Yesterday, I marvelled at the sunflowers blooming in our garden. They’d taken their time to open up but, were worth waiting for; summer’s last hurrah. Later, walking through the park, I saw the first conkers on the ground; the irregular spheres of polished chestnut gleaming in the sunlight reminded me that Autumn, my favourite season, is now on it’s way. The dichotomy wasn’t lost on me. I feel life is at a gentle crossover point right now. We are almost at the end of one phase and focusing on the beginning of the next; the return to school, the autumn season, the busyness and hustle and bustle of life in the run up to Christmas.
Today, the 1st September, I am full of good intentions, brimming with enthusiasm, looking forward to getting back into a routine after my carefree approach during the summer holidays. There is much I want to do; and much as I will miss Pip when he returns to school on Thursday, I can’t wait to get started on new projects and plans. Experience has taught me that it is better to put my own projects to one side for the summer holidays; I find I get frustrated when I can’t get on with things. Better to give myself up selflessly and wholeheartedly to the kids, instead letting my thoughts ferment and develop here and there. I find, that by the end of the summer, usually ideas have developed to the point that I am itching to get started.
I am writing my goals down here in the hope that committing them to virtual paper increases my chances of successfully implementing them. (It must be said, I let myself off the hook far too easily.)
Limit the wine consumption
I have drunk far too much this summer. Not particularly in vast quantities, but just with increasing regularity - a glass of wine or two each night. Most nights. Sometimes for weeks without a break. I love nothing more than a glass of wine with my dinner at night, at the end of a long day it feels like a reward. Yet, it makes me lethargic, it is the enemy of getting things done - and for me, the hours between 9 and 11pm ( I tend to eat at 8.30pm) are valuable time when I could be working on projects; or writing; a hobby I love but find little time for.
Goal: To drink wine no more than 3 nights per week. (This is realistic as it allows me to enjoy the various parties and calendar commitments we have in the diary - but also gives me the opportunity 4 nights of the week to do more than crash on the sofa at 9pm.)
I feel sluggish, like something is clogging up inside me and needs to be blown away. Since having my second child I have found it hard to find the time to exercise but with EB now attending nursery two mornings a week I have some time to do this. I am all too aware that as I hover on the cusp of 40 that I can’t rely on the fast metabolism I’ve been blessed with to keep me slim forever. We have recently bought a cross trainer and an exercise bike. All I need to do now is remove my bottom from the sofa and start using them.
Goal: Use the home gym twice a week.
Start writing (more)
For as long as I can remember, it has been my dream to write a novel. I have started a couple of novels previously, but 10,000 words in they have both been abandoned in a file on the desktop. Life gets busy, I end up prioritising other things...or I drink wine ( the enemy of my creativity - hence goal one.) A while ago I said to my mother, “ I’m going to have finished the first draft of my novel by the time I’m 40.” That gives me 7 months. It’s time to stop procrastinating and start writing.
Different approaches work for different people. I have been following the writing journey of Maddie at Writing Bubble, another busy mum with 3 small boys. It makes for inspiring reading. I like her idea of setting word goals for each week /month. I think this could work for me so this is going to be my approach for September.
Goal: Write 6000 words in September. Attend the workshop on ‘Writing a Novel’ at the local book festival.
Tickling our taste buds
Years ago (pre-children) it was not uncommon for me to spend my whole day thinking about what I would cook for our evening meal. I would think nothing of coming home from work and spending two hours preparing a gastronomic feast. Not so these days. We have fallen into a quick and easy recipe rut. Not that there is anything wrong with that, it’s just our repertoire of meals has become rather limited and dare I say, boring. Responsibility for this lies firmly at my door as I’m the one that buys the ingredients. Colourful, wholesome food is what I want us eating more of and as autumn approaches one pot dishes and root vegetables come into play it shouldn’t be that difficult.
Goal: Cook one new recipe per week. (Starting tonight with Spanish Chicken Casserole.)
It is tempting to set myself more goals for this month, there are so many other projects I’d like to attempt; sorting out the interiors for the front room and our bedroom, sorting out the front garden (currently a dust bowl), revamping and refreshing my blog. But this is enough for now - small steps. The rest can ferment until October.
How are you feeling about September? Are you marching into Autumn with energy or sad to say goodbye to the summer?