Happy Sunday readers! How are you all doing?
I just wanted to start by saying thank you again for all the wonderful comments and support that continues to flood in after Wednesday's post. I really wanted it to help people going through something similar, as it was a frightening and utterly deflating experience, especially when I was first told it was happening. I couldn't find anything on the web that told me redundancy was anything but a disaster. Every blog or article I found basically said the economy is terrible, the odds are against you, and basically you need to get another job straight away, immediately if not sooner. As I was off to Australia for six weeks the day after my job ended, applying for other jobs wasn't really an option for me - they would have all laughed in my face. And then, to make things even more cheerful, I read an article on the Guardian website about people who were still out of work, years after a redundancy. It was so, so depressing. I started to wonder whether my genuine feelings of excitement and positivity about the situation was just an avoidance tactic. But I also wondered whether fear is deliberately instilled into people put in this situation, through no fault of their own, to make them take other jobs they don't particularly want to do to maintain the status quo and make them believe that the life they truly want just isn't possible.
So I really hope people find my post and know that while I don't have all the answers, and I do have scary days where I freak out, I want people to know how empowering it is to look at redundancy as a new start on your own terms. I don't know how things will work out for me but I'm willing to give it a try. I appreciate your support so very, very much. And thank you to all the brave people who have shared their similar stories with me. We can do this!!
I think, since taking my destiny into my own hands, I have never worked harder in my life. I dread bedtime! I've been putting in 16 hour days. I've been so enjoying it, but my loving concerned husband said it might be a good idea to structure my time a bit better, allowing for some downtime as well.
And so I spent Friday with Google calendar, and yesterday I had a day off. My first one since I came back to the UK. The laptop didn't go on once! iPod and Blackberry don't count, surely? ;)
Tom and I went for a run first thing - only 7km but I have to work twice as hard when I run with him! He's taller, skinnier and has longer legs! I came back quite pooped!!
I cleaned the house - well, reorganised the bookshelves. This is a corner of my "office":
I paid a visit to the library, borrowed heaps of books and promptly sat down on the couch with one, and barely moved for the rest of the afternoon/evening. Thank you Miranda for recommending Jasper Fforde to me, I couldn't put this one down!
The effect of all that downtime was such that I retired to bed quite early (for me) with another book, fell asleep, and then woke up this morning to realise it was nearly midday! I haven't slept that late for a very, very long time - not since my partying days, certainly! I took it as a sign that I needed it.
A cake (Amelia's recipe!):
And our living room currently smells like spring:
Every year, since we first moved in together four years ago, Tom has bought me hyacinths around this time of the year, the gulf between the final days of winter and the first of spring. I love how they infuse the air with their sweetness.
And no weekend of mine recently has been complete without Yogalates, thanks to a recommendation from my friends The Food Fairies. We met up for a mulled cider before Christmas and the girls raved and raved about it. Curious, I ordered it just in time for the last three snowy weekends where it was too cold/scary to go running! I have to say, this DVD is amazing. The fairies recommended Yogalates 8 - the title "Dynamic Weight Loss" is a bit deceptive, so don't be put off by it as I was initially. It's a great combination of pilates and yoga, and perfect if you don't have a lot of space. There's an upper body, lower body and total body workouts, with a lovely long relaxation at the end. The lower body workout is probably my favourite, it's fantastic for runners - heaps of lunges and balances and downward dogs. And Louise's voice is so soothing, the relaxation sequence that ends the DVD is quite wonderful.
I've noticed after a few weeks of doing this how toned my stomach is again - and also how much harder my abs work when I run too. When I run I consciously hold my abs in to take the pressure off my lower back. After doing a few Yogalates workouts, I felt something like stomach cramps while I was running and it took a few minutes for me to realise it was my abs, sore but working hard!
Have you ever tried Yogalates? What do you think?
And also, because I can't keep myself out of the papers at the moment (ha ha!), just thought you might like to check out Holland and Barrett's latest Healthy magazine - I'm in there as this month's Healthy Hero!
It's been lovely to have some down time this weekend. Working for myself is still all very new to me and it's hard to separate my work from my play, because it used to be the same thing when I worked full time in the day job. Any spare time I had was spent pretty much doing what I do now! It's been a strange but wonderful adjustment. Life gets fuller and busier every day. And I'm very happy.
Have an amazing week, lovely people. I hope you'll like what I have in store for you this week :)
“There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy.”
- Robert Louis Stevenson