No man is an island but this woman felt like one a few weeks ago.
Our summer was notably different this year. We entered it with the expectation that potential customers would be off on their jollies and taking a well-earned break. It’s what happened last year so this year we braced ourselves for a financial drought and opportunity to put our feet up, taking the ying with the yang in equal measure.
The reality is that our feet haven’t left the floor. A sudden influx of new business and exciting projects has kept us very much preoccupied during the summer meaning that any downtime has been planned and, most importantly, treasured.
Summer passed at speed. It was enjoyable. The balls were being juggled, the plates were spinning, the monkeys were monkeying around… the whole circus act was functioning as it should.
In fact we spun into Autumn at such a rate, the whole family adapting to a new routine as the oldest of the bug hunters started school. But we were doing it and we were doing it with flare.
Until one dark day in September….
We should have seen it coming. It started with the decision to buy Strepsils for a ‘scratchy throat’. I noticed it escalate when the scarf came out and there was talk of a cold that ‘wasn’t really starting’. And then it pounced - tonsillitis and one very poorly business partner who was only good for amusing conversations as he entered into his own fevered delirium.
As he pieced himself together it struck again and the littlest bug hunter was sent home from nursery with the same affliction. The oldest and the youngest in the house were feeling particularly sorry for themselves, and meanwhile our school goer was finding his feet, preoccupied/shell-shocked by his own new adventure.
Finally, on the Friday, the last man fell. *Bryn broke a nail. Ok, it’s a little more serious in the dog world and meant a trip to the vet where we then had to face a typically jaw-dropping vets bill but enough was enough.
Everyone in the house had to down tools bar me and I was feeling the pressure.
That was until I reminded myself that we run the show when it comes to Freshspace. That we dictate the pace of our lives because that’s what suits us. Where in the past I felt I barely had the time to take a day off and look after a poorly little one, I now do.
And with that I found my own smile again. I laid down the law about what work could wait and with great force finally got Darren to relax (the irony of it all but it meant I got to take time out to read my book too). I took the time that I choose to have to listen about whatever needed to be talked about, whether it was school or a topic as far away from possible as school such as the dwarves who live in the centre of the earth. I learned from his actions rather than his croaky speech that the littlest needed a blanket over him (carefully placed by me) and his pillow on the couch with very little interruption.
In fact I learned that all three of them benefited from the same - downtime on the couch with some of the people that make them feel at their happiest.
Everyone is of course back to normal now and life has returned to normal except for one thing. In the biz of the summer which was a lot about work, planning dates and fitting in time with family and friends, I forgot a little about the small stuff. About the two minutes it can take to focus on what is actually more important than work. Whether it’s looking at that dinosaur book, or discussing the spectrum of cats hiding in boxes, or just taking 30 minutes out together for coffee. However well the four of us perform in our daily routine those unplanned moments of fun and conversation can always be made time for. We’re no longer going at max speed, but taking it a little slower where we can and always where we need to.
* To reassure you Bryn still has his claw and has successfully dragged out his recovery phase longer than everyone else in the house combined.