Life sometimes gets in the way….
A very dear friend says that from time to time and I hesitate to agree. The hesitation is simply that we are ‘our life’ so we need to make time for those things that are neglected. Time is an interesting concept and I am never more aware of it than at this time of year. The days are short and the light limited but I like that and I try and use the daylight wisely. Once it begins to fade I light far too many candles and retreat into quiet occupations. It is in these quiet occupations that I re-find what is important in life.
Over the years I have come to loathe with vengeance the Christmas that is presented to us through the media. As I watch people rushing about seeking yet more bargains my blood literally runs cold for a while. I have a physical aversion to the over-commercialisation of Christmas. Although not a Christian I do love that Christmas is a time to bring people together. I am fortunate this year to have all four children with me plus Molly’s adorable boyfriend, Scott. This past week we spent a lovely evening together decorating the tree, eating mince pies and watching the Father Christmas animation. Quite unbelievably, Scott had never seen it before!
It is in these times for me that Christmas is created and I cherish them always. Today I was a willing pupil as George and I made the Christmas cake. The smell of Christmas is lingering through the long bake. This week coming I travel about the island spreading some gentle Christmas cheer to my island friends and pop my Christmas boxes in the post for all my lovely girlfriends and their families.
These are the things that make Christmas but somehow I fear many people have lost their way. Spending too much, eating and drinking too much is not what Christmas should be about and I feel quite strongly about that. I fear it gives the wrong messages to children as they try and make sense of this time of year. I make a lot of my gifts myself and I love planning what I will make for different people – it makes it so much more personal.
This year I rather put my money where my mouth was by offering an Alternative Christmas E-course which has proved to be very popular indeed. I am announcing here that I have paid all that income to UNICEF so that children in Syria can continue to receive winter warmer packs. That seemed the right thing to do.
In the new year I am offering another brand new e-course called ‘The Balanced Year Ahead’ and this is deigned around concepts of time, planning, seasonality and life journeys. I am so excited about this course as I am also publishing an e-book for those people who can’t manage the whole course.
One of my little dreams is coming true as we speak as I have creative the Bobbin Collective which is a space in the world for people who love vintage and sewing. The Bobbin Collective brings these two things together through a virtual presence and a wee online shop. We will be starting to stock our little shop mid January. Do share the links with anyone who would like to inhabit this space with us. More details are coming through all the time via the facebook page.
So life for Scottish island mum continues to tick along quite nicely and I feel truly blessed to have the life that I do. I always maintain that living on a small island shifts your viewfinder in life. By choosing to live in a remote area of the world you are already resisting notions of conforming and I like that. Leaving the high energy corporate world behind over 12 years ago saved me from myself and I could not be more grateful. Living on Arran is not always easy but the challenges are what makes it a unique experience. Smallholding is a very challenging economy but one that we seem to be adapting to quite well. My decision to record my life in a blog, of course, proved the best decision of the lot. I never take my readers for granted and I never will.
Regular readers know that January is my incubation month where I re-write and upgrade the site. In keeping with a small embryonic tradition I am asking readers to tell me what they would like to read more about. That way I can continue to be a responsive and a responsible writer. These things are important to me. Please feel free to complete the form below and I will cherish your contribution as I go into incubation.
Meantime, hoping all our preparations for the festive period are full of loving kindness.
Blessings to you all,