Challenge: To Slow Down
Supporting Naomi’s DTS this month.
Thoughts: Stop. Breathe. And let it be.
The Ninth Challenge: To Slow Down
The Easy Times
My month began in Squamish, Canada. It was easy then to slow down and take the time to enjoy the moment. I had no responsibilities and no set plans, so I took my time and went with the flow. It lead me to some great moments, like one day that I went on a very long walk to the Chief with the idea of climbing it. The walk to get there alone took the majority of my day as I stopped to enjoy breathtaking views along the way. When it got to lunch time, a pot noodle did the trick and I stopped to enjoy this hidden spot beneath the highway.
Not being in a rush to get anywhere, I detoured from my route several times which lead to me some exciting adventures. I stumbled across a popular bouldering spot where I watched people practising climbing up and around these huge boulders, their safety mats beneath them. I decided to explore further into the woods, climbing up some rocks of my own. The route continued deeper and deeper into the unknown with more and more boulders cutting across my route. But I continued, curiosity leading the way, until my route ended abruptly at one of the sheer faces of the Chief. To my amazement, when I stared up the sky-high rock face, there was a person half way up, climbing.
So when I later followed another unknown path which ended in a very large boulder, perhaps this person inspired me to attempt to climb the boulder. This lead me to the most stunning view where I took some time to sit, breathe and munch on some oreos.
It wasn’t long into September before I had to make the long and sloooow journey back home. But in the spirit of slowing down and not rushing, I didn’t queue early to get on the plane and I wasn’t the first up when the plane landed. I have never been so chilled or relaxed about flying before – and normally the journey home for me is awful because without the excitement of a holiday to look forward to, the stress of flying is amplified. But this was by far one of my most chilled journeys. In my layover I read, sipped on pumpkin spice chai latte, blogged and browsed the airport shops. And before I knew it, everyone had boarded the plane, so I joined them at my leisurely pace.
This really taught me that we really don’t need to be in a rush to get anywhere, taking my time and slowing down meant a much more pleasant experience for me and as a result people around me enjoyed more pleasant interaction.
The Harder Times
Getting back to England, I had given myself a week before I needed to be back at work. Having a wedding to attend in Glasgow, I opted for a 9 hour mode of transportation to save a significant sum of money, rather than paying more than double for a quicker trip there and back. Where I may have had some regrets on the overnight journey back (mainly due to not being able to sleep at all on the uncomfortable chairs), I actually enjoyed the journey there. I had time to write, to catch up with some old friends on social media and even read. But 9 hours on a bus sitting next to strangers means after a while, you do start talking to one another. By the end of the journey, the community spirits were soaring. The man opposite shared around his food, his little girl chattered away to us and the woman next to me offered around her napkins. I had made two new friends!
The more difficult times came when I was finally settled in at home and things started to get a little lonely particularly as the family I live with went on holiday for a week. I purposefully did not keep myself busy, curious as to how I would enjoy a bit of my own company. I wanted to scrapbook, watch movies, do my nails, write my book, bake and so much more. But strangely, the loneliness seemed crippling and I struggled to bring myself to do any of it. I would say that was my hardest point of this month’s challenge as I was also on a come down from travelling. But I did have some beautiful moments.
All in all it’s been good to slow down this month and I hope this attitude will carry forward with me into the rest of the year because it really did make a positive difference. It can be hard sometimes but it’s worth persevering and really taking every opportunity to stop and enjoy the moments in front of you.
Next Challenge: Sugar Free!