As you mean to go on

“Start as you mean to go on.”

I ran at last week like a bull at a gate.  Charged through it all at lightning speed, constantly aware of all my responsibilities and everything that needed to be done.  And the week got more and more frenetic and less and less enjoyable.  (As, no doubt, did I!)

Since beginning this work at home life I’ve definitely noticed that as the day begins, so it generally ends.  So if I dash out of the door in the morning, swearing and falling over things, you can bet your life that I’ll re-enter the door a few hours later in the same manner, not to mention falling into bed in a similar fashion at the very end of the day.

If I sit down and focus on work the very second I return home after dropping the boy at school, I’ll still be there, hunched and focused, until the very second it’s time to do the dash to school in reverse and bring him home again.

And then there are the slow days.

This morning began at warp speed as I wheeled the wheelbarrow as fast as I could to the allotment on the way to school, so that I could return there on my way home to dig the last few potatoes in preparation for finally relinquishing ‘ownership’ of the allotment.  Speed was necessary as the detour to the allotment meant we were in serious danger of being late for school.  (The wheelbarrow, by the way, contained one digging fork, various school bags and a small boy.  It was quicker and more fun – for one of us at least – than expecting him to walk at warp speed.)  I passed a friend on the way in to school as she was leaving the premises having already deposited her children, and then proceeded to walk so fast having deposited mine that I caught her up before she was a couple of hundred yards down the road.  I was already in speed-demon mode.

But then I dug potatoes.  Not something you can hurry, especially when the ground is as hard as it is now.  I picked beans and investigated the contents of the compost heap that has not been turned for about 2 years.  (Lovely, useable compost, just right to enrich the soil in the garden when I’ve barrowed it all home.)  I brought the small, pitiful, slug-eaten and slightly embarrassing harvest home.  And by then, I’d slowed down.

A cup of tea at my desk and some filing, tidying, list-making came next.  Nothing too urgent or taxing (ah, tax…accounts…numbers…things which I need to work on soon – but not today!) but all things which needed to be done.  Today had become a slow day and somehow after the pace of last week I knew I was not up to more in-depth work.  Another day, I will be raring to go.  Today is not that day.

Today is slow and gentle.  But things will still get done.  Probably better than they would if I ran at them.  The whole day’s work has become slow because I began work slowly.  No, I did not begin the whole day slowly.  My mistake.  Having my hands in the soil soon corrected it.

The challenge now is to see if I can end the day slowly, despite an evening meeting with a potential client an hour and a quarter’s drive away from home.  On second thoughts, make that an hour and a half’s drive.  I’ll drive slowly.

PS. We have a date for the garden transformation!  It’s not until early November but we’re definitely moving towards bringing the veg growing home.

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