Nothing Steady and Predictable About Our Day-to-Day…

Hubs and I have led atypical lives together.

9-5 was not the norm for us.

There was nothing steady and predictable about our day-to-day.

Jobs and financial security weren’t the norm either.

There are times when we worry about our children who are apparently following in our footsteps by shirking steady, predictable lives,

“You encouraged us to follow our dreams…

“And question everything…

“To take risks….

“And live outside the cereal box…” they tell us.

Evidently their choices of life-styles are rooted in what they learned at Wildflower Academy.

“You can do anything,” I’d say, “don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!”

Steady and predictable may be safe from the standpoint of parents of young adults,

but life inside a cereal box can get rather claustrophobic.

Hubs’ and my lives have always been more than a little adventurous…in fact our lives have bordered on the reckless according to my parents who quickly fell into the ‘need to know’ category once I’d taken control of my life.

They were part of the 9-5 crowd although their jobs as British diplomats were somewhat unconventional; they still had steady incomes and predictable futures even when they didn’t know which country they were going to be in from one year to the next.


Caspian Sea, Iran 1974

Hubs and I tend to seize the moment, we turn the ordinary into the extraordinary by carrying our lunch outside to a tree house, immersing ourselves in the theatre for weeks at a time, schooling while exploring the world.

My grandmother called it finding the silver lining…goodness, she lived and thrived during two world wars so she knew how to walk her talk and find the opportunity in every situation, from playing hide-and-seek during the blackouts to taking in families whose houses had been bombed the night before and pooling ration books to get the most from the grocers.


Forthbridge Road, London, 1966

Hubs spent months on the road touring as an independent contractor, when he came home it could be for months or only days, we never knew.

As our family grew his job changed and for more than two decades we have both worked from home, me homeschooling, he managing various artists.  Our children thought all their friends’ mothers and fathers were around all day too…it was quite an eye opener when they discovered that our way wasn’t the Everyman-way.  Cinnamon roll day was not a special Friday morning breakfast in every household.  Sunday cartoons were not read out loud in every family’s car on the way to mass.  ‘Hi-Ya! wasn’t a game anyone else played!

Our normal was unconventional.

We liked that.  The children, knowing no better, liked that too.

Consequently when the request came to Shelter-at-Home our lives – as free-spirited empty-nesters – didn’t change very much.

I no longer go to substitute at school or pop down to work at the winery every Saturday but for the most part our times together haven’t been interrupted.

We are more productive, if that’s possible for the enterprising souls we are.

There are no outside interruptions and we can change the rhythm of our days depending on the weather, or what time we go to bed the night before or whether or not we need to pop to the grocery shop for produce or toilet paper.

We made a conscious decision not to wallow in all the things we could not do…

We praise God for the beauty of our property and devise ways to offer our gift to others.

“Come out and walk in the fields…

“Photograph the birds or wild flowers…

“Sit and enjoy the silence…

“Try stations of the cross in the woods…”


One Bodacious Bois d’Arc

As we’re both writers and can happily sit at the computer for hours at a time we’ve portioned our day into 2 hour segments so that we can look back on this time of strangeness with a sense of accomplishment.

I make soup or sour dough bread, Hubs burns wood.

I launder curtains, Hubs mows meadows.

I groom the cats, Hubs vacuums.

I walk contemplatively, Hubs takes a ‘deep meditation’.

I handwrite letters with a fountain pen filled with green ink, Hubs hangs a screen door.

I put on lipstick, Hubs sets the table with candles and wine.

I love these days that stretch from sun-up to sun-down with no schedule except our own.  I’ve crossed everything off my calendar; it hangs empty save for birthdays and anniversaries.


Shakespeare in the Park, 2019

We make a ‘things to accomplish list’ and we slowly work through it.

Easy things like cleaning a drawer, replacing door knobs, polishing pewter.

More complicated things like switching out the living room slip covers, replacing shelves on a saddened baker’s rack, repairing the blinker on the Cadillac.

As the light fails, later and later each day,

We write.

We listen to music.

We prepare dinner.

We talk.

We enjoy an episode or two on Netflix.

We read then snuggle in each others arms for the night.

Some may be agitated by the unsteadiness of their jobs at the moment…

For me the unsteadiness of a job is as familiar as my children’s text tones.

Others may be poleaxed by their financial insecurity…

For me financial insecurity is about as common as a spring shower.

I carry on with my life as it is right now.

I don’t miss the bustle of an office, the frustration of a commute, the monotony of meetings, the anticipation of performance reviews, the lure of a promotion or the promise of a bonus.


The promise of a squash

I said to Daughts today,

“It’s such a shame that with all this extra time on our hands,”  I really meant her hands now she’s not having to go to work every day, “we can’t get together and clean your fridge or go shopping, or plant some cotton in my new flowerbed…”

“You go plant your cotton Mum…” she said, “I’m busy dealing with a leak I found when I cleaned out under my sink!”

May the Lord bless you.  May you feel embraced by Him;

May you remember this brief time spent in my world where nothing is steady or predictable about your day.

May you “learn the secret of being content in any and every situation…” (Philippians 4:12)

May you miss the spontaneity, the family connections, the simpler things.

May you be safe as we go forward.

Share this:

No comments so far!

Leave a Comment