Finding pockets of quiet in the everyday

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Lately, I’ve been making a conscious effort to slow down. To not rush through the days, but to take my time, to savour the little moments, to create pockets of quiet in amongst the busy-ness of life. Some days from the moment I wake up until the day ends, I feel like I’ve run 100mph without stopping, trying to keep up with the demands of a large family, a busy home, self-employment and homeschooling. By the time evening comes, I’m frazzled. Tired and worn out.

Life seems to be built around being busy…we spend so much time complaining about how busy we are, how we don’t have time for this or that. Yet lately I’ve been thinking that being busy isn’t all it’s made out to be. When we’re busy we end up rushing through life and miss out on those little moments of joy. How much do we miss when we’re rushing through life at full speed?

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I’ve found myself slowing down. Stopping to smell the roses, so to speak.  I realised that I’d hidden away behind my business, caught in an unhappy relationship I kept busy all day long, so I wouldn’t have time to sit and be alone with my thoughts.  When you think about how many years have gone by in the blink of an eye, how fast your kids are growing up before you, how much time you’ve lost, spent in the pursuit of being busy. So instead of finding things to do to fill the hours, I’ve been letting things go.  Putting away the laptop and phone, working when I need to, but not constantly.  Allowing myself the grace to do nothing – to just live in the moment, to sit and watch the kids playing after dinner, to watch the sunset, to sit and enjoy the feel of the sunshine on my face.

Teaching myself to build pockets of quiet into my busy life has been so wonderful, it’s taught me that it’s OK to sit and do nothing for a little while, that we all need time to daydream, to sit with our thoughts, to observe life instead of rushing past it so fast. Slowing down has given me a happier outlook on life, a better relationship with my kids {as I’m not constantly saying “not now, I’m too busy”} and helped to reduce my stress and anxiety.

I’ve made a point of building little pockets of quiet into my everyday;

  • Putting down the phone – it used to be glued to my side, now I often leave it lying around the house, forgetting to check it for hours on end. Freeing myself from the constant buzz of social media notifications and emails, the constant demands of a life lived online. So many hours are wasted mindlessly scrolling through Facebook/Instagram, and while I do still check in, it’s once or twice a day – not every five minutes!

 

  • Pick up a book – I used to lament the lack of reading time I have, often by the time my day is done I’m too exhausted to focus on words on a page. I’ve started keeping a book by the back door, and a few times a day I snatch five minutes of reading time {and a little fresh air}- there is something indulgent about reading in the day when you’re a Mama!

 

  • Make time for coffee. I gave up drinking caffeine earlier in the year, though I still drink coffee {just sticking to the decaf} I used to use a large stove top espresso maker, making enough to keep me going all day long. I’ve just switched to this pour over coffee maker, and am loving the ritual of making a fresh pot of coffee whenever I want one. Stopping what I’m doing to measure out the coffee grounds, pouring the water over them, letting them drip through slowly. Smelling the aroma of coffee wafting up, enjoying those few minutes of my coffee ritual. Coffee made slowly and with patience tastes so much better – and I am seriously in love with how good my coffee tastes made in this! Even better, I often then take my coffee outside with my book!

 

  • Saying no to the ‘have to’s’ – when I wake up in the morning and mentally list out all of the things I have to do today, I feel stressed before I even get out of bed. I’ve been questioning those things now though, do I really have to do them? Says who? I’ve been letting go of things that aren’t so important, saying no far more, and freeing up my time.

 

  • Starting my day earlier – I used to hate getting out of bed, maybe becuase I knew it would be another day of hte saem. Since I’ve been single though, I’ve started to relish early mornings. If I can, I sneak out of bed before anyone else is asleep, pour that first cup of coffee and sit outside. Soaking up the early morning peace while the rest of my house is still asleep. Sitting and just sipping my coffee, listening to the birdsong, breathing in the morning air, letting myself awake slowly.

 

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4 Comments

  1. August 8, 2017 / 17:32

    Love this Polly. I need to slow down so this post has come just at the right time xx

  2. August 8, 2017 / 17:55

    agreed this is an important thing to do where you can! sometimes it’s literally just a moment, but sometimes that moment of calm and quiet can keep you going for the rest of the day.

  3. August 9, 2017 / 09:57

    This sounds blissful and something I really need to start building into my daily routine! Definitely with the phone and time to just sit x

  4. August 12, 2017 / 11:44

    I totally agree with this – I feel like I’ve had at least half a dozen people ask ‘are you busy?’ lately, as though the RIGHT answer is to say yes, like some kind of badge of honour. When I say NO they look a bit perplexed! I have deliberately kept things quiet work wise over the summer holidays, because isn’t that the whole reason people work for themselves? Because they want that flexibility? It makes me sad that so many people equate success to being busy.

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