Staring Time

I made a decision a few weeks ago to wake up early…


My house is full and lively in all the best ways and I love it most of the time. The days speed by in a blur of wrestling and snacks and bouncing and laughter and crying – it’s full. It’s hard to get bored and it’s hard to find any time alone to think about much else other than where the next snack is coming from.  

But, being hopelessly introverted at heart, I know that I am a better person if I get a bit of time to myself each day. Contrary to what I’d previously thought, the cycle ride to work wasn’t cutting it and I want to make sure that life isn’t something I’m just ‘getting through’. Most of the time I feel aware of how quickly my kids are growing and how quickly time seems to be passing. But the days seem so long and tiring that I almost feel powerless to do much about it.

So with the assistance of the summer holiday’s exhaustion and a renewed determination to enjoy the brilliantly full life I’m lucky to lead, I’ve found… the early morning. A curious time where the trampoline lies flat, the TV is off and toys remain still as if asleep.

In these times the coffee appears to taste sweeter and my brain feels more sober. My master plan for this time… well mostly it’s just staring out the window with a coffee in my hand. And then after I’ve done that for a quite a few minutes I ask myself a few questions that I’ve read in a book and try and remember the kind of Dad, husband, friend, I want to be. Then I’ve been trying to figure out a few things to do that day that will move me closer to that person.

So, as planned in an early morning staring session, this bank holiday I camped with my boys in the back garden…. I had grand plans for staring up at the stars with the boys asleep in the tent marvelling at how wonderful life was. Unfortunately, once the tent was set up and we were inside, as it was a bank holiday in England, the rain fell.  This of course wouldn’t have been a problem except the tent is 18 years old and apparently not waterproof anymore. So, less keen on a damp night sleeping in the great outdoors, we abandoned the tent, waited for the rain to stop and roasted marshmallows before turning the camp-out to a camp-in. The living room was certainly drier than the tent but every bit as exciting. And I may have been staring up at a lampshade rather than the stars but it’s hard not to be thankful and full of wonder when your two little fellas fall asleep with their heads on your belly.

Good idea, staring time… good idea.


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