.
I’m going to focus on spending time cooking healthy, cost effective meals for the family which are slightly different to what we usually have. I’ve been stuck in a rut and although its all nutritious and on the whole, home made I think there is a need for some wholesome comfort.
Perhaps most of all though, the husband and the children are going to find themselves the target of a military style clearing up course. They tried their best, but I think they need instruction. This will involve how to use the hoover, cleaning the toilet and hands chopped off should I find them wandering the house eating food whilst crushing the previously dropped food into the carpet and sofa’s further. This may make for some interesting blogs!