5. One Thing At A Time

I am lying on my bed in looking out of the window at rainy Loughborough. I’ve got my music scholarship audition in two days, and I’m trying to muster the energy to go and do a long session of much needed flute practice.

At the moment I feel tired and sleepy all the time – despite never sleeping during the day, I have had a number of naps in the last week. Whenever I’m not sleeping, I just want to be asleep or curled up in bed. It’s a nuisance when I’ve got lots of things to do before the end of the week!

I’ve just returned to Loughborough after a very restful weekend in London with John. Two weeks had passed since I last saw John, but it felt much longer – probably because I’ve been working hard at uni to keep on top of the work load.

Besides the fatigue, I had a top notch weekend. On Saturday we went to the Natural History Museum followed by a refuel at Nando’s in Tooting – on Sunday we went over to Sophie and Grant’s house for an evening of chats, red wine and cottage pie. John and I met Gizmo – the 7 year old springer spaniel Sophie and Grant regularly look after – and saw in their lovely house in Colliers Wood for the first time. It felt really nice to spend time with my cousin and her boyfriend in their home – I can just be myself around them, and it’s made me realise that I’m more independent than I sometimes feel and that there is an exciting future ahead of me. Things to look forward to such as moving in with John in a city that I love, having Sophie and my other family and friends close by.

Gizmo enjoying some strokes and cuddles

Today I’m talking about something that I don’t do as often as I need to, but something that I’ve managed to do a number of times over the last few days. This is the opposite of multi-tasking; it’s focusing on one thing at a time.

After saying goodbye to John on TCR as he carried on his walk to work, I went into Ole & Steen – the English branch of the Danish bakery and café, Lagkagehuset. It was my second ever visit, and I’d been looking forward to the friendly welcome and great quality food for days before coming into London. I did a good deal of ‘one thing at a time’ things in here!

I stepped in from the drizzle outside and pulled a ticket from the machine – number 117 – and waited a few moments before being called over by an assistant. Her name was Millie and she was one of the most glowing strangers I’ve ever spoken to. The first thing she said to me was that she liked my furry hat and thought I was pretty. After more chats I found out that it was her first day working at Ole & Steen; she decided she wanted to become a member of the team, progressing from being a well seasoned customer visiting four times a week!

While placing my breakfast order of porridge and a hot drink, I asked Millie’s advice on what type of coffee to have – my healthy thoughts said a mocha but my ill thoughts said a black coffee. She suggested a mocha, since she really likes the chocolate they use in their drinks and thought I would too.

I paid for my breakfast – a bowl of porridge and an almond milk mocha – and took a window seat so I could people-watch while I waited for it to arrive.

My breakfast – an almond milk mocha and a bowl of luxury porridge. The heartiest porridge I’ve ever had with raspberry jam, fresh berries and rye granola (I think there’s some honey in there too!)

I had planned on working while I ate my porridge and slurped my coffee. But instead I put my laptop and phone away and tucked up with spoon in one hand and cup in the other. Doing this ensured I tasted every mouthful: the blueberries bursting in my mouth; the nuttiness of the milk laced with the cream and earth of the chocolate coffee; the mellow porridge oats with the sweet crunch of the granola.

I didn’t quite finish the bowl of porridge but every savoured bite left me feeling the fullest I’ve felt in a long time. I really struggle to cope with feeling full at the moment but I people-watched while I sat with the feeling. Just focusing on turning my panicked ruminating into positive thoughts of filling up on good food in a lovely place surrounded by nice people like Millie.

When I left to get the tube to St Pancras I said goodbye to Millie. I walked out of Ole & Steen back into the drizzle outside feeling full of love and life – just focusing on interacting with the people around me and having my breakfast by being in the moment really left me feeling good.

Millie taking a job in a company that she loves has made me think about what I want to do. I really would love to take a job with a company I feel passionate about… something that I wasn’t sure would be possible, but if Millie’s done it then maybe I can too.

My ill thoughts often overpower me which pulls me away from what I’m doing at any moment in time, but it’s something I’m working on. It’s going to take time but I think taking ‘one thing at a time’ will be one of the stepping stones towards me getting better (even if getting better feels very far away at the moment).

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