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After last week’s misery (which I still feel guilty about, because a mother isn’t supposed to find her baby quite so irksome, maybe) things are looking up. The baby is back at nursery and tomorrow I’ll be back at the office.

And although it’s only half ten here in the UK, I’ve already put my freedom to very good use by going for a run and enjoying some coffee with a cinnamon pastry – uninterrupted!

I don’t know if people without children will quite understand this bliss. Then again, I’ve had some pretty hectic jobs in the past and that also made me appreciate my quiet time. When I worked in a bank, we’d have long days absolutely filled with customers. On busy days, it would literally be a constant stream of people from opening to closing. Can you imagine how much fun that was with Asperger’s?

I think it must be the same for a lot of shop workers, and of course, anyone in the police or NHS. When do you get to take a breather? When do you get to enjoy your freedom?

These moments are so precious – I hope everybody gets to enjoy them sometimes.

And if you’re a mother who’s desperate for a break from your children – throw off the guilt and do it if you can. Or if you can’t throw off the guilt, do it anyway! Ask those friends or relatives, or spend a bit of money if you can spare it. Your mental health will thank you.

As usual, comments, including rants and whinges (you know I don’t mind you venting) are welcome.

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You don’t have to be an Aspie to appreciate repetition. I’m not talking about irritating children shouting “Mum! Mum! Mum! Mum!” ad nauseam, or the constant flicking of a morphine switch in hospital. I mean those little acts that become habits or rituals which seem to reassure us and make our day a little brighter.

Maybe you like to sit at the kitchen table while coffee brews on the stove because it reminds you of being at university and spending quality time with your friends. Perhaps you eat tuna for lunch almost every day because that’s what your Mum gave you when you were very young. Maybe that’s just me … whatever. The point is that certain acts and substances get associated with times, events and feelings. It’s lunchtime so I’m probably in the mood for a tuna sandwich or panini. I’m making coffee so I’m thinking about my friends and about being independent.

Most of the time we don’t even think about these acts of repetition or why we’re doing them. Yet we continue doing them, so there must be a good reason.

On the flip side some repetitive behaviour isn’t beneficial. OCD, eating disorders and self-harming are a few examples. People seem to think that these behaviours do help them and even when they realise that’s not true, it still takes a while to break the habit.

If you need help breaking bad habits or developing good ones you may find the Zen Habits blog useful. (Unless your habit is really dangerous, like anorexia or self-harming, in which case I’d suggest seeing your doctor and getting some counseling as a matter of urgency.)

As for the good habits, I recommend you make time to enjoy them properly. Don’t rush your coffee if half the value in drinking it comes from the feelings associated with that ritual. Don’t feel like you have to watch TV because your partner wants to catch their favourite show – if you’d rather pick up a book then do that instead! Find a good vendor of tuna sandwiches or panini and visit them often.

Psst. Want to make this blog a habit? Try another post!