When the tick has become more satisfying than the list

A British Country Garden

As I work for myself and from home, I'm pretty lucky that on any given day, my to do list is packed with things that, for the most part, I genuinely want to do. Now that both of my children are at school full time, I'm also afforded the luxury of having daylight hours to get that work done.

After several years of cramming it all in to late nights and snatched moments and rarely switching off, this more relaxed pace feels like an incredible gift. I can type away at my desk with the radio on as opposed to by torchlight in the dead of night. 

It's actually what I dreamt of when the boys were young and it's what kept me taking on projects even when I was on the brink of exhaustion. Through a lot of hard work and perhaps a little bit of luck, I've been able to create a job that I love and that works for our family.

It sounds practically perfect, doesn't it?

It should be practically perfect.

But it's currently not.


Because I'm a bloody idiot.

I've spent so many years focusing on getting things done and diligently working through my various colour-coded lists, that I've trained my brain to care more about completing the tasks than enjoying doing them. And when you work in a creative industry, the doing really is the best and most fun part. I'd be a fool not to take my time to enjoy it all now that I finally can, right?

It's not just work that I need to apply this new approach to, it's our house and garden, too. I'm never going to give up my lists, and when it comes to our home, the 'to do' one is lengthy, but I can try to change my thought process when I look through them. I need to repeat to myself that there's no rush, there's absolutely no rush, there really is no rush, don't BLOODY RUSH, RACHEL!

I don't need to paint the living room today (although, sooner rather than later because, well, magnolia), I don't need to choose lights for the playroom this week, or this month for that matter, and I don't need to worry about what to plant in the vegetable patches until next year.  But it's hard when you're so aware of everything that needs to be done and have been of a MUST GET ALL THE THINGS DONE mindset for so long. I struggle to rest when there are decisions to be made.

I've started making changes, though. I'm not taking on as much work as I used to and only saying yes to projects that make my heart beat that little bit faster. I write just one blog post a week now and tend to jump on InstaStories to share snippets of my life that I may have once weaved in to a full essay. Those two changes alone have contributed to a more relaxed pace that means I rarely work of an evening now ... unless I've given myself a morning off to meet a friend for coffee or an afternoon to amble round the fabric shop - something that I would never have done or really had the time for in the past.

I'm also building thinking and research time in to my working week. I have to come up with lots of interesting content for the companies that I work for ... and those ideas don't come if I'm sat in the same spot all day working at a laptop. Getting up and out and doing something completely unrelated really helps me to generate better ideas. And don't judge, but ironing is one of those things. Shock horror!

And then there's this little spot in the garden. A corner where I've sworn to ignore the weeds, not worry about the overgrowing grass and to try not to think about what the flowers are and how the hell I maintain them going forward. It's an area of calm ... for sipping a cup of tea, reading a chapter or two and simply admiring the fruits of the labour put in by the previous owners of the house.

My sole contribution to this sweet setting is the garden mirror. I say 'my contribution' but it was a gift from Exclusive Mirrors. I chose it though, so I can claim it as my doing, right?

I jest.

But doesn't it look amazing? You get double the flora and fauna joy with both pretty plants and buzzing insects reflected in the glass. I didn't know that outdoor mirrors were a thing but now I'm wholly onboard. It's such a pretty touch. 

What do you think? Care to join me in the garden? Put your to do list back in the drawer and I'll get the kettle on. Come share your tips on slowing down with me, I'd love to hear them. But don't forget your sun hat!

A British Country Garden
A British Country Garden
A British Country Garden
A British Country Garden
A British Country Garden
A British Country Garden
A British Country Garden