4.30 am Wake up positive and well-rested; Quick prayer
4.45 am Tidy up, get school set up for the day, bake bread with the last packet of flour 5.30 am Coffee. Coffee. Think of many cunning and unlikely ways in which to obtain more flour and yeast
5.40 am Water garden
6.00 am Prayer
6.30 am Pack gardening kit
7.00 am Prayer. Ask St. Hilda for her intercession to be granted strength to do my work ahead
7.15 am Walk energetically and still positive to the allotment. Shout hello to every single stranger I meet on the way and who now feels like a friend
7.30-9.00 am Get impossibly muddy and think up ways in which to stop the bunnies, rats, mice, ants, snails, slugs, caterpillars from eating my crops without becoming or feeling like a mass murderer. It is very hard to share one’s crops with uninvited guests. Moral issue still unresolved
9.00 am Run back home always late for the beginning of homeschooling day. Supervise whining children and appear knowledgeable on various topics I have never come across.
12.10 pm Prepare lunch very swiftly followed by tidy up lunch
1.30 pm More ancient Greek, Macbeth, coordinates and proportions, spelling, respiratory system, French, Edith Clarke (“Who was she?” “Mum, you don’t know? How shocking!”)
3.15 pm Big sigh. School is over.
3.20 pm Start making tea
4.00 pm Prayer
4.15 pm Play interminable board game which I never win
5.30 pm Make tea; eat tea; tidy up after tea
7.00 pm onwards: gardening, tidying, laundry, start new projects in the house and garden (since now there is no excuse not to do them since we are at home and do nothing all day – spot of decorating, some in-depth cleaning etc)
9.00 pm Collapse in a heap and go to sleep after the briefest prayer time ever
Also achieved: settled more or less successfully 25 disputes involving various combinations of children and husband; replied to what seems like 100 text messages and emails
Pages read: 0
Beauty treatments: 0
Movies watched: 0
TV watched: 0 minutes
The other day I was talking to a friend who lives alone in a flat. And as we spoke about our daily lives and routines, I was thinking how lucky this person was to live alone. I was thinking how much time they must have for reading and prayer, for watching documentaries and movies and doing their interesting and intellectual job well. I thought they wouldn’t have to justify themselves to their teenage children as to whether a purchase of plant seeds or a jigsaw on line are a justifiable action or a necessity in lockdown! They wouldn’t have to clean, tidy and cook non-stop.
As we spoke, my friend said how lucky I was to have a lot of space in my house and garden and to live with 5 other people for company. This made me think how often we say “If only…”, things would be so much better, so much easier, I could achieve so much more.
So I went back to my daily life decided not to wish for anything else other than what I have but be thankful and make the most of what I have… most days. Determined to give thanks to God for the people I have to cook for even when I argue with them and am not as mild and patient as I wish, for the space I enjoy and need to clean and tidy all the time, for the plants and creatures who live in the garden and on the allotment (I might even start sharing with them), for having my children lively and healthy at home all day before they grow up and leave, for learning new things through them every day. And I also have to admit, if I can face the truth, even if I lived alone, I probably would not do that much reading! I wonder if my friend, reading my daily diary will suddenly feel grateful for his circumstances and enjoy and be thankful for the order, peace and quiet in his life?
Let us give thanks to the Lord for everything and for every precious moment in our lives!
By a dearest friend back at the UK. God bless her!