Let me start by being very clear, I could easily list 100 things I'd rather do besides chores so this is actually a challenge for me to narrow it down to the top 10.
1. Play with Rachel
This is my number one distraction from all things chore related, especially at the weekends. As far as I'm concerned spending time with my child trumps absolutely everything else that ever needs doing; it's the positive side of being a parent and I'm well aware that her years are flying past and sometime in the future she won't want to spend time with me.
I love to read and will often get accidentally engrossed in a book when I'm meant to be tidying or cleaning. I can't help myself, they call to me and are full of fascinating words and plots and facts which just need to be read.
If all else fails then I will write. In fact even when everything else is going well and Rachel is busy then writing will happen. I have not yet experienced the mythical writers block, but then I've always been chatty and for me writing is just chatting to someone who never gets bored of listening.
4. Listen to Music
I adore music of all forms; from punk and heavy metal through pop to blues and classical I love it. I appreciate the form of music, the skill of playing, the inspiration of song writing and I love the way you can be transported by music. Add to that the opportunity to sing and dance like a loon and I'm a very happy girl.
5. Take and Edit and Look through Photographs
What did I ever do without a camera on my iPhone? Oh yes, I remember, I used to carry a pocket sized camera with me when I remembered which meant most of the time I missed the best photo opportunities. Looking through a camera lense has not depleted my enjoyment of the world (as has been suggested) but has helped me see the wonder of the world all the more and then keep it forever.
6. Watch Films
I love films; animations, kids films, family films, short films, romantic comedies, suspense thrillers, comedies, horrors (if they're clever and not all gore), foreign films (dubbed or subtitled), epics, science fiction, mysteries and pretty much everything in between. I adore being whisked away into another world, it's like reading a book but with a wow factor from imaginations more stunning than my own.
7. Go out for a meal
It was always a treat when I was growing up and it still feels like that now even though we tend to eat out once a week; it's the thrill of being able to each choose something quite different and eat together without having to somehow become a wonder chef. And the meals tend to last longer which gives more time for chat and laughter and general family fun.
8. Go for a walk
I hate hills with a passion, but I love walking by the sea and in woods and anywhere relatively flat and with a lot of nature to see and feel and experience. Of course this experience is enhanced with a good camera.
I learned to nap when I was pregnant, it was a necessity and I still relish the ability to drop off and wake up feeling refreshed. I don't often schedule a nap, after all there's too much to do in the world to waste it on too much sleep, but if it's chores or a sleep then there's literally no competition.
10. Clean out the guinea pigs
I'm aware that this might be seen as a chore, but I adore those guinea pigs and so it doesn't feel like a chore. If push comes to shove I will clean out the guinea pigs extra times rather than clean the house.
If, having read my list, you're worried that I live in a pig sty, please don't worry; I'm happy (like a pig in mud!).
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