The first day of the next chapter in our lives

Despite me leaving my previous employers at the end of June, and it now being nearly the end of July (what, already?), today really is the proper start of our family unit functioning with me working closer to home and it actually making a difference to our routine. Hubs’ university semester started last week, but as was home on leave, it didn’t really impact on our week and routine. It is this week that we’re really going to feel the difference in how we muddle through Monday to Friday.

Yes, I do mean muddle through. Don’t you all start the week with the best of intentions to find things going a bit skew-iff as the week progresses? To combat this, we’re scheduling time and chores into our diaries. This is how I work at work, so I’m hoping that I can carry that through to home, but toddlers and husbands and simply life don’t always allow it. One thing that we decided on, that was like a light bulb over my head, was the huge vats of batch cooking we do over the weekends will carry us through four dinners a week, Monday to Thursday

Hubs and I have talked about what is important to us in the house. Me: clean floors (I walk around barefoot, and hate treading on things in my socks) and the bathrooms (enough said). Him: Peanut having clothes in his drawers and his room being clean. We both like all the toys tidied away at the end of the day. I don’t mind how much Peanut trashes the house, but before he goes to bed, everything get puts away. We’ve also divided up the week nights so Hubs gets clear time to study, and I get clear time to study and to exercise. Mondays and Wednesdays are mine, with Hubs collecting, playing, feeding, bathing and settling the wee man, he then has Tuesday and Thursday nights to study. We’re going to do a little bit of housework on the nights we’re on duty and not worry about it when we’re off-duty.

I’ve packed my gym bag for tonight, while I didn’t get to do my lunch before I left the house (I had slow morning – more in a minute), I’m going back on the 5:2 fasting from this week. As is Hubs. I weighed myself this morning for my starting weight. Oh my. I’m quite pleased that I’m going up the gym again *cough* I knew some weight had crept back up on me, but I wasn’t expecting the figure I saw today.

My slow morning. I watched a lovely program hosted by Ruby Wax last night while I did the ironing. She was asking people to speak up and own their mental health problems. Encouraging people to talk to their colleagues and employers. Featuring three people; one who had OCD and struggled with shaking hands and touching things, she’d been abused as a child and just wanted to feel clean – my heart broke for her; one who had been diagnosed with depression and one who had a breakdown, on TV of all places, poor thing.

I felt for them, I must admit. It was a big, brave, bold decision. While I felt excited about everything that is going to click over for us today, and I’m not hiding my issues with depression, or hiding behind them –there are some days where I struggle to get out of bed. Today was one of those days, I could have quite happily stayed in bed and done nothing today, quilt over my head the room dark and phone switched off. I’ve recognised that exercise and fresh air are vital to my well-being. Not getting enough of them plays havoc with me, and is one of the reasons I had a dip in my general mood over the past 8 months or so. I do feel heaps better than I did, so this isn’t anything other than last night’s viewing triggering a now familiar response.

Your mind is so powerful, when you think about something that happened to you in the past, you remember a version of the event, but you remember the feeling with much more clarity. When you have a feeling running through your mind, you can feel it washing over you. If you let it. If you’re able to capture your thoughts and register them before you let them affect you, you can stop your mind having a hold on you.

When your mind is bruised, this is easier said than done. I need to remain vigilant for what is going on in my head, so that I can head things off at the pass. I’m looking forward to getting on a bike tonight and blasting out some energy and thoughts. One expert Ruby talked to on the program was the doctor who treated her in the Priory. He was adamant that when you’re in the grips of depression, there are physiological changes that happen to your body – so being told to ‘get over it’ and ‘pull yourself together’ is probably one of the worst things that you can be told. He also said, the pain in your head is far greater than the pain in your body when you’re injured. It also takes a long time to get through and out the other side of depression, not least because of the stigma around it, but also because people don’t talk about it, so when someone is struggling, they don’t know where to get help or a sympathetic ear.

I visited a friend over the weekend who’s struggling with a bad back, she’s also struggling with life, but on Tuesday morning, she woke up and her mind was clear for the first time in ages. Sometimes it takes a while to process what has been bringing you down. Sometimes you never find out what it was that set you off. I know that my reluctance to leave my bed today was directly linked to watching three people talking about struggling about getting out of bed and living life.

It’s why I packed my gym bag before I laid my clothes out to wear to the office. The change in job role is a change in my life. A way of me taking back ownership of my emotions and my mind. I hope you can tell how excited I am today.

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