A little light introspection

IMG_6589

Perhaps it’s a condition peculiar to the lone-worker, the stay-at-home parent and someone who spends acres of time on their own but I have a lot of time to daydream and wonder. All I have to do is meet occasional deadlines, keep appointments, take the children to where they need to be on time, walk the dog and manage the day-to-day running of the household. I mostly play a supporting role for my family and occasionally shut myself off to edit or proof read a book. There can be extremely busy periods but I’m not standing in front of a classroom trying to keep children engaged, or rushing about a hospital saving lives, or running a busy cafe. Nor am I pouring over the minutia of legal documents in order to defend someone in court. What I’m trying to say is that my life is, at the moment, rather undemanding. Don’t get me wrong, I’m rarely twiddling my thumbs; there is always something to do in the house or garden but I do go through periods when I wonder whether I’m really frittering away my time. Should I get back to a ‘career’ or retrain to do something more worthwhile and useful? Why am I not perfectly content? (I know I’m lucky to have the luxury of even pondering this issue.) Sometimes I feel totally unsettled and frustrated and I wonder whether it’s because a) I live in this point in history when there is SO much information about others’ lives, b) I have high expectations of myself and am my own harshest critic, or c) I just need to get over myself and get out more!

If I did have an uber-demanding job, however, I would have far less time for blogging. Lynda wrote something about the power of writing her blog yesterday and it struck such a chord with me. My blog is a brilliant creative outlet. Being able to write, take photographs and share them and connect with other bloggers is hugely rewarding and it’s become very important to me. I know I occasionally bang on about how much I love blogging but I do. On those occasions when I’m feeling particularly fed up with sorting laundry or cooking the same flipping meal again it has saved my brain.

Anyway, back to earth… I’ve not been spending all my time pairing socks and contemplating my navel. I have been enjoying the spring sunshine and beauty in the garden (photos above, thank you) and attempting to be organised in the greenhouse, potting up like mad and keeping notes (yes, actual notes in a notebook!) of how many of each plant, plus notes of where it would be good to have more bulbs next year. There’s a gap in a drift of ‘Pheasant’s Eye’ narcissi and I’d like more N.’Thalia’ – beautiful, white, multi-headed, graceful. And more tulips. You can never have too many tulips.

Oh, and the village Spring Show at the weekend went exceedingly well. There was a record number of children’s entries, which the organising committee was particularly chuffed about, and plenty of gorgeous spring blooms and home produce. My son’s Victoria sponge won the coveted £20 prize but he graciously gave a fiver to his sister for helping him assemble his cake. All is now sweetness and light between them. My entries weren’t so successful but there’s always next time…

I do hope you’re having a good week and that the sun is shining where you are.

 

Advertisements

32 thoughts on “A little light introspection

  1. Oh Sam,
    You so often speak my thoughts! I’m in very much the same boat. I joke, but also worry, that my brain has turned to mush. When I have left the house in half-hearted attempts to rejoin the workforce, the guilt and stress outweighed any gain in self-esteem.
    We are certainly lucky to have the luxury of choice but that makes it almost impossible to complain! I am solid in my belief that raising children is a worthy occupation and I choose to that job myself rather that out-sourcing it. I also think that mothers have been hard done by. It is certainly our right to pursue a career but those of us who don’t shouldn’t be made to feel that we are ‘not contributing to society’.
    You have raised a young man who makes good cake. Surely, society is winning!!
    Enjoy your garden planning. That sounds like satisfying work.
    Lynda. Xx

    Like

    1. It’s taken me a couple of days for my brain to process the lovely and heartfelt comments on this post. I wish we could all meet up for a good lunch and discuss! On most days I feel so fortunate and I do count my blessings but sometimes I feel thoroughly fed up as it can be a thankless task. It’s so good to know I’m not the only one. x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I chose to stay home with my children when they were young, and worked out of my home marking math courses for our province’s distance education school. There were times I had the same thoughts and doubts about what I was doing as you have expressed in your post. But I can tell you that when I look back on it I am so happy I made the choices I did.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s good to know Kristie. I’m sure it’s been the right choice for my family but I sometimes (rarely) wonder if it’s been the right choice for me.

      Like

  3. We do have sunny, blue skies today, thank you. 🙂 I really empathize with your introspection here. I’m in the midst of reevaluating what I do, where I’m going, and what I want for my life. I don’t have any answers, and I, too, realize I’m extremely lucky to have what I have…and yet, I don’t feel settled. Maybe that’s something we all go through at various points in our lives.

