Well, that felt like the longest month to ever exist, didn’t it. Blimey. January went by so slowly it felt like 72 days had passed. It’s that feeling of ticking off every day until you hit that 5-week pay cheque. Except my January’s been different this year so I’ve documented my thoughts, struggles and feelings to remind me that being free from a 9-5 isn’t so bad.
Here it goes… What I’ve learnt about myself in January…
I do really struggle without a routine. Some days I don’t want to peel my body out of the warm bed sheets. Some days washing my hair feels like an achievement. Some days I’m at my desk before 9. Some days I binge Grace and Frankie on Netflix. No two days are the same.
I need some kind of structure to my day. This goes back to the point above really. I’m an organised person. I like structure, routine and lists. I like to be in control. And at the moment, I’m not, so I look to the little things to help. Like list making.
Fucking hell, I love a list. I’ve started making a weekly to-do list split out by personal (you know life admin, food shops, washing etc), business and blog and then arrange those tasks on my daily planner. It may sound a bit OTT but it works for me and my brain. The pleasure I get when ticking an item off, not once but twice, is unreal. It’s the little things. Even if it’s a note to whack some washing on, or shoot an email. It all counts.
I find I work best if I reward myself after a particularly tedious task – because no-one enjoys a tedious task. Whether that be a walk down to the ducks, a nice task or a spot of catch-up TV. I need a little pat on the back for motivation.
I like to listen to two types of audio while I work. Podcasts – in particular Bryony Gordon’s If I Can Do It, Desert Island Discs, Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place, Sophie Cliff’s Practical Positivity and Elizabeth Day’s How to Fail. Or a concentration playlist which is made up of beautiful, calming instrumentals. It helps me feel motivated and in the zone.
Winging it is ok. Even if it sometimes feels scary.
I’ve learnt that it’s ok to make a passion project my front and centre because it’s something I care about and want to make happen. More on that soon, I hope.
My new mantra, as inspired by season 5 of Grace and Frankie, is FUCK IT.
That contrary to popular belief, I do enjoy cooking and have even been whipping up some pretty delish dinners for Al and I. Now I have no commute time, I can relax and enjoy the process rather than see it as a rushed chore. I’m not sure I can see this one lasting forever but you never know.
I can’t start work unless I’m dressed for the day, even if it is in sequin socks, trackie bottoms and my trusty red M&S jumper. And yes I will wear this outfit more than once.
I’m very aware that I still heavily rely on a few of my former work besties to keep me sane, streamline my thoughts and gently nudge me in the right direction. They know me better than myself and always encourage and support me.
I’m continually reminding myself that comparison is the thief of joy and not something I have room for. I’m on my new, shiny path and I get to decide how that looks and works for me.
Baths are still my BFF and the place I go to chill the F out. Regularly. If I can manage to watch a full film while in there, turning all prune-like, even better.
I need a clean house in order to sit down and work.
My emotions have been all over the place while I’ve been figuring things out. The smallest things can make me tear up. I’m accepting it and allowing it, something I’d never have done before I had CBT.
Somedays I feel less motivated than others. And that that’s ok, that’s normal and how I used to feel when in my last role.
I’m worried about turning into a hermit. Working on your own can be lonely. Luckily I have a friendly local coffee shop that I plan on visiting, former work mates who I meet monthly and a group of freelancer babes at the end of a Whatapp message.
Above everything, I feel excited about what February might have in store.
How was your January?