When I was working, my days were packed. I got up at 5am. Some days, I ran to work; other days I worked out before leaving the house; other days, I just left very early. I was at my desk by 7am. I worked. I left around 530pm or 6pm. Some days I ran home; other days I went to yoga; other days, I just went home. And home was lovely. Just me and the man.

About five years ago, I left a job I hated to study midwifery (I didn’t, in the end, study midwifery, but that’s a tale for another day). The man’s work situation changed – it appeared that he would be retiring early – and we had to rethink our plans. He had stuff to sort out. I got restless being at home on my own. I went back to work.

See paragraph one. . . .

So, when the man and I were finally at the same point work wise – that is, when we both weren’t working – people said to us ‘but what will you doooooo?’ ‘how will you fill yours days?’ ‘won’t you get bored?’.

We were confident.

And, we managed to do plenty – we travelled, we read, we went to museums and galleries, we walked, we talked. Our days were full. We were not bored.

And, I’m still not bored. (And, hopefully, the man also is not bored.)

But, what I lack is a routine.

There’s nothing calling me to get up at 5am. So I haven’t.

There’s no real reason to be at the desk at 7am. So I’m not.

There’s not really ‘work’.

So, as much as I work on this, as much as I’d like to define this as my ‘work’, I struggle.

I find nothing in the news to encourage me.

I have gardening to do. I hate gardening, but the man does not. And I promised the man when we moved that I would help with the gardening. So, this morning, we gardened. Digging giant bloody roots out of the ground. I have blisters on my hands now.

I have animals to care for. I love my animals – I mean I really love them. Sometimes I think it worries the man how much I love them. But now, even as I type this, I hear my puppy whining because he is the only extrovert in the house – the only one of us who actually wants to be with people 100% of the time. I have a murderous little kitten (let’s just call her ‘girl cat’) who may, at any moment, bring a living, half living, or fully dead creature into the house. I have another non-murderous kitten (we’ll call him ‘boy cat’) who takes breaks from demanding attention (usually directly between me and the computer screen) only to torment the puppy. And, I have three chickens, two of whom have recently decided that they like to leave their lovely enclosure for little strolls around the rest of the garden.

I am training for a half-marathon.

I am leaving in a week for a trip to visit my family.

I wonder if I’ve trained enough. I’m worried that I will not make my connection in Atlanta. I am stressed about flying. I am wondering if the woman who is coming to measure our conservatory for blinds is going to be able to find the house. I am afraid the man will not be able to cope with all the animals while I’m away.

I am, basically, thinking about anything but writing.

I feel I missed my morning slot. I feel I haven’t established my routine. I feel I failed the test.

I haven’t. It’s not true. Obviously, I’m writing this right now.

But. . . .