    Like

    1. I’ve been wondering whether it’s because I am at the age I am. Turning 50 throws up all kinds of re-evaluations. It’s good to dust off the cobwebs every now and then, though. Good luck with your thought-processing.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sam, we’d need lunch and a bottle of wine to cover my thoughts on this!

    Suffice to say I believe increasingly strongly (as the world goes bonkers around us) that we must treasure the freedoms we have, as people, and more particularly as women, to do what feels right for us and our families.
    As long as you’re happy and fulfilled you are, as an old work colleague used to say, golden.

    Oh, and you couldn’t be more right about never having too many tulips. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes – wouldn’t that be good?! I’m sure we’d have a fascinating discussion if we could all get together. I’d say I’m mostly happy and fulfilled, so, yes, absolutely, many days are indeed golden. My family are all thriving (including my husband!), but sometimes I’d love to be the one rushing out of the door knowing that everything else will be taken care of. It’s a big, big subject…

      Like

  5. I remember that feeling of brain not totally satisfied. I took seven years out to raise my boys. Looking back now I have no regrets, it was the best thing to do. But I often used to wish for more mental stimulation. Blogging is a great outlet and you can make as much or little of it as you wish. I think it’s the not knowing what’s coming next in the career stakes but I’m sure the right thing will spring to mind when the time is ready. Please don’t stop blogging tho 🙂 B x

    Like

    1. Blogging has been a revelation Barbara, so no, absolutely, I’ll keep writing 🙂 I think you’re right – you never know what’s round the corner.

      Like

  6. I used to wonder about the same thing but in the past few years, I’ve found a very comfortable groove being at home. I worried that I would not have anything interesting to say later on, that my husband would find me boring. I guess I was insecure about my choices. I can say that I’ve really begun to understand the value of what I do at home and I don’t feel that way anymore. Not to say you share those feelings, just to say I feel better about it now. I don’t know what the future holds, but I plan to stay home until my daughter finishes school, about 11 years from now. I’ll be almost 50 then, so I might not be too marketable anymore, but I will figure it out later. I’m sure you’ll find the right thing for yourself too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been in this supporting role for a LONG time Jennifer and it wears a bit thin sometimes. I felt much more confident when my children were younger, as yours are. Now they’re all at secondary school they do still need me when they get home and I’m so glad I’m around but I do feel a bit ‘left-behind’ sometimes. It’s a hard feeling to describe. I am 50 now and I do worry about getting back out there. But there are many more options now we live in this digital world. Fingers crossed something will come up 🙂

      Like

  7. Well done to your son, that’s a fantastic achievement. And how lovely of him to share his prize with his sister. I’m a big fan of staying close to home. I’ve tried working in a city in a big law firm and it was horrible. I’m trying hard to be a freelance writer working from home now. CJ xx

    Like

    1. I think it’s because I’ve been at home for so many years that I occasionally feel a bit stir-crazy. The grass always seems greener… You write beautifully, CJ, so I’m confident you’ll be able to make a go of it.

      Like

  8. Blogging is good for the brain! (Well I think it is for mine..) I read that in Holland it is becoming popular for both parnters to work part time and share the childcare too – sounds like a nice solution if it can be managed.

    Like

    1. I often used to say to my husband that I wish we could share the work/home life. Unfortunately his earning power outstrips mine considerably, so economics wins out. It’s a lovely idea though.

      Like

  9. I work full time and it is hard – without even the prospect of furthering the career or having a job for more than a couple of years. Still, at the moment I am content. Kind off. Four years ago, I was at home with the children after being made redundant (as a result of adoption leave, a bitter experience). Then, I was angry and upset and I couldn’t handle the gift of time I had to day dream. I really like how you describe this role of yours, being a support for the family. Now, four years more mature, I think I could and should have taken this opportunity and turned my life around, escaped from the relentlessly turning wheel that was (is) my life. I long for a gentler pace more and more and have started to think about what to do when my next contract comes to an end. You see, no matter where we are in life, we always wonder what it might be like elsewhere. An ‘undemanding life’ is a blessing. Anyway, undemanding compared to what? Creating a happy house for your family, that is one of the most demanding jobs in the world. Not sure if I am making any sense? Anyway, it is lovely to visit you here today (and on any other day). Congratulations to the generous baker, what a star, particularly for sharing the £20.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for such a thoughtful comment Christina. You’re right, no matter where we are, we do always wonder… And yes, it can be demanding juggling everyone’s needs, etc. Good luck coming up with a good solution that’s right for you. x

