Way Back When

Whether it’s a helpful habit (or more likely not) I tend to put a show on in the background when I do planning stuff. Not writing, but when I’m doing meal plans, washing dishes, and homeschool stuff, I put something on. Often it’s every season of the Great British Baking Show on repeat, but I also enjoy The Grand Tour, and then I like to sprinkle in various British contests I watch on HBO Max. Like “All that Glitters” or “The Great Pottery Throwdown”.

Today, as I was planning out home school stuff and wondering how on earth I was ever going to schedule some field trips when the weather here is constantly asking Mother Nature to hold its beer, I put on a new show. “Clarkson’s Farm” because in all honestly, not only do I enjoy “The Grand Tour” but I enjoy Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May and keep up with whatever they put out. While “The Great Escapists” was delightful nonsense I have no plan to re-watch, “Clarkson’s Farm” has hit a note in me that has rang so deep and loud that I am now here, writing about it.

Not only do I delightfully get to watch baby lambs being born, but I was reminded of when the pandemic began, and what that looked like. I know it was a horrid global pandemic that has now killed 4 million humans and I don’t long for that to be back in any way, shape, or form. No. What I miss, though, was that for a few months, for almost a year, really, the societal expectations of me shifted. I wasn’t expected to be running around with my head cut off getting groceries and planning trips and running errands and visiting friends and going to play dates etc. I was expected to be at home and to be happy about it.

And I was.

I could *breathe*. And as of late, I have found myself once again going way too fucking fast. I am out of breath, constantly. Not because I am literally running, no, in fact I wish I was in better shape. Rather, I find myself so stressed out I am actually holding my breath to try and slow down.

The kids and I are going out almost every day. Just for this quick or that quick. Run errands here and there. Grab this. Do that. And suddenly the day is gone, and I’m completely wiped. There went the week. The month. The time slips through my fingers and I cannot seem to get enough sleep to make up for it.

And I feel an ache for when we did not. When I did not run to the store if I forgot something, but made do and waited. When days at home were filled with everything we had already being enough. When going out was planned and we did it consciously and effectively. And being home was the *norm*.

I have too easily been led away from that peace. Too easily pulled back into the stream of never ending needs that aren’t actually needs at all. No. No. I’ve had enough now.

I’ve had enough of the running. Of the constant pull. That’s not what I want my life to look like, or what I want my kids’ lives to look like. I’m not going on lockdown again, by any means. One kid is signed up for soccer this autumn and the other is to start gynamstics. We have home school meet ups once a week, plus field trips. But I am going to be more intentional. On days we are out, we can run errands. So that every day is not an out day. Instead, they can be limited. And we can truly rest and not let our time be stolen by pointless comings and goings. We can spend time with ourselves and each other because shockingly, I like us. I like our home.

Magic starts here, at home, with me. So I’m bringing back the magic that was the “permission” to be contented at home. But this time, without a global pandemic and without anyone’s permission. I mean, I’m a witch. If I wanted permission, I’d go to church.

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