My conversations these days mostly tend to go like this…
‘How’s life in Ipswich?’
‘Y’know, it’s Ipswich-y’
‘And how’s Chris? I’ve seen he’s blogging now too. That’s amazing! What’s that like?’
I love the fact Chris blogs. I love that fact we now have this mutual understanding between us. That he understands scheduling tweets and hate comments and writer’s block and waiting until you’ve dashed across a busy road to find a coloured wall before you’re allowed to actually eat the ice cream.
I love that outsiders think we live in this little internet-tinted bubble. That it is our thing.
But at the same time, it’s meant I’m finding myself more wired, more absorbed into that bubble than ever before.
Shutting off and detaching myself from the internet, from work, almost doesn’t exist.
I am happy, I am content. I have ideas and motivation and drive and inspiration. But my head feels like the M25 at rush hour if there wasn’t any lanes and people didn’t have to drive in a particular direction.
It is bedlam.
On a complete side note, DOES ANYONE REMEMBER THAT BEEHIVE BEDLAM GAME ON SKY? OH MY LIFE <3
I feel like my head is constantly in some sort of device where it’s been slowly squeezed tighter and tighter (thanks tension headaches, you boo thangs). I find myself wandering off into daydreams about what it would be like to have a hole drilled into my skull to release the pressure. Oh mumma, I wish that was a real thing that they offered down at my GP’s surgery.
Before the day I was sat on the sofa and looked over at Chris on his laptop, assuming he was updating his Fantasy Football League until HANG ON, WHY ARE YOU ON WORDPRESS PLZ, I didn’t tend to work that much in the evenings.
I used to work from an iMac in our spare room during the day, and sometimes I’d have to run up to add a thumbnail to a video or send an attachment in an email, but mostly once Chris was back from work, once we’d had dinner, that was me done for the day.
(Aside from y’know uploading to Instagram, doing some serious stalking on Instagram, doing some serious stalking on Facebook and on Twitter and on Bloglovin and on Snapchat, and maybe doing some brains-storming or life admin in my bullet journal, obvs).
The longer I blogged full-time, the harder I found it to muster up the motivation and excitement to go and sit in my office all day and treat my blog like your standard 9 to 5 job, which is why I invested in a MacBook Air back in April and oh babin’ heck, I’ve never looked back.
And then Chris bought one too and we felt like a cool hip and happening couple from some American film based in New York City.
And then we became the couple who went out for breakfast on a Saturday morning at 9am and took our laptops and sat in silence whilst we sipped coffee and did work.
And then we became a couple who ate dinner on the sofa, whilst balancing our laptops on the sofa arms.
And then we became a couple who put their plates in the sink and went back to sitting on the sofa with their laptops.
We have become a couple possessed by laptops.
Some days I desperately want to switch off. Some days work has been full-on and I need to escape. Take Monday for example. I wrote 7,000 words between 8am and 5pm, breaking only to make two cups of coffee and eat a smoked salmon bagel.
I needed to put my laptop away and re-enter the real, offline world.
And then Chris came home, we had dinner, and then he pulled his laptop out, ready to settle in for a couple of hours of blogging and I’m like no, don’t do work, love me, hug me, talk to me, relax me, hang out with me.
I became needy, witch girlfriend. The sort of girlfriend that makes boys never want girlfriends in the first place. Soz.
But of course he wants to blog because whereas blogging for me is work, blogging for him is an escape. A bit of light-relief in his day.
Evenings like this tend to end in one of two ways: me being a bit sulky and trying to guilt him into watching something on Netflix with me instead of working on his blog(soz, boo), or me trying to be a sassy, independent, cool girlfriend who takes herself off for a colourful LUSH bath, before reading or colouring in, in bed, with a pot of tea and a face mask.
I like being the latter, she’s a bit of a babe. She’s easy-going and understanding of other people (Although there’s only so many face masks you can really do in a week – which I’m now learning, after breaking out in pimples all across my forehead. LOL LOL LOL.)
The other thing with being part of a blogger couple is just how easy it is to confuse work with quality time. Let’s go for a picnic at the park actually means let’s go for a picnic at the park so I can photograph the new Rekorderlig ciders. Let’s go out to Chiquito actually means lets go out to Chiquito so that I can do a sponsored Snapchat takeover. Let’s have a barbecue in the garden actually means let’s have a barbecue in the garden so that I can take photos for a sponsored post with Harvester.
We’ve blurred the line between work and hanging out.
And don’t get me wrong, it’s bloomin’ fantastic we can go out for dinner and get paid for it, but I think we sometimes confuse things like that for quality time, for date nights, when in fact they’re not because we’re so tuned into work and getting the shot, getting the content, that we’re not tuned into the other person at all. When one of us is in the ‘blog zone’ I feel like the other could literally be on fire and we wouldn’t notice.
I live with Chris. I see him pretty much every single day. And yet there are days when I miss him. Days where it feels like it has been forever since we last shared a bottle of red wine and talked about Rudey and Granger, without checking our phones or emails or been like LOL, gonna film this for InstaStories.
Which I guess is why we’ve both been so keen to try and incorporate more Hygge into our lives. I’m no expert in what it truly means (it’s a Danish word with no English translation), but to put it very, very simply – it’s about quality time. Quality cosy time. Time by yourself with a good book and a hot chocolate and a blanket. Or time with favourite people, sharing stories over a homemade dinner, bottle of wine and candles.
It can be about watching a film together. But it’s not about watching a film together whilst refreshing Twitter about three minutes and 12 seconds.
On days where we can, we try an hour or two before bed. But I’d also like to dedicate Friday nights to this idea – whether it’s just the two of us or with friends.
I’ve also started swimming again – as of today – in a bid to give my brain some space, to let it think freely and assess everything that’s madly dashing around it at all hours of the day. So that perhaps switching off in the evenings can be a little easier.
But I’d love your thoughts about how you achieve a better work/life balance. About how you shut off from the internet. I’m not sure our brains have evolved with the digital age, y’know?
Visit Chris’s blog here.