I have spent the last three weeks feeling like a steam train that has been asked to chug its way through 21st century England. Every week has zoomed by and yet every individual day has seemed to go on forever. Some days I have chugged along quite happily: I felt like I was conquering life because I had done more in one day than I ever would have believed was possible. Other days I ran out of steam and came to a halt; half way through I lost all enthusiasm and wanted nothing more than to stop what I was doing, curl up with a cup of tea and comfort food and then watch a film or study, but at my own pace. Sundays are my knights in shining armour (or if I’m still a steam train, I guess they’re my days spent sat at one platform doing nothing other than daydreaming while my coal for Christmas comes early).
I discovered the key to keeping myself racing forwards was to make time for the things I loved. The first week that I had to juggle lectures and work shifts I spent so focused on getting to where I needed to be that once I’d got there I forgot to enjoy myself. Then when I got back home I felt like I’d done everything I needed to do: I found food, cooked it, ate it, collapsed in bed and normally very quickly, fell asleep. Perhaps I did need sleep and perhaps I had done all I needed to do, but my first Sunday free of work or lectures was spent reminding myself what it was I wanted to do. I realised the bits of university life I loved and still love most are the night clubbing, book reading, essay writing (yes, even that), music studying, opera singing, film watching, friend seeing, takeaway eating bits.
So, at the risk of becoming very slightly sleep deprived, I rediscovered my evenings. Week two, I got back in from work or from lectures, ate food and then spent the evenings doing what ever it was I wanted to do. Whether that was to head to an awesome friend’s house and eat pizza, get distracted by social networks/YouTube videos and get some of my music essay written, head to a night club, or curl up in pyjamas with my head in a book to cover the history reading for my next seminar. Late nights and early mornings are just about manageable when I can guarantee myself a ridiculously long lay in on a Sunday morning.
The week just gone was the most hectic week so far and I’m not ready to say I’ve conquered life just yet. But I am chugging along quite happily and I’m almost keeping up. Now the countdown to Christmas has begun I’ve a feeling things are going to get a little easier. Trying desperately not to wish the rest of the year away but very much looking forward to working my last shift Christmas eve and heading back home to Chelmsford.
(Inspired by the lovely little boy who refused to let me serve the next person in the queue for the till at the Entertainer, until he had told me all about the toy trains he had just bought from our ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ range)