I was planning on a week off from the day job last week anyway, but then it turned into a week where nothing work related really got done at all. And I thought I’d explain how this happened!
I was travelling on the first weekend to see my new niece – those of you in the Brigid’s Forge Facebook group will have seen the pic of the adorable little cherub. Now initially, we were meant to be staying with my baby brother and his wife, but her Dad was then in hospital so the house was given up to her family so they had a base to be going in and out of the hospital from. No problem for us, night in a hotel. And to help out, I was bringing up a boot load of food because I knew damn well my bro would be trying to feed everyone no matter what time they were coming and going at. A few freezer meals is no harm is these situations! But I still got a good 2 hrs solid cuddling with the niblet and I am so happy I did. Plus I managed to fit in a decent walk in Salthill which would rejuvenate the soul frankly, and spent some time with my feet in the sea and just reconnecting with myself essentially.
Then on the Monday, I was over in Waterford, talking to some academics on a new course we’re trying to put together to help technicians advance in their careers, or even just develop the skills to make them better technicians! And while I was there I fit in a lovely few hours in Tramore, again washing the feet, spending time with the sand and the sea and the sky. I was blessed both days that it was mostly fine, decently warm, although most other people were well wrapped up, I was fine in my cardie. Possibly some inner fire from herself there?
On Tuesday, I did nothing. I sat on the couch. I slept. I stared into space. I couldn’t even follow The Big Bang Theory on the telly. So all plans at that point were cancelled, because since I had the breakdown late last year, I am paying attention to my mental state.
Wednesday, I got my husband to Lidl to get some food in (we were reduced to instant noodles on Tuesday night – just on their own, not even a scallion chopped up in them!) and I got a couple of bottles of wine and we planned a quite Paddy’s day.
Oh yes, in case you missed in, last Thursday was Paddy’s Day, when suddenly everyone’s Irish, and has a license to start drinking at 9am or earlier. Well, that’s not how my Paddy’s went. Now don’t get me wrong, when I was younger, I loved the excitement of going into Dublin, spending the day with friends drinking, watching the parade, trying to find out favourite night club that wasn’t charging to get in and generally letting our hair down. We’d have cocktails, and catch up on all the goings on of the last year, because some of these friends I’d not seen for the last 12months. But time moves on. And the days of me spending a full day drinking are long gone. Mind you, so are the days of me needing hair of the dog to function the next day as well. I think the way I spent this Paddy’s was much healthier for me – mentally and physically.
I had a good long 10hr sleep. I watched the parade on the telly. I admired my niece’s latest photo (the poor child is going to be the most photographed child in Ireland!) I spend time chatting to family and friends. I read some books. We had chicken teriyaki for dinner. I didn’t bother with the wine cos I didn’t feel like it in the end. And you know, that probably wasn’t that different to most other people on this island, except anyone with kids would probably have been involved in their local parade as well. The % of Irish people going on the piss for the day fairly low. And if you want to know more about St Patrick, go look at the Irish Pagan School, there’s a grand course on there for the truth about him, not to mention the numerous videos on the youtube channel. And there was a fair bit of time spent on social media countering the various falsehoods about St Patrick and the Irish relationship with him. I could go into that here, but honestly, I’m still drained from it. If my opinions on this are something you’re interested in, let me know and I’ll see about gathering up the energy to do it later on.
Friday, I started to feel more energy, I was reading more, did a youtube workout video, I actually cooked something. Saturday was even better, my husband and I went out for a very late lunch, did some brief shopping around town, and I started to defrost the freezer. I know, I live an exciting life. In the middle of this, my brother messaged me to let me know his father-in-law had passed away, which was sad, but also a release from pain for the poor man. This doesn’t of course make it any less sad for his family though.
Anyway, this meant Sunday was spent finishing off the freezer (which is still empty and shining!!) getting food in for the week, getting to the bottom of the laundry basket and figuring out how I could manage all my expectations for this week, booking hotels and things like that. Also ringing my mother in a panic cos I thought it was Mother’s Day – it wasn’t, it’s next week, in Ireland at least! But still. It also meant packing my clothes to deal with three days away from home and deciding on what approach I’d take to food.
Now after typing all that, it doesn’t sound like a very restful holiday, but it was really. Defrosting the freezer is something I’ve been trying to do since before Christmas but couldn’t make myself start. It’s also been a while since we saw the bottom of the laundry basket, or had all the clothes put away instead of being in piles everywhere. There are loads of things I didn’t do – sorting out our medical receipts, getting last year’s taxes sorted out, getting in to the doctor, etc, etc, etc, but the 10+ hrs sleep a night was really healing and rejuvenating. I work just before my alarm clock this morning which was great, and I was able to do my morning routine with little pain.
Why did I give all that run down? Well, I talk about self care here a lot. And a lot of the time, it’s about eating right, moving my body, sleeping etc. But sometimes it means taking a week off and just going with the flow. A lot of the time it means adjusting your plans for the week to what must be done versus what you’d like to be done. A lot of the time it means eating instant noodles because the thought of having to get in the car and drive somewhere is just too damn hard to contemplate. And hell yeah, I’m privileged to be able to do this and have the flexibility to do this. I appreciate that very much. It also brought home to me how much more I need to tune into my energy levels and my general feelings on a day to day basis rather than waiting til I get to that “sitting on the couch staring” stage again.
My week off was far more and less of a week off than planned, but I’m happy with the way it came out. I was even able to sleep last night, without worrying about what I’d face in work this morning, which was a big change. So there you go. My week off! I didn’t even manage to light a single candle while I was off… I did have a few chats with herself though, more on that later 🙂