I was watching the London Marathon at the weekend, the first time since 2011 that I’ve played the part of spectator, not runner. I did more than my fair share of shouting, screeching, yelling and cheering but in amidst the madness of it all there was a fleeting moment of reflection and something I’ve been thinking about since.
A runner passed me, with no name on her shirt but emblazoned across her back read:
“People who really want it take the stairs.”
I am that person that always takes the stairs. I set myself endless challenges and thrive off of a constant feeling of accomplishment. But sometimes it’s a bit ridiculous and choosing to take the stairs manifests itself as making life unnecessary difficult for myself.
This blog is littered with too many posts about plate spinning, juggling a thousand million trillion things and not finding the time to stop for five minutes.
If one of my friends told me they were doing what I was doing I’d be horrified. I’d sit down with them, suggest they take a good hard look at what they’re doing and seriously revise their priorities.
But why is it we’re often so unkind to ourselves and oblivious to the madness we are embracing? We’d never treat our closest friends or family with this little respect, would we? And why is it, it takes so long to realise we’re one sprint up the flight at Warren Street station (carrying a case!) away from burn out?
So I’m vowing to take the escalator of life for a little while and here’s how I’m going about it:
Adhering to the revised priority list
It’s been a year of constantly moving goal posts but the main reason for leaving London still remains. We signed up to a total lifestyle change and a change in work that would allow me to get my head down and train to be the best nutritional therapist possible. Suddenly freelance gigs came thick and fast, I lost the ability to say “no” to anything and my studies lost their rightful centre stage position. When the day job ended, the books came out and hours of taxing study followed. Assignments and tests were prepped for last minute and I hated that. I don’t work best that way at all. From here on in it’s study first, freelance work later. I have a new job, one day a week, at a gorgeous local deli and coffee shop which sees my minimum outgoings covered and anything else a bonus. Come exam and assignment time, I can scale back on the freelancing and hopefully use the holidays for earning a bit of extra cash.
More haste, less speed
So that’s leaving longer to get to an appointment, not feeling obliged to get everything done now, this minute. It’s taking a moment to gather myself together from time to time, should I feel the need to. It’s actually chewing my food properly at mealtimes!
The relaxation checklist
Much like the revised priorities, it’s about working my way through a series of mini rituals that help look after both the body and the mind. So I’ve signed up for a course of acupuncture (more on that as the treatment pans out), got much stricter with bed time, aimed for at least a 30 minute walk a day and just generally gone about things in my own sweet time.
The 30 minute daily walk – any excuse for a #selfie, eh…?
Constantly reassessing what really matters
Above all I’m determined not to let things spiral out of control in this way again. And given none of us are perfect, chances are, it could get a little out of hand from time to time. So here’s to a constant reassessment, a re-read of the all important revised priority list and cruising along on the escalator for a while.
Are you someone that has a bit of a life reassessment from time to time? Are you due a ride on the escalator of life?