Friday, 16 February 2018

Self Care


I have made a concerted effort to slow down this week, something I am truly terrible at. Self care, balance, me time - whatever you want to call it - that is what I have been trying to do. Mornings have been slow and relaxed where possible, with no alarms, cups of tea in bed and unhurried breakfasts. Time with family and friends has been planned, days out enjoyed. We've taken flasks of hot chocolate and packets of biscuits with us on freezing beach walks and enjoyed the sun when it's shone. I have made time to sit and read a book or magazine in the day, without my usual feelings of guilt, or stayed up late sewing or crocheting while binge watching Netflix (Altered Carbon - so good!) knowing I can sleep in a little later the next day. I've pottered and moved things around, rearranging and refreshing rooms a little. Instead of red roses, Valentine's Day brought me a bunch of eucalyptus and a little ivy from the local florist, and then I finally opened that tin of expensive fish soup I brought back from France purely to re-use it as a plant pot, and put the ivy in it. The soup was really good too.


We went to Brighton on Monday. I didn't make it to any yarn shops sadly, but we had such a nice day. It was really sunny and clear, so perfect weather for our trip up the i360 from which the views were really spectacular. We stayed on the seafront all day, eating fish and chips on the pier, stopping for tea or hot chocolate in little cafes and generally just enjoying the atmosphere that is so unique to Brighton. 


I've quietly gone about various domestic chores and tasks this week, taking satisfaction in doing some spring cleaning. I know that clearing out cupboards isn't what brings everyone joy and, if there was a choice, yes of course I'd rather be enjoying a spa break, but there is such a feeling of achievement, however small, from sorting old toys and clothes, dividing up piles of things for the charity shop or to recycle, and restoring order to a messy child's bedroom. Windows have been cleaned, floors mopped and bedding changed. The last two days have been beautifully sunny and a little milder too, with a whisper of spring in the air. Bella and Angus have been out in the garden for hours at a time, bouncing on the trampoline or playing with Ziggy. It's welcome. 

I feel like I've talked about cleaning quite a lot today, it must be on my mind a lot. I don't know if I can quite describe the level of filth that exists in our house when there are four people and a dog here every day; all that traipsing in and out of the garden, going on all those daily muddy or sandy walks, all those meals around the kitchen table, the wood burning stove being lit every day (plus a dog who loves to chew the fire wood) - all this means that our house is mucky. I could - and probably should - vacuum every day, but I stopped on Wednesday. This afternoon John took the children and dog to the beach for a walk and I, blissfully alone in the house, cleaned. I swept up such a pile of grit, sand, mud, wood, dog hair and crumbs today, and sucked it all into the vacuum cleaner and it felt so good. Then I opened all the windows and flew about with a damp cloth and steam cleaner, making everything nice again. Then they all came home. Ziggy had been in the sea and to say that he was sandy would be an understatement. I made the kids take their shoes off at the door and carried Ziggy straight to the bathroom to shower off that sand, and I don't think for a second that it really helped but oh, for about ten minutes, the house was glorious.




16 comments:

faith76 said...

I like your crochet socks. I think your house sounds lived in and full of fun and life. You make me want to do some de-cluttering myself now after all your housework :) xx

CJ said...

Yep, ten minutes is really about as long as it ever lasts I find. And you're right, it is briefly glorious. I love decluttering as well, I have my eye on a cupboard or two here at the moment. Brighton looks brilliant, glad you had such a good day. I would like to eat chips by the sea soon, always delicious. Enjoy the weekend Gillian, and well done on the slowing down for a little, it's a very good thing. CJ xx

Mac n' Janet said...

I'm amazed by what the two of us plus a cat can do in just a day.

Jennifer Hays said...

You sound rested, refreshed and satisfied, Gillian. I'm so glad.

Librarian said...

I love cleaning, tidying and sorting - it must be something in my Librarian brain to crave order :-) So I can fully understand what you mean when you talk of a feeling of achievement when you clear out cupboards etc.
My windows look terrible, but it has been raining/sleeting a lot and there is more to come, so no point really in doing that now.
A bit of muck is the price to pay for having a pet and a lively household. When my last cat died (now almost 5 years ago), I was very sad, and still miss having a cat around. But I do not miss the cat hairs that where EVERYWHERE, all the time.

Amy at love made my home said...

Sorting things out is good for the soul isn't it. Glad you enjoyed your time!

Christina said...

I am glad you managed to slow down a little - it is so difficult sometimes when there are 1000 different needs to meet all around. I just gutted the James and Alistair's bedroom. I was so angry about finding so much crap and broken toys that I felt like walking out of the house and never come back. It is now done and I am feeling much better already. Clearing out our shoe cupboard was more fun. I must have been a different person once, all this spiky glamorous high heels that I had all but forgotten existed! Hope the rest of your weekend is peaceful and enjoyable. xx

Jo said...

I have downloaded that sock pattern and will try it out soon. I am with you on the dog filth - I call it dog dust and we don't even have the sand element here in land locked Shropshire. The garden is the thing that is giving me the most angst at the moment - I really want to 'clean' it. It looks so distressed and not in a good way. Our half term starts this week and I will try and squeeze in some self care as you have recommended it so highly! Jo x

Jules said...

You are so right to prioritise some me time Gillian. It is so important, yet easily overlooked.
There are some encouraging signs of Spring around, although the air is still bitterly cold here.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend. X

Melanie Hiebert said...

Sounds like a lovely week to me :)

Julia said...

Me time is so important! I get really grumpy, if I don't stop and take time for myself from time to time. It's a must for me. I, like you, love a clean house, if it only does last for ten minutes. When my house is messy and dirty, it seem to stress me out. I feel I like I can really relax when my house is in order. Hope you have a great week, Gillian. I love your scarf in the above photo! I think I saw that one in Boden.

Julia said...

Oh, and I started blogging again this year after an (almost) two year break! Stop by for a visit sometime, if you get a chance.

mrsrobinson said...

For about ten minutes the house was glorious made me giggle. And sigh in agreement...

Leanne Paxton said...

Hey Gillian,
I'm glad that you managed to have some slower paced days during half term. It can be hard to switch off when you're used to travelling at one hundred miles an hour. I'm hoping to carve out a little time during the Easter break, but I'm afraid that Ship Shape has rather take over. Ho hum, you know what they say about getting what you wish for....
Also what is that lovely plant called in your second picture? It's a beauty. And that family photo of you all is gorgeous.
Leanne xx

Country Rabbit said...

its great when schools close and you get your days back, no routines and you can all spend quality time together~ my daughter is in her last year of primary and its so hectic with school work and mock exams! she was glad to just chill. i havent been to Brighton since my uni years when i lived in london!...wonderful pics ;)

handmade by amalia said...

I like quiet moments of everyday life and I quite like cleaning as well. This post really spoke to me.
Amalia
xo