Oh it must be Spring. I’m busy!
I like to be busy, but not as much as the average … person? Person in the UK? Person of my generation? ‘Busy’ doesn’t take long to develop into ‘stressed,’ and ‘stressed’ has developed into psychosis – only twice, and a long time ago now, but… I don’t have the option to push myself like other people.
What has been particularly wonderful about this year, as opposed to other Springs, when I was busy with the kids, or busy with work, or busy writing things no one was interested in, is that this year I’m busy with paid, creative work. Sometimes. Other paid work has to fit around the writing, not the other way round.
Meanwhile, the children have to fit around creativity AND paid work, and are no doubt feeling very hard done by!
‘We need to start thinking about Christmas.’
It is the 22nd of October, but I nod. The September weekend (the middle of September) used to be our starter’s pistol, guaranteeing a December of smugly saying ‘We’re pretty much done.’
But that was BC, and we all know what BC stands for – Before Children.
I’m not even ready for Hallowe’en, but, hey! we need to start thinking about Christmas. It’s a full on free fall between now and December 25th –
all rolled in tinsel, wrapped in snowman paper. The idea of fitting in thoughtful gift buying, alongside these extras, and maintaining the tinylife, AND keeping school uniforms clean, in twenty-five December days … that’s why we start in October.
Now it is December. The kids are wound to a tight Christmas sprig.
Just don’t ask me if I’m feeling smug yet.
Today I have been thinking about…tiredness.
I say, ‘thinking about,’ more accurately, I have been ‘being tired’. The children woke me with yelps and screams at two minutes to six (two minutes to six!). Proof of how tired I was lay with me, as I fell asleep again immediately.
Later, I had to put the radio on for fear of not waking in time. I dragged myself through breakfast and shower and church (sorry church). I’m home now and behind schedule. I’m ratty with people. I’m sooooooo tired.
However, do not for one second sympathise with me. I have been out three evenings this week. I danced for hours on Friday. I had a special day with my wee boys on Saturday. I even fell asleep on my comfy sofa at 7:30pm last night.
My lovely, busy, tiring tinylife.
The phrase ‘June is busting out all over’ was surely written by a parent with school-aged children. Before the summer holidays begin, every end of year concert, fundraiser, family festival, and good time is held: in June. June collapses under the weight of FUN. On any given Saturday you could be in at least three different places: Treefest in town? Fundraiser? Or the show that was so good last year?
Last year, by the end of term, I was a wreck.
It’s meant to be fun!
So this year, I’m going for the bare minimum.
Gigs on three weekends, a party on the other, my book launch, a friend’s dance show, and my son’s sponsored walk, teacher’s gift baking.
Yep. This is the bare minimum.
I hope to make it to July – to freedom – without breaking myself. And just…breathe.
Today I have been thinking about…going.
Not across the eternal river, don’t worry. Going, generally, to that party, event, reading, gig; the one you had absolutely decided not to go to after all.
Yesterday, I wasn’t going. The kids were going to go with their Dad. I was going to use the time to work, those elusive hours on a Friday half-day.
But as they donned their outer wear, it pinched at me, so I decided to go. I was glad I did.
A community gathered, sang, celebrated, even selected one of their own for a special mention. My children wove in and out of legs to get the front. I knew everyone there, and I was so happy to see them. Lots of smiles and ‘hellos.’
Sometimes, you can gain so much, from shifting from not-going, to going.
Today I have been thinking about…rain.
It would have been hard to think about anything else, from half past two the skies were full, water bouncing off the pavements, the roof of the car. We stood like livestock in the playground, trying not to move from under umbrellas, hoods firmly up, wellies shining black slugs, getting wetter and wetter as we waited for the bell to ring.
Normally we walk but we got just as wet getting into the car, and out again. Everything went on radiators as soon as the back door was safely closed. Fire on, thermostat turned up.
Then I remembered I needed something from the outside freezer.
But as I splashed through the waterlogged grass, the scent of blossom came through the rain. A salve on this miserable day, a reminder of beauty on earth.
Today I have been thinking about…Mess
Mess. Constant, self-perpetuating, frustrating mess. What’s so tiny or cheerful about mess?
Mess means that you own things. If you have a messy floor, it’s because you have a floor.
If you have stuff strewn all over a table, you own a table, and stuff, strewn all over it.
If you have toys underfoot, then you probably also have children. Yes, some adults own toys, but this is not a blog about that.
If you are tidying a mess, it’s because you have time to do it.
I know you don’t feel like you have the time, but you are doing it, so you must have the time, somehow.
And maybe you’re tidying so you can Hoover™: it’s the only reason I tidy mess. Which means you have electricity.
Mess. A good thing.
Today I have been thinking about…shops.
To be honest, this tinylifer doesn’t go to the shops that often full stop. At this time of year, I actively avoid their hugeness, their message of ‘Christmas IS Shopping’, crammed so full of people I feel as if the doors will burst, shoppers and merchandise floating into the car park and away.
So I buy online, or locally.
As for shopping for myself; my wardrobe is expanding as my waistline shrinks. Joy as things fit me. Some I hadn’t worn for years, but just couldn’t throw away.
But yesterday, I did go to the shops. The charity shops in Stockbridge, Edinburgh; every label and brand (including vintage). When I buy, it’s even a tiny way of helping a charity.
I got a hat, for next summer, and a pair of sparkly shoes.