It’s not a secret that for a large part of the summer, I was running on fumes. Aside from my holiday in Perth, I gave myself very little time to relax. My weeks were full of activities with CJ, and later, work. My kid-free days (which weren’t every week) were absolutely chocka. I was definitely the “DO ALL THE THINGS” girl. There was almost certainly an element of not wanting to mentally process all the changes in my life, though I would never have owned it at the time. And you know what? I had some very fun times. But as an introvert, someone who feels recharged by spending time on their own, it was only ever going to be something that I could handle for a limited amount of time.
My friends and I have always joked that we go into hibernation in winter. There’s not so many days at the beach, BBQs, house parties and garden bars. Socialising might be going out for Thai food and being home by 9:30. And while coming home to a silent house or to a baby-sitter may still feel a little bit weird, in some ways it’s exactly what I need. Time to think (or not think), time to read, time to unwind and decompress and time to write.
My Autumn and Winter days “off” are still full but in a different way. I’m trying not to schedule more than one major event in the time that I have to myself because I know (and especially as a solo parent) that I need to take time to recharge too. I seldom get the chance to do this in any serious way during the week because the time I have to pause is generally right at the end of the day and then I’m asleep LOL. Being the nerdy planner that I am, I’m booking in time with myself to take that walk along the beach, to sit in that cafe and write, to curl up on the couch and read. Because it’s not selfish to view those things as equally as important as making sure I catch up with my friends and that the deep cleaning sort of housework gets done. Who knew that I wouldn’t really get my head around that until my thirties?
This summer is already promising to be a big one for me, one that is likely to be filled with a lot of change. It’s not going to be as quiet as these cool-weather-days and I’m okay with that too. I’m hoping, however, that I remember the lessons of these cooler seasons. That as uncomfortable as it can be sometimes to sit and reflect, it’s also useful. That it’s okay to say no when you feel stretched to the limit of the energy that you have to give. And to steal those pockets of time that I can find and not feel guilty about how I spend them. A car can’t leave the lights on all the time, and neither can I.