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Linked Leisure

(Originally posted 13th July 3015.)

Sometimes I’m a wimp.

Today is one of those times.  I’m supposed to be travelling to the allotment just now but it’s wet, I’m tired and my body hurts.  I did leave the house and start walking to the bus stop but before I’d gone very far I realised I’d forgotten my e-cig and had to turn back.  I got the e-cig and set out again but didn’t get as far as the street before I stopped and argued with myself.  Because it’s wet, I’m tired,  my body hurts and sometimes I’m a wimp.

On days like today, when I’ve given in, it would be easy to feel a failure and regret my decision.  That’s rather how I’m feeling now, to be honest.  And part of me wants to slink off to bed until I have to get up when the Crisis Team visit this afternoon.  The extra sleep would be lovely and my body would enjoy the warmth and comfort of bed.  I’d really like strike the day from the calendar and just pretend it hasn’t happened.  But down that path lie despair, self-loathing and a nasty feeling of futility.  After all, if your life consists of sleep and not much else, exactly what is the point of it?

There’s another path.  I’m going to start by accepting that maybe I do need a day off from physical work, particularly as I’m on a lot of extra medication whose purpose is to help me sleep so it’s no wonder I’m tired this morning.  So staying at home isn’t a failure, it’s a decision I’ve made.

What does a day off look like?  It needs to feed my mind with the things I want to see more of in my life because like attracts like and it needs to be productive in some way so I can go to bed knowing the day wasn’t wasted.  This is something I call ‘Linked Leisure’.

Gardening is what helps me most.  I don’t think I exaggerate when I say I’m passionate about the benefits of growing and eating your own fruit and vegetables.  I can’t get to the allotment today and I do need some leisure time as I’ve been working hard and need a rest.  But I can choose leisure activities that support my interest in gardening.  So, for example, if I want to knit in front of the TV I’ll go for a gardening or cooking programme.  I’ll choose a book to read that inspires me to work hard in growing my own produce – I’m re-reading Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books just now.

Before I settle down to the leisure part of the day though I’ll make sure I’ve done a few of the indoor jobs that I have stuck on the fridge door.  I’ll spend an hour typing recipes into my ingredients spreadsheet.  I’ll update Ravelry because spinning and knitting are part of my vision.  I’ll declutter some books which no longer interest me.  And this will help me enjoy my leisure because I’ll have done something I consider worthwhile.

There is still time in my life for ‘non-linked’ activities.  Living requires variety to avoid obsession.  But on a day like today I need to focus on what’s important to me.  And tomorrow I’ll be ready to get back to pulling up mare’s tails.

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