When I gave up office work, I made a lot of plans for the lifestyle I wanted to lead.
Free from the tyranny of the nine to five and without a daily one and a half hour commute, the headiness of more freedom to plan my day was intoxicating. I’d be getting up early still, I decided, I would immediately get into my work-out gear and I’d head out each morning, come rain or shine for a daily walk/run. I might also throw in 10 minutes or so of morning yoga to ensure I can still cut my own toenails post 60. I’d add in the odd lunchtime gym session and I’d ensure there was fresh air a-plenty every single day.
Oh, and I’d tidy the house from top to bottom and create a minimalist haven where ideas could freely flow, magically imbibing me with prodigious writing capabilities…
OK, OK some of this stuff fell by the way side. The early starts…? Ho hum! Freed from the shriek of the six-thirty am alarm, I allow myself to wake up naturally these days. As it’s summer, that’s often 4am so I go back to sleep till 8-ish. Ahem, sometimes 9-ish. And our house remains gloriously stuffed full of weird junk. I’m just not hard enough for that ‘one-in/one-out’ malarkey.
However, certain things have happened. I’ve been reading for sometime about the benefits of a Paleo lifestyle – there’s a much better explanation of Paleo principles here, but basically proponents advocate emulating the hunter-gatherer lifestyle. The bulk of your diet is meat, fish, eggs and veg, with plenty of natural fats, and a little bit of fruit. You do the odd bit of fasting. You get plenty of sleep, plenty of fresh air and sunshine and you do lots of low-level movement every day, with the odd sprint added in. (You’re pretending to run away from a mammoth/sabre-toothed tiger, say.)
Freelancing/home working does make such a lifestyle more possible. Fresh air does feature more often in my day-to-day life. It’s almost intoxicating. Sunshine is a little harder to come by, seeing as my location is the west of Scotland, but when it comes I make a point of getting out in it. And the diet? Much easier to follow when you’re working from home as knocking up protein and salad lunches is very do-able.
I struggle with the digital detox, especially now that I’m freelance as checking my emails frequently seems compulsory, and the odd TV programme in bed always feels like a nice treat.
Over all though, Paleo living gives me a lot more energy. There are no more afternoon slumps (though from time to time, I take advantage of my non-office working life and take a cheeky wee siesta) and there are productive evenings. Next week, the de-clutter begins…