It is great being part of the blogging network social sites. Yes they take extra time and effort to keep maintained and up to date, but you meet some great people and it is a great and easy way to keep up with lots of current blog posts.
I am part of the fabulous Britmums, but am also part of a couple of USA based ones and have met some great blogging mums on those too. It is through these blogs that I get to see some of the most beautiful photographs of happy families in magnificent winter wonderland snow scenes. These are what you have as a stereotypical scene of the winter months, however looking out of my lovely living room window, yes it is nippy but what I can see is more what I wold call autumn. In January.
Most of the trees in my garden are still smothered in brown dying foliage, the paths are still slippery and covered with mushy leaves and my parents are still complaining that despite having no trees in their front yard, they have a bag full of nature to sweep up every day. This got me thinking even more about time, something I have been doing a lot of lately. It seems strange to not have bare tree twigs outside my door which is common to these deep winter months and with myself not being a lover of the snow (yes it looks very pretty at first fall but is deeply impractical for getting on with your day to day life) I am kind of thankful that it is missing.
I do think in a weird way though we are 'missing our seasons' - for whatever reason, luck, environmental, the ozone, October in Blighty was practically balmy and I don't think I got my winter coat out until December and have barely needed a scarf, but when you are used to the four clear seasons, as we are, it all feels out of sorts.
It made me think about my life to date, and depending on what stage I was at has depended on how I have looked at 'time'. I remember as a child the six weeks holidays stretching forever, a two week holiday in the summer really did feel like a long break away. As I reached my teens years terms seemed to last forever and the vacation periods flew by. When I started work life was Monday to Friday, 9 - 5, with the weekend barely lasting two minutes (with not enough time to shake off the hangovers).
When I had my first baby time rolled into one and I struggled to know if it was day or night let alone what day it was. Then my baby started school and I was back to working in terms again, frantically trying to ensure all the right things were in place for each one and arranging appropriate childcare for the holidays which seemed to come around and equally go super fast.
And now, with a Husband and multiple children life flies by at a rate of knots, the three school terms all start and end in the blink of an eye, summer holidays are enjoyed and passed too soon, holidays are booked, taken and talked about before the washing and ironing is even done. All of a sudden I find myself in my 30's and having thoughts such as; how can I ensure that I don't miss a second of what is going on with the children because they won't be children for long but also ensure that I do the things that I have always wanted to do and achieve as an individual aswell. Will I get it all fitted in?
Now, the world and economy that we live in really doesn't make it possible to say 'Sod work, lets all live together in a happy family world and disappear off to see the world' we have to be realistic, and to make the most of it we need to find a balance, of family life, children time, husband and wife time and 'me' time. And most of the time, there isn't enough time to do that easily (time, time, time!).
It is a struggle, one that finds its way into most families I know. It has raised its head recently to us, as is clear in my last few blog posts. And so we blindly canter along in the pace of UK life (pretty fast), trying to make the most of what we are doing with our lives and trying to make time to do the right things to make memories.
I remember reading a piece of writing about time some years ago and not taking much notice of it but I have been thinking about it of late. It was a piece on what time means to different people, for example a tenth of a second that is gone in the blink of an eye for most is the difference between gold and silver for an elite athlete. That one night for a couple in love is gone to soon but for a women in labour in a hospital ward is not gone soon enough. A month for someone that has a long term prison sentence is nothing, but for the parent of an ill child or a premature baby seems like a lifetime.
With my husbands health scares (multiple) at the end of last year we realised more prominently (I think everyone is aware, just every now and again something happens to bring it to the fore-front of your mind) that life is short, children are only children for a short time and babies even shorter, and although things such as sleep deprivation, money worries, work stress can cause snappy, snippy moments, keep them to just that, moments and enjoy the rest of your time with the family you are blessed to have.