There is a definite balance to be struck for Ady’s convalescence. Weighing up the physical need to take it a bit easy with the psychological need to get back into things. I think he is more or less striking that need with probably pushing himself a tiny bit more than he should just to prove to himself that he still can.
We sat down on Tuesday afternoon once we had caught our breath and drew up a list of jobs that need doing over the coming weeks and pledged to do at least one every day. Also taking into account a list that the four of us came up with on the morning of New Years Eve about making sure each of the four of us is meeting our own personal lists of what makes us happy and is important to us. We had all got a pen and paper and made a list of the things which we wish the other three would do and the things we want to do ourselves in an effort to live in harmony. With four individuals in a small space, making compromises and sacrifices to live the way we do it is really important that all four of us are happy and fulfilled. We all have expectations on each other and sometimes it can slip into resentment if we feel others are not doing what we want them to. Sometimes these expectations are unfair, sometimes you just hadn’t realised that it was quite so important to someone. So we sat down all four of us and talked about the things we hold dear, what we would like to happen in our own perfect ideal world and how best to shape our days taking everyone’s thoughts into account. We talked about what time to get up in the morning, what time to go to bed, whether eating together was important, what we would like to do more of, when we value time alone and when we crave time together and so on. It was really illuminating and while there were no great surprises (Ady would like everyone to get up earlier, I think it’s really important we all eat lunch together, Davies is thinking about what courses or further education he might need in his next stage of life plans, Scarlett wants more responsibility for animal feeding) it threw up some interesting conversations and helped us paint a picture of a ‘normal’ day and reminded us of being tolerant of each other and striking the balance of not being selfish but also being comfortable with stating our own needs. It was a really useful exercise and helped us shape our 2016 Masterplan and come up with the job lists for the coming weeks and months ahead.
So this week we had a very pared down list including things like file tax return, process some firewood, stock take and order animal feed, sort out our upcoming trip off island (visiting friends, dentist trips for Scarlett), deal with the laundry mountain, get petrol ordered, check and clean water filters, inventory of seeds and order anything missing for growing season, collect seaweed for mulching fruit trees. We’ve worked our way through a lot of it, dealt with a few extra things as they have cropped up and found time to slot in some of the other things which had made it onto our life lists such as crafting afternoon with friends for me, bedroom tidy up for Scarlett, playing a game for an hour or so every evening together, organising various trips to meet up with friends (here or away), walk the croft and make future plans (Ady and I). For a low key week it has felt very productive indeed.
It has been very, very cold, you can see your breath in our bedroom which is fine once you are safely in bed but means a lot of condensation. It also means nice hard frosty ground outside on the croft, everything is beautifully topped with a sprinkling of snow or frost and we have had sunny days and blue skies. I can’t remember a time since we have been here of such calm still conditions, particularly at this time of year. It is as though Rum has taken a deep breath and is holding it, waiting to exhale. There is an air of expectation about it and I cannot decide if that is my own state of mind, of the anticipation of spring waiting in the wings or the pent up excitement of us at the start of a new year with so many plans and dreams ahead.
2016 showed its hand really, really early on and if the game is raised to such a high level right from the start I think it’s going to be an interesting year ahead.