Thursday, September 15, 2011


Oh my friends.  It has once again been two weeks and I am feeling somewhat stuck.  And overwhelmed.  There is SO much going on and I'm just not quite sure where to start, and how to start it. A list will help, right?

  • I started my course at the YMCA in Tottenham Court Road, Central London.  It is wonderful.  It is interesting, amazing to do physical exercise as part of your learning, fun new people to meet.  But challenging on every level.  It has been a long time since I had this much to learn (last time I took classes there was no internet.  Or mobile phones, really).  So I'm struggling to get my revision in.  The opportunities for procrastination are bigger, much bigger. 
  • The kids have both started new schools.  They're both doing great - so far - but I've been hanging onto my anxieties about them both.  A friend told me once that you're only as happy as your unhappiest child.  As they're happy right now this thankfully is not an issue, but still. I like to worry in preparation. 
  • admin.  Sheesh.  I put all my admin and correspondence to one side the last week of the holidays so I could get all the kids' stuff together for school.  In this country everything has to be labelled.  With sew-on labels.  I don't really sew.  Well, I didn't.  I worked out how to use a sewing machine (practise makes perfect) and can even label socks.  Which is good, because there were lots.  But while labelling socks the post pile just grew and I'm only just emerging from underneath.  And then there's all the stuff I want to do - move my blog to WordPress yadda yadda yadda.  
  • running.  Hrmm.  My running has been on and off all summer.  Off first, because I was recovering from bronchitis.  Then there weeks of 40 miles, and weeks of 10 miles.  Days where I thought what I needed was a target marathon in November and days where I thought I needed that like a hole in the head.  My course has not helped - the first module we are working on is gym instructor (hmm.  Let's say that is not my dream) and so due to the fact that I don't really do anything in a gym other than run I am having to familiarise myself with all the machines, how to safely use it, how to safely train others to use it, and then there's all the weights exercises.  I need to know what they are all called - suffice it to say that I've been in the gym most days slightly panicked at the practical stuff I need to learn (the theory is meaty too but I addressed that worry in my first bullet point).  This takes up a LOT of time and also, the gym I use in London limits the use of treadmills to 25 minutes.  Sheesh.  
  • food.  Hmm.  I am not on the healthy food wagon and need to get back on it.  'Nuff said.  
  • sleep.  All this messiness is wreaking havoc with my sleep.  Which doesn't help me sort out the messiness. 
Basically, I need to do what I need to do on a regular basis. Stop where I am.  Stop regretting what I have not done, angsting over things done wrong or not achieved and get a grip.  Move on.  Start. 

So here I am, starting.  Planning the way ahead. 
  • to organise my revision and admin time, I'm using focus booster.  25 minutes revision, 5 minutes downtime, then 25 minutes more revision or admin, 5 minutes downtime.  Worked with it today and it's good.  I can envisage 25 minutes of revision.  
  • Running.  I'm going to train for a half-marathon in December.  At the moment my schedule, 5 days 9-5 at the YMCA in London, then 9 days back home, with a 3 hour drive at each end, will mean I can not put the work I want into marathon training.  The weekends are busy with the kids and lots of driving (did I mention this?  The mileage on my car is shocking - when I get it serviced they think I travel for work.  Nope.  Just fun...). So, half marathon training.  Shockingly, I haven't trained for one for years, I've just run them as part of marathon training.  As I am keen to beat my PR (1:45) and Sarah Palin's recent win I want to get sub 1:45.  My runnersworld schedule is hard, but hopefully not undoable.  Following it will mean I will not be able to get to the gym at the YMCA in the mornings before my course begins (which is a shame, because one of my new friends on the course is really working me) but will instead use the lunchtimes or the evenings to get in a short cardio workout to warmup and then use the weights machines so I can get used to them.  And buff up.  Obviously.  
  • And with food - well I'm just going to have to do this aren't I? Not focus on past failures, but focus on future success.  
And generally, this is something I need to do.  A friend of mine who I really respect recommended The Secret to me.  I balked initially - I had heard about it and had, frankly, dismissed it.  She told me to suspend my cynicism, ignore the stuff about quantum physics (honestly?) and about "the universe delivering" and just take on board the basic message that visualisation works, that focusing on what you want rather than what you are afraid of is a really positive step.  So I'm working my way through it and she's right - I do focus on the negative, my fears, more than on the positive.  So I'm working on this.  Because actually - there is nothing wrong.  My kids are happy, my husband is happy, I'm happy and doing a course I enjoy and that is challenging me - the 3am stomach cramps are not necessary, right?  

It tastes better than it looks. 
Any tips / tricks / links you can offer to help me along this path would be most welcome.  I'm off now to eat a bowl of the vegetable minestrone I tend to make to get me back on the wagon.  Namaste my friends!