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  • Writer's picturecatherine@allaboutwriters

Refreshed. And Ready!

I’m writing as we make our way home after a couple of days at the coast. It’s about a 2-hour drive through beautiful country, but invariably by about the halfway point my mind switches from a place of calm, where we have been swimming in that crystal clear water, alongside just a handful of people on the long, forest-flanked beach. Already our evening of sitting by the fire under the spectacular sparkling lights of the Milky Way, pointing out the Southern Cross to our children and searching the skies for shooting stars, is starting to fade. Even my solo morning walk, which I cherish so, is being stuffed into the back of my brain as the cascade of thoughts about the week to come crowd all else out.

Our weekend was actually all about getting some work done around the place. The deck was repaired and oiled, a new shade was affixed out back, and a good couple of years’ worth of spider webs removed among other things. But even as we worked away on these tasks most of today in the blazing heat, the thought of the swim we would soon have was enough to get me through. Those minutes of splashing, leaping and diving through the waves. That time of silence as we floated over the ripples and bumps in the calm, lapping ocean of today. Those deep, cleansing breaths and time with nothing clanging in my subconscious, nothing to take me away from there and then.

And so, I am going to bring this lesson home with me for this coming week. When we get in, there is unpacking to be done and clothes to be washed. But the still-wet towels from our swim will take me back to the beach, and the clothes smelling so strongly of smoke back to sitting out under the stars. This kind of gratitude helps. For the mundane task, I have things for which to be grateful.

Tomorrow, there will be grocery shopping to do, but I am always grateful to have both good health and enough money to be able to go to the supermarket and fill a trolley whenever I chose. Dinner will need to be cooked, but mealtimes are one of my favourite times of the day when we come back together and share the news of the day. I’ve a full week of work, but I love my work and love the challenges that it brings. Children will need to be taken to school and activities, but the flexibility I have in my work allows me to do this. Writing will have to be done, but the sense of accomplishment sits with me long after the despairing at the time that could be used for work or any of the 1,000 other things to be done. This kind of gratitude can be harder to find in the moment, but it helps a lot.

One of my favourite quotes of recent times came from a journalist and author I much admire here in Australia. It is something like, “My house is testament to time better spent”, referring to the half-built Lego structures laying amongst open books, board games, and maybe a dish or two that have been neglected. This too I will keep in mind in an effort to not let life overwhelm.

As we now turn a corner and come down the last hill to see our home town, I’m actually… almost…looking forward to it all.

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