When we first got to Ireland and lived in Ballinrobe, things could sometimes feel chaotic. We were in a new country, trying to figure out what needed to be done and how we were supposed to do it while dealing with some cross-cultural communication and expectation issues. At some point we decided that we would set Sundays aside as stay-at-home days. There might be other days in a week when we happened to be at home and skip our daily walk, errands, etc, but Sundays would be dedicated to just having a quiet day at home. Sometimes we did not even get dressed. I made sure to have leftovers available so that my time spent in food preparation was minimal. I loved those days. I looked forward to them all week.
I have always been someone for whom solitude and being quietly at home is not only OK, but what I love best. It would be very easy for me to take that too far and become a recluse, and I am aware of that. In the past I have gone too far the other way and been over-scheduled. When I am too busy with outside stuff, I tend to get frustrated, agitated, and eventually angry. It is not that I do not enjoy socializing sometimes. I do, but I do not
need as much interaction as some people seem to require. I am definitely an
There was a time in my life when I was the mother of a daughter in elementary school, a wife, a research assistant, a teaching assistant, and a grad student all at the same time. One year when I was still an undergrad I did the PTA thing and somehow Bill and I found ourselves co-presidents. Then Bill got sick and ended up in the hospital. It was a crazy time. It worked for me then, even when I was getting up at 2 am to begin my days. I was enjoyed the work I was doing at university and I still feel good about what I accomplished. Even so, I looked forward to term breaks when I could go home and not have quite so much to do all at once. I would never want to do that now--that time of my life is over and I definitely prefer a much quieter existence. So I try to find the right balance between being home and being out. The sweet spot, where the balance is just right, shifts a lot though, depending on what is going on, so it is always a work in progress.
I find myself needing those Sundays once again, especially now that this move has happened and summer is here. This was brought home to me a couple of weeks ago as we were heading towards a bank holiday weekend. I was very depressed, feeling tired all the time, and generally feeling like I was dragging myself through each day. It was time for some self care, so I decided that the 3-day bank holiday weekend was going to be my time to rest, meander through my days, and just be. What a difference it made! I decided to go back to that on the Sundays, so yesterday I did not bother to get dressed. I read. I crocheted. I rested. I had a beautiful, peaceful, relaxing day.