One of the greatest gifts that this global pandemic has afforded me is the space and time to listen and take notice. It’s been years since I’ve been quiet and still enough to take notice of my own world and lifestyle. Probably before children, which is twenty years ago, which is far too long. Even in moments of meditation or conscious time out, I always feel an urgency to move. There’s just too much to do. I know better, but we all get swept along with the expectations of modern living, don’t we? We are so used to rushing, buying, obtaining, working that we feel jittery if we aren’t doing anything. I know I do, or did, before I had the opportunity to dwell in a quieter world. Perhaps it’s time to take notice!
It’s time to take notice of love.
It’s strange what happens when we are forced into a state of perceived boredom. What are we to do without our jobs and endless activity? Don’t we need routine and a focus to keep us functioning? No carpooling to school or sports practice to attend. No jobs to go to or parties to enjoy. With our human world forced to halt, I found, that instead of my world becoming smaller it seemed to expand and grow. It felt rich and abundant and I saw the reality of things. I had time to see where my life experience had taken me and it’s not too shabby.
For the first time, I could see how much the people in my household love each other. Yes, we take it for granted. We pass each other in the doorway on our way to do whatever it is we do daily. We earn, we study, we play, but most of all we love. But do we appreciate it? Maybe not. This past year has allowed me to take notice of our love. It’s in our laughter, our peaceful home, the paint on the walls and the coffee brewing in the kitchen. Love is in our conversation, in each person’s quirky habits and noisy banter. My life has not always been that way. It’s been a long tough road for the four members of our household to find a peaceful, love-filled place. So tough in fact, that I hadn’t noticed peace had arrived. It kind of snuck up on us while we weren’t looking. Love also feels like a big overflowing bowl of gratitude.
Notice your body.
It is an eternal habit of mine to ignore the signals my body gives me. Even down to ignoring when I’m thirsty or need to pee because I am just too busy doing. I also recognized how utterly and completely exhausted I was. My god was I tired. Some days I felt it was too much just to hold myself upright. Imagine not knowing that you are that tired. Day by day, year by year the heaviness settled into my body and I got used to it. But it’s no mystery to me how I got there. It is a mystery how I survived it though. Needless to say, I made no astounding body transformations during lockdown. However, I am now drinking water, taking naps and peeing when I actually need to instead of when I can. Victory!
It’s time to take notice of our environment.
While we sat in our garden last summer, my fiance remarked to me how there seemed to be more birdlife than normal. Every morning birdsong woke us up early. Of course, it had always been that way. Our busy lives and exhaustion had robbed us of the relationship with the natural world we had craved when we moved here. We live in the most beautiful place. Our home is surrounded by trees at the foot of a mountain. We are so lucky and we definitely appreciate that luck a lot more now. Having the time to appreciate the smells, sounds and colours of nature again has grounded me immensely. It brought me back home to myself and how I was raised. We even have a pet robbin who visits every day now. I won’t ignore you again birdies – promise.
Really, this piece of writing is a long gratitude list of sorts. I live a full, abundant but simple life. I think that’s been my aim all along. It’s also a reminder that a quieter existence without the bells and whistles and constant distractions serves me well. It serves us all well. Keep it simple – right?