The newly married probationer had time to play a lot of sport, sometimes mid-week and twice at weekends, plus fit in home life, which entailed DIY on the house. There was time for a local amateur dramatic group, too.
Time stretched, but time was our own for a few years and then along came children, so time altered, to cater for the new life. Sport went on one of the weekend days and midweek got more difficult, to be replaced by crawling around the floor and immersion in parenting. Carrying children in backpacks became de facto weight training. Camping replaced hotels and B&Bs, but it still allowed holidaying.
Learning to play the guitar and local wildlife combined some elements of parenting, singing silly songs with the children and taking groups to different places to discover wild areas. A link with a local building society helped to create poetry and art competitions. Busyness continued apace. Somehow, post grad studies, waking at 5am to do a couple of hours before children woke, fitted in.
Headship was a bit more challenging to find time, especially at the start, but summer camping then included trips to France to visit friends who had emigrated, so gave a couple or three weeks of head space. It also meant a continuing music link, playing in the Radio France final of the Truffe de Perigueux.
Three years later, a diagnosis of breast cancer caused a radical rethink, and, to everyone’s surprise, resulted in buying a French hovel; a continuous life project. It was buying “headspace” a rebalancing, time out of normal life, which continues, even after bereavement. The escape to the country made real. The simplicity of practical DIY projects, of coppicing, pollarding and haymaking, of collecting hedgerow fruits, or eating a meal outdoors are underrated pastimes.
Some situations allow for stepping back, letting others to take some of the weight, using the collegiality of family or a work team to allow a period of rebalancing. Knowing yourself is key; knowing when to step away might be a necessary action; hopefully short term.