Tag Archives: end of year

‘It is necessary to relax your muscles when you can. Relaxing your brain is fatal.’ Stirling Moss.

As I am sure you all realise we are fast coming up to the end of another year.  Yay!  But alsoYikes!  I’m not at all ready for it.  Well—yes I am, but also, no, I’m not, if you know what I mean.  I am really looking forward to the Christmas break when I know I can take a couple of weeks off and just lie around the house and veg out (no phones, no computers, no students!) and play with my girls, go to the movies, do some sketching and catch up on my reading (and sleep)—but I am also very aware there is still so much I have to do before then.

To tell you the truth my brain aches.  I have never had any trouble relaxing my musclesin fact you could say I am a bit of an expert at it (sloth is my favourite deadly sin)—but my brain is a whole other story.  Although I can see Stirling Moss’s point about not relaxing your brain totally, it would be kind of nice to at least be able to switch it down a notchor three.  I like to think I am pretty good at dropping into relaxation mode when I need to and I can’t say I consciously feel overly stressed about anythingbut every now and again my brain likes to kick in and and remind me that I am obviously not as good at switching off as I think I am.

This past week I have woken every morning around 2.00am (wide awake—bam!) to find my mind running through lists of things that really (really, really) have to be done this week.  Because once they are donethere are all these other things that need to be done the week after that . . .  and the week after that . . .

‘. . . the festive season is thundering towards me and I have barely given it a moment’s thought . . . the car has to go to the garage on Friday for its MOT . . . got to think about the new term timetable now  ‘cos if it’s left until the New Year all hell will break loose . . . I have a house inspection this week, I’d better get go over it once more to keep the rental people happy . . . did I actually transfer those last course results on to that other database, or just think I did?  . . . I’ve got to get the brochure away to the printers at the end of next week . . . Marg’s puppy is coming to stay with us for the weekend  (shhhh, I haven’t told the girls yet) . . . what the hell am I going to write for this week’s blog . . . ‘

You know, that kind of thing.  Sigh.

Of course I am no different to anyone else and, if I am perfectly honest, my life is undoubtedly much less complicated and a lot less busy than many othersbut there you are.  It’s not their brains keeping me up at night, it’s mine.  It’s not as if I can do all that much about it either (short of getting really really good at meditation in a hurry and  that seems unlikely) and I do know that all these ‘things-that-need-to-be-done-right-now’ will eventually resolve themselves in due course.  They always do.  (In other words, suck it up and ride it out Sal.)

But you know, in spite of knowing all thatsometimes . . . just sometimes . . . it does a body a world of good just to have a bloody good grumble about it anyway . . .


Posted by on November 24, 2017 in Uncategorized


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‘I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.’ Douglas Adams.

stressI can’t be the only person who finds this a really stressful time of year—can I?

Sure, I know we are on the ‘downhill stretch’ to the end of the year now (and I have some holiday time booked which I am really looking forward to—3 weeks to relax, recharge and do as little as humanly possible, I hope) but therein also lies the problem—there is so much still to be done and so little time left to do it.

deadlinebwI wish I could feel the same way as Douglas Adams when it comes to deadlines, but I can’t.  I do not like to be late.  For anything.  Not for paying a bill, not for meeting friends, not for going to the movies . . .  not even for a dental appointment (and I hate going to the dentist).  I am one of those annoying people who always turns up 15 minutes early wherever I go.  If I am not there 15 minutes early—I am late.  The same goes for deadlines—I don’t like them (even the word sounds ominous—deadlines) but I definitely don’t want to be late for them. Unfortunately, at the moment anyway, all I can see is an unending stream of deadlines laid out before me . . .

headstuffThis week seems to have been a particularly busy one.  In my head at least. My brain is chock-full of lists of things that need to be done and deadlines that need to be met—end-of-year data and statistics . . . and college courses wrapping up . . . and what Certificates still have to be issued . . . and I haven’t even started on next term’s Brochure yet . . . and the car failed its Pink-Slip and needs to go back for more repairs . . .  and the ‘Rego’ is due . . . and I have a house inspection next week . . . and what will I write in my blog this week (ha—at least that one is sorted) . . . and Mabel needs to go back to the vet about her ears again  . . . and I haven’t even thought about Christmas shopping yet . . . and . . . well, you get the picture.  Nothing desperately awful or life-changing.  Nothing different to the stuff that goes on in anyone else’s heads (except maybe for Mabel’s ears).  Just stuff.  Too much (first world) stuff.  Sigh.

I like to think I do a pretty good job of not letting the day-to-day drudge get to me, but I have lately realised that I am probably just kidding myself.  Until something happens to make me glaringly aware of it, I can often be oblivious to how stressed I actually am.

snoopy-danceWhen I get home from work I am always greeted ecstatically at the back gate by my three girls, who bark madly, dance around in circles and (in Maudie’s case) pee in their joy and excitement at having their mum home again.  It’s lovely, and the next ten minutes are usually spent telling them what good girls they are, how much I’ve missed them . . . and how nice it would be if they could all just calm down a tiny bit now . . .

Last Tuesday was no different—at first.  We went through our ‘mum’s home’ rituals of hugs and pats and I followed the girls inside and went about my usual routine (kicking off my shoes, putting my bag and keys away, flicking the kettle on, etc etc) —until, all at once I realised it had suddenly gone very, very quiet. Surprised, I looked up to find all three girls sitting in a row on the sofa, silently watching me.  Although nothing had seemed out of the ordinary to me, something in my demeanour had alerted them to the fact that their mum had had a long day and probably needed just a little bit of ‘quiet time’.  It seems they are better at reading me than I am myself.   Bless.

dogzenIt didn’t last long, of course.  As soon as I changed into my walking gear the madness and silliness started all over again (yay—we’re going to the park!) but that short, quiet, lull had been enough for me to stop and take notice of what they already instinctively knew.  I needed to stop.  Relax.  Take a breath.

So we are now at the end of another week and nothing much has changed.  All those jobs still have to be done (and a few more have even been added to the list) and the deadlines still have to be met, but that’s okay.  I feel calmer about it now.  It will all get done.  It always does.

pugpeeingAnd if it doesn’t?  Well, I guess I could always take a leaf out of the ‘Doggie-Handbook-Of-Life’ and practise their ‘handle-every-stressful-situation-like-a-dog’ thing . . .

You know . . . just pee on it and walk away . . .


Posted by on November 25, 2016 in Uncategorized


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