The kids are back at school, our lovely 2 week holiday is a distant memory and I have plunged back into the chaos of work and homework and travel and running my house and our lives - all those daily activities that stop too much free thinking. Most other years at this time, I wouldn't lift my head again until around November.
Only this time, this season, as the summer wanes and autumn waits in the wings, I find myself consolidating my recent thinking and rethinking, and instead of packing it away in a drawer, seem to have stumbled into other methods. All very introspective, and instinctive, but so far really very satisfying.
In practice, I have tidied the kids clothes and bought the new shoes and filled and donated the charity bags. I have cooked us through the freezer goods and stock taken the cupboards and at some point now that birthday season is here, the books and toys will get a good old shake down too.
But alongside, keeping company with my summer of assessing my life and what I give to the world, I seem to have set up a whole new therapy system, and am jumping in and out of it almost without really being conscious of doing so.
For example the other week. We finally realised it was time to become a two car family, in order to run the chaotic weekend of football and classes and the gradual separating of our boys' activities. My response to this was quite bizarre, driven by a latent fear of stretching ourselves financially.
Having spoken out loud my concerns, I proceeded to, slightly manically, clear out my entire wardrobe. I removed all the unworn, unloved/unloveable items, clearing the mess at the bottom, rehanging, organising so I can see what I have which would allow me to dress how I feel. Next the shoe shelf, same there, trying to fight this reluctant shopper who doesn't throw anything away until it falls apart.
To my surprise, this clearing process helped me to calm down and relax about the car almost the minute I had finished it, even though consciously I didn't think about any specifics while I cleared.
So yesterday, after a busy working week of disturbed sleep and a little perambulatory night-time action, I took advantage of all my boys having a bonus trip to the Emirates, and tackled my bathroom cabinet, jewellery and cosmetics. Again, being a landfill phobic and hater of waste, in addition to my everlasting search for the creams that will deal with the stressy dry bits that pop up, there were bottles and tubes and pots everywhere.
I felt lighter once I had finished as if I had cleared out my head as well as my cupboard.
As I draped my 'Dream' bracelet designed and bought by my wonderful friend and creative partner Karen, from the bedside light, everything felt in place.
As I type this, thinking back on a blissful few hours of sorting, remembering, looking forward and consolidating what I need or still want, I now have order in my bathroom, in my drawers and wardrobe, and knowledge of the jewellery that I have been given, bought and kept over my 42 years.
So if I want to wear my dad's ring, because I feel like having him close, I know where it is. If I want to think of my sister and choose one of the many crystals she has bought me over the years, I can find them easily.
I can dress and accessorise and moisturise according to my instinct and mood when I wake. And while this feels materialistic and a little bit mad, it is, as it turns out...
EXACTLY WHAT I NEED TO DO RIGHT NOW!
With the evolving of my physiology and the realisation of time ticking, I am opening up the bag that contains a tangle of Sara's, tidied carefully away over the years, and poking my head in just to see if any of them want to come up for air.
The kids book writer, the blogger, the advocate, the teacher, the storyteller...it seems they all might need the chance to check what, if anything, we might want to do differently, in this next phase of my life.
I am excited at the thought of gradually working my way through the house, trying to make sense of the material things I have and what lies behind them in memories and also potential.
So if your head feels a little messy as we head back into term time, I highly recommend taking to your drawers and finding some hidden sanity. Enjoying the process of removing, assessing, rethinking, accepting, and putting back only what you need from this point on.
I can't wait for my next free hour.