Change can come suddenly, unexpectedly, catastrophically. Change can creep slowly, erosion over time, unnoticed until comparison with the past forces focus. Today, it was the cheese. As I ate my lunch and my supermarket Stilton, I had a moment of regret, of noticing.
One of the life-style changes we actively embraced on moving from suburbia to rural was our weekly trip to the village market: the fresh fruit and veg. from the greengrocer and a new cheese as well as a favourite from the cheese van. It's one of the little losses that have slipped away in the last year. I don't realise how poorly I've become and how furious our current pace of life is until I remember that we always went to the market on Fridays and now we just don't have time. My energy levels mean that I get much less done in much more time and my partner has far more on her shoulders than is equal. Growing a business in which our product is ourselves, our time, our energy and our motivation and running this business in two locations, three-hundred miles apart takes its toll.
We are counting the weeks: six until our last work-trip South; eight until surgery; thirteen until the last exam paper is marked and we head on holiday to Scotland and a caravan on a quiet island where otters play.
Then. Then it will be different. We have to make it so. We have to remember the life-style we chose, reject the adrenaline rush of busyness and the other-people-impressing activities and possessions. We have to remember the list we wrote when we moved in of all the things that life here was supposed to be:
Candles and shovels when we're snowed it
Dinner at The Farmer's Arms
Old hats and scarves for snowmen
Sitting in the sun, reading
Sitttng by the fire, reading
Snuggling up watching T.V.
Swimming in the Swale
Lots of walks and hills and hot chocolate by the fire and talking
Driving an off-roader
Catching the bus to Reeth