Defining concepts for 2018

Posted on the

January was a bit of a rough month. I was suppose to move house, but it didn’t happen. So I kinda crashed back too my old flat and messed up my routines. Then, I had antibiotics for a dental infection and shortly after a touch of flu.

In hindsight, I probably should have had a much better Plan B!

Anyway, phew. This has caused a bit of a reboot. Luckily my improved speech is still working well. I don’t do so well in public alone, but I can do some phone calls and Skype chats etc. That’s pretty good.

I had good momentum late last year, so things all got a bit merged.

Over Christmas I mixed up lots of key concepts. Home and away, work and play, sleep and rest. To help me get restarted in 2018 I’ve had to un-muddle stuff.

Home and away.

The first thing too un-muddle was my concept of home. A half aborted house move and 3 weeks away didn’t help my sense of home at all. I came back to the flat angry and somewhat unwilling. I didn’t want to be here as it didn’t offer me anything I valued.

Adding the value back into my flat was an important change. Getting my routine and support established was a good start. That allowed me to stay at home and start appreciating the place rather than feeling lost. I needed a groove to land back into.

I also had to ensure I had a proper sustainable workplace.

Work and play

Over the last year I’ve heavily compromised my workspace over and over again. Working from my bedroom or the lounge.

This was so I could provide a bedroom for the carers rather than a sofa-bed. As it was always temporary - I’ve been ‘about to move’ since May! - I accepted the compromise and worked around it.

This didn’t really work. I needed a proper workspace and I needed to rethink my flat layout.

A pair of amazing friends helped me get a sofa-bed in the lounge for the carers and setup an office in the old carer room. It was a big change. We needed to get a glazing company in to help us get the old sofa out (as it didnt fit through the door!)

This has given me separation between work and play. I ‘go to work’ in the morning (I wear my shoes!) and then I leave work at the end of the day. I have a routine for before work and a routine for after work. This added the structure and separation I have needed for a long time. It’s working great.

My old sofa was put in my bedroom and this led to a rather surprising discover.

Sleep and rest

I rather liked my old sofa and didn’t want to destroy it. My plan was to donate it eventually.

I set the sofa up in my bedroom as a temporary arrangement and in doing so discovered another muddled concept. Sleep and rest.

I spend 12 hours or more in my bedroom everyday. I hide in there when the carers visit. In the past that mean evenings sat in bed.

It didnt work very well. I’d be trying to rest, but it wasn’t bedtime, but I was in bed. This was very muddling.

Having a sofa in my bedroom means I can use the room to rest in private, without having to be in bed. It’s also working great.

Final thoughts

It’s been a rough month. My spoons collapsed from 10 a day to 4-6 a day. Whoops.

However we’re well on the way to fixing things. My routines are back in place and structure has been added back into my life.

I am autistic. It’s easy for me to undervalue the momentum I establish and also overestimate my ability. This last month has reminded me that structure is the key to my productivity. Now i have the structure back in place i am doing much better!


Spaced Out & Smiling is about exploring the fun side of Autism, and trying to understand what it means to be Autistically Happy.

Social Links

Get In Touch

Jamie: @JamieKnight
Lion: @Lickr