“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.”
― Marcus Tullius Cicero
A short highlight reel of the little things that have brought me moments of joy this week:
1.) Time to do my morning pages.
Joel gave me the gift of time this weekend. (A Mother’s dream). I had pretty much all of Saturday to do whatever I pleased. Tempted as I was to stay in bed all day, after a short work out I headed to the library, sat down with my journal and did my morning pages. (As instructed by Julia Cameron in her brilliant book: The Artist’s Way.) Three A4 pages later, I left the library with the kind of clear mind I thought was no longer achievable after months of broken sleep. It was hugely gratifying.
2.) How to Fail by Elizabeth Day
Reading is one of my favourite things in the world. If I could, I’d probably stay at home all weekend most weekends, alone, and just read. I might see a friend briefly, but then I’d want to crawl back into my little nook, and get back to my book. My books are my comfort and I don’t go anywhere without one in my bag.
I get through books incredibly slowly these days. Reading requires concentration, and often by the end of the day when I actually get a chance to read, I don’t have much. I will attempt to steal moments to read during the day, when I’m a little more awake, but mostly get interrupted by the children.
It may take a month or two, sometimes more, but if I love a book enough I will eventually get through it. I’m currently devouring How to Fail, the gorgeous part memoir, part manifesto by Elizabeth Day, the author, journalist and podcast host. (I’ve also devoured half her podcast episodes, turning to them for comfort during particularly depressing days at work a couple of years ago.)
As part of my day off mothering duties, I took myself to my parents to paint. If I don’t feel like writing or reading, painting is my go-to. I love experimenting with colours and see what I can come up with.
4.) Acquiring new art
I am obsessed with our walls. Or rather, the embellishing of them. We currently have two gallery walls, one with photos in the dining area, one with art in the living room. Neither are finished, both bring me joy just looking at them. (And remembering what they looked like when we first arrived..)
We recently found ourselves in the Tate Modern gift shop, staring at a selection of posters… affordable ones. Joel and I rarely agree on art, so it was a pleasant surprise to find we both liked this one, The Colours of London:
5.) Bedroom dancing
As with most other fun activities we take for granted before having children, I rarely get to do this anymore. I’ve been bedroom dancing since before I can remember, mostly when getting ready in the morning or whenever I found myself alone in the evenings. Now, with two children, getting ready is fifteen minutes child-free if I’m lucky and evening time sort of has to be kept quiet as the children are asleep. Any bedroom dancing would have to be scheduled, and it’s not really the sort of thing that you plan, it’s a spontaneous thing, it just happens. And when it does, its the best.