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Three children *** One big, grey dog *** Two parents *** Country loving *** Cottage dwelling in the South-West of the UK. That’s us!

We’ve been blogging since January 2010.

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Debs Random Writings

Anticipating Yule

A definite air of waiting this week. She feels it too. This hound is used to quiet during the day. Undisturbed time lounging on the sofa. Mulling over world affairs, I like to think. In reality, she is probably dreaming of chasing squirrels up trees.

This week, has felt more like a performance of Waiting for Godot going on around her. Anticipating something that doesn’t happen, while people bustle around her doing not a lot. I bet she misses the squirrels.

Christmas on a Monday, coupled with the children breaking up so early, has created an odd space.

Not that we’ve been idle. There has been secret making and baking. Wood collected. Turkey from the farm ordered. A trip to the dentist. A car ride to see the local lights. The Winter Solstice to celebrate.

(Yule log ready to go on the fire) *

It took a couple of days for the children to shake off school. The age difference seems even larger at the moment. There is only a five year gap, but the daily experience of a 10 year old to a 15 year old might as well be played out on different planets.

I set up a reward system, where they need to spend so much time reading, making, playing a board game together and playing a musical instrument. It has worked. Less screen time and more collaboration. Each day, all three of them have won their prize and harmony is restored.

But there is still an air of waiting for something.

*Yule log  –  I’ve been asked in the past what we do with our yule log, so I thought I’d share. The idea is that as the year turns on the Winter Solstice, you leave something behind. Something that is holding you back. It could be a behaviour like impatience/judgement/intolerance/reliance, or a habit. It has to be about you, not someone else. Nor can it be your annoying little brother. No names to be written.

It is a secret too. Between the person and the yule log.

Each person writes a word or two on a piece of paper, folds it up and wedges it in among the foliage wrapped around the yule log. Once everyone has added their piece of paper, the yule log goes on the fire. We tend to watch quietly while the log catches fire and the paper smoulders, thinking about the word we’ve written. Watching it disappear as smoke up the chimney. Letting it go.

Do it right and you’ll find yourself reflecting on the positive version of the word all year (eg intolerance turns to tolerance). A gentle nudge, rather than the all-or-nothing that I’ve found from resolutions made on 1st January. It taps into a different part of the brain, allowing more chance of success. The rest will then follow, and change will happen.

I wonder what the hound would write.

Solstice Blessings to all.

Joining in with #wotw. What sums up your week?

The Reading Residence
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