Dolce Far Niente -the sweetness of doing nothing

Dolce far niente, its literal translation, means sweetness of nothing, pleasant relaxation in carefree idleness, and that is how I feel as the pace of each season drifts from spring and into summer.

I love the change in weather.

Dolce far Niente - the sweetness of doing nothing

I feel the warmth and a hint of summer on the way. 

My garden is alive, busying itself, a hive of activity under my feet.

Summer heralds new beginnings and a time to heal and let go of things holding us down during the dark winter months.

While the world is in turmoil, it’s reassuring that the seasons continue to change and life under our feet and all around us busies itself unhurried and unfazed.

I am living in the moment. I am in a place where I don’t feel guilty if I choose to down my work tools to paint and write. 

Something changed recently, but I can’t put my finger on it.

I am more with less.

I am in tune with the ebb and flow of nature, in a place of calm, albeit A levels for my younger son are around the corner, and the same fears and worries that consumed me when my eldest son went through his exams worry me again.

There is certainty in the knowledge and valiancy of what to expect.

Dolce far Niente - the sweetness of doing nothing

It doesn’t make it easy, but knowledge does give you the power to accept the things you can control and when to let go.

I feel I am doing life ‘right’ or my interpretation, and I learn while I live, some of which comes from loss and the mistakes as a parent, spouse, and friend.

At some point, Children hate their parents; it’s a fact that I took the pleasure of reading when I realised that whatever I say is wrong and ‘I don’t get it.’

Pleasure that I am not the only mother who feels this way.

My eldest currently hates that he’s at home after graduating from University.

I left home and didn’t return except for weekends and birthdays when I graduated.

It’s a bittersweet pill. 

As a parent, you want your kids to do well, get a well-paid job and move out and forge their independence, yet it’s tinged with sadness and heartbreak.

Remember the first time they left home for University? 

That was hard enough, but a second time?

This should be the last time they will ever pinch toothpaste from my bathroom, leave a wet towel on the bathroom floor, growl at you in the morning and acknowledge your existence. 

Maybe I’m finally at one with God, life and the universe; the days are passing in a blue blur, but it feels okay.

Dolce Far Niente - the sweetness of doing nothing

Unaware how far I’ve wandered but still close enough to hear the noise, life has a rhythm of its own, slow and languorous.

It is changing from the cadence of school and work to summer holidays, family time and taking stock of what we’ve done in the preceding months and mostly remembering why you started.

For all parents…

For the love of life 

And slowly you come to realize 

It’s all as it should be

You can only do so much

If you’re game enough

You could place your trust in me

For the love of life

There’s a trade off

We could lose it all

But we’ll all go down fighting

And what of the children?

Surely they can’t be blamed for our mistakes.

David Sylvian/Koji Hajima ©

Further reading

How to spend time on your own

How to spend time on your own

Being middle-aged.

How to enjoy your middle age

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