As any busy person knows a hot drink is a luxury. The chance to pause, to make the drink, to wait for it to hit that perfect drinking temperature and then the time it takes to savour and enjoy. In the lives of many this can be out of reach.
Yet we all know that the difference between a good day and a bad day is a series of moments. When we reflect on how a day went, what it felt like, whether it was good or bad can be differentiated by the smallest of details. We say to ourselves ‘everything went wrong today’ but really we mean two things went wrong but it shaded the lens of our perception, it changed how we saw all the other moments.
I’m learning, bit by bit, what it is that makes a day work for me. I set the tone for our family, for our school days, so this knowledge is powerful and helps me plan our weeks and days. I’ve learned that Monday’s are usually a good day, I’ve got a bit more energy after spending a weekend with my beloved and I’m up for the tasks of the day. This is a day for productivity, for getting things done.
Tuesday by comparison is a day I find hard, I am often scratchy and feeling the effects of a busy Monday. Is it only Tuesday? I think to myself. Luckily a friend of mine has started running a science co-op on a Tuesday, so it becomes about socialising, learning, connecting; a much better rhythm for me. These little quirks and idiosyncrasies are part of what makes up my feelings about life. Did I have a bad day or is this just a day I struggle with? How can I get around that? When you are your own boss and your children’s parent/teacher/nurse etc this knowledge affects us all.
Another thing I have learned is that I need a bit of a break after a busy morning. We haven’t had naptime in our family for going on 3 years but I do like some separation after lunch. I send the boys upstairs for ‘quiet time’ (they are often not so quiet) which gives me a chance to eat my lunch in peace and enjoy a cup of tea and treat after lunch.
This feeling of retreat, of quiet, of heading into the second part of the day a little more fortified, a little more refreshed is important to me. It is the afternoon hours that find me slumping in energy and enthusiasm, so I need to find some inner resources to make that slump as graceful as possible. In this month of cold and inside time that is translating to lots and lots of stories on the sofa, some knitting, some project time. It’s a nice balance that we are easing into, that will be our rhythm until the spring truly comes.
Today I am sitting in the study, looking out at the grey layers of clouds that sit heavily above us. The landscape is confused by the strange thaw we are experiencing, paths of grass poke through the slushy snow; but we all know that the winter is still here, that it will be back soon enough. So I sip my cup of hot peppermint tea, sweetened by a dab of our own perfect honey; I snack on a home made energy bar, enjoying the way the two tastes merge in my mouth.
Days have their ups, and downs, but one thing I can rely on is the magical properties of a nice cup of tea. I am English after all.
Home Made Energy Bar
1 cup Raw Almonds (You can also use Cashews)
1-2 large tblespns of Sunflower Seeds
1-2 large tblespns of Pumpkin Seeds
1/2 tblespn of Chia Seeds (I keep mine in the freezer as a bag goes a very long way)
1 cup of Medjool Dates without the pits
1 teaspoon of Vanilla Essence
1 tblespn of Coconut Oil
1 tblespn of Raw Honey
1 tblespn of Nut Butter
2-4 tblespns of Dark Chocolate drops – add to your own taste. These are optional but a very good addition!
First add nuts and seeds to your food processor and grind until they are a meal (gravelly texture), add the dates one at a time. As the dates are processed in the mixture will become stickier, if it is still very dry add a couple more dates.
Then add the ‘wet’ ingredients one at a time . Pulse in the chocolate drops right at the end just to mix them in. Spread mixture into an 8 x 8 pan, at this point I cut the mix into square shapes before popping in the freezer to set.
Eat with a hot cup of tea.