At the moment we are dispatching on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Last orders for post 9am on that day.

Snapdragon blog

Create your dream life a little bit at a time

My friend Deb recently told me that she had given up on doing anything for herself. She pointed to a bag of craft supplies on the kitchen sideboard.

About a year before, enthusiastic for a new craft project, she had bought all the things she needed to make a felt dog decoration for her Christmas tree. She had put them on her sideboard, waiting for an opportunity to get started. Here we were a year later and that opportunity had not arrived, the bag was still on the sideboard waiting. She begged me to take it away and find someone with more time.

A year. My friend had not found the hour to herself she needed to make the little dog decoration in a year.

Now I appreciate she is a busy woman, she has two teenage sons, she has a part time job, she has a dog and a husband and parents. But an hour to herself? In a year?

This obviously wasn't anything to do with lack of time - it was to do with priorities and always waiting for time to be left for herself at the end of the week.

Nobody ever has time left at the end of the week. Nobody has ever had time left at the end of the week. Do not wait for the time at the end of the week.

For it is these small things - things that we do just for us, or with our families and friends - that bring joy to our lives. The time to make something, to play the piano, to go for a run, to eat ice cream - to sit on a window seat and simply read and read and read. The things that are especially important when life gets busy. They are the things that make us human.

It is these small things that get forgotten because we are always waiting for time to just appear, because they are at the bottom of our mental list.

A while ago, realising that I was doing exactly this, I came up with a new way of planning my time.

It is a simple way of planning my weeks that has brought many more joyful things into daily life. I shared it in the A Seasonal Way magazine earlier this year. In the article I showed how it was possible to plan a summer where you get to do more fun things, all those things that you always intend to but never quite get around to.

Of all the articles in the magazine this was the one that I got most feedback about, most messages, most emails - with people telling me about the things that they had been doing, things that they had been intending to do for years but somehow never got around to. It seemed that I was onto something, that this was a simple technique that could help people plan with themselves in mind.

And what was even more interesting is that lots of people told me that once they had begun to add things into their lives, other opportunities came along as if by magic.

One woman who really wanted a garden began with planting pea shoots in a pot by her door, a month later - just as she began to harvest the shoots - a neighbour offered her part of his garden to grow in as it was getting to be a chore for him.

Another, who loves the sea but lives a couple of hours drive away, began to schedule in a weekend day trip once a month. Recently she was asked by a friend of a friend if she would house sit with her family over half term - a beautiful seafront home for a week.

It seemed that something was going on. Could it be The Law of Abundance, a magical thinking where the Universe brings you more of what you focus on? Could it be (more likely to my scientific brain) that people bring their own luck by beginning something? The tending of the pea shoots made the neighbour realise that there was a potential solution to their own overgrown garden, the photos on Facebook of the day trips to the beach reminded the friend of someone looking for a house sitter . . .

Whatever the means, whether it happens by creating your own luck or by signalling to the Universe, intentionally doing more small things appeared to be changing something for people.

I have expanded the original planning diagram into 4 part PDF which you can get when you sign up for my Newsletter. (if you are already on the email list then the PDF is in the Newsletter Library at the bottom of every email I send).

I am currently working on making the idea into a hard copy planner for Studio Members, so if you have any feedback I would love to hear it.

Comments: 0 (Add)

