It's a week now since I returned to work after a very relaxing 5 and a half week holiday break. I was a little concerned how I would manage the return, both physically (I was really enjoying daily naps mid afternoon) and mentally (I was returning to a project that had mentally shredded my ego and had me doing a big rethink of my life).
I'm proud to admit that I survived this first week and really enjoyed being back in the grind. I believe that this was possible due to a number of changes I put in place prior to my first day.
I've done some very effective self analysis through the years, and used this information to do some significant mental tidying while off work. First and foremost, I know I am someone who likes to be organised. There is nothing that will do my head in more than not having things in place and having to rush around at the last minute. Unfortunately this describes most mornings pre-holiday.
This week I set a routine in place that means when I get up in the morning, I just get dressed, have some breakfast and head off to work. Give it another six weeks to become habit and she'll be apples!
Secondly, I stopped putting unrealistic expectations on myself. Nobody at work has ever said that they expect me to work long hours and have everything finished before I leave for the day. I am the one who put that expectation on myself. So now I make a point of marking my finish time in my diary and leaving at that time. I know there will be times when I'll need to work later or start earlier, but it's up to me to manage my workload, my time and my self-expectations.
Finally, I got on my bike this week. The commute to work is around the 3/4 of an hour mark, plus shower. My regular drive to the bus stop and ride the bus to work takes about the same time. On Monday I take a week's worth of clothes to work which means I ride to work Tuesday through Friday, when I bring dirty clothes home ready for the weekend wash.
I intend to try a number of routes to work until I find one that's a combination of speed and safety. Already this week I have found a preferred ride in, which takes me off the roads at Hawthorne and delivers a gorgeous ride along the banks of the Brisbane River. Its a refreshing start to the day and the views are spectacular. The ride home isn't as important for the scenery, but gets me home quickly and quite directly.
I really wasn't sure how committed I would be to a bike commute, but can say that after only a week, I am really enjoying the time on my bike each day. Not only is it my regular travel time, but I'm also exercising for an hour and a half each day! It helps that it's coming into summer, the weather is glorious and the days are long. It also helps I'm in the right mindset to keep on track at this point in time.
So a week in, I'm feeling great, both mentally and physically. Sure I'm counting down the days to my next break, but hey, who isn't?