SLOWNESS Vs BUSYNESS - finding the balance in post-lockdown life
I was first among those enjoying Melbourne’s new-found freedoms last Wednesday. It was my birthday and I went out for breakfast at my favourite café with a good friend, and it was wonderful. I have been out for coffee another time since then, and out to dinner too. It is good to be able to do these things again.
The week since lockdown was lifted has also been incredibly busy. I had to prepare to return to work after three months off, including getting things ready in my new premises. I have been used to having a lot of time in which to get things done – it was a bit of a change suddenly having a lot to do!
During lockdown, I was going to the park every day, and found exercising and connecting with nature daily extremely therapeutic. When, in the first busy week post-lockdown, I was unable to get there for three days in a row, I really noticed the difference. It got me thinking.
This year we have certainly had to adapt to life being different, and I think this is not necessarily a bad thing. While the last 8-9 months have been difficult for many, it has certainly shaken things up and helped us gain a new perspective. Do we really want things to ‘go back to normal’?
Personally, I think that ‘going back to normal’ can’t ever mean going back to who we were before Covid. Whether this year has affected you a lot or a little, we are all different people now than when this began. I for one have embraced the alchemising aspect that this strangest of years has brought. Now, coming out of lockdown, I’m asking myself how I want to live going forward. Perhaps you are too.
For me, the sharp contrast between the luxuriant leisure time in lockdown and the frenzied pace of post-lockdown has made me reflect. I never used to be someone that habitually over-scheduled, but found – especially with doing extra study in the last year – it started to happen insidiously. We as a society embrace and encourage the concept of being busy; we wear it like a badge of honour. We measure our worth by how busy and productive we are. What if there was another way?
I think this is a great opportunity to review the way we want to live. For my part, I have deepened my self-care practices to look after myself in lockdown, and now find I want to continue them going forward because I’m not willing to give up the nourishment and increased well-being. I will be looking for ways to balance the demands and responsibilities of ‘normal’ life with the mindful, deep devotion to self-care gained in lockdown.
I don’t know yet what that will look like; it will probably change as I try out different ways of integrating the two. But I feel that it’s a worthwhile pursuit.
What did you find you enjoyed having the time to do in lockdown?
Is there something you would like to carry forward into post-lockdown life?
Is there something you will do differently going forward?
I’d love to hear from you.