‘Having it all. ‘Living the dream.’ ‘Living it large.’ You hear all these phrases so often but surely I can’t be the only one saying that I'm barely coping with what I’ve got, and that’s on a good day. And whose dream are we talking about? And what if I’d rather live it small?
I’m not an extrovert. If you are, this post may not be for you, and I’m truly sorry because I expect you found lockdowns hell. For me, they were a chance to take life all the way back to basics and decide what worked for me and what didn’t, and to realise that my ideal life involves doing less and doing it better and not multitasking.
I hate multitasking. It feels to me as if we should call it ‘rushing around and never doing anything properly’. During the lockdowns, I found that I liked decluttering and cleaning because it wasn’t one more thing on top of too many. I realised that I enjoy cooking from scratch, using simple ingredients and seeing my family swoop down on the table like the seagulls in Finding Nemo.
(You mean you haven’t seen that clip? Here it is, and I must be a terrible mother because it reminds me of my kids at mealtimes.)
As the world went back to normal for most people, I accepted that being immuno compromised means it's a very different world for me and
started wondering ‘what would happen if I didn’t try to have it all?’ What if I spent as much of my time as I could with the people who mattered to me and doing the things I enjoy? Yes, there’ll always be work and chores and a long list of must do’s, but what if I swapped some of the things I don’t really have to do as often as I do them for ‘I want to’s?’
What if I carried on doing most of my shopping online and used the time I saved to go for a walk each day? What if I walked to the park or drove ten minutes down to the beach or the little Marina and made the most of the area I’d started to take for granted? What if I gave myself permission to relax and enjoy views like this?
That was my new year’s resolution, and six months in, I can tell you what’s happened to me. I may have confused my friends and family, but I also smile a lot more. I also think I’m a better wife, mum, worker and all the other roles I have to play because I’ve discovered the power of slowing down. Why not give it a try?