Well that snappy title may have caught your attention!
What on earth am I talking about?
The covid lockdowns were awful weren’t they ....
It was when my colleague (in my other job) turned around and said she could do with a two week lockdown to stop and rest it got me thinking about the value of a pause, of rest, of a reset.
It does feel this summer that there are too many activities, concerts, festivals & other opportunities to spend our leisure time. That's not even taking into consideration seeing family and friends and other social occasions. It can feel like the doors have been flung wide open post covid and we have stepped back into the crazy business of always ‘doing’.
I’ve fallen into this trap too, I recently realised I am back to pre covid life with hardly a free weekend in sight for months. It’s just been so tempting to get back out there, enjoying all these activities that were prohibited for so long and just enjoying spending time with friends and family. But this freedom and all these options do seem to come at a price.
Yes the lockdowns were isolating and at times dark. I live on my own and I worked and taught from home so I was particularly at risk of isolation and loneliness. I don’t remember feeling like that though. I remember having more time to play the piano, more time for long baths (my daily ritual!) More time to read, study and meditate. More time for yoga and chanting practices and more time just to enjoy my take away coffee (when everything was shut and that was the highlight of the day a walk to the coffee shop).
Now the stable door is wide open and it feels as if the horse has bolted, where has that time gone?
Time hasn’t changed of course, just my perception of it. It feels as if time has speed up again…
So I have remind myself to stay mindful, to rest, to have long baths, to play the piano and chant, to read and meditate. I don’t have to accept every opportunity/invitation that comes my way. I have a choice… I can keep as sacred those precious gems of quiet space that I know keep me more balanced, increase my creativity and help me be a better teacher, friend and colleague.
The other thing I have noticed in recent months is just how draining it can be attending work events with lots of people. Even social events with a crowd take a real toll on my energy levels. I hadn’t noticed this before. Maybe this was always the case and I was just too busy to notice. Or maybe I have introverted so much during the lockdowns (or perhaps it's my meditation practices) that being so extrovert takes much more effort than it used to. I ponder this from time to time.... I definitely need more space, more quiet than ever before. Whether that is the covid experience or my deepening of my practices I am unsure.
So when my colleague said she could do with another 2 week lockdown I knew just where she was coming from. I will continue to remind myself as I get tempted by all the shiny things out there that we don’t have to get back on that treadmill, everything is a choice!