Wool, Wiltshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

One Word

I was reminded the other day that I used to set goals every year. 16 for 2016, 17 for 2017 etc. They got increasingly hard to think up let alone fulfill. Last year I became aware of other bloggers who would choose a word to guide them or focus on during the year, and how it would keep them grounded.

A wise lady , who is the friend of a friend, of a friend, and on Facebook, whom I have followed for a year or so and helped me through these months puts up occasional prompts. Earlier this week she suggested people choose a number from 1-16 and she would give us a corresponding word to help us through the year.

So I did, and my word is Balance to help me build a new life. I had just started to think about balance and what I needed to balance, when wallop, Covid gave me a bash on the nose. All of a sudden my life required immediate action, I needed to rebalance and quickly. No use at all planning knitting projects and trips to wherever, when I needed to just get through the next few hours. Top priority all of a sudden was food, what to eat based on what I had , and how to make sure I had the energy to prepare it. Complete days turned upside down. Yes family would shop for me gladly, but they have enough to do already.

First thought was that the bread would run out, and I have a bread based light meal at lunch time. So I did a quick reccy , I had home made soup in the freezer and the ingredients to make cheese scones. Enough to last me several days.

It took me all morning.

But it was worth it. The point of this is I realised that often I gave little thought to meals until the last minute, and even if I did then I left it till I was too tired to be bothered by cooking what I planned, and I would scratch some sustenance together.

Exercise is the same. I would start a day thinking I might go for a walk or a swim, but then wouldn’t go.

And then crafting, Oh I love the new project, the shopping the choosing, the starting, the thinking about starting…tomorrow.

I knew after I lost Mr E I needed to meet new people, do new things, and I might, or it might feel too scary, and I’d get cold feet or start too many. I looked at my bookcase, my life was just like if.

Higgely Piggely

Or Topsy Turvey , out of balance, failing to think of the basic building blocks of life in favour of the scatter cushions.

Food and exercise have to come First. Nothing like having to be indoors and not allowed out to make one realise that outside is pretty important. In fact I quickly realised that I needed to be outside to get better. The one single thing,the need for fresh clean air to cleanse this thing out of my system was prohibited. I got up at 4.30am just to stand in the garden and breathe. Yes it was bloomin cold, but five hours later I got that negative first test.

Then I thought about how procrastinating about basic household stuff actually made things worse. All from fear, of what I don’t know. My enormous list now over 30 things that at sometime need attending too.

So my rebalance, would be food, exercise, household maintenance. What else needs to be here? Feeling useful perhaps? I have volunteered to take on Safeguarding for my local church. It’s a commitment, requires some work being quite new to the parish. I try to be useful to my family, supporting them however I can, getting the balance right, leaving them their own space too.

So I have Food, Exercise, Household matters, Being useful.

Mental well being. Well all of the above helps, but we are social beings. The phone calls, text messages, emails, blogs have been invaluable, shouting at the Royal mail delivery driver to leave a parcel in the porch because I had Covid and couldn’t take it from her was not nice. Necessary but not pleasant. I have never seen a delivery driver shift so fast.

Seeing people then, being with others, even if only fleetingly. I had already had a hint of this need through the last few months. Days when I stop in all day long leave me feeling yuk, down in the dumps, blah. Getting out and seeing people then.

Which leads me to that bookcase. The contents of which reflect all the things I am interested in, and would ideally like to spend my days doing. And there the books are in a bit of a muddle. And when I don’t do all the things , again I feel well blah or meh if you prefer.

So Balance will be my word for the year, as suggested. Prioritising the basics before I put the cherry on the top, but never forgetting that the scatter cushions and the cherry on the top are important too.

I’d love to know your thoughts on what I just wrote. I don’t like pretentious b…sh.., so hopefully it doesn’t sound like that. How do you achieve balance? Sorry about the mixed metaphores too, blame the cotton wool covid brain. I do. I am now officially not infectious with Covid. I just need to get over this thing, it was exhausting even with the vaccines. Tessa is coming shortly, to see what trees to get and where to put them. Bit excited. Lot excited, who do I think I am kidding.

Take care, xx

Comments on: "One Word" (50)

  1. I enjoyed reading your post. I think you are doing great. My word for this year is Patience with Balance a very, very close second. I have so much trouble balancing everything, even though I wanted it to be my word. I knew I would struggle with it and decided I needed to have Patience first. With so many things in my life. Both are so hard. It sounds like you are off to a great start with balancing the most important things first. The necessities. Remember to take some time for yourself and do something fun. I wish you a great year.

