Yesterday, somebody asked me why I haven’t blogged in a while. The simple answer? I’ve been stuck in a bit of a ‘life rut’ and, rather surprisingly for the girl who can write about almost anything, haven’t really had a lot to say.
As an introvert, ‘talking’ to an empty page seems to help me figure things out. For a variety of reasons, I haven’t been writing much lately (both professionally and on here) and my unplanned hiatus served to remind me just how much I need to. It’s something that’s ingrained in me and without it, I find myself feeling unchallenged and demotivated; writing keeps me creative and mentally stimulated.
For the past few months, life has been weird. Nothing particularly eventful has happened but I’ve been slowly sinking into a tedious routine. You guys know the drill; wake up, work, eat, sleep and repeat (with the odd episode of ‘Mad Men’ thrown in; I’ve decided that I’m hybrid of Joan Harris and Peggy Olson myself). Weekends tend to consist of sleeping a bit more, catching up on chores and very occasionally, socialising.
I’m fully aware that this is…well, life. It’s how the majority of adults get by and isn’t necessarily an issue most of the time. Recently, I became conscious of the fact that I’d somehow slipped into autopilot without intending to. I didn’t feel depressed or particularly low (I’ve battled that beast before so this isn’t a term I use lightly), just a little ‘meh’, not fully present at times and generally unfulfilled, like something was constantly missing.
As much as I adore adventure, I also need a routine. The problem occurred when my routine had become so rigid that I forgot about some important key components. I had stopped taking care of myself; not in a gross ‘I haven’t showered for a month’ kind of way but things like wearing my tired skinny jeans and jumper combo all the time, not bothering to apply makeup and, due my last salon appointment being over six months ago, letting my hair get in a rather embarrassing state (three inch roots and split ends galore). With a mountain of other priorities, my appearance was at the bottom of the ‘to-do’ list.
These may all sound like very superficial complaints and I know that there are some dreadful things happening in the world right now but for me, these tiny acts of self-neglect were subconsciously making me feel hollow. After recognising this, I decided to actually do something about it.
I booked a weekend appointment with my trusty hairdresser and indulged in a few hours of pampering (and obligatory gossip of course; it always amazes me how much information we choose to share whilst sat in that sacred chair), getting my dull locks restored to their former glory. After coming home feeling revived, I painted my nails with my favourite red polish and made plans to visit friends and family.
You see, my lack of Benefit brows and decent conditioner aren’t the only things that have fallen off the radar this year. Relationships with loved ones have also suffered due to my self-imposed ‘adulting’ routine so last weekend, I decided to come out of hibernation. I ventured outdoors for a long walk in the gorgeous local countryside, enjoyed a home cooked Sunday lunch with my mum, sister and niece, went for a coffee with my dad and finally rejoined the land of the living.
Being proactive and making just a few simple changes has made a world of difference. I’ve stopped avoiding mirrors (that makes me sound like some kind of vampire; I was just in denial about the hot mess looking back at me), started wearing my favourite dresses again and have put my friends and family at the top of my priority list, where they firmly belong.
I also feel ready to take on some brand new challenges soon (one of them involves joining my local parkrun group and running 5k a week; optimistic, I know) and my routine no longer feels as stifling. I think I simply forgot for a moment that there’s more to life than the obligatory stuff. Now, where’s my mascara?