Tuesday, 3 January 2012

New Year. New thoughts.

Christmas has, once more, come and gone in a twinkling. For me, it’s been a very enjoyable time with family, feeding our souls as well as our faces. With Paul being at home for almost 3 weeks, we’ve also been able to get long-standing jobs in the house done, too. Of course, one cannot get everything done. We have a former loo, now cleaning materials storage room halfway between the ground and first floor. The handle falls off the door with sickening monotony mostly because the spindle isn’t long enough. This was top of the jobs for Paul to sort out. Is it sorted? No.

But that’s like life, isn’t it? When I lived in the city, I formed a group of close friends and we all met one afternoon a week to do our cross-stitch embroidery and put the world to rights. Being enthusiastic stitchers, we went to all the exhibitions around the UK collecting cross-stitch kits that we couldn’t live without. The joke was that we would have to live to 100 just to get the ones in our collections finished. Then we decided that we must go through our kits and be really ruthless about weeding them out. The ones we didn’t think we would get round to were to go to the local charity shop. One of my friends counted how many kits she had - 58. She went through them, stringently according to her, and managed to put 3 aside. Sadly, a year later, she died of a sudden heart attack and there were still 52 untouched, unopened, kits in her stash.

There are so many things we want to achieve before we go to the great embroidery circle in the sky. And for all of us, the danger is that we start to concentrate on doing instead of being. We complain that the world is moving faster and faster and we can’t keep up. But, when you look at it in a clinical manner, for those who work a 40 hour week and sleep 8 hours each night, that still leaves us 72 hours unaccounted for. Three days in every week when our time is our own, not driven by an employer. Time to do what feeds our spirits and balances us.

Modern mantras tell us we can have it all, so long as we manage our time effectively. But effectively for what? Certainly not for us as living entities with emotional needs. We have to accept that we will die with a long list of things not done and that is nothing to be worried about. It is simply the nature of existence. So my resolution for 2012 is to bring balance back into my life, to enjoy the sun when it decides to put in an appearance, smell the roses, go and gaze at the sea for a while on a regular basis and do the things that make life a happier place to inhabit.

Sometimes it’s a good idea to remember that we are human beings, not human doings.


  1. An excellent post, Avril. I'm determined to feed the soul more this year. It's too easy to fret about getting things done all the time. We're all busy, busy, busy. We must remember to smell the roses!

  2. It's always about balance. Somebody once told me that steering a yacht is really a question of pulling the boat back on course not of steering it onto one. A subtle difference that i had not appreciated.