      Like

  10. As someone who has had multiple incarnations of wildly different paths during life, the only advice I can give is to keep up the introspection. Think about what is right for you at this point in your life and make decisions accordingly. It seems those who are the most regretful as they age are those who just let life happen to them, without giving much thought as to options and possibilities. Also, it’s hard to satisfy varying needs all at once but over a lifetime you can focus on different needs at different times. But you knew all that … It looks like your seedlings (plants and children) are flourishing.

    Like

    1. Thank you so much Brenda. I do think about things a bit too much sometimes! A bit of perspective is a very good thing indeed but I’m sure I’ll continue to ponder 🙂

      Like

  11. It sounds as though you’re doing what suits you perfectly at the moment. I wish that the task of supporting the family and making everything run smoothly was more valued by society. Back in the 1990s when my children were young, it was the norm for mothers at our local village school to stay at home until the youngest child was well settled at school and then only to work part time. I know it would create massive problems, but sometimes I wish the price of houses would plummet so that parents could choose their working hours to suit their family life instead of working mainly to pay the mortgage or rent.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Crikey, that would stir things up. It’d certainly make decisions more evenly balanced within families. My husband has been the chief bread-winner because of the industry he’s in. If I could earn what he can, we’d both be working part-time. I’m sure he’d love that!

      Like

  12. My sentiments entirely. Nicely summed up quite a lot of people’s situation. Blogging is a bit of therapy, creativity, passion and sharing. What an example your son is? Congratualtions to him and you!

    Like

  13. I left work in 1995 and have never gone back. I find homemaking to be immensely satisfying and fulfilling. It is varied, creative and challenging. It allows me to plan my day exactly as I please (even more so now I have no school runs) so that I can easily fit in exercise, reading, gardening, knitting, taking photographs, blogging (occasionally nowadays) around my jobs of cooking, cleaning, washing, ironing, budgeting and grocery shopping. Bored? Never! Read Rhonda Hetzel’s brilliant blog Down To Earth for her inspiring posts about homemaking as a richly fulfilling occupation.

    Like

  14. You’re contemplating a very difficult question, and I hope you come to an answer that is satisfying for you. All I can say for myself is that I would retire tomorrow if that were an option. Regarding your kids: savor the detente while it lasts. When you say “sponge”, you mean sponge cake? Fabulous tulips you have – still waiting for mine to open (except for ‘Early Harvest’).

    Like

  15. I think the supporting role is the most important one, it’s like imagining a house with no foundations. I too wonder if I could me more than a supporting role, but I know the times I’ve worked full time hours I couldn’t juggle everything and it wasn’t working for us a family.
    Yes to more tulips. I need many more
    and congrats to the cake baker, both for the baking and the show of generosity x

    Like

  16. I think it is so worthwhile to devote your time to rearing happy, well- balanced children. I did the same and I don’ t regret it. I did an OU degree to keep the mind ticking over. Blogging fulfils the same function. It’ s fun and you get to chat to nice people who love gardening.
    And a girl can never have too many tulips.

    Like

  17. Oh what a soul searching post and honest comments from so many lovely bloggers, Sarah. As long as we have our niche and feel fulfilled it doesn’t matter whether we are at work or at home – so if there is a touch of fulfillment missing then keep an open mind and be aware of possibilities that might fill it in time. And if economics doesn’t come into it then there are so many options available. In the meantime, blogging can be satisfying on so many different levels as long as we are careful not to end up with it controlling our lives as I know from experience it can 😉

    Like

  18. It is always easy to think sometimes that grass is green on the other side of the fence. I am doing the opposite soon and stopping working . I have had days when I wonder if I have doing the right thing, I was reading a book the other day that made me feel better about my decision.It said that whichever route you take you will new opportunities that will take you in different directions. If you were working you probably wouldn’t have so much time for blogging, taking photos and creating and tendering your lovely garden. Sarah x

    Liked by 1 person

Please leave a comment if you'd like to. I love reading them. Making connections with people is the nicest part of blogging.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s