One of my jobs involves looking after two lovely young boys. They’re Star Wars, mad, fantastic at Lego and have an incredible amount of energy. They’re loving, have huge imaginations and do impressive impressions of minions.
Every single day, they teach me something new whether that be facts about planets and dinosaurs, intricate Ninjago plotlines or important life skills such as how to have patience!
On Tuesday, I was sat in the garden with them. We’d been in the park all morning and had then come home to have a picnic outside. We were sat out on the grass, in the sun, eating lunch, as you do – and I began to feel stressed. Physically stressed. There was absolutely no reason to feel this way. Yes, one of the boys often takes twice as long to eat as most snails probably do, but that in itself is not a stressful situation (unless you need to get somewhere quickly and you’re waiting for him to finish).
It occurred to be that there is very rarely a moment in my life where I stop. For most of my life, I constantly have to be somewhere, do something and it usually has to happen now (if not before). Some of this is when I have a lecture to go to and I’ve overslept, but often it’s a need I impose on myself because I feel that I can always do more and try harder. And that is probably why I felt stressed. It’s almost my bodies’ natural reaction that if I’m not doing anything for 5 minutes or longer then I’m wasting time and I must getbusyquickly or everythingwillfallapartargh!
I don’t think this is an ideal way to live. Yes, I like being busy and yes, I like getting involved with lots of different things. But there is something about stopping, looking at the world around you and noticing things. Noticing how the sun feels on your skin, that there are three bees in that flowerbed, that the air is beginning to smell like spring. Just appreciating where you are in that moment and feeling content.
Some might call it mindfulness, others might refer to it as meditation. Some do it through yoga or pilates, others will go for a bike ride. But I feel like it’s important to stop every once in a while, take in your surroundings, and just be.