You may recall me mentioning a health thing I had earlier in the year. The doctors I saw, when they had any idea at all what it was, mentioned something about it being exacerbated by stress and my being run down. It was freaky and unpleasant and I was concerned about it. So I decided to take a few steps to try and rectify things. Physically, this has meant starting to run regularly again (successful), walking to work again (successful), trying a short yoga session before bed to relieve nervous energy (successful and occasionally hilarious), drinking a lot more water (successful) and eating less sugar and wheat (not at all successful). Mentally, I’ve tried to cut down on external commitments, and I’ve been to see a lady for a short course of counselling.
With the onset of autumn, my favourite season, I feel like I ought to be refreshed and raring to go. I’m not quite there yet. I know what you’re thinking – it’s the wheat isn’t it? It’s not just that. Work has become unstable again for me. And despite my best efforts, time is not stretching in the way that it ought to be. I have at least been able to stop feeling guilty if I have a night relaxing. And I no longer mind that my Mondays are all about E. At one point I wanted to see how I could use them for other things too but after having her brilliantly amuse herself while I was on a pointless 2-hour work phone call, I refuse to compromise on this, even if I have urgent business. I need to have some say over how we spend our weekends but Mondays are for the two of us.
Not long ago I read an interview with Hilary Clinton. She achieves many many things each day. She’s a machine. I was all admiration and envy until I remembered that she undoubtedly has someone who does her shopping, cleaning, diary management and other admin work for her. Those are the kinds of things I’d throw money at if I had any. And I say this as someone who has a supportive husband who does a fair share of housework and childcare.
I know you can’t change all your habits at once. And I’ve had some success. I’m pretty certain this thing, this skin condition, will be with me for ever, in faded or scarred form – it comes up worse when I’ve been exercising due to the increased blood flow. As sad as that is, a stress-related condition could have been a lot worse so let’s take it as the warning it should be and not dwell. Next step, cutting down on sugar. And possibly job hunting.