Sometimes I know what I am going to say in my weekly Friday newsletters a day or two or even three in advance and I write them then, feeling a little bit smug that I am ahead of this week’s game.
Sometimes I don’t know what I am going to say and I trust my intuition that when I wake up on Thursday morning I will be inspired. And so it is.
And sometimes I wake up on Thursday morning and I still have no idea what I am going to write. Last week was one of those.
On Wednesday I got the car MoT’d. While-U-Wait. And I even put a note in my diary which suggested that while waiting I might “think about this week’s newsletter”. I didn’t. I got distracted instead by their TV and I watched Theresa May which just made me angry, and then the snooker which was just boring, if somewhat mesmerically so.
As the MoT chap said, snooker is like watching paint dry. I asked him what he liked to watch sportswise and he said motorsport and because I have a friend who likes motorsport I could appear knowledgeable. I got a little buzz out of that, but it didn’t help me with my newsletter problem.
I had a lovely Easter. Did you? This is very much my time of year, I feel an opening up. I also feel that the time between Christmas and Easter is long and dark and often cold and depressing, my least favourite time of year. So when we come through the long darkness and out into the light, four days off to rest and recover seems like a just reward. I filled my boots.
As a reformed workaholic who is still very much prey to those tendencies, I seem to love my leisure time disproportionately these days. When clients and colleagues asked on Tuesday and Wednesday if I had enjoyed my four days off, I replied that I enjoy myself so much in my time off that I honestly feel as though I could have enjoyed 40 or 400 days off. No offence intended to my enquirers, as I was at pains to point out.
I get a buzz out of my work. I love it, in fact. I cannot think of anything I’d rather do. I love to feel useful. And yet I also highly prize my leisure time. Surely this must be what they call work-life balance? Snore alert. Sorry, I’m jargon averse, me.
On Friday I went for a little drive and discovered a few things, people and places I didn’t know about before. Explorer Judith.
On Saturday I was let down again by the same MoT station who had allowed their MoT operative to be signed off sick for two weeks. If ever there was a date-sensitive job which doesn’t allow for two weeks off work… don’t start me. Fortunately this time I phoned ahead to discover they weren’t going to be able to do my car that day either. It was at this point I found another better solution, achieving rapport over the phone with a privately-owned garage, i.e. not a national chain, and speaking to the owner and knowing he would make it all OK for me. Problem Solver Judith. Self-care Judith.
On Sunday I went to my brother’s house and had a roast lunch with him and his wife and two out of his three children, one of whom had a friend with him, his widowed father-in-law, one of his sisters-in-law and a neighbour lady who is a recent new friend of my brother’s wife. We were nine, a rather random bunch but it worked. Family Judith. Roast beef with all the trimmings, banoffee pie and fruit salad.
My sister-in-law gave me some tomato plants to bring home, and proudly showed us her Eglu. She has three chickens arriving imminently to take up residence in her garden and we had to Google how and why hens lay eggs, whether or not a cock is required (it isn’t), how to get an egg fertilized (you do need a cock for that), and how chickens have sex (two seconds of splendour in the grass).
My brother and I come from farming stock on our mother’s side, only two generations back. My mother would have been appalled to know that her very urban office-worker children had to Google this, just as my still rural cousin was very surprised when my brother asked him the difference between hay and straw. He thought that was something that people just know and therefore my brother was taking the ****. He was not. We Londoners do not just know that, but we do now. Oh how we laughed at our lack of knowledge in the agricultural department, and how that is all about to change. Bagock!
I wonder what someone would think if they looked at our browsing histories. That’s the beauty of Google, that you can find the answer to anything in a heartbeat. And why it is dangerous for me to allow my iPad anywhere near my bedside table, as questions like this and others in infinite variety come to mind just as I am putting my head on my pillow and one of my newer compulsions is to have the answer instantaneously. Curious Judith.
I finished one novel I was reading – Dana Stabenow’s 6th Kate Shugak book Blood Will Tell. And I started another as recommended by a client – Sue Monk Kidd’s Travelling with Pomegranates – and immediately spotted a quote which had my client’s name written all over it. Today Jo Nesbo’s 11th Harry Hole novel is published – The Thirst. That has my name all over it and I am off work all day tomorrow and again next Thursday (my 62nd birthday) and on one of those days I shall treat myself, for sure. Bookworm Judith. It felt lovely to be back reading again. I don’t always have the space or the patience for it, but I so love it when I do. Why do we do that…deny ourselves the things we love so much? Muppet Judith.
And writing. It’s been on my mind and psyche again recently. I always write this newsletter without fail, even when I have nothing in particular to say, as today. And then there was that year when I blogged every day. But I have rather fallen off my game with the writing habit. And yet it niggles away at me. Sometimes. Not always. And in a good way, an entirely good way. I am aware that recently I have been receiving nudges and intuitions to get writing more again. Wordsmith Judith. There is the space for writing in my life. And yet I am in two minds.
Shall I just write every day and see what happens? With that in mind I have done a couple of stints on 750words.com again in April. And enjoyed myself.
Shall I just make up my mind that I am A Writer and do it every day without too much thought about where I do it – Facebook, blog, newsletter, 750 words – and trust (as I teach my clients) that my purpose will emerge once I am doing it, doing it, doing it? I don’t even think that I need a purpose for writing, or anything for that matter. I just need perhaps to pay more heed to and honour these niggly nudges when I notice them. Niggly nudges. Nice. Alliterative Judith.
For now, I am not going to force a decision. I shall write when the fancy takes me, and not when it doesn’t, but I notice that even when I have nothing in particular to say I still feel the urge to write. Not sure what that means yet, but I trust that it means something and I shall be finding a way to honour that even more. I just love words and that’s all there is to it. It is great to be read, but it isn’t a requirement I realise. But writing is becoming a personal requirement, even more so than ever.
I hoovered up the latest episode of Line of Duty, even at way past midnight after getting back from my brother’s house. Too good to wait when a Monday morning lie-in would be on the cards anyway. And on Monday night I enjoyed the satisfying ending to Broadchurch. As a pal said on Facebook, we would enjoy watching Olivia Coleman and David Tennant read the telephone directory! In my view the former is infinitely superior to the latter, Line of Duty over Broadchurch every time, but thank heavens for top quality drama, writing and acting. What a treat! And Broadchurch does have splendid locations too, rather like Doc Martin. What do you watch for where it is set, I wonder?
My final discovery this year about the Easter chocolate fest (apart from the fact that Easter Monday is not a Bank Holiday in Scotland) is that it offers more threats to the low-carb way of life than Christmas. Who knew? Well, now I do know and that knowledge has been usefully filed away for Easter 2018. Forewarned is forearmed.
What did you do on your Easter holidays? I do hope you’ll write and let me know. If you are reading this in your inbox, you can simply hit reply and send me an email. If you are reading this online, do please use the Contact form to tell me anything you want. I love to hear from you. Your little responses to my weekly newsletter light up my life. You light up my life.