Life is slower.
Self-motivation is paramount as most of us face an indefinite, “lockdown” but there is no reason we can’t take it slow. Slow is not idle and slow is not slack; it is considered. This is our moment to be considered in what we do and make positives from this world-changing crisis. It’s not easy and some days I wake with a ball of anxiety in my stomach the size of a football and others like today, I am calm. Calm is necessary to manage this marathon of change we are facing. No person will be exempt but what will distinguish us is how we manage ourselves, what we learn and how we exit the other side.
There are those of us who run headlong into plans and activity to make the days crammed, to confuse our brains and dampen reality and there are those of us who have chosen days that are slower paced but just as meaningful. I am making sure to exercise – while we are still allowed, we are walking at 5:30 am around our neighbourhood. Notting Hill has always been a notable part of London but it is as if I’m seeing with fresh eyes; the colourful houses, the bounty of blossoms and the quirky nature of many coins. Savouring the freedom to walk has changed my perspective.
Yoga is my one discipline of the day – a slow practice – to keep not only me but also my thoughts centered. Movement and the loss of it is the one element of being housebound that frightens me; my preference is to practice in a class. I need to adapt and so I will. How fortunate to have limited online possibilities to explore and encourage my motivation.
Food tastes better – back to home cooking and slower dining. It feels good and makes healthier choices so much easier. How had I become so complacent about food? All my years in France taught me better than that; I do know better.
I’m writing this diary.
It’s not an innovative idea but it is an honest record of my thoughts at this time. I trust some of you feel exactly the same in many respects so I hope my words resonate – your comments and reflections certainly make my day. I don’t have a schedule, my time is my own, and so I’m flying free here when the mood strikes. Who knows what topics will appear but for today, “slow” is where I am.
Reading is the “slow” luxury I truly indulging in. A long bath post walk in the morning and a chapter or two – there is no push. An afternoon chapter in the sunshine, why not? Other jobs can wait. This lack of urgency is to be made the most of while we have it. Looking after us right now, staying well, staying in and staying safe is the most major contribution we can make to beat this virus.
Other moments – admiring our potted tulips as they poke their unknowing heads into a changing world, watching the fruit trees bloom and sending and receiving messages from friends far and wide – these are all slow pleasures and ones I have shamefully taken for granted. Enjoying a jigsaw – if you can find one – and playing a game of scrabble. Online card and word games to keep our minds razor-sharp; one place we don’t want a go-slow.
Practical moments can be slower; the photographs can be ordered over days not hours and the cupboards tidied one by one. Who knows what we may find to spark our memories? Garden, pot and cut flowers if you are lucky enough to have them – take time arranging them and the day suddenly grows brighter. For years I have been rushing these joys, but no longer.
And talk time.
Remember that old-fashioned way we once communicated? Punch those numbers in, enjoy a dial tone and wait – a friendly voice is the greatest gift of all. xv