Somehow, mostly because I was asleep, I missed the end of March. But never mind, we are here in April now, a few days beyond the spring equinox, and back in summertime. The light is back. I relish the long evenings now. The time to be outside on the allotment again, to meet for drinks in the early evening sunshine, to finally understand childhood poems that refer to going to sleep while the sun is still up!
April is a month where daffodils give way to early bluebells, tulips. The sun makes a welcome return, and with it, life begins to emerge all around us. I find this is the time of year when I can really start to think about the next few months, and I take time now to reflect on the past year, what I want from the year ahead, lessons, learnings and so on.
I find early January still too dark, too hibernate-y, too cold to spend time doing this kind of reflective work. I thought this year might be different but it has not been. It is only now that I begin to really wake up and have the energy for new things! So I have begun a ‘January Book’, although mine is called the April Book, for obvious reasons. I follow Hannah Bullivant’s useful guidance on how to approach this kind of reflective planning. I started last year, and so will now be looking back on what I wrote then, and reviewing the upcoming 12 months.
This past month we have been away traveling, and I found I had developed complete and utter work dread when it came time to return. There are parts of my job that I truly love, but somehow the daily grind is chipping away at me. I know, therefore, that part of the planning I will be doing for the next 12 months is to look at ways that I can change this feeling. I will have to provide space for serious work reflection and decision-making.
Part of that work is done here, on my Sunday posts, where I contemplate how we define a successful life, and how we can find identity, fulfilment and purpose outside of the 9-5. But a big part of me would like fulfilment and purpose within the 9-5 too. I am just not yet sure how to get at it. But then, that is the whole point of this space! To ask those big questions. And contemplate the answers.
So apologies for this rambly reflection this month. It helps, I find, it put down in words the things that are taking up space in your head.
Things I’ve loved this month
The Sea Library. Everything about it sounds a little like magic.
Pioneers of postmodern dance.
I read The Taste of Apple Seeds – a strange book that I found I could not put down. It is set in Germany, where Iris inherits her grandmothers house. The book explores the first few days of her inheritance, woven amongst Iris’ memories of her summers spent there. I loved the descriptions of summer swimming in the lake, and the complex relationships we have with our families.
A short history of Nanaimo bars.
I reread ‘The Crossroads of Should and Must‘.
A redefinition of ‘success’. I love this and it was what I needed to read this month.
Revolutions in ballet. Through appropriately coloured pointe shoes. The mind truly boggles that this is only changing now.
I reviewed two new books for the OSS this month, both are about women who swum the Channel and, through doing so, changed their lives. Review is here.
Have an excellent month. x