06 October 2015
We had a really busy summer. August, which feels like ages ago now, was almost filled to the brim with camping or getting ready for it. We had more nights under canvas than at home. But rather than feeling like it was an out of control frenzy it was all rather relaxed and immensely enjoyable.
In the depths of winter it is really difficult to say no to opportunities that will take us camping. Despite my best intentions I have often ended up with a really full diary for the six weeks that the UK schools are on holiday in the summer months. In past years the weeks we were at home would be business as usual, going out to our groups, meet ups and other activities, and in between shoehorning, not very successfully, preparation for going away. It was all rather stress inducing.
I remember, when I had not long entered the world of work, many colleagues moaning about how they hated their jobs. My naive twenty something self often wondered why they didn't just look for another one. But there is something reassuring and comforting about the familiar even if we don't really like it.
I know that I have always had in the back of my mind a time when I was at home so much it became overwhelming. A very young baby and giving up work to enter our new venture into officially home edding my eldest, I had yet to find my way around the home edding community, it was really isolating. But tipping the balance the other didn't work for us either.
So when I realised that we had nothing in the diary for the weeks in August we were to be at home I didn't, for once, try and pro-actively fill them. I went with the flow choosing whatever came up that would work for us all. That relaxed planning meant that I was able to get ready really slowly and steadily and that when I got to where we were going I was relaxed. Many a time I have been away on 'holiday' only to feel like I need another one when I get back!
We have visited some beautiful parts of our country. We spent time walking, talking and admiring the views. We had one day of rain the whole time, now don't get me wrong I don't dislike rain but when you are camping it can be really hard work. It didn't matter how long anything took to do, well most of the time, there were a few occasions we had to be somewhere at a certain time. When we got completely soaked one evening cycling to meet with a group I managed to turn it into an adventure, one which we laughed about later. We lived in the moment, connected to each other and our surroundings.
Now that is all over I am also glad to be at home. For the first week I didn't look for activities to fill the diary. I did worry that the 'we are staying at home today' answer to 'what are we doing today' would be met with frowns but not a bit of it, not even this far down the line. We were far too busy in our rhythm by end of July, one group has finished completely and another has yet to start yet, this feels so much better, for now. I am sure it will change as it always does but I do need to gently remind myself to keep space in that rhythm for nothing planned. It is no good keeping your head above the water if you not able to swim gently but are struggling to remain afloat.