Down day. Family are off on separate excursions. I’m home, resting. That’s the plan.
Except. It’s harder to rest. I’m not at home, so it should be easier – fewer ‘to dos’ that I can find. But I find some anyway – packing for going home (two and a bit days still here!), washing, catching up online.
That creative e-course I mentioned a while back? It didn’t happen – but I found another. The emails seem to be coming through thick and fast – let alone all the traffic on the message boards. Feelings of ‘can’t keep up’.
I did create a category for ‘challenge’. I know I did. Here’s one already, and I didn’t even plan for it: learning in a new way.
Funny, really, because the course is partly about supporting others to learn in a certain way – and doing the same myself, as part of the support. So I shouldn’t really be surprised about new ways of learning for me.
But I am. Because, the thing is, I’m good at learning. I did it for a long time. I did it so I got bits of paper with my name on.
After a while, I even got brave enough to do learning with practical application! Twice. So there. (Yes, I did write ‘so there’. I’ll go and think about why I needed to do that. In a bit.)
Now, there’s no one making me do the course – except me. No one will actually know exactly how much of the material I read – except me.
But the way I’ve learned in the past is a lot about reading all of what I’ve been given – and already, what I have to read is spiralling, every time I go back to my inbox.
This is my holiday week. The one where we all go on holiday together. As opposed to the other ‘it’s the school holidays but I’m working’ weeks. So it ought to be a good time to do some reading.
It was, a day or so ago. I had three books on the go at the same time. A chapter or so per book, then on to a different one. All interesting.
The difference seems to be when it crosses over from ‘want to’ to ‘should’.
Right now, it’s feeling like a should, rather than a want to, even though I know I am really interested in the course, the whole approach, and so on.Â I should do the reading… because I paid for the course.
When I started off writing today, I had that Calvin and Hobbes book title in my head: ‘The Days Are Just Packed’. The thing is, they are. Pretty much every day. (All without me spending time going downhill in my magical go-kart.)
So I get to the holidays, and the days are still packed with washing, cooking, packing – and I don’t want to do another thing that feels like a ‘should’. (Even when it is really a want to.)
Some days, I’m just packed. Only just. The morning we were due to set off, I sent the others off on an errand to the supermarket so I could finally pack. That morning. (Those who know me well will know This Does Not Normally Happen.)
Trying to decide how to do the reading in a full week, with lots of time with other people, is causing another should to emerge when it’s not about shoulds. Particularly on holiday.
The challenge is not the reading. The challenge is prioritising my own interests over the every day.
Part of the reason I wanted an e-course to do was to do just that: make this writing thing important enough to push (a few) other things out of the picture.
Right now, that feels selfish. Impractical. Unrealistic. And any of those other words mothers use, when they justify why they don’t spend time (or money, or other things) on themselves.
The challenge is behaving differently. The big challenge to add to that is asking those around me to help me behave differently – by giving me time to myself. And helping me protect it too.
But firstly, I need to show what that looks like. Why it matters to protect some time to myself. And why I can choose to sit and write, just now, instead of running around doing the household things that are there, whether it’s holiday time or not.
Here I am. Writing.