Little Boy by the Waterfall

Saturday 7.7.18

The little boy kicked his feet, splashing the rock in front of us.

‘Please put water all over it,’ he said. He needed my extra long legs to complete the operation and was pleased when I obliged.

‘Look! Those ones are yellow.’ He pointed to stones submerged by the shallow water. They looked almost golden in the bright light.

We sat on a large rock, hot from the sun, near the hidden waterfall in Penllegare Valley Woods. There were several people at the rockpool – families and dogs. I wasn’t planning to paddle, but I couldn’t resist Continue reading

Advertisements

I’m In No Rush

Saturday 30.6.18

‘I’m in no rush,’ he said, gently, as he waited for a couple to move out of the train aisle.

‘I love those words,’ I whispered to Mum.

It’s something I only say when I’m in the best mood, and is very telling – or at least I think so.

‘I’m in no rush’ represents a Continue reading

A Dose of Cheese on Toast

I felt flat last Thursday. Not sad, or anxious, or discontented, just flat. I’d had a couple of late nights. Maybe the flatness was creative burnout. My head had been whizzing around, producing a lot of writing – a lovely feeling, but unsustainable.

I walked down to the Post Office to buy a stamp, taking a deep breath before I left the house. I was particularly jittery that day. I noted that I would have felt the same even if there were no people around, so it couldn’t have been social anxiety in this instance. I couldn’t work out how to walk or how to arrange my face! Disconnected.

When I finished in the Post Office, I glimpsed into the Continue reading

Being Kind to Yourself Won’t Kill You

‘Today, I’m going to focus on being kind to myself,’ I announced to an empty room, on Friday morning.

What a shame that it had to be said!

I removed a few things from my to-do list that didn’t ‘need’ to be done, and set about writing in my journal instead – little, ‘unimportant’ thoughts and observations.

I had already done my Morning Pages (two pages of freewriting as soon as I wake up) during which I realised that for the past couple of days I’d been Continue reading

Silence and Silliness

We sat on a bench on the prom, overlooking Llanelli Beach, with an assortment of food beside us. We weren’t hungry, and neither had we particularly wanted to go out again, but we dragged ourselves out of the Travelodge at 7pm, to make the most of the day. Our last evening.

We picked at the cheese and cocktail sausages, and mustered some enthusiasm for the chocolate-caramel doughnuts. The sea was advancing across the bay and the sun sinking towards the horizon. It was like a race, watching which would reach the finish line first! We were still. We were silent. To move or to speak would have burst our bubble.

I was tired by that point. When I’m at home, I usually escape to my room at the earliest opportunity! We had taken it easy for a lot of the trip, but I was still feeling slightly over-socialised and my mind over-stimulated, not helped by broken sleep. There are many advantages to being slightly introverted, but the lack of social stamina can be frustrating at times. Somehow, this week, it didn’t matter so much… Continue reading

Quiet Moments are Legal

28.6.17

I am lying in bed at half-past nine on a Wednesday evening. There are so many things I could be doing right now – I won’t say should be doing, because I’ve accomplished everything I had on my to-do list, and more. I still have some energy though. I didn’t expect that!

Today has been busy. I’ve been organising a concert, and I did the final lessons before my pupils’ exams, accompanying them on piano. I was nervous beforehand, with the pressure to say and do the right things, and to leave useful thoughts lingering in their minds before the ‘big day’ (if we must view it as such). They were calm and measured, even with mistakes. I was so proud of them. Continue reading

Relaxing at the End of My Degree

I’m drinking a latte in a café at the Hidden Gardens. I am not doing any Open University work today, despite a looming assignment deadline and the final exam in a few weeks. I was at Crossfit this morning, I’m here this afternoon, and I’m going to a Passover demonstration tonight. This might seem like a strange approach for someone who is determined to succeed in their degree…

I can achieve a surprising amount in a short space of time, if it has my full attention – far more so than in a full day of distracted effort. I can do two or three hours of academic work (of the focused kind) before my concentration and productivity sharply decline. Sometimes I will push on for longer, filling the later hours with less strenuous tasks. And then I’m done.

I have heard people say, ‘Don’t manage your time; manage your energy.’ This advice has been incredibly helpful to me. I’ve stopped beating myself up when I can’t Continue reading