Since returning to work, the six week long summer break has taken on an almost sabbatical-like length in my head and my To Do list is full of all kinds of projects and activities. There I things I really want to do (read, sew cushion covers, crochet blanket after blanket, embroider) and things I said I'd do and sort-of still want to do (paint the garden bench and our bedside tables). There are household tasks which I don't much want to tackle but they really need doing and I know I'll feel so much better when they're done, like clean out the fridge, renew my passport, go through the filing cabinet, wash the windows. And there are things that are exciting and lovely which I'm really looking forward to: a huge family barbecue to celebrate my parents' upcoming ruby wedding anniversary, a week long holiday in Derbyshire, day trips to London and other places, catching up with friends.
But now that we are officially on holiday I'm wondering if the anticipation might be better than the reality. Today it has rained solidly all day. All the lights are on indoors and I'm wearing slippers. Depressed by the weather and the state of the house, I spent the morning in the kitchen scrubbing, wiping and mopping various surfaces. It now gleams and I feel better, and not at all like cooking so I've taken one of John's chicken curries out of the freezer. I ate soup for lunch and I enjoyed it. It was fish soup, brought back by my parents from a recent trip to France and I'm the only person in this house who likes it. I don't get a lunch break at work so I savoured it today. Then I went to the supermarket to do the food shop. I don't think I've done this since going back to work as John always does the shopping, and a great deal of the cooking and housework. He has been brilliant and I love that it's never him "helping me out" but both of us working together doing the things that need doing.
I've been thinking about all the changes in our life lately and, now I have a chance to stop and think, how I like where we are right now. I do like being at work very, very much, and I am thankful that the hours suit our family life and that I don't have a long commute. I love going out of the house and mixing with others, getting to know new people, making friends, being good at something, dusting off skills and finding they are still there. A few times in the last few years I have toyed with the idea of working for myself from home, perhaps something to do with the blog or something creative - so many talented blogging friends of mine have done that so successfully. But my heart was never in it. I like the boundaries and distance that come from working out of the home, they suit my personality. Term times are now busy for us and will always be so, but that's ok. I think I feel slightly adrift because the long, routine-less summer break can be hard work. I'll freely admit that l like routine, need it even, and I find change and transitions difficult. They unsettle me. I wonder if any of you find that too?
But now, it's Friday night and John's weekend off. It's gloomy and the rain is bouncing off the decking, but we've poured gin and tonics and been playing board games with the kids. We have full weekend planned with days out and jobs and all sorts of nice things. I'm going to hang up my apron and potter around, do some crochet, watch some tv. I can get the hang of this.