It is about a woman who is struggling in the midst of motherhood, giving up her career and a less than satisfactory marriage and how the wisdom and experience of the older woman who lives next door helps her. And, even better, it uses gardening and flowers as analogies!
What a perfect book for all of us in a similar situation. As I read a book, I sometimes pop a bookmark in a page that speaks to me and go back later and copy out quotes. I am only halfway through and this book has so many bookmarks poking out it looks like an echidna!
|I had to say echidna, being Australian!|
The older woman is advising the younger that she thinks it is best to immerse yourself in five things in life.
'I've always found that when I try mastering more than five things, I start to feel overwhelmed, and when I have less than five priorities on my plate, I feel lonely, bored and lazy.'
This made the younger woman think of the committees she would agree to be on, baking for bake sales, etc. Always saying yes, instead of really thinking about whether she wanted to do or if it was the best fit for her and her family. I think we've all been there! School, particularly, seems to throw up a million of these activities that we feel we should say yes to. Homeschooling is so much easier and more enjoyable!
So I have been thinking about my five priorities:
- Spending time with my children. This is much harder now they are at school. I really do miss homeschooling. But they will be gone before I know it so this time is valuable.
- My little farm. I really, really want to make this farm into a viable proposition, growing as much of our own food (and flowers) as possible as well as excess to sell. This is just so important to me.
- My knitting and quilting really make me feel happy. I get such a thrill from a finished item, especially if it is a gift. I couldn't imagine not being able to knit or sew every day.
- Helping out at the boys' school. It is not the same, but this is the only input I have into their education, so I want to be at as many events as possible. I am on one committee at the moment, the school PFA. I was on others but I have resigned as I was spreading myself too thin and I want to focus directly on family.
- Planning for the future. This includes food storage and other prepping, and hopefully building a more secure, environmentally friendly home one day. I truly believe we cannot rely on the current system and need to be ready for change.