Sponsored by John Lewis
There’s something about being home at Christmas time that feels so comforting and safe. The last year has been so insanely busy that it’s only now that I’m starting to relax, but it’s not been easy. Although I’m glad I’ve got a lot going on and am not twiddling my thumbs, I’ve become obsessed with being busy so having downtime is an alien concept for me. But something that always encourages me to step away from work is that moment I get in, take my make-up off and get into my comfies. There’s something about cashmere that epitomises off-duty which is why I’ve been trying to add more pieces to my wardrobe this winter. Bed socks aside, this cashmere jumper from John Lewis is my first step towards a cosier collection that will pull me away from my laptop.
Part of my job as a journalist is to keep an eye on upcoming trends but there’s one that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Especially not in my house. No, it’s not avo on toast – that’s still a winner too. I’m talking about being obsessed with being busy. Not just pre-Christmas busy but up-at-the-crack-of-dawn-through-til-1am busy. Sure, there’s a lot to do before we wave buh-bye to 2017 but wearing your business as a badge of honour is something that’s ALL over my social media feed at the moment. There was a blogger who wrote a long post about it on Instagram and I can’t for the life of me remember who it was. But I read her rant nodding like a Churchill dog because she was talking about me. Not directly but I’m one of those people who are obsessed with being busy and I don’t think I’m alone here!
I can’t be sure when it started exactly but it’s got worse over the last six months for sure. Juggling a full time job, planning a wedding, a house refurb, freelance work AND blogging became the norm this year. Just writing it all down makes me wonder how I did that! I strategically planned every second of my day to fit it all in and I had tunnel vision with every task I completed. Toff used to say it was as if I was in a trance! There always something to do, something to shoot and a pitch to write and send off before I dragged myself to bed around 1am. But since I quit my job (which you can read about here) I started to really amp up my workload.
Even when I was seemingly finished for the day I couldn’t put my laptop down, it became an addiction. Just one more hour of research, one more email, 10pm? The USA would just be hitting the office-perfect time to catch up with my trans Atlantic contacts. And it wasn’t going unnoticed. Not by Toff, he was used to it, but by everyone else. Whenever I caught up with friends, family or ran into people I knew the first thing they would say would be “how’s it going? You’re so busy all the time, I don’t know how you do it!” The more they said it the more I felt like I had to live up to that. I was obsessed with being busy and I enjoyed the feeling of accomplishment it gave me. I liked telling people how rammed I was, as if it was validation of what I was doing. If a fellow busy-addict told me about their jam-packed day it made me want to go home and do more!
On the rare times I couldn’t keep my eyes open or went out for drinks I spent the time clock watching and feeling a deep sense of guilt about being there. I would tell myself that I’d just finish this last task then I could have the whole weekend/evening off but it would rarely materialise into anything more than half an hour. I saw a great quote from Lucy Nicholls, social media content producer at Boden on Coco’s Tea Party today that really spoke to me. “Allow yourself to experience things that you know are positive for your creativity.” And the difference is those things don’t have to be work-related. In fact, it’s better if they’re not because taking time out is what will feed your creativity.
Which is why I’m going to be pretty firm on myself over the next couple of weeks and take advantage of the fact that a large majority of the country (and some of the world) will be taking time off over the next couple of weeks. There will be no one to email and no one to pitch to which is the perfect excuse to take some guilt-free time for myself and my loved ones. To stop being obsessed with being busy. Still with me?! So this is what I’ll be doing…
“There’s an understated luxury that comes with cashmere making it a real investment”
Working from home means that if I’m not in meetings or shooting, I’m at my desk in my comfies sans make-up, writing. I might not be working this Christmas but I’m most definitely going to be staying warm in my new cashmere jumper from John Lewis. I’m not usually a pink lover but this soft blush hue paired with a cable knit pattern is perfect teamed with my grey knitted leggings to keep cosy on those chilly winter days. I’ve made it my mission to start collecting more cashmere pieces in the new year to replace my scruffy, holey comfies! Not only is it unbeatable in warmth, there’s an understated luxury that comes with cashmere making it a real investment piece that will stand the test of time. I struggle with dry skin in the cold weather and wool knitwear can aggravate that but this cashmere jumper leaves my skin soft and soothed – something that I completely took for granted before.
I’ve got a stack of books and fashion magazines in my lounge that have been piling up for months. But as obsessed with being busy as I am means that I’ve felt too guilty to sit down with a cup of tea and plough through them. So, this Christmas I’m going to indulge in reading – something that I love to do but always deem it a waste of time ordinarily. Because I write for glossies as my day job, reading a magazine can sometimes feel like work – especially if I’ve been proofing all day and my brain can’t take in any more text! But I always feel so inspired after I finish a magazine from cover to cover so I want to make more time for it.
EATING, EATING, EATING
Strangely, I always tend to lose a bit of weight in the lead up to Christmas. I’m not sure if it’s stress or my sudden love of soups that is the culprit but as someone with a fast metabolism, I have to be careful. As a self confessed foodie, this doesn’t sit well with me so I really indulge over the festive season. I try to still stay healthy to make sure I don’t get ill but I will be making sausage rolls, lots of hearty salads and of course, multiple roast dinners over the coming weeks. And don’t even get me started on cheese boards!
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