One of the things I most wish I could change about myself is my sense of guilt, or the fact that I constantly beat myself up about things I have or haven’t done. Sometimes it’s having bought something I didn’t need, sometimes it’s diet and exercise related (in the long run, no chocolate bar is worth how cross I get at myself for eating it) but often it’s not having had a chance to tick things off my to do list – little chores like tidying and cleaning the house, eBaying clothes, replying to emails or calling the Tax Office etc. Our house needs so much work (both DIY, and just general upkeep) that I almost never sit and watch TV or read because the moment I plonk myself down I spy out of the corner of my eye a pile of washing that needs doing or a spot that needs cleaning, or the dishwasher beeps at me to tell me it’s ready to be unloaded. My inability to relax when there’s mess or when there’s other things that need doing is bad enough, but lately the things I do enjoy doing – writing letters, tackling mini sewing projects, blogging, and even just seeing or chatting to friends, seem to be getting the same treatment.
Lately work has been so busy that I’ve had several evenings when I’ve worked a really long, tiring day and when I get home all I want to do is get in my pajamas and have an early night. But as I lie there I start thinking ‘I really should have blogged tonight…’, or ‘I promised so-and-so I’d reply to their letter this week’. With being part of an on call rota at work, trying to spend weekends here and there with family, trying to get away in the camper van now and then and just general social engagements, my weekends tend to get filled up quite far in advance. Back in early July a friend asked me when I was next free at the weekend to meet up and I had to tell her October! August and September are/have been really busy due to a festival, weddings, hen dos, my birthday, work and our holiday in Florida but it seems a bit ridiculous to not be able to see a friend until 10 weeks down the line. I feel terrible about this and am constantly beating myself up for being a bad friend. When I go through stages where I’m particularly busy (some weeks if I’m on call with work I can work a normal day and then come home and be working all evening, for example), I forget to reply to text messages or don’t get a chance to return calls and I worry sometimes that one day people will just get fed up of me being sporadically rubbish. Seriously, I should set up a template text message that starts ‘Sorry it took me so long to reply, I’ve been so busy lately…” as all of mine seems to start with that lately.
I don’t know whether I need to get better at time management, stop beating myself up about things or drop some of the less important things in my life. But I do know that I hate the fact that all of my hobbies and favourite things to do seem to be entering the realm of the to-do list; just another thing I beat myself up for not doing. I started blogging as a creative outlet, somewhere to write about things I’d done, and things I like. I’m guessing that’s the same for a lot of us. For the majority of us, blogging is a hobby… and yet, raise your hand if you’ve ever felt guilty for not doing it often enough? I lose count of the amount of times where people begin a post with an apology for having a few days off from their blog, or not having a chance to read others’. And yet, it’s not a job, we don’t owe anyone regular, scheduled blog posts, and most importantly… here’s the truth – no-one is going to stop reading your blog if you neglect it now and then.
I wish I could end this post with a nugget of knowledge or a snappy bit of advice but the truth is I don’t have the answer. I feel like I need a weekend to hide in bed with my Kindle and a bag of maltesers. Maybe I’ll schedule one in in October….