Monday, 8 January 2018

My 9am rule. Beating boredom.

Life can be boring.

Life is what you make it, or of it.

How can my life possibly be boring? I live in Dubai.

It's not about where I live, most of the time, although there are some restrictions to what I can do.

These restrictions are however self imposed because with all my family living in the UK, it's difficult to have a full time job and meet the commitments of family. Last year my father died. I spent 4 months in the UK supporting my mum. This year child 2 and 2a are getting married, child 4 has his medal parade, friends are getting married and Peter's niece is also getting married in October. I did teach for a year here, but add to all the events in the UK, plus unexpected events such as deaths, I just don't have the time to manage both a career and a family. Plus we have lots of visitors, mainly family, who I want to spend time with when they come here.

For most of the time, life in Dubai is uneventful, other than dealing with moving house, setting up utilities and dealing with issues in the UK such as tax returns, tenants and supporting the teen into work, which takes up chunks of time but it's all short term. In-between life is boring and I'm not good at entertaining myself and doing nothing.

For the past 3 years I've been doing a #OneDailyPositive making sure I get out the house every day and look for a positive in each day, regardless of the events. Some days this has been almost impossible to achieve, but I'm in my 4th year now and I link up each week with a weekly blog post with #Project365.

For 2018 I've decided to implement myself a 9am rule.

This means everyday by 9am I must have finished my daily chores and be showered and dressed and ready to go out. This doesn't have to involve hair and make up. I'm quite comfortable leaving the house without a full face on and my hair in a pony tail. In fact I don't even have to go out. I've discovered that unless I'm dressed by 9am, I find it's all of a sudden midday and I get down thinking I've wasted yet another day, with nothing achieved and I eat junk food, feel bad about myself, sleep the afternoon away and generally I'm not the best of company when my husband comes home at the end of the day.

My daily chores involve making the bed, emptying the dishwasher, cleaning the litter tray, watering the garden, put the bins out, walking the dog and cleaning any dog mess up.

I have weekly jobs to do, that are completed on random days throughout the week which are washing, ironing, food shopping, clean the car, dusting, sweeping, mopping, cleaning the balcony. Sometimes I'm on a roll and do it all on one day, other times I do things as and when they need doing throughout the week.

Each week I also take the dog to doggy day care for a swim and run around and a chance to socialise for both me and him. I go to a mall for a coffee when I do the food shop and I'll pick one place further a field to visit each week.

I've also got a list of things I want to do or need doing around the house. Somethings have a deadline such as renewing the car insurance and registration and chasing up a refund, others can roll on:

New bedding to be bought.
Curtains to be washed and taken up.
Train set to be dismantled.
Clothes to charity bin.
Dog beds to be made.
Fencing for garden.
Plants to be bought and planted in the new garden.
Fix panniers to bike.

When I'm in the UK life is very different, I still have a 'home' to manage and daily and weekly chores to complete, but I don't feel so isolated and alone. In Dubai I spend so much of my time on my home with Peter at work for 10 hours a day and often away in the week. In weekends we go further a field and visit places, but I find life is mostly indoors much of the year. We've just completed the garden so we can spend our evenings sitting outside and we like to visit The Beach on weekends, but there's not hills to walk, we can't take Bob into the desert anymore and the parks and gardens charge entry fees and dogs are banned anyway.

In the UK I can go for a walk, I can pop in and visit my friends, I can sit in the park and drink coffee or have a picnic, I can explore local shops and towns, visits old buildings, drive to a variety of places of interest. Although we can go to the pub in Dubai in the evenings we have to drive there, in the UK I can walk and meet up with friends, talk to random strangers, something that people don't really do here, regardless of their nationality.

A lot of the time, with all the traveling I do, I find it hard to get into a routine. Already I'm thinking 'I'm in the UK next month till the end of March, then child 4 and 4a are visiting then the following month, May, I'll be back in the UK till the end of August, then the next month, October, I'll be back in the UK and then the next month, December, hopefully my Mum will be visiting. But there are huge chunks of time I'd just be hanging around in Dubai doing nothing. The reality is that out of 52 weeks, I will be spending only 19 of them in the UK. That's 33 weeks in Dubai of doing nothing if I'm not careful and that's a long time in which to be bored.



