I know, it looks really tough...
Getting used to being able to do my own thing is taking a while. The guilt factor (omg, I should be doing this marking/prepping/reading this book) is fading slightly each day, and I am completely loving being at home during the day. The urgency attached to the life part of the work life balance has faded out. IT used to be that if I had a thing to do in the evening after work, it felt too much. Take the cat to the vet, pop to a shop and pick things up... it just felt impossible after a long day of full-on school work. Now I have to remind myself that actually it’s fine. The feeling of being overwhelmed has become so much part of life that I’ve caught myself feeling it again a few times and have had to have stern words with myself and do the slightly CBT thing of reminding myself that these feelings aren’t the reality of things anymore.
It must be working, because two weeks in I can feel my brain starting to fire up again. I can pick up knitting in the evening again. I’ve started reading again. Thinking about the stories that are half way finished and could really do with some time investment.
Pausing in the middle of the day to sit at the garden table and take in the flowers still feels like such a luxury. I hope I don’t end up taking that for granted as it becomes the norm. Spring was late this year but the garden has sped through May and into June with grace and abundance. The dwarf mock orange up at the top of the garden by the studio has been vigorous enough to overcome even the smell of the oil-based gloss paints I use. The climbing roses (Snow Goose) are like gorgeous fragrant pom-poms of flowers. The Iceberg rose has more blooms than ever before, and the white peony has fifteen flowers this year, meaning for the first time I felt happy to cut a huge handful of their blowsy glory for the house.
They scented the craft room for a week, and it was picked up by every breeze that ran through the house, so at unexpected moments you’d get a full nose full. Absolutely lovely.
Being at home to take care of our old lady cat feels like the most important development though. She loves summer, adores the garden but refuses to use the cat flap. She is too queenly (and arthritic) for such things, so each morning my first task is to open the back door for her so that she can wait, enraged and impatient, for the sun to come over the house and warm her favourite spots. At 22 with some complex medical conditions, she doesn’t have much time left, and it is an immense comfort to know that she’s having the best care she could wish for. She’s even done some playing over the past few weeks, batting her blue catnip fish around and hissing at it when she feels it’s been impudent. When it’s her time to go, I’ll know she had as much as we could possibly give her.