I see living simply as a series of adjustments. Much of what I'm doing now, I did before but in a different way, or with a different attitude. Shopping, housework, cooking, baking, gardening, knitting, and keeping chickens were all in my life before I started living more deliberately but now they're carried out with a more generous and caring heart and not just because I have to. Now my days have a rhythm of their own, I have no watch, I rarely look at the wall clock, the day and the season tell me whatever time I want to know about. I've adjusted to a gentler way where mostly, time doesn't mean much.
But every so often, like today, the summer solstice in Australia, I stop and actively think about time; the time I have, how I'll use it today and in the coming year. This year coming will be a busy. I have many things planned and the challenge for me is not to come up with fresh ideas and to change what I'm doing, but to balance work with recreation, and to slow myself enough to enjoy every hour of every day. If I don't do that, what's the point?
I have found I need to be much more organised living as I do. If we haven't thought to buy all the supplies we need, we have to rush out to get them at inconvenient times and those extra trips use more time and fuel. If we're not organised when sowing our seeds, there will be no fresh salads, no potatoes, no good juicy tomatoes, we'll have to buy what we need, and I see that as a step backwards. So today I'll take the time to organise my new diary. I'll write up all those things that will make the coming year easier for me because I'm organised and prepared. I'll write in dates I need to remember, important days when I should be at particular places, sowing days and sewing days, reminders to slow down, days out with Hanno and all my work enagements and deadlines. There is a lot to put into that diary.
One of the things I can tell you about now is that will be taking next week off. We have our Christmas morning breakfast and then the start of the Boxing Day test cricket match when I'll be sitting with my knitting and watching the entire day's play. The following day is the last You, me and the kitchen sink for the year and then we'll have a few days rest here when I won't post but give all my attention to Hanno and my home. When I come back I'm starting a simple living series when, for about a month, I'll write about the elements of a simple life as I see them, both practical and intellectual. Many of these topics have already been written about but there are so many new readers now I thought I'd write a brand new condensed series, day after day, and with fresh eyes. I hope new and older readers alike will find something in it. I expect it will serve me well to freshen my attitudes to what I do, to rethink how I work here, and to think about what is important and what isn't.
I hope you enjoy this solstice day. Do you use this as a planning day? If not, how do you mark the solstice?