Hi. Happy New Year.

I went through my ritual cleaning last night and finished some time after 2am, crawling across the finish line with the aid of my husband, but grumpy and unappreciative and tired and sullen and sort of feeling hard done by.

We’d had visitors during the day and also a jaunt out to the shopping centre in Blackrock, all of which ate into my cleaning time and I was therefore feeling like that was the reason I tired me was still cleaning at 2am. In actuality, there’s just too much to do in one evening – especially if I insist on cleaning the tops of windows and going through old files. Last year I was a little more prepared and gave myself x amount of time in each room to do what I could.

All the same, it’s nice and it does feel new and clean and bright. I woke up this morning and used the space in what used to be our bedroom to take 10 minutes for yoga stretching. I went with a super simple beginner video, but even that proved pretty difficult for my long-unstretched and aging body. I just take this as an indicator that I’m doing the right thing by developing this habit.

Our morning routines are going to get really changed with the change in our sleeping arrangements. The bed has to be unfolded each night, then folded back in the morning. It will mean no lounging in (that) bed past when the room is needed for family use.

There was also a bit more musical beds last night: twin2 crawled in, twin2 calling for me, swapping back and forth between them several times throughout the night, and not really sleeping properly in the in-between times due to being too hot or not having enough space or being over-cuddled. I am not a spoon goddamnit!

I had a lot of running motivation this time last year, with the challenge of 1000km unmet ahead of me. The downside of having (just about!) met the challenge this year is that I’m feeling less of that “Goddamnit, I will do it!” motivation. I mean, I still want to do it and all, but now I’ve got a bit of an assumption that of course I’ll do it. I will, of course, still run today, but I’m not quite feeling the driving motivation that would make things a little easier.

Meanwhile, my digestive system is sincerely objecting to the chilli, cheese and bread from the takeaway pizza I indulged in last night.

You know, I know full well that the notion of last hurrahs and “being good forever” at some future point is so completely harmful and only likely to result in my craving whatever it is I’ve identified as something I want less in my body or life. What am I going on about? Let’s take crisps for example: I have hugely indulged in cheese and onion Taytos this holiday season. You might think it’s a replacement for alcohol, but it actually always happens around Christmastime – I actually blame the box. Something about the crisps being in a box seems to call on me to be over-indulgent.

On two occasions prior to Christmas-proper I picked up a box of Tayto-crisps and polished them off (yes, mostly me – even though there are others in the house who eat them) in embarrassingly quick fashion. So then I said that I was “allowing” indulgence for the Christmas period and would “be good” once the New Year started. This resulted in way more crisp indulgence than would have taken place if I could simply have taken some awareness of my actual wants and needs into each moment.

Why oh why does everything have to be so “all or nothing” with me? Life is not set up to be kind to all-or-nothing people. Mental health is far more rewarded with a balanced life, and so too is physical health. Going from couch potato to attempting an Everest climb, or a marathon run will only result in injury. You’ve got to build things up slowly, and then maintain them close to every day to see any decent results.

Perhaps I was spoiled by the academic ability to coast and be lazy for the majority of the year and then binge-study (cramming in old parlance) in the short period before the actual exams and get really good results. I would not have bloomed under the current trend towards continuous assessment.

But I guess it’s time for me to learn to continuously assess myself and my life – and not just “be good” for a stretch followed by indulgence. This is not new information, but it’s a New Year, so maybe a good time for a newly energised focus.

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