On Sunday my lovely mother send me a text saying: “Where’s your weekly reflection???”
So, for her and anyone else who has come to enjoy these processing thoughts here we go.
To be honest the weekly reflection last week would have been a slightly miserable affair. I haven’t been in the best of places mentally or physically over the last couple of weeks. Today the sun is shining and I am drunk on endorphins and the blissful peace of an hours walk on the downs. Today everything feels ok again. Last week, not so much.
On one level we had a delightful half term, friends came to stay and I felt like we were all on holiday together in our house. We did fun things, saw other friends and generally enjoyed being able to drink tea together in person. Later in the week the boys and I hung out, enjoyed sunshine in the park with friends, went to the theatre and saw a rather surreal play about a boy and a penguin, we scooted around the block in the sunshine and generally loved being with each other. The husbandface and I also managed a couple of evenings with friends playing Settlers and rejoicing in being able to be sociable again.
On a whole other level I could feel my body complaining at the pace, at the full on world of Son2 who was going through a whole heap of insanity in the first half of the week. I could feel the exhaustion, which had started the week before, weighing down my soul like a thick heavy blanket. It was hard to breathe. On the gloriously sunny Saturday last weekend I went for a run and hit the wall. I staggered around my normal route and then spent the afternoon in bed, occasionally wandering downstairs and crying a bit. Wonderfully husbandface is well enough to deal with exhausted crying Kath again (which, lets face it is probably why I sank so hard, another stage of my body believing we are in a new world). Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week I took things slow again. Me and the smallest watched all the TV in the world on Monday and sat doing puzzles as we edged towards bedtime.
The next few days were also full of slow, of letting my body rest and riding out the storm. I think I probably had some kind of virus as I haven’t felt that bad physically for a while. The black dog lurked and did it’s best to make me believe all was hopeless. I sat with my tangled thoughts in my counsellors room and was at least able to acknowledge that soon the sun would come out. I spent two days staring longingly at camper vans on the internet and wishing this now away.
Who knows, maybe it was the perfect storm of February blues, which I have every year, the exhaustion of the last couple of years catching up with me again, the adjustment to this new world still taking place in my head and a virus.
Whatever it was I am still here. The sun did come out.
I am incredibly grateful to friends who have sent gifts, messages of love or arrived on my doorstep with cookies and meals. I feel very loved and taken care of right now. I am grateful.
My counsellor is always asking me to figure out what I need. I find it incredibly hard to work that out most of the time. However. Yesterday I dragged my head back to now, to the today I have rather than the mythical future I don’t have, which seems to require money to enjoy well. I started to realise that I need to plan in fun and also make the most of where we are in life right now. We can’t do some stuff that I want to do (pretty glamping and camper van fun) BUT we can enjoy the amazing gifts we have been given.
I went for a walk on the Downs in the sunny sunshine this morning because my soul functions so much better outdoors. It was good to remember that. It was good to remember that the key to most of life is gratitude. Gratitude brings me into the NOW, being thankful brings me to the present because I am thankful for things right now. I know this thankfulness helping isn’t a new thought but I’m thankful (ha) that I have been reminded of it again.
Thankfulness brings me to the now and brings me to the One I am thankful to. As I walked for an hour or so up and down hills I got drunk on the beauty around me, the quiet stillness walking brings and the wonder of the Maker of all this eternal beauty knowing me.
Getting outdoors is always what I need. Money isn’t needed to get outside. I’ve realised I can look at our year ahead in discontent at a perceived lack or I can embrace what we do have. We have bodies, a wonderful gift of an economical car which is fun to drive, a box of camping cooking equipment and a picnic blanket. We can have thrifty outdoor adventures. We don’t need much more right now. The boys are at an age where small walks are possible. I have 15 hours a week where I can satisfy my desire for bigger hikes. We can get creative with food and ideas of where to explore. We have the South Downs national park on our doorstep. There is no shortage of fun and joy to be had out there.
So there you go. A rather rambling reflection on these last two weeks. They’ve been fun, they’ve been super hard, they have been full of being looked after and experiencing grace.
Right now I am thankful.
Ask me if you see me around what I’m thankful for today.
It really helps.