Heavens, Christmas is waiting in the wings, although it seems to me festive TV ads have been flitting across our screens since mid-October (or was it earlier?) Anyway there are now four more shopping weekends until the great event and I’m trying very hard not to panic. The trouble with not working is that – for me at least – if I have less to do, being organised ends up in free-fall. When I was in the world of work most of my jobs were pretty full on. I think the busiest I ever had was when I was in my late thirties. I worked for the NHS within their Community Health Unit which looked after services like Child Health, Family Planning, Services for Children with Learning Difficulties, Chiropody, Dentistry and Speech Therapy. My job, besides acting as PA to the Unit General Manager, saw me managing 9 secretaries, two admin staff and keeping 112 community vehicles on the road. Yes it was pretty busy but I found the more I had to think about, the better organised I was. For me, work has never been enjoyable unless there was a challenge and boy was that one of my biggest!
Now I no longer have responsibility for anyone else, just me – and my OH of course. I do find with no time constraints apart from writing, things tend to fall into mañana mode – a sort of ‘Oh I’ll do that tomorrow‘ approach. Although after years at work when maybe I should be taking my foot off the gas, I do really feel the need to maintain some sort of organised existence within my new self-employed world. However as far as Christmas is concerned I’m afraid I’ve failed miserably. No cards yet, no gift purchases either, although I have managed to put one or two items of festive food by. Never mind, I’m promising myself this week will see a total change. Cards will be purchased and written ready for posting during the first week in December. Then the week after a day out Christmas shopping followed by the purchase of the tree, decorating and then bracing myself for all the run up to Christmas socialising that normally takes place.
Well I’m stopping and thinking now. After sharing this with you all maybe, just maybe I’m beating myself up just a little over this. There are still elements of my former self in this new life of mine – a methodical approach to writing for a start. And on the kitchen front I’m well organised with weekly menu plans and grocery lists. Then there’s an appointments diary for dentists and all other necessaries and lastly an up to date list of friends to dip into to organise lunch meets. So if I’m not quite ready for Christmas then it seems my day-to–day existence still appears to run quite smoothly does it not? Although it’s not as busy as I used to be maybe on reflection I should take comfort from that. Because if I had to drop myself back into the skin of a thirty something now and do all the things I used to do in that job, working full time as well as running my home and writing I’m sure the men in white coats would soon be beating a path to my door. That was then, this is now, so maybe I should both embrace and enjoy my new ‘liberated state’ as one of my friends once termed it! After all, I’ve earned it haven’t I?
And returning briefly to Christmas, I’m finishing with a plug for my favourite city’s forthcoming festive market
Bath Christmas Market 2013
Thursday 28th November – Sunday 15th December 2013
For 18 days, the quaint streets and square between the stunning Bath Abbey and the internationally renowned Roman Baths are transformed into a Christmas shopper’s haven – Bath Christmas Market.
The opening times for the market this year are:
Monday to Wednesday – 10am to 7pm Thursday to Saturday – 10am to 8pm Sunday – 10am to 6pm
In the heart of Bath’s main shopping district, more than 150 traditional wooden chalets adorn the streets; each one offering unique, handmade and unusual gifts, decorations and food items – everything you will need for the perfect Christmas celebration.
In 2012, Bath Christmas Market became the first Christmas Market in the UK to be awarded a Visit England VAQAS award for being a ‘Quality Assured Visitor Attraction’.