The sun was already half way up the window when I woke. My bedroom faces due east into the fields. At night, it is pitch black and I can see the stars strewn across the heavens. This time of year, it is still dark when I rise. But not today. The alarms were off and I woke  late to sunlight.

As I sipped a leisurely coffee, I planned my day. Catch up online over the second coffee…walk through the fields with Ani, do my bit of housework then I’d cut the grass and clean the windows. I’ve already cooked up a curry big enough to last me several days. I do the dishes as I go, though if I washed up once a week there wouldn’t be a sink full.  I could do some laundry…but these days there isn’t much.

Not what you would call a leisurely day, but with no obligation to do any of it, the chores are not chores but choices.

By the time I was ready to begin, the blue sky and sunshine had vanished, being replaced with a determined downpour. No laundry, window cleaning or grass-cutting today then. I can accept that with perfect equinamity. I can have another coffee instead.

The only thing I actually need to do today is change a couple of buckets of water for the fish and vacuum the aquarium. And that could wait another day or so. Frankly, apart from walking the dog and caring for the fish, who cares but me whether the jobs get done? Not even Ani, who has curled up with the same determination as the rain. She stares accusingly at the streaks on the window and seems reluctant to move. I can wait… there is no rush.


The young lady in the flat upstairs, however, is diving around with the hoover, banging around moving furniture to dust and is on her second load of laundry. As my flat is beneath hers, I always know when the washing machine goes on. And it does so every day. Usually twice. I used to do the laundry daily too… often twice… but with a large household of multiple male teenagers and dogs, it was the only way to keep up.

This is what worries me about my neighbour…

You can say it is none of my business, and that is quite true, aside from the small, daily thunderstorm of vibrations from above. I certainly have no problem with the young lady being a good housekeeper. I just cannot understand where she finds that volume of laundry in a little one-bedroomed flat.

Then I got to wondering how different I am from the young lady upstairs. How often do I make work for myself, make ridulculous demands on my time and energy just because… well, why? Because I ‘should’, ‘ought to’, ‘always have’…? Because it is ‘wrong’ somehow to just sit and breathe?

Just sitting and breathing is a pretty good way to spend your time. After all, each breath lasts a second or two and is forever gone. It is one less breath from the total of those you will ever take…you cannot go back and take that breath again, get it right or pay attention to it once it is over.

I opened the doors to the garden and, curled up on the rug, watched the raindrops fall.


About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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25 Responses to Make-work

  1. Make work is the right term. I think sometimes we create chores just to distract ourselves instead of appreciating the simple moments. Deep breaths, Sue. Enjoy. 💘


  2. Bernadette says:

    A lot of truth in this wonderful post from you today. Enjoy you weekend Sue🤗


  3. davidprosser says:

    That sounds exactly the way to have played the day Sue.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx


  4. It rains here for 8 months of the year, Sue. I love it because it encourages those days to sit and listen and just be. I’m not good at that when the sun’s out. Enjoy your peaceful day with Ani, unencumbered by the illusions of should.


  5. Bun Karyudo says:

    I was going to wash the dishes, but I’ve decided I’ll leave it for a while longer. I’d never thought about my breaths that way before, but what you say is true. We do get a limited number to last us our entire life. I’m now trying to breathe more slowly to stretch them out a bit. 🙂


  6. jenanita01 says:

    Sounds so good to me…


  7. Make work? Not on your life. I do my best not to worry about it. It will still be there tomorrow.
    😀 😀 😀


  8. Mary Smith says:

    Your upstairs neighbour reminds me of our neighbour where I grew up. She was a comfortably off widow with a grown up daughter and was so ‘houseproud’ she was up at six to start the cleaning. Floors were washed and polished to within an inch of their lives. Before we went into her house we’d to remove our shoes – the lino in the kitchen was so shiny we slipped and slithered over it in our stocking feet. A washing was hung out on the line EVERY day.
    I hope you enjoyed your restful day with Ani.


    • Sue Vincent says:

      I always used to get up at six to get the housework done too… but only because then I could get it out of the way before the kids got up. I’ve never been a huge fan of housework.
      Oddly enough, I’ve found the restful day more tiring than usual… I may have to get an early night… with a book 😉


  9. Eliza Waters says:

    Sounds like my kind of day, Sue. I often put off to tomorrow so I can enjoy more of today!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Widdershins says:

    A perfect rainy day, day. 🙂
    We clean our little house once a week and give it a good stem-to-stern cleaning for the Solstices and Equinoxes, and washing happens once a week.There’s much better things to do with all that ‘cleaning’ energy. 😀


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