The Little Things and the Big Things

By Carrie Foster

Shhhh…. Can you hear that?  The sound of birds tweeting and the sparrows flapping round the bird feeder, the dog padding around the patio, the bees buzzing in the hedge behind me and the occasional sound of my neighbour singing: it’s all good, she’s got “a voice”.  I write this, sat at the table in my garden.  My husband and daughter are working in his ‘bunker,’ an outbuilding.  My son is in his bedroom working on his school work.  I am gloriously alone apart from our pet dog, Bailey who follows me around like a lost toddler.  Time to think, space to think, I luxuriate in it.  Add in fresh air and sunshine and I am in my perfect workspace.

I love work, or rather I love work I love.

I remember that even as young as 7 years old I would think and write.  Stories, poems, journal entries.  Having watched far too much Wonder Woman on a Saturday afternoon, I decided I was going to be a journalist.  This morphed into a political journalist when I fell in love with politics which I did as a GCSE and A-level subject at school and minor subject at University.  Then aged 18 I interned at the Sunday Times for three days and realised that if this was going to be the pinnacle of my career, I didn’t want to be working with backstabbing, unprincipled letches.  So, I laid my proverbial pen down and got on trying to work out what I was going to do with my life. Twenty years later I started blogging for my business website, and the rest they say, is history.

As well as writing, I love reading books.  I buy too many, and many languish for months if not years on the bookshelf.  But eventually I get around to reading them.  I like books related to work, political biographies, books on faith, sci-fi operas or historical fiction.  As a child I was a precocious reader, as an adult I could read a novel in a day, now as a mother I don’t make enough time to read, or if I do make time, I fall asleep after a couple of pages.  To compensate I allow myself the indulgence of self-isolating in our newly refurbished bathroom once a week.  A deep soak in a sleigh bath – candles, bubbles, wine… and a book.  And I wallow and read several chapters undisturbed in glorious self-isolation, transported to another place or time.

In another time I would have been working alongside an organisation, facilitating people led change.  But it’s not all bad, I would choose working in my garden above getting up at 4am in the morning to travel into London to work in an airless office building.  Also, I have spent the last three months joyfully working on a new venture.  I love being able to think, reflect and create; use my brain, my enthusiasm and my knowledge to create something new.  I also love the power of dialogue, of people gathering together and creating an environment to help them think.  I love having the tools to help create the change people are desperate for and that moment where the light bulb goes on and I know that I have changed their lives for the better.

I love hugs and time with my family.  I love quiet time when we all jump into our bed (we bought a super king-sized bed especially) and snuggle up watching a movie together.  But I also love the time we spend adventuring together.  There is nothing better than leaving the demands of the real world behind and escaping what ‘needs’ doing and instead devoting ourselves to doing the things we ‘want’ to do.

But for now, I will commit to sitting, undisturbed in the peace of my back garden, snatching a moment until I hear “Mum….”

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