Classically Inclined

September 8, 2022

Update on the Summer Rest Project

Filed under: Meta — lizgloyn @ 9:35 am
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Back in June, I posted about the Summer Rest Project, my Cunning Plan to get enough rest over the summer to be actually ready to go for the autumn term (which, as you may recall, is A Lot and indeed is already living up to expectations). So, how did it go?

Well, I think it’s fair to say that there were mixed results. First of all, a couple of things I didn’t account for:

  • The plan of ‘do this much a week’ didn’t really work when it encountered Proper Annual Leave, which I hadn’t anticipated. The list of things I’d set out to do worked alright for a regular working week during the summer, but not for being on holiday. I would end up with a grid that looked as if I’d had no rest of any kinds at all, but that didn’t capture all the other sorts of things I had done which definitely counted as ‘being on holiday and not at work’ (including reading. So much reading of trashy fiction).
  • Orange and red heat advisories really don’t go well with weekly exercise goals. Especially when, like me, you are a very much a novice runner trying to get the hang of it. I did one run in 25 degree heat. (nowhere near as hot as we did get) and that was a terrible idea which got abandoned early. I don’t feel bad about deciding not to do things that actively endanger my health, but equally, it did mean that the relevant bit on the tracker looked a bit sad.
  • The usual problem of early enthusiasm, long-term drop-off – exacerbated by both of the above. That is, when things already seemed to be getting off the rails, it wasn’t as easy as I would have liked to have paid attention to the other parts of rest – which were the ones that could have done with the attention!

That said, some things did work well. I think I managed half an hour of lunch break over the full period (to the end of August), which is pretty amazing given how difficult that time feels to find even now, at the beginning of the September. I also enjoyed getting outside for lunch (weather permitting) which meant using our patio properly – it sounds a small thing, but it’s not a thing I’ve always been as good at as I should have been. Even though playing the piano and centering prayer were the ones that fell off the radar, I did actually do some of them for the first few weeks, and that’s surely a win.

So, a couple of take-aways. I want to try this again next summer, but without the exercise element (which I’m going to be working on throughout the year anyway, as everyone who follows me on Twitter and has read me grumbling about the Couch to 5K plan will know). The things I seem to have trouble making time for are the bits that, for want of a better word, feel really self-indulgent – that is, that need me to take some time to sit down and do something on my own that isn’t easily interrupted and requires me to claim some space (unlike reading, which can be broken off if needed and doesn’t really affect anyone else in the immediate vicinity. Unless it’s a really funny bit). Those are the bits that really need the deliberate attention next time around.

Finally – do I feel more rested? Well, this isn’t a great week to ask me that question because there is a lot going on, and last week’s bank holiday has meant that I’ve had a fortnight of zero to 60mph learning curve combined with all the back to school chaos, and I’d quite like a lie-down now. That said, September has been marked in my diary as Crunch Month for some time, so it’s not actually a surprise, and it will calm down. Underneath all of the surface ‘ALL THE THINGS’, I do feel like I took things easier over the summer, slowed it down, and had a change of pace; that’s one of the reasons why re-entry is feeling quite so much like jumping into a lake of cold water. So I’ll take some comfort in that as a sign that I must have got some rest somewhere.

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