I’m back…after almost seven months since our beautiful baby daughter, Florence was born. It’s been a busy, but utterly wonderful time with our little bundle of joy.
This year, I’ve had a break from blogging and work (as a Freelance PA) to enjoy precious time with Florence and my husband, Alan. Alan was able to take five months shared parental leave, as I had planned to go back to work when the time was right.
I started my business ten years ago with the desire to have more freedom and flexibility in my life and the choice of who I worked with. I now work with a handful of inspiring and interesting clients; creative and caring individuals who share my own values around life and work. People who appreciate the delicate balance of being a mother and business owner and who respect my time as much as I do.
These last few months of slowing down to be with my daughter have allowed me to consider how I’d like to work in future. In the past I have associated earning a decent income with busyness, striving, high achieving and juggling. But, this way of working is exhausting and I have become disillusioned with it. It has also simply not been possible to continue in this way, once I became a mother and had to reduce my workload. I think some of it comes from years of living in London, working for corporate businesses, and adopting the fast-pace of life, which became slightly ingrained.
Since moving to the countryside in 2015 and leaving city life behind, I’ve become increasingly interested in the Slow Living movement. Buying books on the subject and observing others who live this way, and the elements that contribute to this way of life. I’m more aware of nature and the seasons than ever before, marked by harvest time, plants and flowers along hedgerows, crops in fields, the light, smell and sound of the landscape.
Walking regularly has increased my awareness of what surrounds me, and the slow changes that take place throughout the year. It has allowed me to notice how I too change with the seasons. Having my own business has given me the chance to listen to these subtle fluctuations throughout the year. I can arrange my work accordingly allowing me to have time with Florence, to rest when I need to, to meet up with friends, to take a day off, to take time to plan projects, to work more when I’m at my most creative and productive. I’m grateful to be able to shape my life in a way that works for me and my family.
However, I’ve decided that now is the time for me to take on more work, but in a more conscious and mindful way than before. As well as working with my current clients, I want to focus more of my time on Little Piece of Wonder, to share with others ways of slowing down, appreciating the important things, and creating a life that gives them more freedom to do the things they love. A life where work is naturally incorporated so that it becomes a joy rather than the daily grind. One of the steps I’ll be taking in this new direction is embarking on a year long course, A Seasonal Year. It has been designed to help small business owners learn how to run their businesses in a way that nurtures rather than drains:
“On this intuitive journey you can expect to deepen your knowledge of yourself, your values, and your purpose. We’ll spend four seasons exploring key aspects and potential challenges of running a small business, using tools and techniques drawn from our own experiences to help you flourish in your work without compromising on your life.”
Eleanor and Maddy, Founders of A Seasonal Year have kindly gifted the online version of this course to me in exchange for sharing my journey. If you are interested in signing up, click here to find out more.
I’m continually seeking a better way of working that allows me to be able to follow my dreams, spend more time with and support my family, to have a good income to see and experience the world, without having to compromise my mental and physical health. I hope you’ll join me on this journey, and I’d love to hear from you with your own experiences of slow and seasonal living.