For the last couple of weeks I’ve had to get up at least an hour earlier than usual. Working mostly from home I can of course get up whenever I feel like it. But same as most self-employed people I know, I try to mirror the working hours of my clients and the general work day. So it doesn’t really make much difference.
That all changed a few weeks ago when workmen moved into my road. The portable cabin with its own loo – and their own canteen for all I know – should’ve been bit of a clue that they were here to stay for a while. Actually they’ve been here all year, repairing the road and footpaths which is obviously lovely except that so far, I can’t notice much improvement save for loads of tarmac everywhere. To be honest, it looks a mess and for first time since I moved here more than 25 years ago, I am longing and lusting after paving stones; a real pavement not just tarmac. Anyway why does this mean I have to get up earlier?
Running away from noise
Because dear reader the noise is driving me ever so slightly crazy. They’re either drilling, or planing or doing whatever it is they do when ruddy great yellow mechanical diggers move into your road. I’ve asked the council if they could at least start a bit later but I was ignored. They are starting earlier and earlier. Today it was before 7am that I heard engines rumbling.
I only have a tiny house and when there’s a huge mechanical digger outside it and quarry lorries, my house feels even smaller. And if my house feels smaller, so do I! Insignificant and tiny. As if I am parked suddenly in a ruddy great building site. And it’ll get much worse very soon. The unmodernised house next to me has recently been sold. To a builder, inevitably. That means more noise and this time it may well go on during the early evening and weekends. I genuinely think this is making me ill with worry. So I am getting away as much as I can and working remotely which fortunately I can do.
Active for longer?
But what I am hoping is that in getting up earlier in order to try and score myself some peaceful time before the men move in and start with the racket that men in yellow and orange jackets make for a living, I just may be getting a bit more exercise into my day. I’m swapping the evening slobbing on the sofa for going to bed earlier so I can get up earlier. This means I am up and on my feet; well, kind of, for at least an extra hour a day that’s five to six hours more a week. It must surely mean I am burning calories and fat for longer? I’ve no idea if this is case but makes sense.
Sugar cravings caused by stress
Of course the downside of this is that I am craving sugar more because I’m tired now for much of the time. It doesn’t suit me getting up as close to 6am as I can. So I think sugar and carb cravings are inevitable. But maybe it’s psychological? Sugar comforts after all and diets are I believe easier to stick to if you’re not tired and worn out from constantly running away from noise. I’ve mostly been able to stave off the sugar cravings and eat protein instead but yesterday I confess I had some carb and it felt great.
Want more once you give in
Trouble is, once you give in to these cravings you just want more and more. Dr. Robert Lustig says sugar is addictive and that’s why it’s so hard to give up. Bit like smoking if you have just the one, you open the floodgates. So here’s a solution I think I may have found. I shall allow myself carbs at least once a week and that day looks like being Thursdays for last Thursday I also ate carbs; I had a chocolate croissant.
I don’t hate myself for giving in to the cravings. I think it’s important not to deny yourself completely and forever the foods you love. So next week I am having an Easter egg and very possibly a hot cross bun. Or two. I owe my former colleague Christine Burns a very great deal for making me feel okay about eating hot cross buns. You see as a Jew, I’m not supposed to! No, don’t laugh. Tis true. We were never allowed them as kids. They represented Christianity.
The electoral cross
Christine it was who when I shared this on Twitter said see the cross as same as the one you make on a ballot paper. There are often elections around this time of year so think of the hot cross bun as a celebration of democracy! I shall. I’ve always voted. For me voting is a mark of adulthood. Of being a citizen. Of thanking those who fought for the right to vote and a nod towards the many in the world today who don’t have that right or risk being blown up just for trying to cast their ballots.
Building means economy improving
We keep being told that the economy is improving now but I think we all know that it’s only improving for some. If you’re one of them, that’s great. But spare a thought for those of us forced to live on or near building sites as a result of al this new activity. Yes it means jobs and work has to be done improving, building, repairing, restoring and maintaining. But one small blessing of a recession is that it’s quieter!
I hope I can continue to stay on my diet and make use of the extra early-morning hours I’m forced to keep now while the work goes on around me. It’s the right time of year for it at least because it gets lighter earlier and earlier and there is something special about being up when others are mostly asleep. Builders keep very early hours but they do usually finish early too for which I am immensely grateful. You just have to adapt to your circumstances and try to work around it which is what I am doing.
One of those people!
And one day I want to be one of those people; people who can eat a carby snack every now and then and not feel it’s the end of the world! The people who order a carby snack with their morning coffee and don’t make a big deal out of it. It’s just what they do. Sometimes. I don’t want carbs to be same as alcohol is for an alcoholic or a cigarette for a smoker. Whereby you can never have another one again. As it happens I can have the odd cigarette and not take up smoking again. And thin people eat carbs! In my former thin days I’d often eat a bowl of pasta or have a gooey sugar and fat-laden sweet. I plan to do the same again. But only on Thursdays for now. Or maybe the odd weekend or celebratory day too. We’ll see if that works.
Have a good Friday and a great weekend. If you have been, thanks for reading.