A tired Thursday

I’ve been doing really well with getting up early every day this week, and this morning it meant I was able to get a run in before I went to Slimming World. Because I’d slept badly last night, though, I didn’t have a hugely productive afternoon, mostly having a bit of a doze before I had to go to Pilates.

It’s not been a bad day, though – I lost 3lbs at Slimming World, which is a good start to getting rid of my Christmas gain. I’ve now got a nice quiet evening to myself as Geth is in London for work, so it’s just me and the Now! ’80s channel on TV.

OOTD 10th January 2019
OOTD: yup, still loving my favourite jumper – plus bonus Mel & Kim in the reflection behind me. Glasses Emporio Armani (2017), jumper Carlo Colucci (vintage 1980s, bought at vintage fair 2017).

Today’s earworm playlist:

James Arthur and Anne-Marie – Rewrite The Stars
Duran Duran – The Chauffeur
Mabel and Notes – Fine Line
Tom Walker – Leave A Light On
Jess Glynne – Thursday
Jools Holland – Enjoy Yourself
Jax Jones, Mabel and Rich The Kid – Ring Ring
Band Aid – Do They Know It’s Christmas?
George Michael and Aretha Franklin – I Knew You Were Waiting For Me
Duran Duran – Do You Believe In Shame?

My favourite weekday

Another nice routine Thursday, which I think is my favourite day of the week.  I lost a pound and a half at Slimming World weigh-in, so I’m heading nicely back towards the middle of my target range, and I got some more admin done before heading to Pilates, which is becoming a good weekly recovery workout the day after my Wednesday long run.

Now having a quiet evening with Geth’s YouTube videos in the background again.

OOTD 4th October 2018
OOTD: Thursday weigh-in ‘n’ Pilates uniform. T-shirt Sunderland City 10K (2016), leggings Primark (2018), trainers Reebok (2013).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Tracey Ullman – They Don’t Know
Jennifer Lopez – Louboutins
Alice Cooper – Poison
They Might Be Giants – Birdhouse In Your Soul
INXS – Need You Tonight
Zie Zie – Fine Girl
The Mamas & The Papas – California Dreaming
Crowded House – Weather With You
Duran Duran – The Chauffeur

The pastathon starts here

A good day today!  5lbs off at Slimming World this morning, which got rid of the last of my various gains from August weekends away.  After a few SP days it was nice to be able to have some pasta for lunch afterwards, too – getting started with the carbing up before Sunday!  I got the last of my work done for the week in the afternoon (unless anything urgent comes in last-minute), which means I should be able to get a whole day of house stuff done tomorrow.  Looking forward to unearthing more floor!

Soap & Glory body butters
Also looking forward to trying out these new body butters – today’s shopping treat.

Pilates class started back again this evening after the summer break, which was a really nice pre-GNR workout – I’ve had a lot of energy today from wanting to get running, so it was good to be able to divert some of it.

Now having a writing evening.  It feels more and more like I’m getting back into routine now, which is great.

OOTD 6th September 2018
OOTD: back to the regular Thursday routine! Hoodie Internacionale (2000), vest top Primark (2018), leggings Primark (2018), trainers Reebok (2017).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Kim Wilde – You Came
Alicia Keys – Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart
Swing Out Sister – Breakout
Green Day – Minority
Sophie Ellis-Bextor – Take Me Home
Steps – One For Sorrow
The Police – Don’t Stand So Close To Me

A day getting back to normal

I woke up to my alarm at 8am this morning as normal on a Thursday, and had managed to sleep quite well, so I seem (touch wood!) to have nixed my jetlag straight away.  We’ll see how I do over the next couple of days.

This morning’s main task was attending my Slimming World group to face the post-holiday music.  I’ve put on six pounds during my holiday (ouch) and am out of target range.  I know I can lose it again quickly though – just have to be really good this week.

After I got home, I got all my post-holiday laundry done, and then later in the afternoon Geth arrived home sans luggage.  His flight turnaround at Heathrow was too tight for the bag to make the connection, so he settled down to wait for news about it and I headed off to Pilates.

It was great to get back to Pilates again – all the stretching was very welcome after a week on holiday.  Sadly it was the last class of the course and we’re now on summer break until September – I’m going to have to practise lots at home instead!

