The Power of Running, and How I Found Myself Again.
Somewhere back in the beginning of 2012 I lost myself a little bit, without really realising it. Gradually things just started getting on top of me and I couldn’t find my usual motivation to do all the things I used to do. I didn’t realise it at first, but before I knew it my sewing machine hadn’t been used in months and I was finding it hard to summon the energy to keep on top of the housework, let alone actually tackle any extra projects. I blame hormones and the stress and anxiety of job application after job application (always unsuccessful). My insomnia reached an all time high, with sleepless nights becoming the norm, and I finally succumbed to Mr. B’s persuasions to watch ‘The Wire’, which I soon became hooked on (if you haven’t watched it, Oh My God it is the best television series EVER and I highly highly recommend it!). Anyway, all in all my evenings were not very productive, all I managed to do was cook, write letters of application to jobs, and watch The Wire, before going to bed worrying that I wouldn’t sleep (I never did, of course, with all the worrying!).
In a desperate attempt to sleep at night I decided to take up running, with the intention of tiring myself out enough to fall asleep at night. I ran as far as I could, as much as I could, 5 or 6 times a week, and pretty much from day one I slept like a log (of what a sweet sweet relief those first few nights of full sleep were!). Pretty soon The Boy was joining me on my runs, and I had myself the perfect running companion. Not only did I sleep better, he was a happier boy for the rest of the day, from getting some exercise and also his mum’s undivided attention for at least 30 minutes. It was win-win! I learnt a lot about his computer games on those runs, and the random thoughts that go through his head. Pretty soon we were running 4 miles at a time, and we entered a fun run to raise some money for charity. Now The Boy mostly runs to school and back (just over a mile each way) and then goes for longer runs with me at the weekend, and I run in the evenings during the week.
Not only did running cure my insomnia, it gave me the energy to get on top of other things too. It seemed to restore balance to my life, brought me back to my happier, inspired and motivated self. I started tackling jobs around the house that I had been putting off for months, became less upset and worried about job applications, and became more social again. I love the endorphins that running releases! I think both Mr. B and The Boy breathed a sigh of relief at having me back.
I have been rather busy of late, since rediscovering my inner motivation and drive, and have lots to post about. About a month ago now, while having a big clean and tidy around the house, Mr. B and I decided to try out a new system for housework, that Mr. B called ‘lean efficiency’. The idea was simple, we would all do things around the house as soon as they needed doing, thus eliminating the need to ever have big tidy-ups again, and meaning the house would always be tidy, resulting in me always being happy (my stress levels go up with the level of mess in the house, it has been scientifically proven here in Cambridge). Amazingly, four weeks later, and we have kept on top of it, even The Boy has accepted it (with lots of reluctance and complaining, but he still does his fair share, always putting his stuff away straight away, his room has never been so tidy!). I know it sounds silly, that something like mess can have such a profound affect on my mood, and believe me, I have tried to control it, tried to embrace mess and chaos, tried to pretend it doesn’t bother me, but I have actually felt very relieved now that I have accepted that I need a tidy orderly house in order to function properly, and so does The Boy. I am very grateful to Mr. B for embracing this new ‘lean efficiency’ approach for my benefit, although I do believe he sees it as for his benefit too, as he has a happier, less stressed girlfriend! Funnily enough, since the house is always tidy I have time to do the bigger jobs like giving the oven and fridge a deep clean, and finally sorting out The Boy’s room properly and getting rid of all the baby and toddler toys that were taking up so much space and causing clutter and stressing The Boy out (thank you mum and dad for letting us store it all in your garage!). I’m off to help the boy sort out all his Lego now (because the house is tidy, of course, and no other jobs need doing!) but I’ll soon be back blogging about some of the exciting new projects I have been doing. I’ve got my mojo back, hooray!