A Change IS as good as a Rest

When you are a full time carer, then the hardest thing to achieve is some precious time just for yourself. It is very easy to lose yourself at the expense of the person that you are caring for. So with last week with covid and caring for both Joshua and my poorly husband, ‘me time’ was in real short supply but I certainly redressed the balance yesterday. It was a busy day but it was a fabulous day, with just me and Ruby, my cocker spaniel, to worry about. The day started when we left home at 5.30am to drive for 2.5 hours, to our destination. The journey began in thick fog and I had to go very slowly, as visibility was so poor, but as I got to the motorway, it lifted and I witnessed some stunning hazy sunrises as I drove. I had an appointment at 9.30, for which I was an hour early, despite the fog, so Ruby and I enjoyed a lovely walk in hazy sunshine, just us two in the world, or so it felt.

Once I had met my appointment, I felt totally free ; free of all responsibility for Joshua and my husband, they were at home taking care of each other. I could do whatever I wanted with the rest of my day and it was a rare feeling, not having to take anyone else’s needs or preferences into account. I could eat what and whenever I wanted to, so my lunch of choice was chips with curry sauce from the best chip shop in the world – this ‘meal’ was a throwback from my school dinner days and it had lost none of its appeal – and I ate it greedily overlooking a stunning view. I took Ruby for another walk in the sunshine and then pottered around the shops. Even being able to go into whichever shops I wanted was a treat, without either one of us waiting outside with Joshua, avoiding shops with stairs or cutting the visit short because Joshua was fiddling with stock on shelves. I could browse at my own pace and leave when I was ready, not for any other reason.

I have stayed away overnight, so Ruby and I had a sunset walk for a change then I enjoyed my sandwich tea, followed by a tasty hot cross bun. I watched Netflix in the bath – just because I could – and then as exhaustion hit when I got out, I climbed into my bed at 9pm and fell into a deep sleep. I woke two hours later, and was thrilled to see it was still only 11pm, as I snuggled back down again. I am used to having disturbed nights, but it was a treat to be able to turn over and go back to sleep, without having to attend to Joshua first.

Now you know how much I love Joshua and how I love to take good care of him, but this day to myself was so long overdue and I appreciated it so very much. I made me think that I need to set aside some regular ‘me time’ to top myself up. When Joshua is at daycare, we get four hours ‘off’ and so we tend to cram jobs into that time, with maybe a lunch out thrown in, before I head back to collect him but so far, they have been quite rushed days. But I am talking about more time for just me, when I get to call all of the shots, and decide exactly how to use this precious resource of time. I will be heading home again to my boys later today, and I will be delighted to see them both, but I cannot tell you how much I needed this break away.

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