This morning I went for a short run by the river, something I had been meaning to do for a while. I don’t live by the river so I have to drive to get there, 8 minutes drive in fact, which sounds so close when I say it like that. But it was lovely. Exercise, fresh air (it was raining a little), quiet (not many people around at 9.30am on a Sunday), and scenic. Running under Maidenhead’s distinctive and iconic Sounding Arch, seeing the riverside houses, the ducks and swans, and the wooded path beyond the houses. A few rowers out on the water, from the rowing club, the First Great Western trains in old and new livery trundling across the bridge. Fishermen relaxing, boats of all shapes and sizes, and the runners, cyclists and dog walkers. The smell of wet on dry pavements, the leaves, the roses of many colours by the path side.
I miss the time I used to have to eventually get round to doing things like that.
The problem with full time work is that it’s just that, full time. Getting in a car at 7am, arriving home anytime after 6pm, more likely 6.30/7pm. Sometimes I get out for a decent walk at lunchtime, but usually just a wander round the block, or to Waitrose, or one of my quiet places for 10 minutes. And then weekends spent catching up on appointments, sleep, my relationships and friendships of various types, sometimes the gym, a bit of shopping, an online food order, household chores and other commitments.
I miss running like that, outside, somewhere lovely, somewhere quiet.
Ponies in the New Forest. Nothing to do with my blog post. But I like them.
I also miss writing, specifically blogging. I used to do that every week, at one point every day (thanks Lotte!), and now it’s less than once a month. My writing brain is usually taken up with work, and recently also with articles about an event for which I’m helping to do the publicity. (Last article just finished and despatched!)
I miss photography. I joined a camera club last year, and met lots of people with a similar enthusiasm for photography. And then I got busy with work. This year they asked for photos for an exhibition to raise money for a local arts centre. I didn’t have time to find a photo, or mount it, let alone agonise over whether it was actually good enough. I also haven’t yet had time to visit the exhibition. That makes me sad. I have taken photos recently, I occasionally get out with my DSLR. But not as much as I’d like to.
I’ve got my eye on another photography day course. Which I need to book, that reminds me. And I need to seriously look at entering the Maidenhead and Me competition with a photo. Third time it’s happened, the last two years I didn’t get round to entering. This year needs to be different.
When there’s less time to get around to things, there are a few solutions.
- Get up earlier
- Say no to other things
- Ask “do I really need to do this work thing right now, or can I do something nice for me instead?”
I need to start doing those to make room for those things I miss doing. I can’t change the time I need to spend at work, other than work at home more often. But I can change how I spend my spare hours, and spend them wisely.