The babysitting duties are now over. It’s been a good week. I continue to give praise and admiration to my sister and her husband who are bringing up these children while completing their jobs and all the other things they have to do.

I have really enjoyed cooking for my sister’s children. I’ve had to cook everything from scratch and it has mostly involved chopping up vegetables making a tomato or coconut usauce with meat and eating with rice or pasta. I was finding the simplicity refreshing. I’ve not used a recipe book or online recipe for these savoury dishes. I’ve just gone with the flow of what I thought would be a tasty combination for the children. It feels like something I should do at home from time to time. It works because I’ve been mostly using the same ingredients. I was finding the it made the whole process rather uncomplicated- which I needed it to be. At the same time I had to think about leaving the home in time to pick the nephews up for nursery, make sure the bathtime stuff was set up and ready to go, ensure the laundry was done, ensure the house continued to be as clean and as uncluttered as it could be. I wasn’t doing this my myself – my sister and my mother were present and helping but it did require quite a bit of coordination, communication and concentration. A big team effort.

So what did I cook this week?

Sunday dinner – mincemeat, vegetables and pasta

Monday dinner – chicken coconut curry and rice

Tuesday dinner – vegetable and chorizo tomato sauce with pasta; strawberry and raspberry crumble

Wednesday dinner – baked chicken, mashed sweet potato and potato, boiled carrots and broccoli, dodo (fried plantain)

I figure I some keep a note 📝 of this so I have a few go toes when I return again to babysit.

I’ve a few more days of annual leave before I return to work. I’m trying not to feel apprehensive about the whole thing. This is the longest I’ve been away from work due health reasons in almost a decade. I have been having the self talk again about having better work life balance. Each time something like this happens it feels like I am closer to the edge of my own self-imposed extinction. It feels like this time I should heed the warning because I’m not sure there will be next time that I can come back from. I guess having had to immediately down tools and focus on my well-being and note that the NHS was just going to have to manage without me was something I clearly needed to experience. I can’t imagine a future me putting so much energy into work if I have to pay such a high personal cost. I’ll have to pay more attention to what my body is telling me. I guess I’m not interested in looking back with regrets about the choices I have made.

I’m still working on my plan 😏.

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