Why I Like Empty Weeks & Other Busy Week Stories

Last week started off gently, and then life moved into top gear, and we found ourselves hurtling along at a fast pace. But today, I’ve stopped moving. Yes, I am sitting still, enjoying some quiet Saturday time, after a too busy week.

There is nothing I enjoy more than an empty calendar: lots of free days stretching ahead, waiting for us to fill as we like. Plenty of time to sit on the sofa, sip coffee, chat with my children, do whatever we feel like.

Sometimes I wonder if I should make more of an effort to take my girls places, get them involved in outside activities, be busier. But I think they’re happy with the way things are. There’s plenty of time for us to work on our projects and just enjoy life and each other.

Just recently, it’s been almost 10 am before we’ve got to the stage where we’re ready to get involved with our ‘work’ of the day.  

“What time is it?” I ask when we’ve finished praying together. “Almost 10 o’clock already? Morning coffee time! Fill the kettle!”

I wonder what happened to the days when we said morning prayers together at 8 am and then got on with things. Are we getting lazy? Are we undisciplined? Should I be worried? No!

I think about what we do each morning. I call the girls at 6.45 am: “Anyone want to come for a run with me?” and they roll out of bed. Minutes later, we are heading down to the bush tracks for a 5 or more km run. Nora our dog runs with us, so we’re exercising her too. When we can’t run another step, we head home for breakfast. Five females pass through the shower. Five heads of hair are washed and dried. (That all takes time!) Then the house is cleaned and tidied and everything is put into order, before we gather for morning prayers.

We do quite a lot before morning coffee time arrives. And maybe those things are the sort which require a disciplined attitude.

So at 10 am we relax on the sofa with mugs of coffee and I ask, “What are you going to do today?” I check the mail and make a few plans of my own, before finally saying, “Shall we get on with something?”

Hours still stretch ahead of us. There’s plenty of time for exploring, learning, and having adventures.

I haven’t always been so relaxed about our morning routine. I remember a time when I’d get up early, drag my children out of bed and rush to get everything done by a certain hour. “Hurry up!” I’d shout. “Look at the time! It’s getting late!” Oh my! What a stress that was. What a dragon mother I was. And how unnecessary. What were we late for? Unless we actually had to get out the door for a music lesson, we weren’t late for anything.

Despite being bombarded with outside commitments this week, the girls and I did manage to do quite a lot of enjoyable and interesting things at home. Here’s just a few highlights:

Gemma-Rose and I made a New Journal from an Old BookWe used the cover of one of the books I discarded in my book cull the other week. The notebook turned out so well, I want to make another one. Gemma-Rose wants to try making a different kind of journal: a Ringed One, using a hard cover and hinged rings.

Sophie made a video about running. All our morning running isn’t only beneficial for our health. It has inspired blog posts, podcasts and videos. Of course it’s also good fun. The Team love running together each day!

I didn’t think I’d have time to record a podcast this week, but after a bit of scrambling, I did publish an episode as usual. This week’s edition is about boys: Boy Stories. I got stuck for a podcast idea but two friends answered my Facebook plea for help and suggested a topic. Thank you Terri and Tessa!

Charlotte has been working on my Angels of Abbey Creek paper dolls. She’s also working on a special project with Imogen and Sophie. It’s something to do with drawing, web design, freebies and blog anniversaries! I love seeing my girls work creatively together.

And Sophie has been trying out new braiding styles on Gemma-Rose’s hair. We all know that’s a learning experience but would anyone describe it as educational? Susie from the blog The View from the Top of the Ladder told me there is a connection between maths and braiding. I googled both those words and yes! Braiding is maths! I’m going to read a few articles and find out more. I’ll report back if I discover something interesting to share.

Of course last week we also observed Ash Wednesday and we celebrated a birthday (not on the same day!) We went to a homeschool group meeting and we did many other things too…

I look at next week’s calendar: piano lessons, a homeschool group meeting and lots and lots of free empty hours. It’s going to be a perfect week!

So how was your week? Was it busy? Did you discover anything interesting? And do you like weeks with lots of outside activities or are you home-bodies like us? 

The Angels of Abbey Creek

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  1. Reply


    The bush is the perfect place to walk, as well as run. Sometimes we explore the bush more slowly with our cameras in our hands. We do miss a lot as we race along the tracks, so it's good to walk occasionally too. I don't like exercising outside in winter either, and our weather isn't as cold as yours. We have to make ourselves put on our running gear and brave the cold wind. Usually once we start moving, we warm up quickly. I always wonder what people in very cold weather countries do about exercise, especially when there's snow on the ground. Do you skate? Do the children have toboggans? Perhaps people have treadmills inside. I suppose you have your daily walk to the bus stop regardless of whether it is wet or windy!

  2. Reply

    I too like the empty days on our family planner. For the moment I regret there being so few of them. Running in the morning sounds like at fantastic start to the day – especially your bush track. I think I'd go for a walk instead. But right now it's not the season for walking or running outside. It's cold, very windy and rain or sleet is falling in copious amount. decidedly not outdoor weather in my book.

    • Wendy
    • February 23, 2015

    I love those empty days! This week has been very busy and very not busy at the same time. With my dear MIL's surgery, we've been taking turns spending days with her in the ICU. Nothing to do but pray, love her, and try to offer her small consolations. It's been a beautiful start to Lent in many ways! On the other days it's "normal" time with kids, but we've cut back as much as possible with outside commitments.

    The snow and ice have helped with that, anyway! We had almost a foot (maybe 30 cm?) on the ground last night, but then it rained and it's down to 3-4 inches (10cm?).

    Cold weather exercise is difficult, especially when it gets 10 degrees below freezing or more. When I was growing up on a lake, I loved to skate every day regardless of weather (when the ice was thick enough!). We used to do lots of winter hikes, sledding, and shoveling. We built snow forts and snowmen, too. We loved to look for tracks in the snow – we found tracks of many animals that we never actually saw near our house: foxes and bear!

    Here it never gets cold enough to skate outside, and skating indoors in circles is nothing like skating for kilometers over the reflected stars! Also we do not have snow all winter, and that makes a lot of difference.

    My kids do sled down the hill in our front yard whenever we have the slightest amount of snow! And, believe it or not, we go swimming. Indoor heated pool!

    1. Reply


      I do hope your MIL is recovering from her surgery. I have been praying for her. And I hope you've been keeping safe on the icy and snowy roads while travelling to the hospital.

      I love finding out more about your life, and how it's different from ours. Thank you so much for sharing about your winter exercise. Yes, an indoor pool for swimming! I'd forgotten about that option. I once saw a photo of friends swimming in such a pool, and through the window I could also see the snow! Spectacular!

      You could write a story for children about growing up on a lake. What seems normal for you would seem very fascinating to children like mine who have never really seen proper snow. We don't even have much opportunity to skate indoors. There's a rink in the city but that's quite a long way from us.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to chat!

  3. Reply

    I love your approach to life, Sue. Goes to show we can be productive without going full tilt. 🙂

    1. Reply


      Maybe some things need a slower pace in order to do well. I'm thinking especially about creativity. I know I never have any good ideas when I'm rushing around trying to accomplish a lot. And I'd rather create than do housework. In the long run, it's much more important!

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