  2. In addition to “Balance”, I hope the word “Patience” is in there too. You are just amazing, hope you realize it, and I am standing on the other side of the pond applauding πŸ™‚

  3. Finding the balance in our lives is critical to our well-being. I’ve been known to take on too much, until I realize how overloaded I’ve become. One of my favorite words is “simplify”. Finding ways to make life tasks easier, or to simply let them go. You’re working through a profound grief, and now a terrible case of Covid. From what I hear, the fatigue is horrible. I hope you’ll take the time to fully recover (that’s a form of rebalancing in itself). Perhaps you can tackle one thing a month: January, balance your health, February, balance your meal-planning, and so on? Thanks for sharing. Sending healing thoughts your way.

    • Concentrating on one aspect at a time is a Good plan, and makes things more manageable. I have also realised that writing something like apple trees on a to do list, is too big a task, breaking it into smaller tasks enables progress. Apple trees are a goal not a single task.

  4. I think it’s so wise that you include that sense of purpose in your ‘basics,’ in your foundation–right along with physical nourishment and care. Last year, I read a book about Ikigai–the Japanese word for ‘What gives a life meaning…purpose.’ It was a quick read… a little book…but it stuck with me! (I keep a phrase in the front of my BUJO: Your strengths are your guidepost to your purpose…)

    • Thank you for the book recommendation, I shall keep a look out for a copy. I did so many different jobs over the years, it’s Good to be able to use some of the knowledge and experience in a new way.

  5. Cathy you are an inspiration!
    My word for the year (or coming months anyway) is, like Kate’s, FINISH.
    There are so many unfinished projects lying around my house.
    Are you back to full strength yet? Keep taking those vitamins. πŸ™‚

  6. Going Batty in Wales said:

    I really admire the way you are picking yourself up after a horrible year and making plans for your future. Balance is a brilliant word to have at this point – well done that friend! Activity and rest, indoors and outside, sociable and solitary, creative and mundane. It is like standing on a ball! I bet you fall off sometimes, especially when things go wrong. But I know you will pick yourself up and get back on it. Talking to a friend the other day we were discussing the importance of having a vision of ‘How things will be’ and then every day taking a step, however small towards that. So if part of your vision is tidy bookshelves you start by moving and sorting one pile on one shelf. I know I set myself too much to do and expect it done yesterday! Do NOT follow my bad example!

    • This is a super comment, thank you. I love the idea of the vision of how things will be. I have rather a lot of superfluous things in the house,to deal with. I am after all never going to play an electric guitar or fly a drone!

      • Going Batty in Wales said:

        I suspect your grandchildren would like both of those! I know what you mean about needing to sort through Mr E’s things and decide what to keep and what to get rid of – not a happy task. Equally there is probably no need to rush at it. I thought of it as having to eat my greens! I ate some then had some pudding! And a vision of your future may take a while to emerge but it will.

  7. Your resilience and attitude to tackling what life throws at you is truly commendable Cathy. Remember that in balance lies a combination of activity and rest, pace yourself and don’t try to do too much too soon. You really have been clobbered the last so many months. Just picking some things to start with on your list, but remembering that as well as activity and planning, times to be quiet and rest are just as important.

    • You sound just like my daughter in law, who has advised that I must include nice things as well as necessary ones! Just cooked a roast chicken lunch all for me, feeling rather soporific now.

  8. I like your word for the year, Cathy, and the impulses it’s bringing for you! The fruit trees sound a completely marvellous idea and I hope all goes well with the coming grove. Despite your regretful acquaintance with C-29, you’re courageously making lemonade from the lemons. Onward into your new adventures! As we all go forward into this New Year, thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us. πŸ’• Many warm hugs to you! πŸ’•

  9. You have definitely had a deep think about the most important things to do and in which order.

    I think each person has different things to balance, based on their circumstances, personality and such. At the end of the day, you know what makes you tick, but food and fresh air are a must for everyone 😊.

    I hope you are fully recovered very soon, Cathy.

  10. Murtagh's Meadow said:

    Balance is a good word. I agree fresh air is important when ill. So glad you are on the mend and sorry to hear the virus has left you drained.

  11. If I was in your shoes, in recovery from covid…I would take a big break, rest and regain my strength. Maybe set a date to get the word “balance” under way. Whilst resting put a plan together on paper that argues for short bursts of challenges, so you don’t get overwhelmed.

    And idea relating to balance is “what needs replacing or bought. Your fruit tree.s fall into that. But what objects do you use regularly but now are old, tired and truly not nice to use.

    Some friends of mine replaced all the bathroom towels. And I’m about to do my kitchen ware towels.

    Anyway take care, get completely well again, cheers Catherine

    • Rest has come up my list if priorities today. Slept badly, but tired today. I would love some new duvet covers. I keep them for too long. It’s a fine line when it comes to replacing things that sill still “do” but the love has gone. Thank you for these thoughts.

