I find spending time in my garden healing. I’m not a natural gardener; in fact I have managed to kill almost every plant I’ve ever owned. But I still try to grow things. I think sometimes the process is more important than the result. For example, my garden might looked like an untamed wasteland but the act of planting is satisfying in itself. I have begun trying to apply the same attitude to my writing. I find when I am ultra-focused on the end result, it takes the joy out of just doing it, and ultimately makes my writing worse too.
This week we have had our first spell of consistent Spring-like weather, so I’ve been making a conscious effort to spend more time outdoors, even if it’s only having a cup of tea at the fold up table in my back yard.
When I’m struggling to manage my thoughts, or to parent without snapping, returning to something simple that keeps your hands busy is always helpful. So, today I embarked on weeding my garden. The weeds had overtaken everything, in much the same way my thoughts do when I’m in an anxious state. Unrooting weeds from the ground somehow helps me to unroot patterns of unhelpful thinking from my own mind too.
So, while my daughter blew bubbles and had a biscuits picnic outside, I started stripping back all the unwanted growth. And when I did, I uncovered an opening tulip, some persistent violas and a thriving foxglove. And I realised, sometimes to find the good you have to weed out the bad bits. They might seem more prominent but when you reach the undergrowth, you can stand back to properly admire your garden.
My kids and I had an early Easter party with family a few days ago (we like any excuse for a party.) Here are some simple ideas for an Easter Party without the stress or expense.
1. Make Your Decorations
Buy supplies from the pound shop. Buy packs of Easter crafts for kids and get your kids to help you make your own decorations. Paint eggs, make an Easter banner, paper chains, Easter bonnets or wall decorations.
2. Forget the Party Food
Party food can cost a lot and I find it stressful working out all the different timings for food to go into the oven. Make a slow-cooked roast: you can stick it in the oven at a low temperature and forgelt it all day. Pre-peel potatoes and vegetables so all you have to do is turn things on when guests are there.
3. Play Simple Games
Do an egg hunt for mini eggs or chicks and bunnies in your garden (or in the house.) Give your kids a basket to collect their eggs in. Give them pound shop medals when they find all the eggs 🙂 Play guess the number of mini eggs in a bowl/jar with a prize for the person with the closest number. Do an egg hunt for adults with written clues leading you to other hidden clues with a prize at the end. Play pin the tail on the bunny.
4. Fancy-Looking Drinks
Put flavoured water or lemonade in wine glasses or cocktail glasses. Add ice or frozen berries to make them look more exciting, or wedges of fruit on the rim of the glass.
5. Frozen Desserts
Buy frozen cake or buy ice cream and lay out sprinkles, marshmallows, sweets, fruit, nuts or sauce to add to them. People enjoy choosing their own toppings. Simplify things for yourself instead of buying an expensive Easter cake or attempting to craft your own in the midst of organising everything else.
6. Happy Music
Make a playlist of upbeat Spring-like music that reminds you of sunny days and venturing outdoors again. Having happy music on creates half of the party atmosphere for you.
7. Fresh Spring Flowers
Decorate your home with daffodils and baby pink or sky blue flowers. Alternatively, plant them in the garden and have a garden party with tea and finger sandwiches/cream scones on a sunny day 🙂