Juggling Act

Well it certainly rained a lot last week. Less watering!

I was actually awoken last weekend by the sound of rain smashing onto the roof tiles. As I rolled over and looked out of the window, Mindu (one of our cats) was sat neatly on the chair, peeping through the curtains. I think she was pleased to be in the dry and warm. Bit like me really. So I pulled the duvet up over my shoulders and snoozed for another hour or so.

Last Sunday morning I booked a trip to Edinburgh. I made reservations at the (five star, first time ever in my life) Balmoral Hotel for Rich’s birthday, and we’re flying up to spend just a short break away from it all. It’ll be the first time we’ve properly been away together in over seven years. Seeing as I got a little promotion and pay rise at work, I thought it would be nice to do something. I surprised him that morning by making him a (free range) fried egg (in olive oil, of course) sandwich and a cup of tea. Just ‘cos I’m nice…

I’m excited about going because I just need to be away for a while. Work is just… mental at the moment. There’s no other word for it. Today is Saturday, and this morning at 9 o’clock I was to be found sitting at my desk. On a Saturday morning. Like I said, mental.

But of course, I’m home now. I’m still feeling prettywound up about work. ‘Work mode’, I call it. I was so tired last night that I fell asleep fully clothed on the bed, having only gone to lie down with the fan on to cool down (had been running round the Smallest Smallholding, trying to get the bunbuns in from their ‘free ranging’). Rich came up at around half past nine and put me to bed because I was so out of it. I was so tired so that I slept through until around sevenish.

Needless to say, I’m still struggling with everything, especially finding time for the allotment. Mum has just been a superstar and has been doing most of the legwork down there. I’ve been quite useless, actually. I’m just mentally so tired in the evenings, all I can do is fall down with a book (re-reading the Potter series in preparation for forthcoming Half-Blood Prince film, of course), or sit down and steadily make my way through my boxsets of Alias. In fact, Rich and I now have a thing where we dedicate around an hour or two in the evening to Alias. I love that show. Rich never really watched it, but I think I have him a bit hooked.

The other thing is that I’m eating far too much at the moment. I’m just too big and I don’t like it. I caught a fleeting glimpse in passing of my old best friend from school the other day. She looks great. I look like a fatter, older version of myself. I’m not happy about it. I’m doing my yoga stretches for my back problems each evening, but it’s not exactly exercise. I’m getting really worried that I’ll never shift this excess weight that I’ve put on since leaving school. I always thought I was big back then, but of course I wasn’t. I might have been taller and broader than the other stick-like glamour-puss friends I had, but I wasn’t the heifer I thought I was.

Of course, now, I think I am. Typical woman thing? But somewhere inbetween everything else I have GOT to make room for exercise. Proper, getting-out-of-breath, pain-barrier, hard work kind of exercise. Because I NEED it. Whilst I’ve been picking up my yoga stretches and making it into a daily routine, I’ve become horrified at how much flexibility and strength I’ve lost. Even in the past six months or a year, I’m just rubbish compared to what I used to be. It’s scary! So yes, that’s something else on the agenda.

Oh good grief. I just need a big break really. At school I had half terms and summer holidays, at university I had even longer breaks, and when I was freelancing, whilst I wasn’t going on holiday, my time was flexible. OK, my work schedule isn’t terrible, I have a full weekend, but it just somehow feels relentless. I can’t mix work in an office with projects on the computer, projects outside… I’m having to do stretches every night so that I’m able to work at the computer every day, to keep the really bad pains away. OK, yes, there are people out there that think I’m a moaner, that think I’m just making up excuses, but when my back and neck pain gets bad, it takes over. I have constant grumbles of discomfort from working on a computer all the time, and it’s really wearing. I would try and change my lifestyle but I can’t see any other way than what I’m doing right now. I’m kind of working my way out of a very deep, large, hole and laying down roots. I’m hoping I’m working towards a life where I actually have something put away and some security. Where I have building blocks, I suppose. If that makes sense.

