Checking the foundations

It’s one of those weeks where the diary is full and there are lots of people to meet with and conversations to be had and thinking to be done. The meetings are later in the evening than I love, the work days involve travelling a fair amount.

So today I am checking in on the foundations. I am considering blackout blinds, because the earlier sunrise is waking me slightly earlier than I want. But in the meantime, my new found habit of not drinking caffeine after noon and my Lenten avoidance of alcohol are ensuring I am sleeping well for the hours I am in bed. I am also trying to wind down at the end of the day doing some light journalling and reading before bed to switch off, even when the meetings finish late.

Exercise has been a bit harder to fit in, but I have done some yoga and a run so far this week. Even the days without yoga and running have had good walks in the sunshine. And the sunshine has really really helped.

Food has been great thanks to planning the week’s menu and deciding who is cooking each evening (I have got off very lightly on that this week). That said, I need to stop writing and go and make some lunch to take with me today!

I have had time every day to catch up with family and have grabbed coffee with friends. All the Scout meetings have been interesting and full of lovely, supportive people. And we are not quite half way through the week.

The second half of the week – that is after 6pm on Thursday – has no work (I have Friday off) , no volunteer meetings and lots of fun planned. I will definitely have plenty of time to be quiet, reflective and prayerful and to play the piano and spend some time being creative. The balance of life is not within every hour or every day, but over the weeks and months.

Reviewing the year

At some point on New Year’s Eve every year I try to mentally recap the year, trying to evaluate whether it’s been good or bad. The reality is always that it has been both, with the balance changing year on year.

This year the only difference is that I am going to try and review the year more gently over the next week or so and in writing via this blog, but also privately. Some of the downs have been rather big, but involving loved ones who may not want their business discussed in my blog.

My theme for the year was ‘slower’ as I tried to become a bit more reflective, a bit more considered and intentional about life. Has that happened? No, not entirely. I am still too keen to fill pauses in conversations, to get my opinion heard loudly and quickly. But at the same time I have been better at carving out quiet time for myself, I am much more comfortable with my own company and with silence around me.

The one habit that has really exemplified that comfort with more introspection is this blog. This is my quiet and reflective time first thing in the morning. This is my soothing examination of the contents of my brain – well some of them. It’s not perfect, but it is a habit I have returned to throughout the year and I really enjoy it. Heartfelt thanks to anyone who comments, or hits ‘like’, it does feel nice knowing someone is reading.

More reflections on the year to come.