Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Take time for yourself each week...

This is a phrase that I'm struggling with at the moment.

Don't get me wrong, there's nothing I like better than to steal an hour now and again to have a massage, take a walk in the park, or luxuriate in a bubble bath with a good book. But doing it every week seems a rather big ask.

I understand all the theories that say you must take care of yourself in order to take care of others. And I did have a minor panic attack when I read that stress releases Cortiol into your bloodstream which triggers fat storage - arghh!!

But the simple fact is, I have two small boys who need constant attention. Additionally - with a nod in K's direction here as we do share the work - I have to run a household and maintain our extended relationships, on top of which I have quite a demanding, and pressurised job which could eat up 24/7 of my time should I let it.

To those nay-sayers - yes, I get that I've chosen to have a career rather than a "job". And that this perhaps adds undue pressure into the mix. But as I have to have a job in order to do little things like pay the mortgage, then surely one that I'm using my brain for and enjoying - albeit also getting additional stress from - is preferable to clock watching?

I don't think there's a silver bullet here. I've spoken to other Mum's about this who are in similar jobs and facing similar challenges. It does seem that as the family gets older, life starts becoming a little easier and "me time" can start factoring into the week again. The most we can do at the moment is be ridiculously well organised to earn us back a few minutes here and there.

One Mum did say that she counts her "Time for Me" as her work time, as it makes her feel that she's fulfilling her potential. That made me ponder for a while, but the question that came back is whether she was really being honest, as if it were a toss up between a day at work and a day in a spa, I know where I'd be heading...

Saturday, 18 August 2012

No - you can be MY wing-man

On Monday, the company I work for will cease to exist as it becomes part of what will be a much larger company. There will no doubt be numerous changes to enable the new look business to deliver value to its shareholders. How this will affect the fragile work/life balance I have constructed for myself over the past few months remains to be seen. But, for now, I'm still in the final throws of my holiday...

I spent last week in the Lake District with my extended family. All the ingredients for a relaxing few days were in place - and then we added four boys between the ages of 1 & 5.

Over 100 renditions of Baa Baa Black Sheep were sung, Old McDonald was rolled out so many times we had dinosaurs and ant-eaters on the farm, and "I spy with my little eye" was molded to suit our slightly younger audience: "I spy with my little big eye something beginning with green and starting with 'e'" - "A tree". Sure. Why not.

One of my favourite moments was in the grounds of an owl sanctuary when we (the older generation!) were reminded of some scenes from Top Gear. Tom Cruise was played by T - the 5 year old and self-appointed leader of the little group. On this occasion he was looking for his "Goose" - aka - his wing-man.

He disregarded O - the 2.5 year old - by virtue of him being his brother. E was similarly cast aside for being too young. Which left C, who at 3.5 years relished the opportunity to prove himself in the role. And to be fair, they gave it a pretty good go. They picked their targets, two pretty little girls, around 5 & 7 years old. They then did a lot of running and jumping in front of them and hooked their attention. Toy owls were brought into the mix and used as fighter jets and it seemed as though they were seconds from sealing the deal. However, the tables then turned.

T & C decided to add "twit-twoo" sounds to the owls which the girls were less impressed with, and then E pulled a blinder. He launched his owl at the girls, forcing them to pick it up and engage with him when they gave it back. He wasted no time in waving and flashing a cheeky grin, and T & C were undone. E had the two girls holding his hands until we reached the gates and went our separate ways.

On this occasion, Maverick & Goose had been outmaneuvered by Iceman.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Olympic fever? What do you think?

I must confess to being a typical cynical Brit.

For the last 7 years a part of me has been looking forward to London hosting the Olympics. Whilst another, larger part of me, has been concerned about the cost, the effect it will have on travel, and whether we'd ever be able to match the spectacular event that Bejing put on.

In the run up to Day One I read the stories about G4S not being able to provide enough security. I watched the reports about how the opening ceremony would essentially be a farm mock-up. And I nodded sagely. Safe in the knowledge that I was right to have concerns.

However, at this point in the Games, I'm glad to eat my words. I thought the opening ceremony was spectacular. Utterly mad and typically British, but nevertheless spectacular. I've had a day off work to go to the Judo where I watched our British woman get a silver medal (having been a fan of Judo for precisely 5 minutes before walking into the stadium!). And I'm thoroughly enjoying watching as many events as I can when I finish work each day.

There's a definite Olympic spirit in Britain at the moment and I'm proud to be a part of it.

What do you think though? Will you be dusting off your hockey stick or settling down with a good book? What about those of you not in Britain? Has Olympic fever hit?