I just feel like my attempt at the Good Life is slipping away. My dream was to have a comfortable home, to grow my own food, to maybe write a few books (got one outlined in my head), have a mix of projects on the go. At the moment, it’s only a fraction of a part-time attempt at the Good Life, but at the moment seems to be eclipsed by work, being tired because of work, trying to fit in things around work, trying to juggle everything, be a success at everything I turn my hand to, and my Smallest Smallholding always seems to come way down on my list of priorities. And THAT doesn’t sit well with me at all. When I look at the bigger picture, I wonder why I’m struggling. I have my evenings, I have weekends, yet somehow the free time slips away and nothing really gets done. Am I just too lazy? Am I unorganised? Am I just lacking inspiration and dedication?

After all, there are plenty of people that find a way to manage. I just feel like I’m in a big tangle and things just aren’t going the way I want them to. Is that what people call ‘ just life’?

P.S. I miss seeing my hens pottering around.


  1. You are working really hard at a new job so you are bound to feel tired and stressed. When you are at home forget all the things you think you ought to do and just do the things you want to do for a while otherwise you will totally exhaust yourself. Things will get better as you get more used to the job you are doing and then you will have more energy. Know what you mean about the hens though as I still miss mine and thats after nearly eight years.

  2. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything, and you’ll make yourself ill trying to – trust me, I’m learning that lesson the hard way. Someone gave me a good bit of advice the other day: stop beating yourself up at the end of the day over what you DIDN’T do, and reward yourself instead with the list of what you DID do. You’ll find that you are actually accomplishing more than you believe you are.

    A break sounds like a very good idea – take a brolly though, and a fleece: Edinburgh is pretty chilly when the wind comes in off the North Sea. Good time to visit: before the Festival madness starts. If you haven’t been before, there’s a fantastic farmer’s market on Saturday mornings in Castle Terrace; don’t spend too long on the Royal Mile (it’s just full of tat and pretty tatty to boot) and instead head towards Stockbridge which is just wonderful: full of lovely wee independent shops, pretty streets and about 10 mins walk from Princes Street.

    Hope you have a terrific time and you find it does re-charge you 🙂

  3. Maybe you could try taking multi vitamins and iron? I can’t believe how much better and less tired I’m feeling since I started on a course of them

  4. I know how you feel, I’m leaving for work at 6 in the morning and not getting back till 7.30 at night as well as working some weekends and all the little jobs seem to get pushed to the back!
    the first month at starting my new job (I’m building a high rise block) I could barely move after walking up and down stairs all day and I’d driven the hours drive back but a few months down the line I’m starting to get a bit of energy in the evenings.
    i make sure that I do a little job every evening and then all the little half hours add up making the workload at the weekends seem more manageable. that said I do have some very lazy evenings as well!
    Another thing I always do is to write a list of jobs that have got to be done and no matter how small the job I put it on, that way I feel better when you’ve crossed off loads of tasks.
    Stick in there

  5. Lucy hi

    Answer to your final question: I fear so, yes. My mother always says: “If you have enough hours in your life, you’re doing something wrong.”

    I prefer Marvell:

    “At my back I always hear
    Time’s winged chariot hurrying near.”

    Surfeit of time usually = poverty, in my experience. So curse the fatigue, but be glad you’re paying the bills. There are worse trade-offs, I reckon.

  6. The Jolly Gardener says

    I think life can feel a bit non-stop for everyone really

    But the BEST cure for a long and stressful day in the office is to get outside. You may be mentally tired but you’d be suprised how much you can get done physically. A gentle stroll is perfect for relieving back pain and you can’t beat a bit of digging to clear your head! Especially at this time of year when the evenings are so long. It’s also good for giving your eyes a break after looking a screen all day. It’s suprising how much more energy you’ll have!

    I always find the more you do (physically) the more you want to do!

    Good luck and get out there!