Simplicity

After a very long week, with many moving work parts and feel exhausted by lots of things that were going on, I was minded many times, particularly by my children in the power of simplicity. And I was also drawn to a Yoga with Adriene video on simplicity too, which seemed rather timely.

As Sylvia was away we realised we could all fit in a friend’s car that we borrow from time to time and go on a day trip. Given that I have not been more than 2 miles from the house since March this prospect was rather exciting but also slightly scary. What a world of possibilities were open to us! We all longed to go to the beach, but probably didn’t have quite enough time. Fruit picking? No all booked up. What about a castle? What sort of castle? Either shut or requiring a complicated booking system or just not the right “sort” (I have to say I don’t really care about types of castles but some family members were much more specific). In the end we decided to just keep it simple. We loaded the bikes into the car and went to a bit of the forest that is hard to get to by public transport but not that far away. After half an hour trying to find somewhere to park (sigh the penalties of post-lockdown!) we finally parked the car and the kids hurtled off into the forest on a long, wide, even track, perfect for biking. SO perfect that Antonia who had been wobbling about riding her bike with pedals was off solo biking within 5 minutes of leaving the car. I couldn’t believe it!

We discovered an old iron age fort, possibly where Boudica was killed, although unlikely, played fort games and watched deer hide in the forest. So perfect. So simple. So satisfying. Isaac and Mariela enjoyed it so much they even said they preferred biking to minecraft/screens!

I need to hold onto this in the coming days, weeks and months. The fact that we are now in the summer holidays but with much more limited options in terms of things to do, or things we want to do, means that I have been a bit anxious about whether the children will be having fun all summer if we stay pretty local. Yesterday and actually the last week has reminded me that keeping it simple really does work for everyone. This last week the kids have been happiest visiting their swing, camping in the garden and searching for the cat.

Bike riding better than Minecraft
Iron Age fort

It is almost a cliche now that the pandemic has made us rethink so many things and for some of us crave a more simple existence free from some many commitments. I think that one of the things about working at home that is enjoyable is that it is so easy to just pop into your “office” and get working, sometimes too easy, but it does not always require so much thought or planning.

Planning for September and how the University will work feels far from simple at the moment. Yet, I think being focused on what we want to achieve and thinking of the clearest and most simple way to get there will be very important.

What can you do to simplify your life? And how can you make these decisions – I think this might be another post too with some ideas on this.

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