As I look out of the low, four-paned window, from my desk at home, I can see across the golden field adjacent to our cottage to several beautiful Oaks which stand majestically at the edge of the field.
For some reason, the field has not been cultivated. What would usually be harvested into bales of hay, has been left to grow and go over. Our cottage is on a country estate, part of the land belonging to our Landord; an actual Lord of the realm. We are lucky in that the 120 acres of land that forms the country estate, is free for us to roam. That said, our village, here in the English county of Suffolk, is set within one of the most rural counties in the country, so there is no shortage of fine country walks and beautiful landscapes.
Today is a sunny day. The chill of autumn has arrived and yet most of the trees are holding onto their leaves, as if reluctant to permit Autumn to take effect; most of which have yet to even begin their transformation into a sea of crimson red. In fact, a number of shrubs in our garden have offered up a late display of flowers and blooms; with the whites of hydrangea, the reds of geranium and the delicate mauve of English Lavender inviting the few remaining Bees to come out and enjoy a last taste of nectar, before the season relinquishes its hold and allows Autumn to take centre stage.
Inside, the window panes are wet with the subtle mist of moisture from condensation. My desk is in a room that also serves as our guest room. This room is well used, by friends and family and so it is important to us that it presents well; we want our guests to feel comfortable. As I look around, I see the evidence that I need to decorate this room; it all needs painting. Each week, I commit to start the painting and, each week, I seem to lose the time that seemed so available for completing this task. Often, that is due to my health and the difficulties that Fibromyalgia causes me. I prioritise other things; keeping on top of my paperwork and running my clinics is my main objective each week. I love my role as a Counsellor, Psychotherapist and Clinical Supervisor. So, while I intend to start painting this room, today, the first tasks are writing my Blog, completing my administrative tasks and attending to my ongoing studies; the latter being a course in Art Therapy.
Update: Since writing this Blog post, my former diagnosis of Fibromyalgia has been changed. I have, as of June 27th 2017, now conclusively been diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease.
Patricia, the mother of a dear friend, has very kindly been sewing our new curtains, to length. This will be the final room in which new curtains are to hang. I’ll be pleased to make-over this room as this is where I sit and conduct counselling and psychotherapy via Skype, to those clients who cannot attend my clinic in person. The last thing I would want would be for clients to look at the room behind me and think that it needs decorating!
On that note, I had better stop writing and crack on with decorating! My first task is to empty the room, cover any remaining furniture with protective covers and tackle the part of decorating that I hate….painting the ceiling. Fortunately, this upstairs room is within a cottage of several centuries in age. The roof in this room curves down into a slope towards the low window and so that will make it easier than the high ceilings of the Victorian house that we lived in, back in London. I know that I could hire a local Painter and Decorator, to save me from the inevitable pain that this work will trigger in the Fibromyalgia I live with, but I do not like to ‘give in’ to this illness. Just because I experience pain and discomfort does not mean that I should not still get on with tasks. The key, if any of you live with chronic pain, is to ‘pace’ oneself. So, I will paint for no more than an hour and a half and then I will stop and rest.
Let’s see if I can get this entire room painted, between going to work and completing my administrative tasks and studies, by the end of the next weekend…