Have we lost the ability to stop in a busy world?

img_3108

How my friends with older children didn’t laugh at me I will never know (other than they are lovely).

“I’ll have plenty of time soon,” I said confidently. “When Freya’s at nursery two mornings a week.”

What they already knew, of course, is that there is never enough time. Fast forward four months and I’m laughing at myself.

Sometimes I feel like I’m on one of those challenge programmes, you know, like 60 Minute Makeover, where I have a set time to get everything done and always, always, just about scrape by.

When she’s not with me I feel the need to do ALL the jobs. Shopping, cleaning (especially all the bits I’ve previously ignored *cough* skirting boards), prepping, admin. You name it, I cram it in so there isn’t a minute spare.

The first few weeks I purposely kept myself busy so I wouldn’t think about her sitting alone crying my name in the corner of a classroom (which couldn’t have been further from the truth) but I seem to have just carried on.

The lists in my bullet journal get longer and longer each week.

It’s like I feel the need to justify my existence, if I’m not working or looking after Freya, by not sitting down at any point during the 2.5 hours she’s away.

I seem to have forgotten how to just…be still. And I have that Ferris Bueller quote buzzing about:

saveferris

Even with the luxury of time (I mean maybe 15 minutes or so not the entire morning) I just can’t stop – even though I’m sure the skirting boards could hold the weight of dust for another couple of years, at least.

I’m not sure who I’m trying to prove myself to. Mark would be the obvious choice, as he is the one “at work”. He’s really not bothered and in fact said I deserved a break after a pretty full on few years.

I know we all have busy lives, a never ending “to do” list but somewhere in the back of my head, tucked behind the sleep deprivation, it feels like I’m missing the point.

Hot Pink Wellingtons

A Third Of Women Harassed While Running.

 

runningshoes

A disturbing one in three woman have been harassed when running alone, according to the results of a new survey by England Athletics released this week.

It includes being shouted at, drivers honking their horns and even men running alongside them. Perhaps unsurprisingly, just under half of the 2,000 women surveyed expressed fears for their personal safety while running alone.

I’ve been running (ok, plodding) for a few years, on and off, and I’ve certainly experienced being shouted at and also beeped at. It might sound harmless but it can be really intimidating, especially when its dark, which is usually the only time I’m free to run.

It has made me think twice about going out on my own – and that makes me really angry. Why shouldn’t I be allowed to run where and when I want? How dare they think it’s ok to harass people. Even when it only happens occasionally I’m often still on high alert, which doesn’t make for a very pleasant run.

Alongside the survey a new campaign aimed at getting more people in England running by pairing them with their local clubs “providing a reliable, safe and friendly environment” was launched.

runtogether

The RunTogether initiative works on the basis that “running with others provides motivation, guidance and support, as well as making it more fun”. Having run both on my own and with a buddy, I wholeheartedly agree with each of their points.

The C25K was much easier when we could spur one another on/moan about each week. Even now, when we consistently run 5K-ish, the fact that I don’t want to let her down means I carry on when I know, if I was on my own, I would stop and walk (I’m really not a natural runner).

The new website makes it easy to find clubs in your area for different levels (it also has running routes available).

I’m not really a club person and while I’m happy to run with my friend, group running really isn’t my cup of tea.

When I first heard about RunTogether, without really reading the details, I thought it was like a dating app for runners. I think it would take someone pretty unique to answer my ad but I’ve already met my soulmate (luckily long before she realised what she was in for).

running-2

I’m very lucky to have found someone who is understanding of my commitments (and the occasional need to cancel at the last minute if Freya is ill) but who also tolerates me stopping to take photos every now and then without even a hint of annoyance (the fact that she will star jump on demand is an added bonus).

Of course, not everyone is lucky enough to have a buddy like mine – and even when we run together we have been beeped at – which is why I think this new resource is going to be helpful – especially in the absence of any solution to stamp out such ridiculous, intimidating behaviour.

starjump
Look how high she can jump!
Have you ever been harassed while out exercising? Would you join a club to feel safer? If you were writing an advert for an exercise buddy what requirements would you have?

PS If you like this post please consider voting for me in the Nepaliaustralian Blog Awards by clicking here and entering “Best Personal Blog – 1” in the comments. Thank you.

 

 

Three Small Gestures Brighten Our Day.

kindness

 

After writing last week about ONE rude shop assistant, on Saturday we had THREE people who went above and beyond customer service wise.

“What are we going to do today?” Freya asked as soon as she woke up.

“I don’t think we have any plans. Is there anything you would like to do?” I asked her.

“My greatest wish,” she actually said those words. “Is to go and see nan and grandad.”

img_9678

Well, if it was her greatest wish I could hardly say no. Barely an hour later we were at Norwich Train Station. After buying my train ticket, I had a quick chat with the two people serving, one of whom also had a daughter called Freya. Just as we were leaving, the lady who sold me my ticket said: “Would she like a sticker?”

Freya’s eyes lit up.

She was so proud of her “We went on the train!” sticker.

IMG_9638.JPG

The train left on time and made its first stop 15 minutes later at Diss. Freya became fascinated with the guard and his whistle. Apparently whistling is an essential lifeskill when you’re three and she’s devastated she can’t do it yet. I keep telling her to try every day and one day it will just happen but, thanks to the guard, she’s discovered there is another way (great!).

“How is he doing that?” She said, amazed.

“He has a whistle in his mouth. It’s an instrument, like the recorder you have at nan and grandad’s, and when you blow it, it whistles.”

Her eyes were huge at this new wonder.

Just as we were pulling away he noticed her looking at him and gave her a beaming smile. She responded by waving and he waved us off, which she loved (she kept waving long after we’d left the station).

We pulled into Ipswich a couple of minutes early and went to catch the first of two buses. As I haven’t lived there for a long time I got a bit confused and got on the wrong one. Luckily the lovely bus driver was incredibly helpful. Not only did he tell me what number I needed to catch next but also made sure I knew exactly where to go to get it.

These are all small gestures. Probably the people involved didn’t even think about us again but it really added a little extra shine to our day.

While none of them are very interesting snippets, I thought as I had recorded one man’s negative behaviour here on the blog, I should also capture the three positives too.

Has something small brightened your day lately?