I’ve been gone longer than I intended.  That’s summer for you.  In Ireland our National (junior) schools close at the end of June and that gives us around 9 or 10 weeks to juggle work, holidays, activity camps, days out, visitors, training courses and the like.  It’s quite testing though I’m fortunate I work from home and have only one child who is not overly demanding. 

This year was also Jake’s last in National school and I felt quite emotional saying goodbye to the three teachers at his small country school who have been strict and loving in equal measure, a perfect combination.  He went in on the last day laden with gifts and I thanked God and the universe for his innocence at happily carrying in small bunches of roses to them.  Never again will he be young enough to do that.  Without unmerciful teasing from his mates anyway.

I’m grateful that my work has continued to flow throughout the summer though I think it will be more fun next year to organise myself better and take more time completely away from the business.  Everyone will benefit, I think and so I’ve already scheduled that break into my vision for the next twelve months. 

And just re-checking my vision I see I’ve also awarded myself two ski trips, January and March.  Not to mention that I’m back to 9 stone, in the house of my dreams, with a new business and another strategic partnership  – all by next September!  Don’t you just love visions?

In addition, since writing the above earlier today, I’ve been away from my desk and all that driving around in the sunshine has given me the idea for my book.  Of course, we all have ideas for books, don’t we?  The trick will be writing the little beauty but trust me, it will be one of those that once you start, you just won’t be able to stop reading.  And the content will be so outrageous you’ll know it couldn’t possibly be fiction.

Talking of reading, buying and covering all those new text books for Jake has reminded me that education is wasted on the young.  I have been far more fascinated by his texts than him and I would just love the luxury of three years’ study now.  While he would fit nicely up a chimney or on a milking stool.

My school was wonderful and focussed entirely on traditional academic subjects which is why I’m able to punctuate sentences correctly and read mediaeval French texts but cannot  sew on a button or bake a cake.  And now I think it would be rather fun to study, as per his timetable, not just GEOG and ENG but also HOEC, BUST, CSPE and SPHE.  Once I’ve worked out what they are anyway.

As they won’t let me do that however, I am just going to jolly well enjoy myself on my own.  For the last  four years I have had just four uninterruptible hours from 10am to 2pm in between the two daily school runs.  With effect from next Monday, Jake’s day-boarder status means I’ll get almost 12 uninterruptible hours every day.  That’s thrice what I’m used to, a veritable abundance of time!

How will I use it?  Will I be found rooted to my desk each evening, working three times as hard and watching my income shoot up?  Will I become addicted to daytime TV?  Go the the gym every morning?  Start volunteering?  Work part-time on the tills at Tesco?  Write my book?  An abundance of choices!  I can hardly wait.

There’s a danger for me though in having too much time.  Nice as that sounds, I know it’s possible I’ll work too much or play too hard.  When one has endless time in which to do things, it is all too easy to do nothing, at least nothing of any merit.  So I shall be as careful with my 12 hours as I used to be with my four, and love and cherish them all.  That’s the plan.  Let’s see how I get on.

"Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are.  Let me learn from you, love you, savour you, bless you before you depart.  Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.  Let me hold you while I may, for it will not always be so.  One day I shall bury my face in the pillow, or raise my hands to the sky, and want, more than all the world, your return."

Mary Jean Irion

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