After class, I nipped down to Sainsbury’s to pick up my souvenir Now! #100 CD and do my bit for getting it into the album charts tomorrow.  Excitingly, Sainsbury’s have a deal on, where you can get Now! #100 for £3 cheaper if you also buy another Now! compilation – so I took the opportunity to grab a copy of Now! #1 as well, which has just had a re-release on CD:

Now! #1 and Now! #100 albums on CD
Rod Stewart (just read his autobiography), Tracey Ullman (checking out her new BBC show at the moment) and Duran Duran (my current favourites) all in a row on an album cover? I call that a favourable omen. It is a cracking compilation, to be fair. As for Now! #100, I pretty much only bought it for the updated cute version of the Now! pig on the cover. (That was a lie. I also bought it to commemorate doing my Now! marathon, and to try and get it into the charts.)

I went home to make healthy food for the first time in a couple of weeks, and Geth had news of his bag – they won’t be delivering it till tomorrow.  Hopefully it will arrive sooner rather than later.

OOTD 26th July 2018
OOTD: typical comfy Thursday outfit for running about to Slimming World and Pilates class. T-shirt H&M (2018, just bought in Toronto last Saturday!), belt H&M (2017), leggings Under Armour (2017).

Pilates

I’ve been doing Pilates for about eighteen months now.  My physio decided she was going to start running a class, and I’ve been going ever since.  I found it really helped with the chronic back and leg pain I used to have – that has all disappeared with my weight loss, but it used to be really crippling – and I do a few exercises last thing at night, every day.

I find it especially useful during busy transcription periods, because I use two computers for transcription and so I’m spending twelve hours a day hunched in various positions over a desk, which gives me a lot of neck and shoulder pain.  Knowing the right stretches to do in order to mitigate that at the end of the day is a real lifesaver at the moment.

I think it’s also why I’m not getting so many running injuries at the moment (touch wood!)  I hope that will continue.

Busy work periods…and how to cope with them

I’m one week into an extremely busy work period at the moment, with one major project plus multiple smaller ones meaning I’m working twelve-hour days, seven days a week.  I have these every so often – it’s just the nature of freelancing – and thankfully it’s never more than a few weeks at a time.  Still, a period like this requires some fairly big coping strategies, and these are the ones I’ve developed:

1. Schedule every last minute

The first thing I always do with a major project is sit down and plot out a schedule for the work up to the deadline, so that I know exactly what will get done when – if I don’t have an idea of this, I find it very stressful.  Sometimes this means that if things take longer than expected, I have to work a bit longer on that particular day, but having plotted everything out means that this is kept to a minimum.

2. Book in some non-negotiable non-work time

By ‘non-negotiable’, I mean things that I can’t back out of.  For this particular project, the busy period happens to coincide with my ongoing mission on this blog to review one Now! compilation a day leading up to 20th July; each review takes me a couple of hours, due to the length of the compilations, so that’s time that I absolutely have to spend doing non-work stuff.  During my last busy work period, which was in October to November, I had NaNoWriMo going on during the latter part, so I had a commitment every day to spend a couple of hours writing fiction.  Writing is nice and relaxing for me, but a less ‘thinky’ non-negotiable thing might be meeting up with friends, such as for the birthday afternoon tea I’m going to in a couple of weeks’ time, or some ‘me time’, such as the vintage fair I’m going to on Sunday (my first vintage fair trip since the house move!  I can’t wait!), or a scheduled class that I pay for every week, such as Slimming World or my Pilates class.  I’m also having to make running a non-negotiable during this particular busy work period, otherwise I’ll struggle with the Sunderland 10k in a few weeks’ time!

3. Postpone all non-essentials

When I’m working twelve-hour work days, other than sleeping, eating and keeping myself clean and presentable, I only have time for work and the scheduled non-negotiables I described above.  Everything else gets shunted to ‘afterwards’.  This generally includes cleaning the house, catching up with TV and the music charts, and, for this particular period, the ongoing project of sorting out the new house.  It just means I will be doing all that stuff with a renewed appreciation when the work period is over!

4. Book in cooking and sleeping time

During a busy work period, looking after myself often takes a back seat.  It’s simply not possible to get as much sleep as I usually would, as I have to be up at the crack of dawn every day to start work, but I make sure I’m at least getting six hours a night.  Similarly, I need to schedule my food preparation time, otherwise I’ll end up just grabbing something unhealthy and feeling worse for it.

These periods are always a bit of a slog, but they are manageable.  Obviously it would be nice if they’d balance out a bit better with the weeks where I don’t have any work at all, but the benefits of being a freelancer are absolutely worth it for me!