21 comments:

  1. I know very much how you feel as I have a similar feeling here now I'm on my maternity leave. We live out of town now and my other half works 11 - 14 hours most days so if I don't get out of the house after the school run i end up staying in and bored all day with the baby. I think the 9am rule is a great idea. We should catch up when you're back in the UK if you have a spare afternoon. I was a bit preoccupied last time you were over, and I'm sure you had enough on your plate. Hoping this year is a positive one and thank you for linking up with #BestBootForward - we will have a button this week to link back too! Chloe x

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    1. yes it's coffee/tea and cake for sure this year Chloe

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  2. I think you are clearly a highly intelligent woman and I think all of us but particularly those blessed or cursed with an analytical mind suffer badly with the let's face it drudgery of everyday life and how it repeats over and over. Isolation is not good for the soul either. You have a lot of loved ones and they all come with their own needs and all too often it is wife and Mum who takes the strain. I am glad to see you with us on #BestBootForward, love the idea of you and Chloe meeting up. I am in France now to learning the particular challenges (and joys) of expat life. You have inspired me with your 9am idea too.

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    1. I hadn't realised you'd moved to France, hope all is going well for you all

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  3. I really need to get that rule going for me!!

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    1. it is really helping, now to keep it up

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  4. I agree 100% with you. I only work two days a week and could quite happily stay in bed forever on the other three days. So I make myself get up, have a shower and be dressed first thing. The day goes so much better if I do that. If I get up late the whole day goes to pot. You’re in a much better frame of mind if you’re up and ready to tackle the world early �� #TweensTeensBeyond

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    1. it's working for sure at the moment, although there's nothing wrong with scheduling an afternoon nap

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  5. Yres to this, having a plan can help kick start your motivation X #triumphanttales

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  6. Well done you for having a plan. I totally get how you can become demotivated. For those that spend a lot of time on their own it can be tough being your own cheerleader all the time. It's always a good feeling to be early up and out and getting a few things ticked off. Such a shame that you don't have access to more company, especially when you are used to having such a full house. Although, no harm in having a bit of down time at all, especially at the rate you were going at when you were here. Happy 2018 lovely - see you have some fab things to look forward to x #tweensteensbeyond

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    1. coming up to the end of week 2 and it's certainly working for me

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  7. Yes it is and i totally understand your need for a plan. My routine changed last September when my youngest left primary school and ended 15 years of school runs. I replaced the morning walk with runs three times a week and I'm determined to try out an exercise video at home for the other two mornings. Thanks for joining us again at #TweensTeensBeyond

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    1. I got behind schedule on thursday and the whole day went to pot and all i did was clean and a food shop

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  8. That sounds very sensible to have some sort of routine and 9am sounds like a good time to aim for. I like to get all my daily jobs done before setting off for school for the kids. I struggle in the school holidays, when I try to work before they get up. It shouldn't bother me that the dishwasher hasn't been emptied because I've been earning money, but it does!

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    1. i get really irritated when my routine gets disturbed, it's really not much i ask for

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  9. It sounds like you've got a good plan in place for this year! I know my routine is going to be all in the air with a toddler and twins to bring up in 2018! I think if I manage to get dressed everyday it would be a miracle hahah!
    Thank you for sharing this with us at #TriumphantTales. I hope to see you back next week!

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    1. I doubt you'll have a routine at all for the first few months until ben goes to nursery

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  10. It sounds like you've got a good plan in place for this year! I know my routine is going to be all in the air with a toddler and twins to bring up in 2018! I think if I manage to get dressed everyday it would be a miracle hahah!
    Thank you for sharing this with us at #TriumphantTales. I hope to see you back next week!

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  11. Expat living can be very isolating and particularly in those places where cars are the norm for getting around. Until you can't just pop to the corner shop or go for a walk to the local park with the dog you don't realise how valuablt it is. It is so easy to lose half a day if you are not careful. I am the queen of faffing and unless I stick to a routine I too can find myself at lunchtime and still having achieved not a great deal. Getting out and exercising first thing is always the best thing to kick start the day for me. You have some wonderful things to look forward to Suzanne, meantime good luck with the 9am rule. #TweensTeensBeyond

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    1. thanks, the 9am rule is working well for me, don't get me wrong i'm spending a lot of time where I'm not doing anything, such as watching a movie or drinking coffee but i feel so much more positive about the day if i get up and get on with it

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