The summer slow down has hit us early. When I say us, I mean me. The kids are still beavering away on their home-based school work, putting in the hours on their assignments and projects via Google Classroom.
I, however, am ready for Summer holiday mode.
Lockdown has been an odd mix of incredibly busy – working part time, running a business, schooling the kids – and fairly chilled – hot weather, no alarm clocks, no rushing to after school club obligations. So I think that this year, the annual Summer slow down might be more of a gentle applying of the brakes rather than a complete stop. And apparently, I’m starting now.
The Happy Chair Co always tends to slow down a little bit over the summer – partly because people mostly want to buy furniture in Spring and Autumn (we are all animals, feathering our nests) and partly because with three young (although increasingly independent) people home all day every day, production time is, ahem, limited. Plus we need time to drink ginger beer and eat cake and pickled eggs, Famous Five style, while I’m still allowed to hang out with the young people.
So, I am remembering what I said last summer – embrace it. Embrace the slow movement -which doesn’t necessarily mean doing things slowly, but doing them wholeheartedly – if you’re having lunch, enjoy it; don’t stuff it down so you can get on to the next thing. Pay attention to what you’re actually doing rather than what you think you should be doing. Easier said than done, that’s for sure, when a mountain of jobs both domestic and professional are waiting for you, and you flippin’ love ticking things off your to-do list, and especially when there’s a huge external pressure to ‘get back to normal’ – but it’s worth it.
When I was a kid I remember going on a trailer ride – we must have been at some kind of fair or agricultural show, and we all climbed on the back the trailer behind the tractor and sat on bales of hay and rode around the farm. There was a gap between the trailer floorboards, and when I looked down, the ground beneath us was rushing past so fast, it felt like we must be racing along. But when I looked up and over the side of the trailer, the hills and fields were just rolling gently past. We were going the same speed, traveling the same distance at the same rate, but looking down through the tiny gap felt dangerous and fast and a little bit scary. Looking up meant I could see so much more, and it was a treat. So this summer, like last, and I suspect, like next, I’m trying to look up, over the jobs and obligations and stresses, to see the bigger picture, because it’s beautiful, and I don’t want to miss it.
Have a great week,