|...simple is beautiful; swedish summerhouse via dust jacket attic...|
I have come to realise that one side effect of my not working is that everything is possible, I say 'yes' to almost all requests, from whatever source, to use up time in the day. Whereas before I would always shy away, say 'no', edit my time ruthlessly; now I am open to wherever the day takes us. I notice though that it's easy to become swamped by arrangements, many of which suit others more than me. I find myself agreeing to things that I needn't, because I can. I need to learn at-home assertiveness. I had it down pat at work, in meetings, with regards to my professional place in the world. But as a stay-at-home-Mum, I am learning.
A realisation this week also - to do with our house. Over time we have, I must admit, fallen out of love with it. I could look back on past blog posts of our home, peppered with pretty pictures of apples in the garden and lavender love seats. In so many ways, this farmhouse is a country idyll. However over time, the very antiquity of it has become draining. There are shabby corners, structural issues, parts of the house don't 'work' for family life. As a cottage, there are bottlenecks and places where the stuff of family life gathers.
I also got envious. And self-conscious. A handful of visits to much grander homes of others made me regard my own with different eyes. I am curious about this; house one-up-man-ship. I didn't think I would fall foul of it, but in actual fact, I am shame-faced to admit: I have. The thing is, I am not usually the type to look at others and yearn for what they have. I am generally pretty comfortable in my own skin.
So - this week, after much discussion, we have decided we need to have a fresh look at our home and plan, long term, to make it work better for us. This will involve big building work and lots of change but in the long run, it will continue the farmhouse love story that started about eight years ago when we moved here.
So, you see it's all home and family-focused and that's why I have been absent for a week. I hope you've all been OK in the meantime :-) Nice to be back.