Summer has finally arrived in my home town and the days are full of sunshine, green trees are blowing gently in the breeze and the garden is full of colour. .
In previous summers I have been juggling working, managing the house and found it difficult to find the time to sit in the sunshine. Being outside is my favourite thing to do. Even when it is not sunny I can be found pottering about in the fresh air.
My life has changed dramatically. I no longer work full time and I can spend my days as I choose to. This has meant that this summer, the first since 1995 when I was on maternity leave, I can be outside as much as I like with no guilt at all, there is nowhere I should be, nothing I should be doing and no one to please but myself.
I have devised a routine, involving early morning in the back of the house catching the first warmth of the sun, by mid morning the sun is strong at the front and back of the house, so I sit at the front, watching the world go by, reading, and drinking coffee. Later in the afternoon I move back to the back to make the most of the bright light. In the evening with the laptop in the front again, warm nights and the scent of the flowers make this an ideal spot to potter on the internet, write and catch up with friends across the world.
I feel no shame. I am doing chores, I am sorting a mountain of paperwork out, gradually, I am chiving daughter to attend to the last of her studies, I am shopping when I need to, and cooking when I remember. I am visiting family and spending time with friends. This summer I am intent on just being. That’s all, just being.
Once Autumn is here and as the weather changes the opportunities for sitting in the sunshine will be less, so I am making the most of it now.
I am also spending time thinking and this is very valuable. To have time to consider life is a luxury that would have been impossible when my days were spent dashing from one place to another, my head filled with a thousand things to do, trying not to forget anything and fitting it all in, there was little time to think. I have learned that by thinking I am finding out what is important to me, I am working out just who I am and who I want to be. It is powerful stuff.
I have learned the art of living in the moment, of savouring this moment in time and in doing so I am becoming content. I have spent the best part of 40 years working, caring for family and being busy, I have spent time waiting for things to happen, I have spent precious moments worrying about things I can no longer remember. I have cried for problems now solved and spent sleepless nights which did not actually change anything at all.
Now is all we have, yesterday has gone, we can learn from it and take good memories forward to today, tomorrow is a promise of what might be. I am spending my now in the sunshine, thinking thoughts. I am not actually busy doing nothing, I am busy being me.