Is it just me or does it feel like Summer was over before it even began? My August was so busy that I barely spent a weekend at home and the pattern seemed to be that as soon as I’d unpacked my suitcase after returning from a weekend away, I was repacking it again to head off on another trip.
I mean I’m not complaining or anything but I have to admit that the last month has completely taken it out of me. I’ve been on holiday, on a long weekend down to Bristol and away for a hen weekend. The culmination of all the busyness was me getting to be bridesmaid for one of my best friends at a lovely barn wedding in the lakes. I had been looking forward to it for so long that I think I managed to wear myself out with excitement because the last couple of weeks I’ve found that I’ve had no energy to do anything. I’m not even exaggerating. The minute all of the craziness stopped I got ill (typical) and after recovering from that I just couldn’t find the motivation inside of me to do anything (hence why I haven’t posted in a couple of weeks). After feeling a little down about it at first, not understanding why the usual things that motivate me just made me feel tired, I realised something. I’d suffered burn out.
In running along, ploughing on at my little hamster wheel, I hadn’t really stopped to give myself a break. Sure, I’d been on lots of mini holidays, but what I’m talking about is some proper down time at home doing normal things like cooking a roast dinner and pottering around the house.
I love having plans. They keep me sane. I love how having something to look forward to at the end of the week can get me through a tough day at work and how having that general buzz of excitement counting down to that next big thing in the diary can make me feel like I’m 12 years old again. Hands up, I’m a planner and I love it!
But what the last few weeks have made me realise is that sometimes it’s important to have that weekend in your diary that is marked completely blank. That sometimes it’s important to have no plans at all. Not only to give yourself that much needed break, but also to make time for those moments of spontaneity like deciding to go for a burger instead of cooking dinner or trading that night in front of the TV for a little trip to the cinema. What I’m talking about is having the space and time to acknowledge exactly how you feel in the right here right now and just going with it.
As September has drawn in and the nights are getting darker, I feel like everything is slowing down around me. I’ve left the next two weekends purposefully free and instead of feeling glum about having nothing in the diary, I’m getting excited about the mystery of what we’re going to get up to. Maybe we’ll head out to the Dales on Sunday, or maybe we’ll spend the day lounging around the house drinking tea and reading books. Instead of looking forward to the big plans, I’m going to be looking forward to those perfect moments that just arise from going with the flow.
This morning, after getting an early night last night, I jumped out of bed at 6am and spontaneously decided to write this blogpost before going to work. I also managed to rustle up some avocado toast for breakfast instead of my usual bowl of cereal. Trading my usual routine for doing exactly what I felt in the moment has made me realise just how important it is to have that empty time to just be selfish and ask yourself what you, and you alone, want to do.
The rest of my September is looking pretty slow but just because I’m not going to be flying off to explore a new city or spend the weekend celebrating my best friend’s wedding doesn’t mean that it wont be just as exciting. I’m pretty sure that embracing those slower days and spending some down time with loved ones is going to be just as fulfilling and that a slow September is going to be exactly what I need to reenergise myself for the next time life gets that little bit more hectic.