The continuing cold weather is impacting our normally active household. Low temperatures and biting winds make the warmth of the house with all it’s modern, electronic entertainments so much more appealing than venturing outside. We are like hibernating bears in our cave, peeking out from time to time to see if the winter snow has gone, then curling up by the fire to await the arrival of spring. I am in two minds as to whether this period of rest is beneficial or time wasted.
Modern life can be so hectic as we try to meet the demands and fulfil the desires of those around us whilst pursuing our own interests and ambitions. It is important to allow ourselves periods of rest and inactivity but I find that too much sloth makes me sluggish and can bring me down. I need to keep myself active to avoid the mood drops.
It can be hard to avoid trying to make the others in my household conform to what works for me. My children have all the pressures of school work, assessments and exams to deal with alongside the angst of the teenage years. I am torn between giving them the space to use their free time as they choose and trying to encourage a little socialisation and contribution to the family. Increasingly they are forming a unit amongst themselves that does not include their parents. I guess this is a natural progression but makes me feel so old!
Having my husband home for the long, holiday weekend forced me to make a little bit more of an effort than I do when it is just me and the kids. The house got properly tidied, we had family round for a meal and I joined my husband at the gym for a workout. I was trying to fit in with what I thought he would want to see happening; it is hard to know if I picked up on this correctly or not. He has returned to work with a nasty cold so cannot be expected to exude cheer.
I am trying to avoid living my life as I think others want me to. Now that my children are older this is no longer necessary and it gives them the wrong message. Young children need a constant carer who can teach by example so playing the part well is necessary. Teenagers, on the other hand, need to learn that adults do not exist purely for their convenience. I am more than happy to offer them whatever support they need but I do not intend to let them walk all over me. I do still feel the need to encourage them to live mindfully. They probably see my suggestions as nagging; it can be tricky to get the balance right between remaining interested and involved without stifling them.
I like to be around when my children are off school even if I am not required. In the busy routine of our term time lives it can be hard to relax with them so the holidays offer us a chance to randomly chat and do small things together. It also gives me an excuse to put my feet up more often than I normally would as they pursue their own interests. Whilst I may get to the end of a day and feel that I have achieved little I do believe that this should not always be required. So much of our time is spent preparing for the future, be it earning money that we can then choose to spend to improve our lives, working for exams that will open doors to a better life or working out to keep our bodies in better working order. Alongside these important tasks we should not be forgetting to simply enjoy living. However we choose to fill our down time, if we are enjoying what we do then the time is not wasted.
Perhaps it simply feels wrong to be spending such a long holiday doing so little because in previous years the Easter break has offered weather warm enough to enjoy spending extended periods of time outside. This year it has not been possible to even wrap up against the biting cold and enjoy a walk; the weather is just too unpleasant.
For now we will continue to hibernate and try to simply enjoy each others company. The children may be frustrated by the need to stay indoors but a little time to relax should enable us to recharge our batteries and reconnect with each other. The return to routine will come too soon; the warmer weather cannot arrive soon enough.