Oh hello, darling! Welcome to April on benpechey.com. This month, the focus will be on unspoken feelings. Conversations I have alone, that perhaps you may have with yourself too. These are the conversations that if we heard from other people, would make us feel more at ease in the turbulent world in which we live. To kick things off, I would love to explore the enjoyment of leisure time.
I lead quite a busy schedule. Being self-employed - with a very full schedule - means that I rarely find time for myself. However, I know the importance of taking time for myself. Well, I think I do! We take time for ourselves to recharge our batteries - a power reversal from the labour of work. In very simple terms, time for ourselves should be a pleasurable pursuit.
Constant self-reflection is part and parcel of being a content creator. Some days this is a blessing, and on others, it is a curse. The origin of the reflection is irrespective of its intention. However, in this case, I think it will be beneficial for myself and perhaps those who feel a similar way.
I have noticed that when I am supposed to be enjoying myself, I am holding my breath. It feels as if I am waiting for it to be over. So that I can move on to the next part of my schedule. If you have seen the musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, then the song “going through the motions” is a good descriptor of how I feel.
This happens when I sit to apply my makeup, something I supposedly enjoy. It happens in abundance when I sit to watch a film and is compounded with excessive clock watching. This happens with content creation, something I have a deep passion for, but seemingly is making me very nervous currently.
I sit with my jaw clenched - shoulders hunched - distracted completely from enjoyment. There is a denouement to this increased pressure on me. When I finish my face, film, or post content - I sigh a huge sigh of relief. This relief is misplaced and incredibly short-lived. It has made me realise that I am spending more time worrying about the future. I am ignoring the present. As a consequence, I am never in the moment.
Our lives have been thrown into a disarray of late. With Brexit, Climate Change, and the behemoth that is Covid. I have felt like I am waiting for things to go back to normal. As a consequence, I have forgotten that every day should be lived and cherished. This longsighted view is the reason I am holding my breath. It is the reason that my life has of late felt very bleak.
I know that, sadly, it will not be just me who has almost forgotten to live in the moment. I don’t have any huge solutions that have revolutionised this. However, I have a few that have changed things a little bit:-
Combining Relaxation with Work
I’ve realised that I am not good at unplanned downtime. So I have been putting familiar films on, whilst I do simple admin tasks. It means I enjoy the pleasure of completing a to-do list, whilst also relaxing. This combination is somehow bringing me comfort.
Booking Time Off
Weekends are tough for me, I find it hard to switch off from my working week. A case in point is that I am sat writing this at 6:41 am on a Saturday! However, in the week I have noticed I slump around 3ish. So I book 15:30-16:30ish off each weekday to have a cup of tea and watch something. Currently, I am re-watching Charmed! It makes me feel less pressured to relax at the weekend, and also makes some of the duller parts of the week easier to bear.
I have realised that I am not good at being everything for everyone, and I am at peace with that. It is something I am working on to allow others to understand!
Thank you for embarking with me on this small self-improvement piece. As always, I love you lots like jelly tots, until next time, uh buh bye.
Shot by Ruth Pechey