Continuing with the happiness resolution, after thinking about Easter today I have decided to make April about new beginnings. Today (good Friday), I worked, and while the patients were receiving their non-red meat dishes I stopped for a moment to think about the meaning of Easter. I realised that Easter is about new beginnings as much as the beginning of the year is, and I wondered… Should Easter be the right time for us to be making our new resolutions?
When you stop and think about it some of us who only get holidays at Christmas, not to mention the nature of the season, leaves us feeling frumpy, a little heavier and deconditioned. I know I was this year, being at least 3, maybe 4 kgs heavier, my clothes didn’t fit so well, my routine was broken and I was struggling to get things back on track. So I spent these last few months trying my best to get things back to “normal”. We have tried to get our routine back, with both of us working shift work, trying to get our housework routine back on track, and meal planning organised I came to the conclusion that I need to change something.
This week I have really struggled with my morning shifts. Every day I came home from work for a 1-2hr nap, I wake up and have a wine/cocktail with toast for dinner while I am home alone because my husband and I are on alternate shifts. How sad! I recently had a co-worker at work notice that I really hate working mornings and so after her having a chat with my manager we have changed my shifts to afternoons. As pathetic as it sounds I really am not a morning person, I feel like that statement is a cop-out for getting up early, but I feel I don’t sleep so well on mornings because I worry about sleeping in, I get less sleep, and I struggle to function in the mornings when I get to work. I continue to yawn until 9:30 or sometimes until I get to mornings tea from 10am until 11am. The patients laugh at me, but I really find it a struggle, and I have never been good at it. After having the conversation with my manager, I realised since she was so accommodating, this might really be something that could positively change and improve our home life.
On afternoon shifts I am so productive. I get up and do the housework, I order or go and buy the groceries, I get time to attend to the kitty litter daily (when you have 4 cats that’s really a necessity), and I have some time for me, for my friends and for my family. I know what you’re thinking, I have heard it from most of the mothers at work (keeping in mind I have no kids), “don’t you like to have dinner at home?” Truth be told, I have 4 days a fortnight off like most people, even when I do overtime I still get 4 days off, so that’s 4 days a fortnight I get to have a home cooked and fresh meal at home, on afternoon shifts I have the opportunity to cook good quality food, freeze some supplies for us and prep for the week or fortnight depending on our plans.
Everyone’s lifestyle is different. What works for us doesn’t always work for others, we all have different routines, different commitments and different expectations. I guess this month what I want to emphasise is the importance of making the right changes for your circumstances, at the right time. Today I have been thinking about the act of new years resolutions, we make all these plans while we are still in holiday mode, we aren’t in the right mindset and we need that adjustment time because we all know the biggest changes are made up of smaller habit transitions.
So, in light of Easter, the month of April and success in personal change… Consider making January – March a period of transition, try getting out of holiday mode, resuming your life from the year before, make a list of all the things you want to change, and start to make these changes in April… The month of new beginnings.
Our plans this year were to make time for us. After spending the last 3 years under stress and restrictions, now we have an extra income we had plans to take regular breaks (nothing extravagant), and with no study, create more balance between commitments and downtime. We planned to settle into our new house, make it a bit more homely, set up a foundation for the rest of the year, new habits to improve our happiness and set aside time for us. So far April is headed for a great start; a weekend away booked (to visit the in-laws, but since they live in a nice place on the coast it should make a lovely weekend away – although we live on the coast, it is nice to get away for a short period, while you can have a weekend off at home, there’s something to be said for getting away from all of your committments), my work schedule is off to a new start (hopefully for the best), potential for more productivity and relaxation, and stressing less (something I really struggle with).
What are your plans for this year? If it hasn’t panned out the way you had hoped, why not write off the first three months as returning to business as usual and use April to kickstart some new habits? Make a list of all the things you wish you did, could do or want to do, and make some small changes to achieve them, or some of them. Despite my yearning for maintaining downtime, I want to make more time for exericse, and since I work 2mins from the beach I plan on taking swimmers, gym gear or both and going for walk or swim at the beach before or after work before winter arrives. I would love to get back into yoga and pole too. But, one thing at a time.