Do It Yourselves – in little steps, together

As the season changes, a stressful preoccupation with ‘things we ought to do before the winter’ can set in, and there feels like less hours in the day than there were just a few weeks ago.

These are the times when we realise how easy bad habits are to fall into. Too much fretting about things we need to do, and whether we’re going about them in the right way, can give us very restless minds.

What’s the outcome we want from completing all those jobs anyway? To be safe, happy, warm and together. We can have that now if we choose to, in between doing what we can of the jobs on our list.

All you can ever do is one thing at a time, so instead of thinking of the whole task at once, it helps if we just look at it step by step. Today’s progress was to find sheets to cover up the things in our lean-to so that the roof of it can be taken off and a ladder can reach the rotten barge boards on the roof.

We can also try and find opportunities to do things in a better way. At the moment, tasks requiring practical skills are more or less entirely Brian’s area, which isn’t logical, especially since he is the one who has arthritis. We need to do things together.

In the meantime, there’s always something positive that we can be doing, and sometimes the most important ‘to do’ is to rest – such as when you have a flu-ey cold, like Brian does this weekend.

Today was a super-simple resting day. Our main achievements were: laundry, planting out two rudbeckias, and picking another hefty pile of runner beans. Here they are, about to be stored, while we were listening to something appropriate on the radio.

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The insect guide is out on the table as we also met a new garden friend today, a buff-tip moth caterpillar. When you look closely at the face of an insect, the whole world seems to simplify.

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