I arrived in the UK the end of May. Peter came with me for a week. Since he's left, I've hardly stopped. Well that's what social media would lead you to believe. Normally on UK visits I have car hire and I'm out here and there every day, trying to cram in as much as possible into a short space of time, running myself ragged, have flown 3000 miles to then be the person who accommodates everyone else. OK I don't mind when people are working and/or have kids. I can't expect people to put their lives on hold just because I'm back.
Normally I visit twice a year for 2-3 weeks at a time. On occasions, I've had extended stays such as when we needed to evict our tenants from hell through the courts and then sadly last year when my father died. Fed up of sleeping in spare rooms, not being able to unpack and quite often spending the night on a sofa, we made the decision just under 2 years ago to purchase a one bed flat in South Wales, near where my mum lives, so I can have a base, Peter can relax when he's here for a one week holiday twice a year and to save lugging heavy suitcases back and forth. However until last month, it was occupied by the teen while he was job hunting and waiting for security clearance to go through.
So for the first time, I have a base, just for me and as I'll be in the UK till the end of October (with a couple of short trips planned) I've realised I need to establish some kind of a routine or I'm going to burn out quickly.
I'm not waking up most mornings till 8am, that's fine and I tend to get dressed and head straight out for coffee. The cost of that is mounting up. Then I potter, go for a walk, visit mum or Thing 1, 2 & 3 (my great nephews) Anything to put off cleaning the dishes from the night before. I might pop to a near by town to meet a friend (usually random strangers from social media) I've several projects on the go, selling my dad's stamp collection and other bits and pieces. I shop daily, cook dinner, usually invite mum down, visit friends who have been at work, go to the pub or just veg infant of the TV, getting into bed around 9-10pm and falling asleep quickly.
Sounds good, but without any structure to my day, the flat is inevitably a mess, it took me 4 days to hoover. It's a one bed flat, I spent 4 days tripping over the cable. I had no motivation, structure.
As is usual in my life, I start something, then it's all change. I'm on my way to Belfast for a few days, then I've a busy diary with friends the following week, Peter arrives mid July for a week and then I'm off to Germany.
But there are things I can put in place and starting small they are:
- Clean bathroom after shower, don't leave it till the next use.
- Learn to use the coffee machine in the flat.
- Meal plan rather than buying daily.
- Wash up and clear away after dinner.
- Put things away and get clothes ready for the morning.
- Only take £3.40 out when going to the pub for 1 G&T.
- Establish a proper night time routine, make up off, shower or bath, pjs on, clear clutter off bed.
I can follow this routine wherever I am over the next few months, I started this evening in my hotel room in Birmingham. I had an early dinner, I ate out but stuck to a budget and only one glass of wine. I took my make up off, had a shower, got my clothes ready for the morning and packed everything else away so when I get up, I can dress and take the short walk to the departure lounge for my flight first thing.