All or nothing - a column by Beth Ritchie

By Swindon Link - 2 August 2021

Opinion and Features

Like the weather, Swindon Link columnist Beth Ritchie struggles to find the middle ground

By Beth Ritchie of 

So, after spending a month complaining about the rain, we then had extreme heat to moan about, and now we appear to be back to the rain again. The British weather has been distinctly both ends of the scale these last few months, and I can completely relate to its changeable disposition.

As an all or nothing personality, I am used to living my life in a state of extremes. I’m either extremely stressed or extremely chilled (often about exactly the same things, my frame of mind determined by time of the month, what I’ve eaten, how well rested I am, what book I happen to be reading, and whether my kids are behaving – or any number of other variables). I’m either super motivated or can’t be bothered, on a restrictive diet or eating everything in sight, knocking things off my to do list like a boss or barely able to get dressed…

I don’t choose to be this way. I have tried to be temperate, find some kind of middle ground, but I’m just not built to be balanced. And neither is the British weather it seems.

But in many ways, being an all or nothing person and having a personality that can hit either end of the extreme spectrum is actually a good thing.

I rarely get bored (and I’d like to think I’m not boring to those around me either), and it also means that I’m pretty resilient and can bounce back from things quite quickly because I‘m used to living in a constant state of flux. I’m never down for very long.

The same is true of the weather. Two weeks ago, I was rocking layers of winter clothes, then I got so hot I couldn’t even bring myself to wear a bra, and now I’m sloshing around with my canvas trainers all wet. The sudden changes in weather also keep necessitating emergency shopping trips for appropriate all-weather clothes. As a result of all this change, I now have a highly resilient wardrobe. Winning.

And, in another complete turnaround, I’m about to have an entire week away from my usual life.

After 7 months of being so busy I can’t quite remember what day it is, I’m about to head off for my first full week away from my desk this year. I fully intend to remove myself from everything that usually takes up space in my brain. It will be a completely opposite way of life from what I’m used to, because frankly, anything less would feel a bit pointless.

My extreme nature means that I am kind of addicted to having the extremes of everything, just a bit of a break or having a bit of a holiday wouldn’t be enough. Oh no, I have to turn off all communication channels and lock myself away in a remote cottage with only books and my boyfriend for a week (it’s going to be bliss).

So, I don’t mind my extreme nature, not really. Because while we all love a routine, it really is true that a change is as good as a holiday. And we ALL need one of those right now.

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