Some Time Alone – sort of…

Mrs Gb is away and the ‘real me’ has hit the deck… I need help!

Yesterday, after sweeping the ‘dust bunnies’ out from under the bed (my fault because I use this area as an unofficial library), walking then washing the dogs, and clearing out a cupboard where I store all my ‘work stuff’, I sat down with my latest batch of library books (the happiest part of the week is the moment I dig into my library bag and select a book… the possibilities, the chance to learn something new, to be entertained), opened a packet of Sakata bikkies and a small tub of Tzatziki dip (I’m hooked on this stuff!  I wonder if there is a Tzatziki Dip Anonymous group in town?) and spent a blissful hour or so reading and relaxing.

Mrs Gb always laughs when she rings up from afar.  One time I spent my ‘alone’ week washing down the walls of the house and re-arranging the linen press.  It’s like Mr. Clean Freak is let off his leash during these times  😀 

This time I was determined not to tackle any domestic duties, just read, write and relax.  But… well, my sister-in-law’s car needs polishing, the shed could do with a spring clean, and I think I’ve worked out how to transfer all our family videos to DVD… as I said, I need help.

I’m a sucker for routines, work time, rest time, food time, writing time, reading time… why?  I think it is because if I don’t plan my day then I end up wasting time.  Either by working through all my meal breaks before collapsing at dusk, or alternatively, ignoring jobs that need doing, and while I’m trying to relax they’re clamouring for attention in the back of my mind, which means I’m not totally at peace. 

So I have routines.  I make ‘to do lists’ and tick stuff off.  The trouble with being a home owner is that you will never be free of things to do.  There is always ‘something’ needing painting, repairing, cleaning, adjusting, free-ing up, or tightening down.  This is a fact.

You could, if you so wished, spend nearly every waking minute fiddling with stuff round your house, and so pass the rest of your life trying to keep on top of it.  Don’t waste your time folks.  The Nirvana of the clean freak is to finally sit down to relax knowing that everything is in order, has been weeded, painted, cleaned, polished, sanded, treated, and buffed to perfection.  It’s not going to happen.  This is the nature of things. 

When you go to the beach are you sitting there thinking, “This place could do with a good re-organising, move that sand bar, weed those dunes, etc.”  Of course not (but if you are, Get Help!)  You’re there to relax, have fun, enjoy natural surroundings without the worry and stress of responsibility to make changes. 

Why do we do it at home?  I suppose it’s because we don’t ‘own’ the beach, which would explain why many folk leave their rubbish lying around.   But after a while, everything, becomes a chore doesn’t it?  When you get to the stage where you are having to write, “Spend time with family” in your notebook, then you really need to stop and have a good hard look at your life. 

I’m not kidding.  I’ve actually seen that entry in someone’s journal (well, a couple of years ago I had several similar entries in my Outlook Calendar), it’s not a good sign that all is well with your life. 

If you must write a ‘to do’ list put in some of, or all, of the following:

Be bored.  Honestly, sit and stare at a wall for at least twenty minutes.  Try it, it’s nice.  If anyone tells you we in the West can’t meditate, then point them to the nearest wall and come back in twenty or so minutes and see the change that has come over them!  Alternatively, you could arrange to spend an entire day just lounging around on your bed, read some magazines, watch a little tele, snooze, it’s up to you.  Enjoy doing nothing! 

Read a good book before having a nap.

Play with the children, don’t wear a watch, and let them choose where, what, and how long you will play. 

Do something different today!  Don’t go for all out extravaganza, take a walk through a park you’ve never been in before, find a track and follow it to see where it goes.  Dig out some old photos and try and remember the names of all the people in them… 

and finally,

Take your notebook, and your ‘to do’ list and put it away today.  One day won’t kill you.

Ok, better get moving, the Littlest Princess wants to play golf today, then we’re going to spend a few hours watching the grass grow on the front lawn.

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