Saying goodbye to my old routines.
My old routine was to get up, walk to the coffee shop, write, do emails, and create my to-do list. I savored my coffee as if it was life-sustaining energy juice. The coffee shop was my temple – I loved this time of day as I let my creativity go and worked on things I enjoyed. I would then grab some food for the day – something for breakfast like an egg sandwich and perhaps a salad or ready meal for lunch and head home.
Hum-drum work at my computer desk.
Once I was home I’d sit diligently at my computer and work. I’d do this and that. My body would get tight and my hands cold from sitting so long. I’d become irritated because hubby would interrupt me or the doorbell would ring and no one else could be bothered to answer it. I updated a website, hired a new graphic designer, updated my action list, and discussed projects with my business partner. Ho-hum is how I felt. I couldn’t understand why my enjoyment of the coffee shop never leaked over into work time.
I’d put in my 8-5 computer time while munching on my store-bought convenience food. Every so often, I’d take the train to London or drive to a nearby venue for a meeting, but for the most part, I spent my days in my computer room overlooking an unexciting road. I suppose I felt as if I was filling time rather than enjoying time.
Playtime with my daughter – do I really have to?
At 5 pm I’d reluctantly stop work to start my playtime with my daughter. I always felt as if I should work until I couldn’t work anymore. Having a child forced me to stop that practice. At this point in the day, however, I was tired and really didn’t want to play but I dragged myself from sofa to floor to the sofa again. I’d say to Sienna, ‘let’s play sleep time. We can pretend to sleep and see how long we can pretend.’
Lucky for us, we own a hot tub and that’s a good ½ hour time-eater. When I was desperate, which was every night, I’d suggest that the family go out for a soak. It was great to sit in the bubbles but relaxation wasn’t my main aim. I was simply so tired that I need some sort of activity that allowed me to sit and my daughter to think I was playing with her.
Such a sad state of existence.
By 7 pm I’d be so, so, so tired that I’d have to get my first glass of wine. This allowed me to wake up a bit. I’d sit from 7 to 7:30 pm watching cartoons with Sienna while I sipped my wines and replied to emails on my iPhone. Hubby would cook dinner – usually one that required removing the packaging and placing it in the oven. At least once a week hubby made something from scratch but it was best to avoid him during the process.
At 7:30 I’d painfully force myself off the bed and into the bathroom to brush Siennas teeth and get her to do her business. Then I’d pray that her book choice as a pre-recorded book (thanks to my grandparents and parents) or one of those pop-up jobbies that look good but only has 3 words per page.
Time for dinner in front of the Television.
By 8 pm I was on my second glass of wine while eating dinner in front of the TV. I’m not sure if I contemplated what I was eating. I knew I had to eat and whatever it was that was in front of me was good enough.
Making it until 9 pm before laying down in bed was the goal. Usually, we were in bed at 8:30 watching Pawn Stars, Storage Wars, or some sort of documentary about Alien invasions. All I could think was, I’m so, so tired. I’m so exhausted.
My fear was having to wake up the next morning at the calls of ‘Mummy…mummmmmmy…is it morning time yet?’ Of course, I wouldn’t fall off to sleep until 11 pm and sleep would be broken.
And then it was groundhogs day all over again.
Looking back at my old routine makes me cringe. I suppose it wasn’t that bad all the time, but it wasn’t that good either. Hubby and I did go out for meals often and we met with friends. I enjoyed my writing…and of course, my time with my daughter when I felt good was brilliant. And when the sun came out we rushed down to the boat and went out sailing for as long as we could. I loved our sailing trips. They seemed to bring a bit of pleasure into an otherwise dull existence.
So what’s different now? How has my life changed since the decision to sell up and sail?
Well, it’s not good yet but it’s getting closer. And I think it’s important for me to realize that I’m transitioning from one life to another. If I was to go from bad to good in one swoop it might be too much for the system – eh?
I still get up and go to the coffee shop every morning although I’m getting tired of it. Previously it was the most important part of my day – a time when I was free to just be me away from any distracting noise. Now, I still enjoy my time to write, but I just feel as if I’ve outgrown this routine.
After doing my writing, which I absolutely love I may or may not create a to-do list. I no longer go home and work. I’ve realized that I don’t like to ‘work’ for the sake of having something to do. I don’t want to do it anymore. I don’t want to do ‘work’ that I don’t enjoy.
At home, hubby and I create a strategy for the day. It usually involves cleaning a part of the house – each room has to be sectioned off into piles for:
- Give to friends
Every day, at least 4 – 5 bags of stuff leave the house. And every day I feel lighter and lighter.
Never again will I buy a big house. I’ve realized that absolute waste of it. We’re taught to get a high paying job, work like crazy so we can buy a big house yet with the big house we spend more of our money filling it with crap. Absolute crap. Every cupboard, closet, and storage space has stuff we don’t ever use.
Aside from clearing out the house, we have thousands of errands. Send off forms for our training, sign Sienna up for the new pre-school, chase the lawyers on the house sales, go grocery shopping, get the car fixed up, post latest eBay sales, and on and on.
Our days go fast now.
In addition to sorting stuff out, I now cook everything from scratch and I think it’s keeping me sane. I have a definite purpose, I enjoy doing it and I know I’m getting my family healthy for our big trip. Furthermore, I’m figuring out how to actually cook so that we can eat well on our travels! I suppose it’s my replacement for working, but it’s benefiting me and the family in a great way.
By the time Sienna gets home I’m physically tired but no longer mentally drained.
I’m actually able and fit to do coloring, read books, do puzzles and even cook some homemade brownies! And Sienna only goes to pre-school three days a week. When she’s home all day we get her to help out with creating piles and she’s a great helper.
From time to time I enjoy a glass of wine, but it’s for pleasure not for delaying sleep and escaping pain.
I still feel stress in my body – my jaw is tight, my eye still twitches a bit but I suppose that’s normal and I know it’s going to pass. I’m taking time to eat well, enjoy my family, and take time out for ‘me’. As I said, life isn’t ‘good’ yet but it’s much better than it was. I’m heading in the right direction.
I can’t wait to write about my new routine on the boat. What will it be?
Saying goodbye to my old routines has been the best thing that I’ve done in a long time. What will my new routines be like? Perhaps it will go like this: Today we all slept until 8 am and had the best sleep ever. The rocking of the boat and the waves hitting the hull sends us to dreamland in the best way possible. After eating a healthy and yummy meal of porridge and fresh local fruit, we set sail for a new port. There’s a Roman ruin, a market, and several fish shops where we’re going! The sun is shining, we’re all full of smiles and looking forward to spotting more dolphins than we did yesterday. And who knows what adventure or new people we’ll meet at our next port of call. Yippie.
Previous Chapter: 17. I’m so freaking frustrated – the world is broken
Or…if you’d like to carry on reading all about our journey from selling up and sailing away, you can purchase my book, ‘Changing Lifestyles – Trading the Rat Race in For A Sail Around The World,’