Monday, 23 January 2012

A Penny for your Thoughts

There is a well known saying that many of us have heard: "Many hands make light work!". Those words certainly rang true for us today. Prince Charming and I have slowly been working through our "To Do" list for what seems like forever! Each time he attempted to mow the lawns, Murphy's Law somehow crept in and it would rain, or one of the kids would get sick - or perhaps one of us would fall ill. Then the sun came out and made a real difference. It's amazing what a bit of Vitamin D can do - one of the major benefits of Summer! Aha, those famously long New Zealand summers, breathing life into the dusty embers of a cold, frosty Winter!

Today was a public holiday. The sun came out - just a little overcast, but perfect nonetheless! For three solid hours, from 9.30am-12.30pm, Prince Charming worked on laying bricks and weeding the front path, down our driveway. We have been aspiring to make our garden a "low maintenance" affair, but over time, it became a jungle. All valiant efforts to slay the giant thistles ended up in a shrouded mane of weeds and overgrown stems, smothering what used to be a cheerful patch of bright red fuchsia flowers! However today was the Great Unveiling - the weeds gave way to clear spaces and the plants became visible, having their chance to shine again. Beauty restored, giving way to nature's graceful flowers!

The Princesses ventured out on this glorious day to help garden and peel away the weeds, faring very well. They in turn, learnt valuable life lessons on caring for the family garden. They enjoyed picking a few home grown strawberries too! 

Oh how we love the height of Summer! There is something fresh and freeing about being able to swing wide those windows and let the sunlight in, to air the blankets and heavy duvets on the outdoor washing line. To inhale the Summer breeze and let your lungs fill with clean air, letting your hair down and going barefoot in the dewy grass first thing in the morning, before anyone else is awake! 

We all pitched in today. The weeds have long gone, parked in the Wheelibin, never to be seen again! If all it takes is 10 minutes each day to maintain the garden, then that is what we will do!

Often in life, "clutter" happens when "things" just creep into your home; most often times, we don't even notice! We get far too busy in life to really "see" the things that crowd us out. The vacuum cleaner that didn't get put away, lurks in the dark in the hallway at night; singing out to us, "Don't trip up!". The magasine collection and the newspapers collide in a colourful, chaotic pile, under beds and strewn in drawers. No one will notice! (Or do they?!). Over the years since having my babies, I have come to realise that tidying up the house on a daily basis doesn't have to become a chore, as long as I stick to one simple rule" when the children have finished playing with a toy or a book, those items get put away as soon as possible". The basic rule of thumb in our house is, you must put away the toy you have finished playing with, before you get out another toy. Before I applied this rule, I was forever tripping up on strewn-about toys, and dreading surprise visitors, for fear that they might see the carnage of toys, kitchen utensils and books piled about! As nutty and tedious as it sounds, tidying up after yourself, and training your children to tidy up, can do wonders for a peaceful home! Recently my mother complimented me on my tidiness, saying that compared to a year ago, she senses that I am far more relaxed these days. I seem to be able to slow down and have more time than I did in one short year. Yes, I am still very busy; sometimes far too busy for my liking, (especially with the amount of medical appointments for Prince 4), but you get used the busy pace. If you can honestly say to yourself at the end of a long, busy day, "My home is a place of peace and I feel warm and happy when I walk in the front door!", then you are truly on the path of peace, with clutter and all its ickiness scooting like Jack Frost, away, away, away..... until the ice melts and from underneath springs a beautiful red flower which you pick, to grace even more that Peaceful Home you have. A penny for your thoughts!

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