A blue sky with wispy clouds is visible between green tree tops and a cream sun parasol

It’s just gone noon on Sunday.

Here in Winwick, it’s 28 degrees which makes it a hot day here (but perhaps not surprising given that I’m convinced we never get much snow here because Winwick is built on an undiscovered volcanic hotspot) and I’m sitting in the garden.  I’m organised in such a way that I won’t really have to move much – water bottle, laptop, phone, knitting; everything I think I’m going to need for the next few hours.  If I fancy a snooze in the warm air later, I’m going to do that.  I’m having a day off.

Oh, you might think that having my laptop and phone nearby isn’t actually having a day off at all, but I know that I’ll hear my phone ring if I leave it in the house and have to get up to get it, or I’ll want to look something up on the internet.  I’m from the generation who had to go to the library to look something up, hoping that the library actually had a book on it (in my case, it was a bike ride up a hill so I was always really glad when the library had the book I wanted!), so being able to ask pretty much any question I like from the comfort of my sun lounger is a novelty that I have never taken for granted.  I suspect that if I had had a search engine at my disposal as my girls have had, I probably wouldn’t have left my bedroom when I was their age at all!

I’m not very good at deliberately taking time off.  I’m pretty good at spontaneously deciding that I’ve had enough for the day and sitting down to knit because that’s what I like to do, but I’m not good – especially at the weekends – at sitting in the garden on a sunny day and enjoying listening to the birds and the rustle of the leaves in the breeze and breathing in the scent of the flowers.  We’ve got wood pigeons nesting in the garden and they coo to each other, their wings whistling as they fly between the trees.  The blackbirds have already started eating the berries from the Amelanchier lamarkii tree, bending the branches down almost to the ground as they reach for them.  There are magpies too, which make a rattling kind of call, and there are sparrows which chirrup happily on the roof.  I usually hear them in passing, recognising the noises but not taking a great deal of notice.  Today, I am listening to it all.

Earlier this week, I was chatting to my friend Lucy and she was telling me about the idea of a half-year review, listing all the things that you’ve done or achieved during the first six months of the year.  I’d probably said something like, “It’s July and I have no idea what I’ve done with the year!” and when she mentioned the idea, I really couldn’t think of anything that might go on the list!  But when I sat down and counted up all the blog posts, the Instagram posts, the sock commissions, the Winwick Mum Seasons yarn launch (that was February this year, how could I have forgotten?!), the Yarn Lane TV appearances, moving blog platforms and everything else I’ve been up to – wow, there’s so much more than I would have immediately thought – and that was just for Winwick Mum!  I haven’t got round to doing the same list for my other job, or for family things, and perhaps I should – or perhaps not, because then I would see how little time I actually spend just sitting in the sunshine having a day off!

So today is all about recharging my batteries.  I rushed around yesterday cutting the grass (don’t ask me why, it was far too hot for that!) but today I am enjoying the feel of it under my bare feet.  I am filling up my well-being tanks, putting on my own oxygen mask, making time for self-care, however you want to phrase it.  I enjoy being busy but sometimes your batteries just run out and the trick is to catch yourself before they do, because we are never our best selves when that happens.

Pass the sun cream, will you?

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32 Responses

  1. Geeha says:

    I keep a journal, summarise each month and list knitting and crochet project separately. I find it helps when I feel that I am a useless disabled pensioner. I can remember my busy days as a working mum so take your time in the sun, you’ve earned it

    • winwickmum says:

      It can be easy to get into that downward spiral, can’t it, although I am sure that you are never useless! I think what you’re doing is a really good idea, and I definitely found that I felt much better after writing up my list! xx

    • Ruth Thorne says:

      So true Geeha, and very organized of you to keep a journal and summarise monthly x

    • Elaine Allerton says:

      What hot weather for you!! We do get hot days in canada,,, we dont have air condtioning,,, either,,,,
      So fans are great!
      Hop it cools soon,,,
      Love ur new ,, blog ,,, format,,, and love ur hair!
      So pretty!

