So - it is all book, book, book and in amongst that we hurtle towards the end of the school year. My daughter has exams and I can feel the pressure building for next summer when she sits the 'real' versions. My son is struggling to keep up with his own sports schedule and my husband has been away so much that I had to stage an intervention. It's very much feeling like a treadmill.
I pacify myself with thoughts of summer sun in Florida - where we plan to go in August. Yes, I know it's going to be scorching but honestly, I don't mind. I am lizard.
I met with old friends for lunch this week and we discussed how far we'd come; given that we met when our kids started school. Of all of us, I have changed my life the most. When they met me I was deeply entrenched in being a career woman, I'd just gone back after my second maternity leave, I was an amped-up force in high heels. Now, I am a bohemian writer. I wear kicks all the time, I can barely walk in heels. I put yoga before most things. I kept hearing myself say 'you can't keep doing the same thing and expect a different outcome,' meaning that when you sit round a table of 40-something women and we all complain about life, we must make a change if we want to be having a different conversation in a years time.
Things I have learned. It's true what they say about creativity; it releases something in you that provokes contentment. If I don't do yoga my body hurts. If I don't get good sleep I am gloomy the next day. It's worth cooking a meal for the family from scratch every night; I'd say this is one of the biggest changes I've made. It's gruelling, but the family meal is the cornerstone of everything for us - and for anyone who is dropping by. I love hosting friends of my kids and sitting down to a proper meal. On a weeknight. I learned that to retire completely from work is not a great idea; there's a flaw to work like a dog then abruptly stop. Better to keep doing something but do it less. Or do it more and stop doing something else. We all make our choices.
Meanwhile our house gets, this time of year, the most crazy wisteria. Honestly I am obsessed with it for an annual two week period in May I am out there photographing it like a maniac. Prettiest thing. I learned that I am very lucky.