Many years ago I promised myself not to prebook engagements more than 2 weeks in advance. It was hard, but on the whole I pretty well stuck to my resolve.
Flaked out on the couch yesterday I recalled that decision and wondered why I had only kept that promise for one year. Recently younger friends commented that they were always in awe of all the activities that my husband and I attended, ran or had some connection with. According to them they wouldn't be able to keep up the pace!
It is time for me to reinstate my earlier resolve. I feel 'lived' instead of living. Now don't get me wrong, I enjoy and look forward to fun things, like the rest of us. It is no punishment to cook a dinner for 6, or attend a birthday celebration or an chosen annual event. Just as I love meeting new friends or reacquainting myself with friends from the past. Somewhere along the line the balance between doing and relaxing and allowing for some 'own time' has been lost.
The next weeks will be spent getting organised for our visit to the children and grandchildren. In wonderful anticipation I am slowly gathering bits and bobs around me that I will need to pack into my suitcase. The cupboards and garden need attention and I want to arrive fit and capable for the days spent being oma - so I am keeping a clear diary just to protect myself.
As I reflected on this situation for myself I realised that I am not alone in this whirlwind world. There appears to be less and less 'down tools time' to catch ones breath and slow down a moment to smell the roses. Sometimes even that luxury is squeezed in between a hectic schedule. Since we have reduced our car supply by one- I have to plan my days better, take more time to get somewhere -by bike or foot- and be more selective in my timing. A discipline that I haven't had to enforce for a long time. And funnily enough, it feels liberating.
We are into autumn, dark earlier, chillier and more indoors time. There are some chores I am keen to get stuck into. Scanning old photos, updating my albums, finishing an embroidery I started way back, being on time with my - dare I mention them - Christmas cards, that means updating my address files, another task not high on my priority list in the summer months. Where some people feel depressed about the looming dark months, I feel a sense of peace coming over me.
Time to chill out! Time to reflect, time to just BE. It is, like the saying goes, my light at the end of a beautifully decorated tunnel of fond memories.