For all the brooding, life is good. I simply must be grateful. There has been so far a proper summer, with a long spell of uninterrupted warm days and the ease of daily dressing; top and bottoms, flip-flops, messy hair, tanned face. For all that I love the seasons, summer is the best. This is all tied up with my palm tree theory that I have recently alluded to.
My daughter, Boo, continues to amaze me with her teenage mind. Increasingly after the perils of the last year, I feel like I have got her back this summer. I reacted very strongly to her growing up, in a way that I hadn't encountered before, and now I see that actually it was me who needed to change and not her. I am a self-confessed change-hater, so this was always going to be hard. But over this summer her and I have chilled. The house with teenagers in it is a richer place and for all of the rueful sighs in society about their reliance on social media and the demons that come with it, deep down they are good eggs. She has morals and I hear her outline principles to her nine year old brother and my heart swells as her measure of right and wrong is where it should be. A little South of mine, but still, on the right side of the dividing line. I know that by nature, teenage years are not stable and I am sure I will lament again in future. But for now, we are good.
Surrounded by chaos, the building work continues. In fact it goes on and on and doesn't seem to reach any sort of conclusion. Problem after problem, there is a lot of chin-stroking and sucking of teeth. There have been times where I wonder why on earth we ever embarked on such a big project and laugh at my foolishness of thinking that making a Pinterest board on interiors would actually be useful! I can see now that the styling stage is so far off and frankly, what I am living with is dust, rubble and builders arriving at 7am every morning (or even worse not arriving for three days and there being no progress whatsoever). As ever it's all about how you look at things. My husband has an unfailingly happy approach to all of this, finding a new wall outside a great, new development. I am interested in the inside. Until my house is restored to some order, the outside is peripheral. All of our belongings have been moved and we are shrinking into a smaller and smaller living space. I feel like I should be on one of those home TV programmes where the presenter infers that the 'owners are loosing it'! Really trying not to loose it but clearly my recent penchant for tropical escapism is hardly surprising. Anywhere but here...!
Meanwhile the days are a whirl of summer holiday clubs (last week tennis, next week surfing), dog walks, stolen moments of yoga or running, and trying to get a handle on what the future might hold. I think possibly a part time job or a serious return to my consulting work. I re-read old blog posts (one fabulous side product of writing a blog is this activity; I am staggered by some of the things I have written but never go back and edit: it is what it is). It's good to be reminded of the loveliness that was giving up work. But I can see that it may well be time for me to do something for me again. After all, 40 is no age to retire completely, is it?! ;-)