balance.

It’s crazy that the girls have less than two weeks left until they’re back at school.  If anyone asked I’d say I’d just got back from Soul Survivor, but in fact we’ve been back for over three weeks.  The summer holidays have FLOWN over.

Ruby had her fifth birthday last week and we took her and her sister to Manchester to pick out a new outfit for their Build-a-bear teddies (the cashier stood Roo on the counter, stopped everyone in the store to sing happy birthday to her.  Personally I would have died of horror but she took it in her stride as though she were the queen) and to climb another 12m climbing wall.  Both girls climbed for the first time in July at a camp with ‘the big kids’ and were desperate to do it again.

 

FYI, it is really tough finding places that will let Ruby climb.  So I was over the moon when I saw that Chill Factore let them climb from age five.

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They both had a mental block 2/3 of the way up but pushed on through to the top.  Stubborn, like their mother.

Now that the weather is being as indecisive as I am, I’m ready for autumn.  I’m ready to wrestle myself into skinny Jeans.  I’m ready to wear boots again.  I’m ready for knowing it will be cooler.  I’m not ready for the countdown to Christmas which I caught on twitter yesterday – no.  Not in August.  Cooler autumnal days yes, Christmas, no.

There are loads of exciting things coming up over the next sixth months with work/church that I’m chomping at the bit to get going on, but I know there’s the risk of imbalance.  Of getting home, particularly when the dark evenings draw in, and crashing until bed time (unless it’s already bed time when I get home).  There’s a risk of being all work and no ‘home’.  I can’t say all work and no play because most of my ‘job’ feels like play because I love doing what I do.  But I do need to ‘do’ home too.  Family, friends, laughter, downtime, adventure.

I’ve written before about being intentional with our time.  Making it count.  That’s what got me started on my challenge -30.  And so in this next season I’m conscious again of the need to be intentional at home, to dream and then pursue those dreams no matter how trivial or outlandish they may be (I think it’s good to have both types of dreams).  And it’s ok if those dreams are meaningless or maybe even nonsensical to others.  I’m pretty sure no one else would get why I’m super excited to start a compost bin.  And I’m ok with that.  It’s my (albeit little) dream, I own it, so I can own the excitement too.  🙂

Sidenote: Regardless of how unimpressed or indifferent you are to my compost-bin-to-be, that won’t stop me from blogging all about it in all it’s worm infested glory.

It’s funny how, when you have babies, you fantasize about all the time you will have to yourself when they get older.  But you forget the minute detail that at least babies sleep for intervals through day.  Older Children don’t.  I used to get a blog post rolled out during a half hour nap AND have time left over to go to the loo.  I had it down.  And then these sleeping beauties….stopped sleeping.  During the day that is.  I have to be fair, they’re awesome at sleeping at night.  But during the day, they’re awake, like all the time.  While I love my girls so very very dearly and genuinely enjoy their company, over the summer I juggle my job and these two non-day-sleeping beauties.  So there have been a great many times that they have had my undivided attention, but a also a load of times that I have really needed to sit and concentrate.  I keep expecting them to just decide to take themselves off a read a good book, or do a cross word, maybe ask their sister for a quiet games of chess or something.  But no, most of the time it will be gymnastics.  On my lap.  So today is a typical day with non-napping kids, and it’s taken four sittings to write these ramblings.

I’m sure when they’re teenagers life will be a doddle…Ha.

so did I mention I’m starting a compost bin?

Intentions.

Sometimes you’ve got to slow right down and simplify to notice something.  This week we’ve been able to slow down and simplify big style.  Our default setting of autopilot was shut down at the door and everything became intentional.  Wensleydale hasn’t gone digital yet so to watch any sky channels we had to log onto our laptops and sign into Sky Go.  This has been great for the girls to have an hour’s downtime on the sofa but meant that for the first time in our family’s history (shocking I know) we’ve not had background TV on.  TV is a funny old thing.  I don’t have a problem with it at all.  In fact I quite love it.  Sometimes all we need is to collapse in front of the Box and be idle for a while.  But that’s the thing – it makes active people idle, unless you count ironing because that is something you can do while your watching the TV.  Or running on a treadmill, you can do that too I guess but I don’t.  On the whole when we watch TV we generally become physically and mentally disconnected from reality.  So this week I have felt very much reconnected, so much so that I know I need to be more intentional of my time from now on.

 

I reckon the killer of many great ideas is busyness.  We mean to do this or we mean to do that, but we just didn’t get around to it and we just ran out of time.  It just falls off the radar.  And this is why we need to be actively intentional, carrying through with good idea on purpose.  We live in a culture of speed and convenience.  Everyone is always rushing.  Maybe we’re trying to do too much that we’re getting too tired that we don’t end up doing nearly enough as we wanted.  I tease The Husband because so often he walks through the front door and before he says hello he’s looking at his watch and telling me what time he has to be somewhere else.

 

A guy called Robert A Heinlein warned us to “not handicap your children by making their lives easy”.  When I first read this I thought it was just another old-schooler trying to take us back to Victorian parenting.  Don’t cuddle them or they’ll be grow to be spoiled, leave their pram out in the garden or they’ll grow to be demanding etc.  Bear with me (Bear? Bare? I always forget!) I’ll come back to this.

I’ve noticed recently that Ruby struggles with a couple of things that I’m sure Chloe was fine with at Ruby’s age.  It’s not that Chloe’s more clever.  When a second child comes along everything becomes more rushed because there is double the mess and, well pretty much double everything.  So when you’re rushing out the door you fasten their coats because it’s quicker than waiting for them to fumble with the toggles themselves.  You make decisions for them because otherwise you know you’ll still be waiting there long after you should have been on your way.  Earlier this week Ruby wanted me to fasten the button on her jeans.  Because we weren’t rushing anywhere and my mind wasn’t on a million other things I sat down and explained to her that if I kept fastening her button for her she’d never learn to do it herself.  Immediately I thought of Robert A Heinlein’s words.  Ok, maybe there was just a little bit of sense somewhere in there.  So while we’ve been away we’ve tried to hold back from doing things for the girls.  Such a simple thing that reaps so much growth.  We watched as the girls chose and asked for their own ice creams and we waited while Chloe chose which two gems to get from the Gem Shop (it would have been sooooooo easy to just back down and say she could have the three that she was looking at but I’m totally glad I didn’t).  We’re gonna have to be intentional in raising these girls if we want them to grow up to be the awesome world-changing women they have the capacity to become.

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