07 August, 2018

A day off

It's been a crazy-busy week. Or should I say month or year? 

When people ask what we've been doing recently, they usually wonder if we're getting any rest. We've been working hard to get ourselves all set-up for ministry and life here, that always takes a lot more time and emotional energy than you expect. And last week I really didn't get much of a break, and it was followed by a weekend away at my parents and speaking at a church in their city—a very people-filled weekend. Then yesterday I had a five-hour Skype meeting with my magazine team in Japan. All good, important stuff, but tiring.

This morning I woke up feeling blurry.

The range of emotions I've been experiencing also include: inadequate, out of control, and off balance. Some of that is related to the busyness, some is related to parenting, and some is just trying (and at times failing) to find new rhythms that work for these six months. It's not really surprising that this extrovert-with-a-strong-introvert shadow, who's had little "me" time (or reflection time) recently is feeling this way.

Today there was nothing on the schedule, and with no designated ministry opportunities for nearly two weeks, we've got a small breathing space. 

So today, I stopped. 

I stopped answering email—though that in itself is a stress, knowing that there are emails to answer, people who are waiting to hear from me. 

I stopped doing Japanese study—yes, I'm still working on that and it is a definite stressor as it doesn't end. I can have no reviews left when I go to bed and find 100 waiting for me when I get up. I'm also still catching up from the break I took for a month while we relocated.

I stopped. And lay on my bed for the morning, reading and playing addictive phone games. As it was a school day I didn't get to sleep-in, but I did get that on Saturday.

This afternoon I got up again and "went". We went to a local gym. Getting some kind of exercise routine going for our family, especially for our home-schooling 15 year old, has been a stressor that we've despaired at solving. It was good to get him out and good for David and I to work out too. Maybe this is the light at the end of that tunnel! We went to the library too, so hopefully I'm fuelled up with some more reality-escaping fiction to relax with at nights.
I like coming back to this convenient kitchen
appliance. In Japan I use a hand-held mixer,
it is fun to have this here to use when we're back.

When we got home I baked. I'm continuing a challenge I gave myself in our last home assignment: that is, to bake my way through a small Australian recipe book I picked up in 2014. It's theme is chocolate and most recipes use at least one ingredient that is hard to get in Japan, so it's fun to do this here. So I baked a Hazelnut Mud Cake. 

I also baked an old favourite: Honey Biscuits (aka Stamp Biscuits), as one boy was complaining about the snacks he'd been receiving in his lunchbox and hankering after some good-old home cooking by mum. Baking takes energy, but is also relaxation for me, so it was good to have the time and energy to do it.

Now I'm writing, processing it all.

All that adds up to a pretty good day off. I'm definitely feeling better than I have for a few days.

Here's hoping that, for a few months at least, I'll be able to balance my weeks a bit better!

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