I spoke the other day about the higher-than-normal levels of personal stress I’m experiencing, and that I feel I need a break from my current way of life to re-set my soul. Part of the problem is that I’ve been unable (unwilling? unmotivated?) to create a routine over the past 18 months.
Why? Well, I suppose part of the problem is my living situation, coupled with the extreme flexibility of doing a PhD. That’s not to say that there’s a problem with my living situation, but rather the problem is with how I cope with it.
You see, I am staying in someone else’s home and I am very aware that it’s not “my” space – even though my housemate considers it “our” home. And because I don’t pay rent*, I find it really difficult to feel like an equal tenant. Further, he works nights which means when I wake up he’s beginning his slumber.
That’s not a problem on its own, but it means that my morning routine isn’t my ideal morning routine. (Read: I can’t dance and sing around the house, which I would ordinarily do. Really. My not-a-morning-person late husband just barely tolerated this behaviour.)
It also means that everything else about my preferred routine and activities has become stilted and over-thought as I try (and probably fail) to figure out how to share my space with someone who’s not my family. (Because let’s face it: It doesn’t matter if you irritate your family with your silly habits, as you likely inherited the same quirks!)
And because my housemate doesn’t have a routine, I have struggled even more to create one of my own.
So, beginning tomorrow I’m going to take that break from the routine that I talked about last week.
I will be staying with a woman I know and her husband, and will hopefully be able to draw some energy from their routines – as they seem to have them!
I’m a little worried that their mornings may start a lot earlier than I’m accustomed to, but that’s actually a good thing as I’ve got a bit lazy in that regard.
And I’m a little worried that his attention to fitness and exercise might make me want to pay a bit more attention to my own training, but that’s also a good thing.
But, of course, I’m looking forward to drawing some of her energy and dedication to her work which may, in turn, help me to focus on my own work.
Of course, this temporary break won’t help me out with the singing and dancing around the house in the mornings – or with the solitary evenings – but I hope that it will get me back on track with everything else just enough to where I can happily cope without that.
I don’t know what this temporary situation will mean for my social media habits or my blogging, but I’m sure I’ll find time to check in somewhere.
And hopefully, I’ll emerge from my break with a renewed sense of self-esteem and the confidence to set myself a new routine. One that will, undoubtedly, include singing. Because I do confess to doing that when my housemate isn’t home. (And much to his irritation, sometimes when he is home. But then, I do like to sing.)
* My friend has offered me his spare room whilst I do my PhD. And I am so very, very grateful to him for his generosity. It’s just that I’ve never shared a home with someone other than my family (and a 2-month stint with Rebecca when I first moved to Stirling) so it’s a challenge for me.