      • Aha, bedding… I replaced most mine in 2020…as I didn’t have nice sets. I was going to get a duvet (never had one) but in the end I rejigged what I had…the woollen under blanket was a joyful turquoise and white plaid…and I bought a new fitted underblanket thing. 2 x 2 fitted sheet sets in both winter and summer weight, some new pillows They have been a joy, I’m pleased I did that…

  12. Balance sounds like a good word and your priority list sounds spot on. Glad you can now go out and about again. Look forward to hearing about your fruit trees.

  13. Cathy, I am just impressed at how well you are navigating the loss of your beloved Mr. E. It takes time, and you have allowed yourself time. Now you are waking up and seeing how you can thrive in your new world, and making excellent choices. Your word, Balance, is perfect for this year, and I think it will keep you moving forward. Your 12 Days of Wild proves you are made to good stuff, and you are going to thrive in the days and years to come. Mr. E is looking down from Heaven, and telling his neighbor, β€œThat’s my girl!”

    • Kathy thank you so much. I go and chat to his photo from time to time you know and tell him what’s happening. I even occasionally admit when he was right about something! Not quite certain what he’d make to nine fruit trees!

  14. Balance sounds like a good word. πŸ™‚
    I think I have covid now, awaiting PCR test results. Taking the time to do some much needed tidying, cleaning and sorting. Luckily only feel like I have a cold so far.

    • My dose was short lived. Two days odd cough, three days odd cough plus sneezing, one day nonstop nose blowing with four hours of eyes watering beyond control, which was so awful I retired to bed. On waking I took a lemsip and twenty minutes later it all stopped. Next day I felt shattered and couldn’t smell a thing. Following day sense of smell getting better, but oddly couldn’t smell bleach or vinegar. Following day tested negative, and the next day too, felt wobbly though, today nearly back to normal but very tired, it was not nice. Hopefully you will be fine, plus you are younger than me. My two sons, same variant, one felt hot and sweaty, the other ached all over. Three different experiences but all of us exhausted by it. Now on Lucozade and vitamins! Take care, x

      • That’s a real roll call of symptoms you have had. I’m feeling tired today and sneezing like a trooper! But watching Splash, very retro. Lucozade and vitamins sound like a good plan. X

  15. I have been choosing a guiding word for 15 years now and it helps me create a focus and balance so I think this is a good start. We are learning about those nose bashing moments, aren’t we? I am finding your words here are spot on and even without having COVID, I think this is a very good start for me too. Food, exercise, household maintenance is where I need to do some balancing this month.

    • Oh bless you, thank you for your comment. So Good to know that choosing a word a year can be such a good guide. Hoping that you too achieve balance this month.

  16. You are a person of many many interests, and I know myself that sometimes things get overwhelming when your attention is all over the show. Also, dealing with bereavement and serious illness and a general lockdown doesn’t help. You have been thrown completely off balance – which is perfectly understandable under the circumstances.
    I think BALANCE is the perfect word for you for 2022 – and I’ve decided I’m going to borrow it myself. I hope you don’t mind! Only you know what it takes to keep feeling balanced and in control of your own life, and you are after all one sensible lady. I’m probably less sensible than you (heh!) but I’ve worked on a few techniques in this past year to help with the anxiety of feeling that my life is too much of a juggling act most of the time. Little things help.
    Sometimes we completely forget the absolute basics, as you make so clear – fresh air, seeing people, making sure we eat healthily, getting rest when our bodies tell us that is what we need.
    So, here’s to balance! Hope you are back on form soon, and happy tree-ing xxx

    • Thank you for this wonderful comment, acknowledging everything that’s happened, and understanding how easy it is for things to be utterly in a pickle.Please do re balance yourself, mutual support and all that. Hugs, x

  17. claire93 said:

    Balance sounds like an excellent thing to keep in mind this year – a little bit of everything, but everything in moderation ^^

  18. I like your word… nearly as much as my own, which is Finish. I have no trouble with the sewing stuff, it’s the Other Stuff that gives me trouble. Like taking the extra chairs out of my sewing room now that Christmas lunch is long, long over.
    I hope your health is restored to Balance very soon, that you’re able to Balance your available energy with your new To Do list, and that you will cautiously Balance what you think might need to be discarded against what has happy or relevant memories.
    Hugs, and get well soon.

    • Thanks Kate. Finish is an excellent word. I have plenty of Finish to do,but Start is so much more exciting. I have made an OK start today, meals for the weekend planned and shopped for. Tessa my garden consultant is as excited as me by the idea of my fruit tree grove. The trees are on order and we have stuck canes in the garden to show where they will go. We have eyed the artificial grass and decided it’s doable. Now I am doing rest, because this thing may have been fast but it was savage.

  19. Balance – a good word. At the moment I am very much like your bookshelf – higgledy piggledy. I should try and follow your lead …. maybe starting tomorrow!

  20. Prioritizing the basics – I love it! And I’m looking forward to following your journey this year ❀️

    • Thanks, it really does mean upending my thought processes to begin with, and then I am hoping that wonderful things happen. I have seen how it changed you last year,

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