But work for both me and Ben is thriving, which is good, the boys and the dog have been taking it in turns to be ill, which is par for the course in December, and all in all, pausing doesn't seem as natural as it did in the summer, or in September for that matter.
So I forced myself out on a walk and was rewarded with a Pause.
I headed down the track to the lake, noticing how the trees had become more bare since my last outing there.
Suddenly there was an increase in bird calls, and small shapes flitted from tree to tree. I had walked into a group of long-tailed tits, communicating with constant little peeps which began to sound like a series of water droplets falling from the branches all around me.
I stood still and let them dart around above my head. There was a jay nearby, calling occasionally, and perhaps they were agitated by the threatening presence. It's possible that they were just communicating between themselves though, as they certainly didn't try to move on. Great tits and marsh tits joined in, and towards the end I watched a treecreeper living up to its name as it scaled an ivy-covered trunk. There have been times when my mind has been incredibly active when watching birds or looking at plants. What is this? Why can't I remember its name? What is it doing? Where has it gone now?
But over the last few years I've discovered that, while my mind seeks information, my soul craves a Pause. I need to be out in the open, living in nature rather than analysing it. And it was good to discover that it is possible to get out and Pause, even in Advent.