In the last few years, I’ve been talking about taking more time for me. Only doing the kind of work that makes my heart sing, spending time with the people who matter to me, growing some of our own food, growing myself – exploring more of what interests me.
And I haven’t. Or perhaps it’s truer to say I have a bit – I do some of all those things. Part of being a Fresh Air Fridays facilitator is ‘walking our talk’ – reflecting on our lives and making changes when something isn’t working. It’s an ongoing thing.
Then this morning, I’m sat in my kitchen on the phone to a friend. Cosy on the little 2-seater settee looking out to the garden.
The sky is blue, the wisteria is coming out and the pots with various veggie seedlings are just outside, ready to be potted on. And I thought to myself “wow, I’m in The Good Place”. (The Good Place is a comedy TV series about a heaven-like afterlife, which we’ve been watching as a family during lockdown. We’ve found it a poignant commentary on life as well as laugh out loud funny!)
Something’s happened to me during lockdown – the things that I’ve said I’ve wanted to do, I’ve made the time for. One of our adult children has come home and we’ve repaired and dug the veggie patch. Being unable to meet family and friends in person has brought about new ways of connecting – more regular and fun. I’ve spoken with people I haven’t talked to for years – just wanting to reach out and check they’re ok. It feels good to do that. I’ve also played on LinkedIn – this may not sound like a fun thing to many people but I’ve wanted to be sharing, connecting and building relationships on social media for some time – now I am.
Two of our themes spring to mind – Being Present and Gratitude – I’m very aware of the other side of this situation. People who are struggling with loss, anxiety, caring duties or who don’t have a wisteria-fringed courtyard garden to look out upon. In the first couple of weeks I noticed twinges of guilt around how blessed I was feeling. Noticing the guilt allowed me to feel it and then let it go. I believe that those of us who are doing OK, can support those who aren’t and that’s what I’m seeking to do – I can only do that when I’m in a good place myself.
Maintaining what I’ve noticed / gained – I wanted to write about this as soon as it came to mind. In the past when that’s happened, I’ve often looked at my ‘to do’ list and thought “I’ll get these out of the way first and then come back to it”. And many times that hasn’t happened. Something’s taken longer than I thought or something that seems more urgent has come up and the moment’s gone. When I set my intentions earlier in the week, I’d said I wanted to make time for writing. What I’m noticing now is that I also need to take the time for that and the things that matter to me. I’ve done more of that during lockdown and that’s what will continue to make the difference.
Interested in joining the Fresh Air Fridays team? Find out more about becoming a Facilitator here.