Snapdragon social

Today is the last day to become a member of Snapdragon Studio for a while. I close the doors to new members at midnight. ⠀
⠀
I actually took the decision a couple of months ago, while doing @simpleandseason ‘s excellent course The Playbook, when I realised that I really wanted to work with a settled group of members instead of constantly looking for new ones.⠀
⠀
Now the decision seems even more right, the opportunity to hunker down and support each other through this. ⠀
⠀
The plans I had set out at the beginning of February aren’t the right ones now, so I need to make new ones, and this gives me a chance to make new plans together. ⠀
⠀
Tomorrow I’m going to be sending out a survey to members to see what their new circumstances are and what would be most useful. ⠀
⠀
If you had thought about joining then you can still find all the details on www.snapdragonlife.com today or DM me.
Twelve thousand years ago, when Loch Lomond was frozen solid, glaciers grinding out the soil, the ridge where I live would have been the outermost bank, the bit reaches just as the ice retreated. The terminal moraine. ⠀
⠀
This has become my daily walk - the fields falling away on either side of the road, hills circling in the distance, blues and greys and increasingly bright olive greens. ⠀
⠀
And now lambs. An animated landscape.
Last week Euan forwarded me a spoof article about “Middle Class Quarantine”, people making sourdough bread, transforming the flower border into a vegetable patch, collecting eggs from their flock of bantams. ⠀
⠀
This is Caspar, the head of my flock of bantams. ⠀
⠀
I’ve never felt so privileged in my life as I do now (and I’m a pretty privileged person at the best of times). ⠀
⠀
Part of it is the gift of having space, of being able to walk out into beautiful countryside from my front door, of having a studio in my garden so that I can keep working. A proper spare room to move into, an extra bathroom and back door. ⠀
⠀
But it’s more than just the circumstances of the life we have built here - it goes right to the core of me, the luck of having a temperament happy to work alone, of having grown up daughters who came home and get on with each other.  It is being an introvert, getting my energy from being by myself, my comfort from cooking and gardening and making things, the way I always, always have food in the cupboard. ⠀
⠀
I look out from my isolation here and I see the gaps opening wider and wider in society with this and it frightens and terrifies me. When we get out again we will have so much work to do. ⠀
⠀
There is something so 'Old Mastery' about fritillaries I think. ⁠⠀
⁠⠀
I planted (or more accurately @eileentisdall planted) hundreds of fritillaries under the plum trees and they are beginning to bloom.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
We also potted some up for indoors and kept them in the cold greenhouse - and I planted those ones into these tea cups as soon as they had full buds.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
Once the flowers are over they will join the others in the orchard.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
If you want to try this - with any small bulbs - you can dig them up from the garden and bring indoors temporarily, water lightly (remember there is no drainage), top with moss and keep coolish.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
Watching bulbs unfurl and bloom is a wonderful way to take advantage of having to stay indoors more.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
Like many people I have been racking my brain as to what I can do to help.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
I am stuck here so I can't deliver or run errands, I'm not a natural maker of cheerful phone calls and it will be a good few weeks before anything I am growing is actually ready.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
I do however have a Royal Mail pick up in place - on Tuesdays and Thursdays from the garage - and it seemed that I should make use of that while I have access to it.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
All things on our website can be sent direct with free gift wrap and a card - and, more importantly I think, I am also hand drawing cards and sending them with your message inside (or letter - I can print it out and put it inside the card). ⁠⠀
⁠⠀
For members I am only charging postage, for everyone else there is a minimal charge to cover supplies.  The details are on the front page of my website www.snapdragonlife.com.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
I know that my elderly relatives are oblivious to all things digital, all the ways that I keep in touch with friends, have passed them by and I do worry about how isolated they must be. ⁠⠀
⁠⠀
A letter through the mail might make someone's day so much brighter.
One of my blessings at the moment  is that my daily walk is along the road that passes through our neighbours’ farm. ⠀
⠀
A sheepy maternity unit, where the heavy, still sheep of one day will be joined by bright, bouncing, tumbling lambs the next. ⠀
Lupin - in a halo of light here - has recently become top cat in the house. ⠀
⠀
Minou, my morning cat, has given up the job reluctantly in a flurry of spats over the past 6 months. ⠀
⠀
What has been fascinating is how Lupin has not changed his routine, he still sleeps 90% of the day moving only to keep in the sun and to eat, yet he has mysteriously transformed into a  massive and dense ball of fluff coated muscle. ⠀
⠀
It just shows how much is in the mind and the role taken on. ⠀
⠀
⠀
⠀
⠀
This weekend I was very down, worried about what comes next for NHS staff, frustrated at the thoughtless actions of others.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
Today though, I have decided to draw a line.  I cannot change anyone's behaviour.  I doubt that the people who watch my stories are the same people who are treating this pandemic as a Bank Holiday.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
Instead I'm going to try and produce as many useful things as I can.  On Friday I published a blog about all the things that you can do to bring the feeling of the outside into your home.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
It is actually a piece I originally wrote about chronic illness and the fatigue that can trap you indoors, but it has a wider use now I think.  It is about the science behind the way that our brains perceive nature and how you can get a lot of the wellbeing effects of being outside without leaving your home.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
The blog is on the home page of my website - www.snapdragonlife.com - and you can get to it via my profile too.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
If you have any other tips please comment and I can add them in.
snapdragon.life
FacebookTwitterPinterest

About Snapdragon

At Snapdragon we gently guide you through bringing the changing seasons into your daily life, helping you slow down, so that you can experience increased well being, calm and creativity.

Through our communities, both free and paid for, through Jane's writing on the blog, through carefully hand crafted gifts and activity kits, and through our online and in-person workshops we aim to bring people back in touch with the rhythms of a seasonal life.

Learn more about why here

Loading