  2. Patricia King says:

    Thank you Christine just what I needed to hear today! My only priority is to finish the toe of my second sock in WYS Robin in your Supersocks pattern!

  3. Ruth Thorne says:

    You are right Christine, we all need a proper day off sometimes. The idea of a half year review is a good one, I think we can often put ourselves down and think we have achieved nothing (and compared to you I haven’t!) and I can definitely do with a bit of self belief.
    Enjoy your day off x

    • winwickmum says:

      I think you’d be surprised at how much you’ve done this half year – things like food shopping, getting outside or helping neighbours are all things that will go on my “general life” list and it’s amazing how quickly your list grows! xx

  4. Ruth Thorne says:

    So true Geeha, and very organized of you to keep a journal and summarise monthly x

  5. Lindsay says:

    I struggle with being kind to myself I’m afraid. I don’t seem to have achieved much at all considering I’m retired and at home all day. I was full of great ideas but time just seems to drift by. Perhaps I need a realistic’To Do’ list? I have a number (8, 9?) of barely started/definitely not finished projects but none of them grab me at the moment 🙄
    I will dig out a notebook and get started on that list!
    Have a lovely relaxing afternoon ☀️

    • winwickmum says:

      I think that if you sat down and wrote out each month as a heading, you’d be surprised at what you’d actually done. It doesn’t need to be anything big, just getting out of the house some days is an achievement! I’ve stopped using a “to-do” list this year and instead I have a list of things that I want to do or need doing, but I don’t pressure myself into getting the list ticked off every day. I’ve found that since I started doing that, I’ve actually got more things done – I suspect it’s down to my contrary nature as much as anything, but it makes me feel better! 🙂 xx

      • Lindsay says:

        Thank you! That’s a much better and more positive way isn’t it? I will definitely do that 💐Xx

  6. Helen says:

    It is wonderful you are recharging!! One of the more difficult things to do but very much needed. Enjoy your time

  7. Stephanie says:

    Lovely to read your blog. It is very warm here too. It does us all good to recharge our batteries now and again.

  8. Susan Rayner says:

    I hope you have enjoyed your much deserved day off to recharge! Sounds absolutely perfect. Too hot here to think even and no shade in the garden for my sunlounger – I don’t think we do hot weather very well in England!

  9. Margaret Woodcock says:

    Hi Christine, yes lovely to recharge your batteries my why is going fishing with hubby at least then I am outside and can enjoy the weather and watch nature as I sit and wait for a fish. So good to catch the new baby carp that have arrived and are getting nice and plump.
    I can also use my waiting time to carptch up with a few rows of knitting. Interesting your 6month review nice to hear all the things you have been up to so far this year. Still wary of coming out of lockdown I don’t think we have seen the last of this pandemic any way keep safe and be careful everyone. Xx😀😀

    • winwickmum says:

      I hope you had a very successful fishing trip! I agree, I think the virus is going to be with us for some considerable time left so I hope you stay safe too xx

  10. Betsy Grizzard says:

    Today’s sermon topic was on Mary & Martha and the title was It’s not all on you! Perfect timing for your post so after a few gotta do chores (cat boxes) I’m going to read, watch a baseball game and eat popcorn. Hey, Rev. McEntire said I could!

  11. ANN BONNER says:

    I have been sitting in the shade, but find it difficult just doing very little. Knitting just a few rows! I have been keeping a daily diary and will change colours each time I take to rest. We all need it? Enjoy.

  12. Lorna White says:

    I think now is the perfect time to grab some free vitamin D and fresh air, then just enjoy being. No radio, no internet, only nature with its birdsong and a little rustling of the popular leaves which sound like water flowing down the stream. We deserve it

  13. Geeha says:

    Thanks to everyone for positive comments. So refreshing when all you hear about is trolling!

  14. Eleanor MacLean says:

    What a great idea! I love your blog, it is so inspiring.

  15. Joan Myers says:

    I read somewhere that life is not a to do list and I think that sometimes it is good to remember that and sit and smell the roses.

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