The middle week of any month is the one where I push myself further than I should; the week when both my body and mind cry out in exhaustion, begging me to slow down, breathe, and drink deeply from the well of calm that is actually just a thought or two away.
Choosing to slow down, making conscious decisions to stop 'doing' and just 'be' for an hour or two is a lesson I'm learning this year but it's not as easy as I imagined it would be...
...because I discovered it has needed more intentional thought than just writing my desire for a simpler life in a journal or framing my mission statement by the bed so I can remind myself each morning what this year is all about.
Yet as the days and weeks of this year have gathered into months, the intentional discipline of slowing my overactive mind so that it can close the door on work and hide itself away in the delights of a good book without a giant dose of guilt as an unwelcome accompanying melody, is a pleasure I'm very slowly giving way to...
I finished a wonderful 1929 classic last week and fell in love with reading again.
You know I couldn't remember the last time I read a good book from cover to cover.
I read so much for the blog and for business, for health and faith...but purely for pleasure and relaxation? No.
How very different to the delight I found between the well worn sleeves of old books less than a decade ago when I would read marvelous stories to the children (right into their mid-teens) for hours every afternoon, their plea for "just one more chapter, Mum" encouraging me on.
Then at night after everyone was fed and satisfied, the house tidied, dishes washed, and lessons planned for the next day (we were homeschoolers), I'd snuggle down under the sheets, fluff my pillows, and delve into another world, and another time, with a book just for me.
And not once did guilt knock on the door of my thoughts.
So I've ordered another old book written by the same author and it should arrive in the post any day now.
Then I shall fall back in step with the old me, the girl who loved to read for pleasure each day, and found herself laughing or crying or thinking deep thoughts - because that's what happens when you set yourself free in a good book.
In the meantime, now that the middle of the month rush and stresses have passed, I've discovered a wonderful magazine that has added fuel to my desire of living a life-slowed-down, of stopping to smell the roses (or the mock orange flowers in my photos above) and to live and love my life.
So it seems that the second quarter of my Year of Gentle Domesticity is harvesting some good changes, and that warms my heart because I think with each passing month the good 'fruit' of this harvest will bring more than a year of benefits.
If you've joined me in this year of gentle domesticity I'd love to hear about some of the changes that have occurred which you've found delight in.
If you can, please share in the comments below as there's so many of us on this journey that your own experience will be an added inspiration and blessing.