Three weeks ago, I returned to work, after taking twelve months leave due to Covid. My plan was to work one or perhaps two days a week, so that I could ease myself into retirement. You know what they say about plans. You always need a plan B! As it turns out, since I’ve been back, I’ve worked about 25 hours each week. I’m not unhappy about these hours, as I love my job, but I do feel ready to cut down to minimal hours. I have now worked out a Plan B with my manager that pleases me. I’m going to continue working these longer hours until the end of June. But from July 1, I will only be working one day each week. That’s the new Plan A, and there is no Plan B.
When I went back to work, I wasn’t expecting to be working these longer hours, so I wasn’t as organised as I’d like to be when heading off to work each day. Disorganisation causes me to feel stressed and slightly overwhelmed. I’m happy to say that for the first time since being back, I have two days off in a row this week, so that will allow me to get myself better organised.
Another reason for feelings of overwhelm is the April AtoZ Blogging Challenge. For those who don’t know, this challenge involves publishing a post every day in April, except for Sundays. This year, I am doing the challenge on my family history blog, Tracking Down The Family. I was very organised by April 1, with all 26 posts written, edited and ready for publication, so you would think that April would be cruisy. There is no such thing as cruisey with this challenge. One of the things I love most about it is the opportunity to visit other blogs, many on topics that are quite obscure. As well as bloggers that are new to me, I’ve been visiting genealogy bloggers. Some of these blogs, I’ve been following for many years, and others are new to me. This is always a highlight with the A to Z Challenge but it does become time consuming, even though I do love creating and rekindling connections with bloggers.
Due to all of the above, and that overwhelming feeling of time pressure, I didn’t publish a post last week. I just didn’t feel that I had the extra energy needed to think clearly about writing an interesting post, with everything else that was going on. Each week, I usually link up with Denyse’s Life This Week and Natalie’s Weekend Coffee Share. These linkups are the highlights of my blogging week, so I missed making the connections that are necessary when participating in a bloggers link up. Don’t get me wrong. I love the link ups and I love reading and commenting on other blogs, but last week just didn’t work for me. I was dreadfully disappointed not to have taken part, and I missed the connections, so I’m very happy to be back this week.
When I was on Covid leave, I took on a lot of extra things. Some of those extras were important because they are important, others were important because they’re fun. I’ve done a bit of soul searching and have dropped a few of the extras, to take pressure off for now. It’s possible that I will pick them up in the second half of the year, so it’s not forever. Importantly, I’ve kept room for the fun extras that I very much enjoyed last year.
Even though I’ve been really busy, or perhaps because of it, I did make sure that I took time to get out into the fresh air. During the week, I went walking near the Pink Cliffs, which are about an hour from home, but quite close to where I work. It felt great to get out into the fresh air, to clear my mind and feel the joy again.
I love the above quote, and think of it often when I’m walking. Bushwalking means joy to me. It doesn’t matter what I’m feeling, if I take time to get outdoors and exercise, I always feel joyful. I came across this quote, many years ago, shortly after my son died, and it became my mantra. I had many days at the time that I feel dreadfully sad. Exercise was my saviour as was this quote. I still do have those days when I call on the quote to help me through. It doesn’t help me forget but it does help me to get through the darkness until the light begins to seep in again.
Another time that this inspirational quote came to mind, was while walking the Camino de Santiago. I walked alone, so some days were a little tedious. Most days I walked about 30 kilometers, and sometimes more, but there were the days that I only wanted to do a short stroll. I needed to keep walking long distances as I had a limited time frame to walk distance. In my mind also, was the fact that my father was seriously ill at home and quite close to death. I needed to get that walk done so that I could get home. There were a few days that I felt under pressure and didn’t enjoy the walking as much as other days. On those days I thought of the ‘Joy’ quote and was able to keep going. Usually after a day of feeling this way, I would wake the next day, with the joy back in my heart and feel that nothing could stop me. That feeling would usually stay with me for days and days.
Most times, what works for me, is to try to ensure that any decision I make feels joyful. I know that doesn’t work for everyone, and I understand that it probably sounds frivolous to some. However, I am fortunate enough to be one of those people for whom positive thinking really does work, and I feel thankful for that.
This post is linked up to Denyse’s Life This Week
and Natalie’s Weekend Coffee Share
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