My life was pretty hectic last month and I felt that I just needed to go off the radar for a while in order to get back to the basics.
It was like a mental health day, I guess, except that it was extended for a couple of weeks!
I stopped work, apart from one job where I had a deadline (a perk of being self-employed). I had just joined twitter, but I had to drop it; I stopped going online on a daily basis. I didn't watch tv, read the paper, or listen to the radio.
I started going to bed before 11pm.
I played with the kids, instead of just throwing them into the backyard and leaving them to it.
I read books and made up additional silly stories for my daughters at bedtime. I sat with them until they fell asleep, instead of calling out from in front of the computer, "Go to sleep!".
I cooked a simple, tasty dinner every night, baked a chocolate cake, took my eldest daughter for a long walk, connected with my husband, and read a book.
I discovered a new periodical (new to me anyway) which is not as 'too-intellectual' for me as I had always thought.
I organised play dates for the kids, and invited some neighbours over for the first time, for afternoon tea. I spent time with one of my goddaughters.
I decluttered the house and got the car washed. (I know it was washed during the last 18 months, because I've done it since we've been in this house, I just don't know when exactly. Maybe 18 months ago!)
I've been trying to live in the moment. And I've been thinking. A lot of the time I assume that I am thinking, when what I am really doing is either fretting or fantasising.
I've been reflecting and praying for the wisdom to see what is really important in my life; what just needs a little re-jigging, and what might need a complete paradigm-shift.
I realised that I've just been adding lots of little things, and big things (ie. three gorgeous children, with my husband) to my life, in a fairly haphazard way.
With all the additions I'd lost sight of the beautiful and simple vision of life that my husband and I had when we married seven years ago; a happy family life, a warm, welcoming home where there are book-lined walls, and music, and great conversation. And a bit of overseas travel from time to time, some great furniture, an art collection. See? I keep slipping into fantasy again!
I've also been trying to do the supermum/career and family balance thing with little day-to-day help apart from my husband (who has his own demanding full time job). I have kept trying, even though I know, I know, that it just does not work. At least, not without someone losing out.
So in taking time to reflecting on all this, cutting out a lot of mental clutter in order to do so, I feel that I've gone some way to getting my house in order (literally and metaphysically).
I've still a lot to do, but I'm going to try to take my time and not feel that I have to 'get it right' all at once.
Now, enough about me for a while. I'm looking for people to interview on this blog. If you know of anyone with similar interests in simple living, living mindfully, or balancing family and personal aspirations (work/art/whatever), or if you would like to put your own hand up, please drop me a line.