I’m realising the secret to really loving life and living more slowly is organisation. This dawned on me as I was reading Good Housekeeping magazine on a train home from London. Bear with me, I can’t stand that title either, it seems so wrong in this day and age, but, in my defence a good blogging friend was in it and it has some great articles. The more I read, the more I realised, if you want to have a great house, eat amazing food and enjoy some creative time, then you have to be organised.
For years I have resisted that, routine can also feel like such a burden, but I am at long last coming to the conclusion it’s the only way to be in control, and make space for the little things, which are the big things.
When my son was born, seven years ago at the end of November, we organised everything for Christmas before his arrival. Although a newborn sends everything upside down, it was the most wonderful month of enjoying being together at home, slowly letting Christmas traditions unfold and gradually venturing out to enjoy December unravelling with others. I’ve never forgotten that feeling.
Normally I stubbornly refuse to have anything to do with Christmas until December – I have no space in my head for it – but something changed with this year’s Autumn festivities. I threw myself into Halloween with my kids and we had an amazing time, running through the misty local streets dressed up and hunting houses with pumpkins made us all feel so alive.
Bonfire night came and I really felt something change in myself as I watched Mr A launching rockets at the bottom of the garden, the kids shouting out with excitement, my Dad launching cheeky banter at Mr A. Rather than feeling like a chore and something extra to arrange, as festivities do when you are stressed, it felt like the most important thing in the world. By the time the sparklers came I had tears in my eyes, happy ones. These are the magic moments you never want to forget.
I decided right there that I want to really enjoy December, no tearing around madly trying to tie up work and organise Christmas at the same time. I don’t want to be heading just for one big day, I want December to be savoured. Even before the holidays, there are so many lovely things to do in December, so many people to catch up with, so many things I could do for others – I always mean to donate to my local food bank for example. If I free up some time next month by organising as much as possible this month, I think December could feel quite different.
Here’s the plan:
Do all my Christmas shopping this month
Get it all wrapped this month
Make all the plans with family this month
Have another clear out, we’re doing really well on this, just a few more corners of the house to go and a trip to the charity shop in time for what we donate to be sold before Christmas.
Write my Christmas cards, meaningful ones, with letters.
Last night my daughter begged to play with the Christmas craft kit Baker Ross sent us to try out. It felt a little strange to be making Christmas decorations in November, but having the time to actually enjoy it with her was wonderful. Suddenly we realised it was past her bedtime and we were surrounded in glitter and paper, we’d been chatting about so many things. I can’t imagine having the headspace for that in an over packed December.
It might seem ambitious, but I have a good feeling about this, I think I am on to something. What do you reckon?
Image – Presents on a white chair, Shutterstock