Suddenly, winter seems to be upon us and harsh winds and pouring rain make it difficult to get outside. But the coming of winter of brings with it a wonderful opportunity for reflection and healing, a chance to slow life down and make sense of the long days of summer.

This year has been such a rollercoaster ride for me – elation, at having finally bought our new home; fear, of having made the wrong decision for our family; anger, at myself for not being better able to juggle being mum, homeschooling, house renovations, basketry, making our garden, blog, Patreon, Instagram etc etc etc; and then full circle, back to joy that we have found this place and are living this funny little life together.

Life has its challenges for sure. So how do we sail through those challenges, and bring a sense of calm to our daily lives?

I used to feel that I wanted to make every day magical for my children, but of course, every day can’t be magical. What I am realising, what our life here and the changes we have made are helping me to realise, is that what is far more important, is a feeling of contentment. Contentment with what we have now, not just finding positivity in our plans for the future, but in the life we are living right now – today. 

 

orkney-skies
winter-in-orkney

Blue sky days or moody winter skies? I find beauty in them both.

Life, I am finding, is just the same. I have noticed this change in our children too and remember that, that is a part of why we chose to live in this old house, that needs time and care and sits surrounded by farmland and sea. We wanted to find a different way of living, we wanted them to see it and be able to make an informed choice for themselves, when they go out into the world to live their own lives.

There is a richness and sense of grounding that comes with a life without all the conveniences. Remembering that you don’t need all of the trappings of modern life to find happiness in the everyday.

Our oldest children are adults now, still at home for the moment, but I know it won’t be for long. Already I see them brushing off life’s challenges and starting to carve out a life for themselves. That in itself brings me joy.

a-contented-life
a-happy-life

And our younger children? Ah well, children are a gift. If ever there was a lesson in how to find joy in the every day, it is by looking through the eyes of a child.

Breathless with the excitement of chasing waves; giddy with the pleasure of cleaning out a mixing bowl, on baking days; so excited to show everyone a sparkly stone or beautiful feather, found on their walk.

Simple pleasures. I have been home educating my children for 16 years, but I think they have been the real teachers. We have so much to learn from our children.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the need to be pushing forward, to improve things, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of appreciating what we have now. It isn’t easy to stay in the moment, there are after all, lots of jobs that need doing, but I want to take the slight pause that winter brings and use it to reset; to remember to make each day count, because this life that I’m living is a good one and I am grateful for it.