Right now, life is good. After fair-sized a hiatus I am finding my joy. June is always a good month, it’s my birthday and the days are long. This June has been gloriously hot. Days filled with sunshine, which is my perfect. I love the sunshine.
After a long period of focussing on the positives, but slightly missing the mark on the joys of life. I found my joy again. I am someone that needs human contact and over the last while I’ve found working from home isolating. With a child growing in independence, I’m no longer needed at the school gates. Days passed my only human interaction was Twitter or taking in parcels for my neighbours and my confidence waned.
At the beginning of June, I started a freelance project that has me spending a couple of days a week in an office. This is a big change and has loads of benefits, enjoyable work, a reliable income and regular contact with interesting humans. It’s for a few months and I will say more once I am settled into the role.
As a consequence, I’m finding joy in lots of places. These are some of the things that gave me joy in June:
1. Working in an office, it’s not for everyone, but I like chatting over tea-making facilities and a desk space without the background noise of a washing machine or the distractions of life admin.
2. This birthday was marked by four cakes, three given and one made by me because I didn’t expect the other three. Cake always brings joy.
3. Extended days of sunshine. Windows wide open. Bare feet and the flicking sound of flip-flops. Long evenings and water fights. Everything looks better in the sunshine and smiles are given more freely.
4. One of my birthday presents was a class to learn to make a macrame plant pot holder. I spent a hot afternoon, in a cool basement learning a new skill. Macrame is surprisingly easy to master. I’m pretty chuffed with my creation.
5. I’m still loving The Fortunately podcast with Fi Glover and Jane Garvey. I look forward to a weekly walk with Fi, Jane and guest in my ears. This month I have particularly loved Zeb Soanes and Mobeen Azhar. A good listen was the Happy Place with Fern Cotton, the episode (from April) with Kirsty Young. I was fascinated by how she prepares for interviewing people for Desert Island Discs, drawing out the little things. Kirsty is not a fan of social media and I’m always interested to know ‘why’ on that subject.
6. Desert Island Discs has been the soundtrack to my Sunday for a very long time. This current series I’ve unexpectedly loved: comedian David Baddiel, the novelist Martina Cole, radio critic Gillian Reynolds and Dr Sue Black computer scientist and champion of women in tech.
7. The anti-plastic mood. With each month, there comes more news of restaurants removing plastic straws and supermarkets looking at alternative packaging. Microbeads, cotton buds and wet wipes are no-longer a convenience and more an inconvenient truth. There is a shift in behaviour and personal responsibility and this can only be a very good thing.
8. Finding films that suit us a family is becoming more difficult. This last weekend we saw ‘Wonder’, it worked for two adults and a 10-year-old perfectly. It’s about a child who is different and the challenges he faces from other children. Hollywood heartwarming.
9. Blogs I’m currently loving: Kerry Villiers, all round interiors and stylish home loveliness. This was a standout post for me: 13 Quotes to Beat Procrastination. Wrote the woman who should be doing her tax return.
10. The water lily flowered in our small urban pond.
11. The early stages of summer holiday panic have set in. SIX weeks of school holidays are on the horizon and, from past experience, I know that I need to have a plan. This summer, I also need to organise childcare. There’s a quote whizzing around social media about having only 18 summers with your children, it seems designed by a holiday company (apparently, it wasn’t) to press the parental guilt button. I’m not great at ‘magical summers’, I like to throw plenty of playdates at the problem. If you need your parental guilt dial turned down, read this: Why I won’t be getting perspective about only having 18 summers with my children. It’s OK not to be perfect and I’m on board with that.
12. Dream Big. Late to the party, but for someone who is obsessed with the inside of other people’s houses, this is my new favourite website. Seriously stylish retreats for that moment when you do win the lottery.
13. Ever since I started on this blogging/social media journey the stand out aspects are the people I meet and the digital skills learned. So, a morning of social media skills swapping ticks all my boxes. A free event, the We Mean Business Coffee Club at the FMLY store meets monthly. The June theme was Social Media Skills Swap. An opportunity for women to meet up and share social media tips over tea. There was no judgement about knowledge levels and no competition, just generosity.
Thirteen things that gave me joy in June. Who said 13 was unlucky?