The Big Week Off – Part I

I have been having the most blissful week off! It’s actually 10 days altogether, made even more perfect by my first day back being the 1st of the month. In other holidays I’ve always tried to make plans, have targets or some special things I want to do – but this week I very specifically gave myself permission to have a week “off” – let myself lie-in, (that was my reward for completing my 12-week challenge, which I did woohoo!) have long lazy afternoons watching movies if I want to, sit in the park, wander, play music, listen to music, WHATEVER I like. I’m trying to live my emotions, stay within them instead of repressing them and just let myself BE. The only other prescription I had was to not binge, which is pretty easy when I’m open to my emotions and not under any stress, can buy nice healthy food etc.

It’s Tuesday today, and briefly, I’ve done these things so far. Saturday I had a big music day, ran in the morning to finish my challenge (woohoo!) and just played for most of the day. I have a list of Big Chores I’d like to get done this week – kind of a purge of the flat as well as cleaning house mentally and emotionally – and I cleaned the windows and changed the bedding and flipped the mattress. Sunday I had a slow day with HH, did some paperwork, filing and banking and not much else. Monday and Tuesday I lay in in the morning. I’ve been chatting and catching up with a few people in between which has been really nice, I’m not always very good at making the time for other people but actually I need them a lot! Monday afternoon I went on a very long walk – until I didn’t really know where I was – found a really lovely potential part of town to live in and ended up in a big park I’d always wanted to go to but never had. It was good to go somewhere new – I have my favourite parks but I feel like I’m in a new phase of my life and it’s nice to seal that with a first visit to somewhere new. Book-ended that walk with coffee in two different places and found somewhere that does great ice cream and has great places to sit and write! Tuesday afternoon I had lunch with K in the park, then stayed there and lay in the grass in the boiling hot sun, just doing nothing, and then ice coffee at the new patisserie in town.

It’s so funny that what happened at the recording changed things so much right before this week – I had a totally awesome last week at work and ever since I have opened up to my emotions, I’ve felt more like myself, more real with other people, somehow more attractive or complete, and have just had a much better quality of life. When I booked this week off I thought I would need a break from everyone and everything which is what I’ve usually needed before – but in some ways I am much happier now that my regular life, including work and my friends and the people around me, are just right for me at the moment.

The other thing that’s changed is that I don’t feel like I’m on a quest to get to a certain point called “there” any more – sure, there are goals I have that I want to complete, but I feel so much more content on a day-to-day basis that I’m happy to work towards them and just accept the progress as it comes without feeling like I have to complete them by the end of the year or by a certain point. I accept myself and my life as it is and so much of it is good. And my lifestyle is finally geared towards the goals I have – the set of things I do everyday to keep myself mentally well and improve my physical fitness, the way I can prioritise music and how that has become intertwined with my own emotional wellbeing. So all things considered, I think I can probably be a bit more flexible and make more time to be with people, especially those I can be completely myself with and who I share a mutually caring relationship with.

At the back of my mind is the “plan” for 4Q – I don’t need to have a massive PLAN like usual but I do need to make sure I sustain my healthy feel-good lifestyle in the face of busy pressures at work, a socially busy season, and the darkness and cold of winter. It WILL slip if I’m not vigilant about it so that does need to be one side of my goals. All the other goals I have so far are to do with my emotional development – being my authentic self with as many people in my life as possible, opening up whenever I get the chance, channeling my emotions into my music, learning to cope with the extremes of my emotional range more adequately so I’m not scared of them, naming my demons, celebrating what makes me happy. I will be back with some more on those plans as the crystallize – and also need to give a round-up of the 12-week challenge.

For now, here are some pictures from what have been a beautiful few days. I feel so free and relaxed and at one with myself – this week was exactly what I needed.

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