Get Up Offa That Thing! (beating the racer snakes)

Hello folks. Today I’ve officially been having a Day Off, and not because I am poorly, but because I can! It’s delightful. Harry being his teachery good self, his time in terms, while I, being wayward scribbler (of sorts), means I’ve spent the day Han Solo.

It’s a funny, reflexive thing when you’re not used to spending time completely by yourself (that is, not even sharing a luggage rack on the train home with a gent with something stuck in his teeth), as is actually making sure it is actively spent, rather than let-go-by. I’m fixated with it. Sometimes, I’ll admit, to the point of tear-forming anxiety.

But why? I wondered, as I festered bluely the other week. Why the obsession with not ‘wasting’ time, even when it’s to recover? Even when, this is what life is, and a very lucky one at that? Threads of thought span out, akin (I fancy) to the memory strands from Dumbledore’s brow into the pensieve, or the racer snakes chasing newborn iguana babies in the first episode of Planet Earth II (you know the ones).

The thoughts went: it’s the sneaking shadow of mortality. The spectre of capitalism; the need for citizens to be productive at all costs. The drive to survive our online lives, Black Mirror-like, by living to satisfy our social profiles. The fear that being stock still, through illness or monies (a lack thereof), is your limit; and therefore the limit of your experience. All of the above, searingly intertwined.

Sometimes the shadow is happy for you to watch the full fourth season of Girls in a few hours, while eating an entire pack of oatmeal and raisin cookies. (I went through a phase of doing this A LOT last winter.)

Most-times, however, the shadow wants you to Get Up Offa That Thing. Needless to say I’ve been trying to find a happy medium between Karl Marx and James Brown.

This has involved…

  • Commuting to work in my running gear, so I can now build regular running in to and from the station. I mean, I knew other people have been at it forever, but for me to do it? It’s crikey worthy. Definitely preferable to beating myself up for not having the time or energy to go at all. I’m only three goes in, equating to a solid 5k a day if I go there and back. I’ve loved it. It is oddly extra-motivating knowing I have to mission it to a particular place, instead of simply clocking up miles to keep my pedometer happy. Aside from this lightning strike of realisation, this has further been made possible by a lightweight runner rucksack, which hugs my stumpy frame pretty nicely, see exhibit A:
  • Getting my flu jab – as someone who often gets horrendous flu over winter every winter, I figured it was worth a shot (HAAA). Especially having heard my sister and her fellow comrades have flu jabs, paid for by The Man, every year, and she’d been flu-free for five years! Obviously it’s not guaranteed, but still.
  • Pilates – this, my new favourite hobby, has been a revelation, for several reasons. I have been reunited with my stomach muscles, after all these years. What a renaissance we are enjoying. Also I’ve had this immediate feeling of being stronger and more flexible, which is refreshing and, so I’ve read, a great partner for running. Today I did a 30 minute session from YouTube, with all the stupid ‘dum-dum-dum’ background music to boot, but it works.
  • Frank Turner in show on Saturday. He is the best live act; supreme, like chicken. And knowing his openness about blueness and battling, it is like going to see a friend. In a crowd full of hot, sweaty friends.
  • Eating well – and yes, often a little bit too well. The thing with the stuff I share on this blog is that, I do try and do the right things most of the time. Eat the good stuff, cook from scratch, put superfoods in everything, pack in protein, make turmeric soup. But there is also a big side of me that buckles to sugar or Cheeselets, and ends up going to town. Last night it was ring doughnuts, one after the other, just like an American cop.

In short, I’m experimenting still, in this busy time of twinkling lights, afternoon gloom and flooding at the door, to find what works.

And striving to avoid being cast as the unfortunate iguana baby, enveloped in racer snakes:

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