We’ve just had an incredible long weekend, although there was really nothing extraordinary about it.
We spent time with family, slept in, watched movies, had a backyard campfire, took a long, slow bushwalk together and enjoyed some beers at the pub. I read a little, wrote a little, thought a lot.
When we slow down, we give ourselves time and space to really think about things, to be present, to embrace what’s happening right in front of us, as opposed to flitting from task to task, never quite spending time in the now.
I tried to think about how it’s come to be this way for us, how it’s come to be easy to slow down and enjoy the moment. And I realised two things:
1. There are no rules that apply to everyone.
2. You can’t wait for a perfect time to slow down.
If we waited until the house was immaculately tidy and work was quiet and the kids were perfectly settled and we had no stresses, then we would still be waiting for permission from life to slow down.
It doesn’t happen like that. Life is messy and layered and there are always things going on. It requires constant tilting.
This weekend could have been stressful. The kids have been sick, work is very busy and there are always (always) things to do at home.
But instead of waiting for those things to not be an issue anymore, we simply embraced the opportunity to slow down anyway.
Chores? They’ll be there tomorrow.
Kids unwell? Take it easy and enjoy the opportunity to watch Star Wars and Jurassic Park. (Side Note: It’s such a happy day when the kids start requesting something other than sugar-soaked animated films.)
Work stresses? Don’t check in over the weekend. It can wait ’til you’re back at your desk.
It’s amazing what comes to the surface when we slow down and stop cramming stuff in to life. Ideas, thoughts and memories come bubbling up alongside realisations and discoveries.
We think clearly. We pay attention to the moment. We learn things. We come away feeling rested and rejuvenated and at peace, because we’ve spent time living in the now.
That’s the feeling I have this morning as I sit with my coffee and write these words. Peace. Because I can look back at the time I’ve just spent with my family and can see that I truly spent my time with my family. I was all there.
And while the emails need to be answered, the lunches made, the floor mopped, the meetings attended, it’s these times of being present, of living slow, of paying attention that will be important.