Making memories


For once I'm not going to apologize for my absence from posting here and on my Instagram account. Okay, I lost some followers - something I really can't afford to do when I'm still trying to build an online presence - but my long annual summer vacation will always take priority over everything else.

For six weeks I can forget about the constant juggling of time, trying to fit in all the things I have to do, plus finding time for my illustration work. I can let go of the guilt I suffer whenever I want to draw during the day when I feel I should be spending time with Little Bear. This generally means I leave my drawing till she's gone to bed and then I have to squeeze in an hour or so of work when I'm tired and the light is fading.

I'm lucky, I know I am, I don't have to leave Little Bear with a childminder while I go out to work. I have the luxury of working from home, so I get to spend these precious first years watching my baby grow and develop into a happy, smart, well adjusted child. Even starting to work now, before Little Bear goes to school, is a personal choice, not a pressing matter of needing to find an income immediately.

As you all know, I set myself quite high standards and try very hard to produce work regularly. I take my work incredibly seriously, even though it's something I love doing and I share the highs and lows of it all with you.

Anyway, I look forward to the summer break immensely, when I know we will spend every moment we can together doing as many fun things as we possibly can. Like a lot of families with young children where only one parent is working, we don't have much disposable income, but my goodness, we manage to gather the most wonderful memories.

Having a caravan opens up so many opportunities to truly get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. We stay in the most remote locations we can access with a caravan - sometimes with no electricity - which means enforced abstinence from gadgets and the internet. Getting back to basics in this way frees up so much time, but most of all it resets my mind and body, creating a reconnection with the real world that is so very healing. If there's one thing I try to bring back from our travels is that we just don't need so much stuff to survive, and we are definitely happier being connected to people that are right in front of us, that we can reach out to hug, rather than virtually through our phones.

Revelation... I did not miss Instagram, or wonder what other people were up to for one single second. I did not feel one moment of unease for not posting a photo every day or so and, although I took art materials with me, I did not feel compelled to do any drawing.

Instead of all the things that usually cloud my thoughts and the self-imposed lists that fill up my days with energy-sapping things to do, I am making memories. Little fleeting moments of time - like eating a packed lunch on a mountainside, savouring the fresh green smell of a forest after a shower of rain, getting spattered in mud as Little Bear joyously jumps in muddy puddles... like looking at my little family and immersing myself in the wonderful completeness that overwhelms me.

This, dear followers, is what life is really all about and I hope I never lose touch with just how massively important these moments are... to all of us.

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