This week has been One Of Those. The kind of week where everything is just that little bit more complicated than it needs to be. Of course, it’s the last week of the school term, and it doesn’t help that not only are there two knackered children in the house, one who’s just completed her first ever term at school, but there are also two knackered teachers, too, who have been settling in new classes, planning, marking and administrating their socks off for seven weeks! Although I teach two days out of five, I’m also getting into the groove of working from home on the other days, and that’s taking some getting used to, as well. It’s been the kind of week where nothing’s gone horribly wrong, for which I’m thankful, but just enough little things have happened to ruin my groove.
During weeks like this, I often compare the feeling to having put on your pants the wrong way round. Things are annoying rather than intolerable, but those little annoyances all add up. If I’m being honest, it all started last Saturday night when I drank a bottle of Cava. Not a bad thing to do after six weeks off the booze, but it was enough to destroy my sleep, which became the bugbear for the next three nights after that, as the things I’d usually take in my stride (at least one child getting up for a wee in the night, my own rampant insomnia, the three in the morning worries that just WON’T GO AWAY…) became larger obstacles.
Then there was the fact that when I’m tired I immediately reach for comfort food. Out went the on-planness of Slimming World, and in came crisps, cheese, biscuits, chocolate, far too much coffee and all the things I should stay off. Although I know I’ll end up feeling worse when I eat the stuff, in the spirit of ‘sod it, I’m knackered,’ everything went in.
Unfortunately, that also meant that my writing suffered. If I’m not writing, I tend to eat badly, and if I’m eating badly, I don’t tend to write. It’s an annoying Catch-22. I’ve done a few hundred words this week, but nowhere near where I wanted to be by this point. So, to summarise:
Wine – lack of sleep – too many bad food things – not enough writing – STRESS!
These causes have had a lamentable effect on my body and mind. I feel knackered because of all the sugar. I can’t handle the broken nights in the same way I would if I’d slept properly in the first place. My body is exhausted because it’s having to process all of the extra food (especially the heavily sugar and fat laden food) that I’ve been munching, and I’ve not had as much exercise as I normally would.
In terms of my emotional wellbeing, I’ve been getting upset at silly things – snapping at Daughter #1 for stropping about a misplaced school cardigan, losing the plot with Daughter #2 for, well, being 4 years old, beating myself up for forgetting things and dwelling far too long on the things I did forget (Daughter #2’s Harvest Lunch, which I’d paid for, written in my diary and then completely forgotten about until I went to pick her up that day – that made me feel like the world’s lousiest parent, even though I’m pretty sure she never even realised I was supposed to be there anyway). The only person I haven’t snapped at is The Husband, but that’s probably because we’ve both been so shattered, neither of us can be bothered!
So, going forward, what’s the answer? Well, it’s half term next week, which does bring with it a new set of challenges, but also a lot of opportunities. I’m going to try not to crack open the Cava on Saturday night and see if that helps avoid the chain of events that happened this week. I’m going to shelve writing for a week or so, to build up that hunger for the story again (writing, like all other forms of gratification, works well when a certain amount of self-denial is exercised, in my experience so far!). I’m going to try to stay on SW plan as far as possible. I’m going to stay organised in terms of what absolutely needs to be done in the house. I’m going to approach each of the next nine days with a plan. And hopefully, that will help to get me out of this spiral that I found myself stuck in this week.
Of course, there have been lovely things, too – which I’m trying to remember in the mire of self doubt and self loathing that has consumed me this week. Two lovely chats with lovely friends over food, a fab dog walk up the hill where the girls found “‘giants’ footprints'” and ponies, having a laugh with The Husband over Daughter #1’s parents’ evening comments, hearing the audiobook of Tea Shop for the first time, which was released on Audible on Wednesday, getting some more lovely copies of the paperback through the post from my publisher, a really friendly and funny SW group meeting this week, and getting to pick up my scrumptious nephew from nursery and catch up with the nursery team for the first time since Daughter #2 left.
I guess what I have to try to remember is that one mis-step doesn’t have to lead to another, and that an escalation isn’t inevitable. That’s hard advice to follow, though, and I tend to be too quick to write things off when one aspect of my life goes tits up. I think my strategy needs to be to identify the catalysts and try to deal with them as individual issues, not as a continuum of negative events. That, as everyone knows, though, is often easier said than done! Ah well, tomorrow is a new day, and I’ve had a good day today – back on SW plan and already feeling like I’m more in control, writing this blog post and being more positive when the children came home. Let’s see if I can keep that going for the next week or so! Wish me luck.