Finding a Rhythm

This is at the crux of my New Year’s resolutions. It’s actually always in the back of my mind, regarding both creating a daily routine and art-making. Finding balance is, for me, connected to functioning within some sort of structure. But it’s something I struggle with. Especially when that structure is self-imposed. And if the structure is too strict, I get frustrated. Conversely, if I am not self-disciplined enough, I get annoyed with myself. So hopefully this is the year I figure out how to tailor my day-to-day life into a rhythm that works.

November and December disrupted my rhythm. I was busy. The days grew shorter. My sleep pattern was wonky. But lots of great things happened. And other things – like this blog — fell by the wayside. So I’ll use the next few posts to update you all on what went on, and what we’re looking forward to in 2016.2015-10-22 11.54.58

Hughie started working for Apple in October. He’s on a French speaking team in the Fraud Prevention department. Sounds fancy, doesn’t it? So far, Apple has been a great company to work for and we both have health insurance, yay! Hughie is delighted to be using his French on a daily basis, though he has had some excessively early mornings, like a 6am shift on Sundays, ugh! We’re looking forward to this changing soon.

Gareth, our writer-in-residence, was working away this autumn, both on the house and on his writing. He removed the plaster in the library and most of the hallway, and submitted stories to a number of publications. Not to mention kept us in “Dirty Coffees” aka instant cappuccinos spiked with Baileys Irish Cream. He recently received word that some of his work will be published in 2016 – congratulations Gareth! We’ll be sure to let you know where you can find it when they come out.

In sad news, we experienced an unexpected tragedy this autumn. Over the course of two weeks, all four of the outdoor cats went missing. We aren’t sure what happened to them – poison? River weasels? Drowning? I was especially devastated to lose Fred, who was always climbing into my arms or perched on my shoulder. The worst part was feeling somehow responsible, putting the cats in unknown danger when we thought we were giving them great life. Cashel & Spy are strictly indoor cats for the time being, especially as we don’t know what the outside cats got into.

We haven’t given up on the animals, though.

We are getting a goat soon. She’s currently accompanying a mare whose her foal was taken away. Their trial separation didn’t go so well, so we’re not sure when exactly we’ll be getting her. She will be so busy keeping down the briars and brambles in the back garden.

The week before Christmas we adopted Elvis, a 5-month old English Setter. He is gorgeous and has amazing hunting instincts. He goes nuts for the birds, and is constantly pointing on our walks. He is also a total klutz and cuddle bug, so keeps us laughing. He has an enormous amount of energy and I’ve been taking him on hour-long walks up Glenbower Wood when the weather is decent. I think the wood is even more beautiful in winter when you can see the sculptural silhouettes of the trees.

Adding Elvis to our family has been a great way to find a new rhythm for 2016 (though the cats are not impressed.) Getting up to let him out keeps me from sleeping in, and daily walks make sure I get some fresh air and exercise. I’m hoping 2016 is the year I add meditation and morning pages (a daily free-write from the book The Artist’s Way) to my weekly routine. I’m also trying to jot down something I’m grateful for each day. And I might even be learning not to be too hard on myself!

What do you hope your 2016 rhythm is like?