Don't you just love Autumn? Blustery days, golden leaves falling, that special light the colour of lemon juice. Though I look forward to it every year, and certainly after late Summer heat, the one thing that always takes me by surprise is the tiredness that accompanies it. And I mean tiredness to the bone. It happens to me every year, in September and October - sometimes even November. And every year I wonder what the heck is wrong with me. Am I anaemic? Too overloaded with work? Dying, perhaps?
I have just returned from a thorough check-up and apparently the latter is not the case. Not just yet anyway. And since I'm not aenemic either, it must come down to too much work. However...I have cut back on my teaching hours this year, so surely that can't be the case. What I am therefore beginning to suspect is that I am simply suffering from a decline in (mental) flexibility. You see, there is nothing I love more than the languid mornings the Summer holidays offer, when I ease my way into the day without the persistent ringing of an alarm clock, mornings in which I wander downstairs when I'm good and ready to find that the kids have pretty much taken care of themselves (quietly too!). M and I are lucky enough to practise the same profession, hence no alarm clock for him six consecutive weeks of the year either. And that seems to slow us down to a normal pace of life. In fact, I am always visited by a particular peace of mind that is pretty much a stranger to me during the busy months of the school year. All this makes the start of the new school/working year a shock to the system. There's schoolbags to pack, sports kits to think of, kids to get out of bed (increasingly difficult!), lunches to make (thankfully M takes care of those) etc. Not to mention a flood of emails to plough through, play-dates, birthday parties and so on and so forth. And our own work to top it off. Anyone with a young family knows what I'm talking about.
As an antidote to the exhausting business I mention above, let me include a couple of photos from our Summer holiday this year. Instead of going abroad as we usually do, we stayed in Holland and went sailing in Friesland. And I'm glad we did. As the domestic tourism campaign slogan used to say back in the days when I still lived in New Zealand: 'Don't leave home till you've seen the country.'
(And yes, I'm the one hiding under the umbrella to prevent sun rash, being the all-round sensitive girl I am).