Just two weeks into January and already life has stepped into a familiar pace.  Long days, short nights, flying weekends.  A list of things that absolutely must be done by the time I lay my head on my pillow if I am to stand any chance of sleep.  Just a few weeks ago all we were thinking about was which mountain we’d pick to ski on that particular day and whether we’d eat one schnitzel or two.

Well we’re back to reality, and I most certainly should never have opted for two schnitzel; an indulgence which has ensured that a trip to the gym now sits glaringly on my to-do list each day.

Driving to pick up my son from school one afternoon this week it occurred to me that this just might not be the way forward.  The catalyst for my revelation was a tent.  One of those traditional, take up the whole street, bulging at the seams with guests types of tents; and it was planted right in my way. 

My first thought was “I’m going to be late!  There are two schools and a busy shop in this area! What makes them think they can just take up the whole road and cause chaos?  This is so typical!” but as my temper simmered, I was forced to sit behind the cars that had backed up, and to take stock of the situation.  This was actually one of the very reasons I had fallen in love with the Libyan people.  There was an occasion to be marked, be it a joyous one, or a celebration of a life that had passed on, and nothing was going to get in the way of it.

This crazy notion I have that everything in life must fit into a system, be marked off a to-do list and executed with precision plays havoc with the ability to just sit back and enjoy life and the people in it.  I set myself yet another task, to find a balance between the spreadsheets and the moments, ones that will pass without warning, but that will surely not return.

Have a great week,



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By Emma Parker



Sunday 9th January 2011