A Saturday morning alarm set for 6.45am.
I try to fight the urge to hit SNOOZE.
I succeed (!) and rise from the warmth of my bed. I have a plan.
Once ready, I head downstairs, eat a slice of toast and rouse Dave, one of our dogs, from his slumber. As ever he gets up and stretches, sleepily padding his way to where I stand in the hall, lead in hand, waiting. I fasten the clips around him, double check my pockets; keys, poo bags, phone. We are good to go and head out in the brisk morning air and start our walk.
It’s early so there are few souls to be seen and those we do encounter are also out walking their dogs. Briefly pleasantries are exchanged and we go on our separate ways. At the park Dave is let off to roam, a little, with his LED collar – essentially for a black dog in the dark – giving away his location. He veers too far sometimes but a corrective call is all that is needed to bring him back to my side.
We walk on, round the park once then back to the street. We head away from home and walk beside quiet roads that are slowly filling with traffic as workers wake and start their commutes. At every gate Dave pauses briefly to check, every shop door is sniffed, the occasional piece of litter consulted, as on we walk.
He can be very focussed – the boy likes to WALK. None of this ambling around for him, no! – and so we pass other early risers who want to stop and say hello but Dave walks straight past, determined to get to wherever it is he thinks he is headed. As we cross roads he pulls one way when we are going another. One day I’ll let him lead us, but not today, that is not the plan.
Another park as the morning light breaks through the trees, a few more dogs to greet this time, but soon enough it’s time to head for home. My stomach rumbles.
The final stop, a final pee, and then we are there, back inside the warmth of our home. Sasha gets up to greet us and I swap dogs, letting Dave off his lead and putting Sasha on hers, she too needs some morning relief but we won’t walk as far, her ageing hips need the rest.
Once done it’s time to feed them both – 8am – and once they’re done it’s my turn. Another slice of toast will suffice for now, they will need their post-breakfast pees soon, so I make my first coffee of the day.
Soon enough they’ve both been taken out again, and I start to prepare the breakfast I’d planned for, scrambled eggs, crispy bacon and toast.
9am is approaching as I plate up and take my seat in front of the TV, just in time for the Rugby World Cup final.
That was the plan.
I’ve been trying NOT to make plans for a long time now, at least I’ve been trying not to micro-plan my day as much as I used to. It’s been working for the most part, but part of letting go of that approach to living, something I did subconsciously for most of my adult life, is also learning to accept that I won’t always manage it but I am trying, and that trying is all I need to do.
And the more I learn to just try, the happier I feel, simply by removing the pressure to succeed all the time.
Now I’m off to watch the Rugby where I hope there will be plenty of tries (do you see what I did there), and no doubt I’ll spend the rest of the day trying to stay awake whilst being very happy to fail (fall asleep on the sofa).