balancing


I’ve been painting.

But not that kind of painting... the other sort... where you climb up a ladder and get a stiff neck and a bad back and splodges of white paint in interesting places. It’s been exhausting and time-consuming but really worthwhile. The house looks fresher and brighter and ready for autumn.

I get into a kind of daydream when I’m working hard like this. I think I’ve finally realised that ‘it’ is never going to be ‘finished’ or ‘done’... the house, the garden, my lifestyle, whatever. I’d really love this not to be true, for there to come a time when I could sit back and relax and know that everything was beautiful... but when you do that, the weeds grow, the dust settles, the unexpected pops up. And when you concentrate on one thing, another thing gets forgotten. It’s endless.

The challenge of course is to accept this truth and not fight it, to learn how to weave in the other things and not to get frightened of things getting out of control, to know that it will all work out ok.

13 comments:

Jacqui Dodds said...

This is also very much my life right now - so much to do: house painting; other painting and printing; gardening; tidying etc etc....
I too am constantly thinking about things getting out of control and forgetting to get things done.
Anyway congratulations on a newly painted house ready for autumn - I have been wanting to do mine since the spring but other things have got in the way!

Frances said...

Sue, there is something stirring about not every really finishing anything. It's what can make any of us want to keep on stretching ourselves.

Stretching is not the same as testing, but both have the future in view.

Bravo on getting the painting done. That is a project that surely is wonderful to stamp ... "Completed."

xo

Gilly said...

Better get on with that back door - the rain is coming! ;)

I know you have been working very hard, and things haven't been easy, but congratulations for getting it (nearly) all done!

marigold jam said...

How true! I have been contstantly trying to finish when in fact that is not possible and am beginning to accept that this is so and that most of it doesn't really matter in the greater scheme of things and to ask myself what would I wish I had done if I knew I only had 24 hours left and you can be sure it wouldn't be housework or gardening chores but probably something mnore creative and to have spent more time with those I love not doing but being there. Thanks for reminding me.

Jane said...

A coat of paint works wonders, doesn't it. I've accepted that there's only so much one can do, but I do resent the things that get in the way - washing and endlessly thinking about meals, for instance. Cooking's fine, but always having to remember to get bread, milk etc drives me up the wall as it wouldn't matter to me if there wasn't any! Think how much I could sew, knit paint or even clean the house if i didn't have to go out because someone wil only eat certain things. Sorry, didn't mean to rant..

millefeuilles said...

Amen to that! Joy is to be found in the acceptance of the incomplete and imperfection of life and to find the pockets of unspeakable pleasure inbetween the cracks.

Beautifully written.

Laurie said...

I love this post. Wise, honest words that give me something to think about.

Cottage Garden said...

I so hear you Sue! Wonderful post, honestly written. Thank you.

Jeanne
x

acornmoon said...

How nice it would be to live in a Country Living House wearing Toast clothing whilst a Raymond Le Blanc casserole simmers gently on the Aga with freshly picked seasonal home grown veggies! It's never going to happen in my house, sad but true.

Having said that I suspect that you get closer to it than I do.

Gina said...

I loved this post. I so often get caught up in the cycle of thinking everything will be perfect if only I could get the house in order or the garden tidy etc. Accepting that it never will be perfect is a huge step.

ljw said...

I know what you mean. I sometimes feel quite overwhelmed with what needs to be done and the more imperative the job, the more diversions I find. I think I'd achieve so much more however if I didn't spend so much time daydreaming out of the window.

Annie said...

What a thought provoking post. Someone said to me recently that it was important to remember the difference between giving up and letting go. That we should let go of the notion that what we have right now is not enough. And I'm trying to do just that. It's not easy is it but it's a good way to be.

elizabethm said...

You are so right. Mostly I manage that acceptance but just now there is so much waiting to be done and so much chaos I am struggling, not helped by the work and the garden. I think I need a holiday!