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Month: May 2018

I’ve fallen in love with England…

We went exploring this weekend! I had been looking online for tea rooms (the English equivalent of a cafe) that hold a variety of loose leaf herbal teas in our area and found a promising looking one in Broadway, a little village in the Cotswolds. On Saturday morning we made a last minute decision to spend the afternoon out of the house and headed out just after lunch. The hour or so drive down to the Cotswolds is absolutely lovely; each spring I fall a little more in love with the English countryside! We drove through little villages, past rolling green hills and fields of rapeseed and sheep bordered by dry-stone fences. The weather wasn’t perfect; the sky was overcast and it was rather chilly, but thankfully there wasn’t any rain!

Broadway is actually fairly large as far as English villages go. We drove through it until we found the car park and then wandered up the High Street. The street is curving and lined with period houses and honey-colored cottages. I  love exploring the little shops on high streets, they always have such an amazing variety of unique and cute goods. I do my best to just enjoy the experience and not actually spend any money, which can be hard at times! I always love having Jason with me on these excursions, but it definitely is an added bonus that he keeps my from buying anything unnecessary or that I can make at home.

We walked past the shops and along the more residential part of the street where many of the cottages were covered in wisteria, clematis or ivy. I just love wisteria blooming in the spring! I don’t recall ever noticing it in Canada, I don’t know if it isn’t grown much over there or if I just wasn’t taking any notice. I suppose all the extra water helps the wisteria and clematis vines grow like crazy. Whatever the cause is I’ll just appreciate the absolute beauty!

Once we had walked back down the High Street we went to Tisanes Tea Rooms and managed to find a table outside in the back garden. They are in what must have been a home at one point and the back garden is surrounded by an old stone wall with flowers growing out of it. They also had rosemary planted outside as shrubs in the flower beds, which again is something I have never seen before! It has these beautiful little blue flowers that contrast amazingly with the dark green of the rest of the plant. We ordered tea and sat talking for a long time… until I got rather cold and decided I needed to get moving or inside somewhere warm!

 

By the time we got back to the car we didn’t want the afternoon to end quite yet so decided to go over to Bourton-on-the-Water, another little old Cotswold village. We had visited there at the end of November 3 years ago and really enjoyed ourselves, despite the fact that it poured with rain the entire day. They also have a hedge maze right in the village that we wanted to go through, but it happened to be closed that day, much to Jason’s disappointment. We were sure it would be open this time, seeing as it was a Saturday well into May, but we were wrong! We ended up walking up the High Street and checking out a few of the shops, then walked back down the creek that runs through the village crossed with low stone bridges.

It really was a very simple day; we didn’t go on any adventures or do anything terribly exciting, but I still enjoyed it so much. There was so much beauty to appreciate and so much time to talk about everything and nothing. It is amazing how easily we can go through evenings or days at home without having proper long conversations! I really want to make sure we do this type of thing more often; there are so many lovely and unique places to visit in England that are not far from where we live. I just need to make sure we take advantage of it!

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Change is actually possible for me!

I think we all have a picture in our mind of who and what we want to be. I know I have built an image of this ideal woman who is always happy and contented. She doesn’t let other people’s attitudes shake her own mood and always responds with love. She keeps her home perfectly clean and organized and works out at least three times a week. I could go on and on and on…

This perfect woman is constantly in my head, usually pointing out the ways I’ve failed to live up to her standards each day. At times she inspires me to do better, but most of the time I just feel depressed and incapable of change. However, a few days ago my husband said something to me that made me realize that I’m not as useless as I generally feel and I am actually capable of improvement!

It was Sunday afternoon and Jason was watching me start cleaning the bathroom while he was lying on out bed (he wasn’t feeling well at all, not just being lazy!). This was shortly after I’d been griping about how I really did not want to housework and just felt like chilling. He just said “I don’t know how you do it.” When I asked what he was referring to he explained that I just push on and do whatever needs to be done regardless of how I’m feeling.

Now this may not seem like a big deal, but to me it was huge; not only because he isn’t always overflowing with compliments, but because I have viewed myself as a very lazy procrastinator. I’ve always been a very messy person, my room at my parent’s house was usually about a foot deep in clothes and various other of my possessions. Before we got married I had no idea how I would cope with housework and keeping things tidy and just all the things that need to be done around the house on a daily or weekly basis. And to be honest I was pretty awful for the first while… dishes wouldn’t be done for days, my clothes were still left all over the floor and it would take most of the week to finally get the weekend’s clean laundry put away. The state of our house usually made me feel depressed and rather like a failure as an adult and a wife. I think it irritated Jason a fair bit as well… with good reason!

I realize that being tidy and organized is not the be all and end all in life. I know that you don’t have to have the perfect home and wash and dry each dish immediately after use to be considered mature and responsible. But I also knew that I really needed to improve (and still do)! And as I said at the beginning, my natural tendency is to look at my weaknesses as evidence of my general worthlessness rather than simply areas that I need to work on improving.

Having Jason point out how I’d started automatically tidying up and having him impressed with me really meant so much to me! It made me realize that I actually have changed over the past few months; something has somehow clicked in my brain that as the dishes need to be washed I just need to get on and do them! In no way do I keep an immaculate house, but now my clothes are always put away, the dishes are almost always washed and the rooms are usually tidy overall. I hadn’t noticed this change; it happened so gradually that it became my new normal. I still viewed myself as messy and lazy because I hadn’t recognized that had actually (mostly) left that part of myself behind! It took Jason reminding me to stop and compare myself 6 months ago to who I am now to realize that I am actually capable of improvement. I really can’t say just how good this made me feel!

The point of this post isn’t to point out how amazing I am for cleaning my bathroom and washing my dishes. Please don’t take it this way! I have just realized how helpful (and necessary) it is to look back at where we were some time ago and recognize what changes and improvements have been made. Many times it is near impossible to see how you could ever make even a small change when in the moment; just take a step back and think about who you were a year ago. I’m sure you can find a least one area where you’ve grown closer to your ideal.

And on that note… I need to go wash the dishes before heading to bed!

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