I have some things I love doing when I’m all by myself and I know no one is watching or listening. These include but are not limited to:
- Listening to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on YouTube while writing this blog.
- Planning what I’d have said in various tricky situations with the benefit of hindsight and increased levels of not caring what other people think.
- Adding expensive things to shopping carts and marvelling at how much money I could spend if I was so inclined.
- Reading the blogs I know will make me roll my eyes for various reasons.
- Thinking about which fictional characters I could be best buddies with in real life.
Breakfast solo with a good book.
Using phrases from long deceased relatives, like ‘The right side of the house is out” on a rainy day.
Planning, organising and controlling, just like I learned about in my leaving certificate business course.
Discovering a writer for the first time and knowing there’s a lot more of her books to enjoy even though I’m very late to the party.
Knowing I have a week off work next month and pondering what to do about it.
Not everyone is a fan of the Irish leaving cert system. We have to study a range of subjects, not all of which we’d choose if we had the option, and there’s a lot of pressure during the two and a half weeks of frenzied exams where 17 and 18 year olds cram two years of learning into slots of intense writing.
One of the things I appreciate as an adult, however, was having to study poetry as part of the English curriculum. I’m not a great lover of poetry and never have been, but snatches of poems I studied in school come back to me at odd times. One in particular is a line from “Advent”, a poem by Patrick Kavanagh, which is is the title of this post. I don’t ‘do’ advent and it only struck me that this poem is apposite for the time of year when I looked it up.
It resonates with me whenever I feel the pressure of consumption weighing a little too heavily on me, in particular when I try to organise all the stuff in our house which feels like an ongoing process I’ll be doing forever. No matter how we limit what comes in and get rid of what’s here that shouldn’t be, it never ends.
Limiting our consumption has been really helpful though. Closing the chink of excess has helped me to enjoy a call from our local library telling me a book I requested weeks ago is finally available. I used to just click and buy without thinking whenever a book seemed interesting. Now I’m learning to wait and wonder what it will be like, and I find that process works so much better than getting it immediately.
The beast from the east is en route. Work is cancelled. Going outside the house is cancelled as of now. Thankfully we braved the cold for a bracing work this morning. I’m currently feeling very grateful for electricity, internet access, a working heating system and a list of jobs. We’ve decluttered one room and have more jobs for tomorrow, as there’s not a whole lot else we can do.
Fighting the clutter is a constant battle. Another box of stuff which once seemed important is destined for people who might appreciate it more than we do. It’s kind of nice to have a day where you have to stay inside and you’ve time to think about and do things you’ve had on the long finger.
Tomorrow, my books will get a going over, prompted by the discovery of a library book I renewed because I couldn’t find it the last time I went to the local library. I’ve books to finish and old favourites to revisit. I just hope the heating holds out.
Fresh bedlinen and a clear bedside table.
New books waiting to be collected at the library.
Only a couple of weeks to go before a full week off work.
A reorganised attic with a place for everything.
The local swimming pool reopening and resuming our weekly hour in the water.
A slight reprieve during a long work week.
It’s finally February!
A new Leap card which I registered so at least if I lose it I don’t lose my money.
Enjoying books ordered from the library.
Holiday planning. I really do think it’s one of the best parts.
Now we booked our summer holiday, I’m once again looking forward to the planning which, as I’ve said frequently, is sometimes the best part of any holiday for me. This will be our fourth time going on the same sort of break and now we’re really into our stride.
While I like surprises (like coming home on a brand new ferry!) I also like the comfort of knowing which amazing cafe to stop off at for a healthy lunch and nice coffee before we get onto the ferry, which supermarket to call into on our way to the campsite and getting a text message from the couriers on site the day before letting us know we’re expected.
One of the best things about our holidays has been that we enjoy a taste of them every single week when we open a bottle of wine. We’ve never been disappointed by a bottle and we’ve found some truly delicious wines for bargain prices. It’s nice knowing that as we plan, we’re enjoying the holidays of years gone by.