The Art of Pottering
I set myself a challenge in May to do some exercise every day. I did pretty well, the weather has warmed up considerably so I’ve been spending a lot of time in the pool, not just swimming as I get bored doing lengths for too long but I decided to do proper aqua aerobic exercises with the help of foam dumbbells, noodles and flippers. I’ve been doing the figure 8 workouts too, I discovered there was a selection of short workouts for Belly Dancing and as this is something I used to do before, so I was very happy to include this in my workouts. I made sure to do some exercise every day even if just for 10 minutes. Some days I managed to do half an hour of Figure 8 workouts and go in the pool. I’ve lost about half a stone in weight and felt I could manage more exercise as my knees are a bit less painful so I decided to continue the challenge throughout June too, however as the summer arrives so does a lot more activity, I must admit I didn’t manage to exercise every day but I try to keep up with it as best as I can.
Lazy Day Pottering
I had a few days to myself the other week, my husband was working away from home and both the children in school. I got up before 7am to get my son up which is something my husband normally does and I went to bed earlier the night before to allow for this. But I was very tired, every time I started doing something, all my energy just seemed to drain away. I checked my blood pressure was good and took my vitamins and just decided it was one of those ‘little and often’ days where I will follow the advice from this quote I shared on my social media recently. I struggled to complete any task, I went outside to do a bit of weeding but got very hot so only managed about ten minutes. I didn’t have the energy to prepare healthy meals other than a bowl of fruit and yogurt and an unappetising omelette that I’d made for lunch, I basically just had toast to eat, I managed to rustle up a meal for my son when he came home from school though so didn’t neglect his needs and the dog was quite happy too. So it seemed like a wasted day where I could have got loads done but couldn’t find the energy or motivation.
But I Actually Achieved A Lot!
Before I went to bed that night I realised that on my ‘lazy day’ I had achieved so much. I wrote it all down before I went to sleep. In doing little bits at a time I managed to:
- vacuum the stairs, bedroom, corridor and living room
- Clean all the toilets
- Put a wash on and hang it out to dry
- Cleaned the cat litter tray
- Defrost two freezer drawers
- Finished weeding the flower bed
- Watered the garden
- Spent an hour on one of my online courses
- Did a short French Lesson
- Spent time trying to work out how to use a music making program (unsuccessfully, it’s very complicated)
- Tidied up a bit
I didn’t manage to do any exercise but all the pottering amounted to over 5000 steps on my fitness watch, I don’t always manage this when I’ve taken the dog for a walk. I didn’t eat healthy and felt like I was always having to stop what I was doing but I didn’t do bad in the end and the results are noticeable. I felt more tired the next day though but as I’d achieved so much I didn’t feel guilty having a rest and taking it easy for a while.
Living with other people (especially two teenagers) often means things are not as organised as I’d like. There is nothing more frustrating than opening a cupboard, drawer or even the fridge and items being crammed in there in a way that makes it impossible to find things or even worse half the contents falling out because they have been stacked in a very illogical manner. I got tired of complaining and explaining how to do it because it falls on deaf ears and I end up in a downward spiral of frustration and resentment. I suppose this is the price of having a family, if I lived alone I would have a lovely tidy and organised house but no one to share it with. So instead of letting those negative feelings get the better of me I just take a little time and sort it all out. It is quite a rewarding feeling to completely empty a cupboard, clean it and put everything back where they can easily be accessed next time, I always find things I forgot I had too which is a bonus. That is why I ended up defrosting just two drawers of my freezer and not the whole thing, after trying to prise them open and only being able to see what is on the top. It really isn’t necessary to have 10 freeze blocks taking up space and that dog food I bought two years ago probably isn’t going to be that good now.
The other day I did the same with my underwear drawer, after using the same dozen repeatedly I realised I had another twenty brand new pairs never used as they were below or behind the ones I reach for. So I through out all the old stuff to leave room for the new. I really need to do this with my clothes though. I have boxes of clothes that I hope to fit into one day, I struggle to fit anything in my wardrobe but again I only wear certain things on a regular basis. I working my way up to sorting this out though because I can’t let go of those brand new jeans that are only a couple of dress sizes out of reach. People say you won’t miss them but the number of times I’ve searched for certain items of clothing only to realise I probably gave them away to charity proves that some things are worth holding onto.
Writing a Book
Ever since I was a young girl I’ve enjoyed writing, I had one of those five year diaries with a lock and about five lines a day to write. I found that I couldn’t write much on five lines except to list things I did – got up, went to school, came home and had tea etc. so I would add extra pieces of note paper when I had a lot to say. In the end I just used notebooks and wrote in there when I needed to get things off my chest, this was the start of journaling. In my twenties I attended creative writing classes but everyone there was middle aged or older and I felt completely out of my depth even though they were very encouraging, the things they wrote were far more creative than anything I could come up with. A few years later I started a distant learning course, before the times of computers and the internet, everything was submitted by post and the course provided lots of useful instructions, manuals, books and lessons for all types of writing. I had an electric typewriter that was top of the range because you could save your work onto a floppy disc! However, this was a time in my life when I lived with a controlling and demanding partner and he couldn’t bare to let me focus so much attention on something unrelated to him. I found it too difficult to continue the course so I ended up writing poetry about my feelings during that time. I did keep all the books though!
Since then I’ve made a few attempts at writing a book, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do, I’ve had a few ideas but they haven’t evolved into anything so far. But I’m not giving up, writing this blog reaffirms to me that I have a lot to say as I struggle to keep my posts short. So I’m going to start again, this time planning how to break the story down into chapters and create plotlines and characters etc. It’s still in the planning stage but the book will be a fictional story based on actual events and experiences. I’m going to use it as a healing tool to address some of the situations that led to repressed negative emotions. I will embellish the truth and add more plotlines to make it more of an interesting read and the characters will be fictional but some will represent people involved in certain real life events. I hope I will finish it this time and even better have it published but if I only do it for myself then that will be a success too, if it helps with healing then it will be a huge success.
Thank you for taking the time to read my post. If you like this article please take look at some of my other pages or blog posts where I talk about different therapies and my own wellbeing journey and if you’d like to see future posts then please enter your email address and click on the subscribe button below and you will be notified of future content. I have no plans to use your email address for any other purpose. Feel free to share my page with anyone you feel may be interested and if you have any feedback about what I write or suggestions for further articles then please use the comment box further down the page. Warmest Wishes, Janet x
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