Two weeks off work. I'm planning on not doing very much and by the time I add in just a small amount of normal housework, choir, my course plus homework as well as getting ready for my annual trip to Halle to sing Messiah at the end of next week, not doing very much is already taking up quite a bit of time. It's all good so far though. I'm going to use this week to do a sort of a detox week again, starting today. So I made some spicy carrot and lentil soup earlier and had a big bowl of that for lunch, I got some bananas on the way home from a nice long walk and had one of those and will have more soup shortly. And I'm planning on banana pancakes for breakfast tomorrow. Haven't had bananas for ages so this is lovely. I even got six of them for just one euro - I stopped at the fruit shop on the way home since I was really craving a banana and I just had one euro in my pocket, which I thought should be enough for at least one. Since I expressed interest in preferring the slightly black-speckled ones from yesterday she weighed a bunch for me and then said she'd give them to me for the one euro I had instead of the 1.55 they should cost. So that was nice.
My house isn't a total catastrophe at the moment. I would like to hoover tomorrow but I've been doing really well on keeping on top of the washing up and I got the washing finished and hung today (after taking the weekend off from any housework). Ironing has been going pretty well the last few weeks, too, so I think I might find a half an hour tomorrow to get that done and get the clothes horse put away. For now though, I've lit some candles and am going to just chill out for the rest of the evening. Ha. That makes it almost sounds like I've done anything but chill out all day! I'd like to get the remains of the Table of Doom finally dealt with this week and I've bought a big wall calendar to fill in all the stuff I have on. I do use a pocket diary to keep track but I feel like I need an overview this year. I want to fill in stuff like remembering to take my vitamin D tablet every two weeks, schedule time for reading for my course and that kind of thing.
That comes partly because for the past month I've been making a big effort to get things under control at work. I came up with a to-do list of sorts to run in parallel with my normal to-do list. This new list is broken down into three sections - daily, weekly and monthly - and contains all the stuff that I used to just do and never forget, or at least always manage to remember to do in the nick of time. But that doesn't work anymore as my memory is completely shot. I've had the second of my individual therapy sessions now and my counsellor was fairly impressed when I told her about the lists. She confirmed that memory can be badly affected by depression and by grief and that people often express a fear that they've begun to display signs of dementia when they begin therapy. It was nice to know that the group sessions had had enough of an impact and been enough of a reminder for some of the techniques that I already know to get me sorting my own problems out.
I know my memory isn't great and hasn't been for years but have mostly put that down to lack of use of my brain and kind of figured that if I put any effort in again, I'd start to see an improvement. And in the meantime, it was good enough. But since my sister died I really have been feeling like something in my head just broke. I could get by in work for a few months but at some stage I had to accept that I might not just snap back to 'normal' and so I came up with the lists to try and stop feeling overwhelmed. There are lots of small tasks I do that don't take up a huge amount of time if they're done daily but if I don't get around to them they build up really quickly to seemingly insurmountable obstacles. So, I've incorporated not only those tasks into my list but also incorporated dealing with the backlog, too. Kind of like I did with the Table of Doom - ten old emails dealt with every day, ten old sent emails filed properly every day. I do still have some old temporary folders with hundreds and hundreds of old emails but even in just the few weeks I've been doing it, I have almost entirely cleared everything that had built up last year. And that was quite a lot, given that I was out sick so often during 2013.
The last few days of work last week were such a change from my normal preparing for a holiday, when I'm trying to make sure I've at least covered enough to be gone for two weeks without anyone noticing how many things are lying unfinished. I knew exactly what I needed to still do and it wasn't a lot, because I was mostly caught up on everything. I had one big task that I hadn't gotten to and that I planned to finish on Friday but unfortunately Friday ended up being a ridiculously busy time and so I didn't get to it. A couple of hours into Friday morning though, I realised I wouldn't have time to finish the task and so I just decided to not every try and start. That meant that despite the busy-ness of Friday, it was a fairly relaxed atmosphere and then I just went in on Sunday and got the task done properly. Very glad I did that as it ended up taking longer that I anticipated - nearly four and a half hours compared to the three I had thought it would. It confirmed though, that the better option was not to stress myself out trying to get it done on Friday as that was four and a half hours of uninterrupted time - on a normal work day, with phones going, emails arriving every few minutes and all the staff to deal with, I could have probably spent nearly a day and a half trying to get the same amount done. And now I get to totally relax, knowing I've left everything in really good shape. That feels really good and so far, although I've done practically nothing, I am really enjoying my time off!