Comfort and joy?

What was my best present this Christmas?

Time off.

I love Ms F and she loves me and we get on very well together. (This is just as well, because we spend more time in each others’ company than is usual, healthy – or even sensible – in other circumstances.)  But I’m acutely aware she needs her own life, and I yearn for my own space. Lets face it, both of us need time apart from each other.

This year, for the first Christmas ever, this is what we got. It was golden. It was epic. It might have saved my sanity.

What did I do? Was I blogging?  tweeting?  anywhere near the internet? Like hell I was.  I’ve been out in the big wide world getting the very most out of NOT being a carer.

I went to an exhibition and dawdled over the bits I liked best.  Enjoyed it so much I went back the next day. Stayed in bed half the morning because it was stormy.  Disappeared for a long walk or two. Took photographs. Sat in front of the fire. Curled up with the cat and read seven books.  Listened to music.  Went to a carol concert and dropped in on the pub next door.  Cooked. Talked this shit, that shit, with my elbows on the kitchen table.  Listened to my own thoughts.

Doesn’t sound so very special?  Listen to this:  everything I did, I did on a whim, without planning or booking or finding cover or worrying about the time. I never had to give it up. I was never interrupted and sent flying home for an emergency. I was a free being.

If you can do these things whenever you like, you can have no idea of how wonderful it is to be able to do them at all. These were my first full days without caring responsibilities in twenty-eight months – that’s since August 2011.

I’m beginning to think we can face 2014 after all!

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