I started writing this while sat in the hairdressers chair this morning. The grey army is well and truly entrenched on my head … I’ve fought the brave fight, but these damned grey walkers just keep multiplying and coming back to persecute me. So, at least once a month now, I find myself there, looking like an extra from Star Trek, trying to make myself beautiful and youthful again!
This morning was different though. This morning was better. I’m normally clock watching, unable to really relax because I have to be somewhere after, and the hair rescue is just taking too long. And even though I have no control over the time it takes to fix my dying locks (the fact that going grey means my body is in the declining stages of life is something I am refusing to come to terms with), I still manage to feel stressed and tight until I get done and get out.
Today, the hairdresser put the colour in and asked me if I’d like to go under the heat so as to be done quicker (poor woman is so used to me at this stage), and that simple question somehow flipped a switch in my head. Everything is so quick these days, so rushed. There’s always somewhere to be, something to do (my brain is constantly full of lists, plans, activities, times, jobs to do, jobs that I had to do, but didn’t, so still have to do) and sometimes it feels like I’m chasing my tail with ne’er a hope of ever catching it!
So today, I refused the quick option. I decided to sit and marinate for 40 minutes. And I decided to breathe and relax. It is so rare to get two hours of being still and it is such a shame to waste this time when it does come. I put the blog to one side and flipped through a couple of magazines reading about absolutely nothing of any world significance whatsoever (did you know espadrilles have under gone a huge revamp … who’d have thought!) and it was bloody brilliant. These magazines should be used for stress management, I tell ya! You need to use no brain power at all … just need to have a pulse and eyes! I had a non-guilty stalk through facebook (generally I feel guilty because I should be doing something else!), checked my emails, listened in on the natter going on beside me and just switched off.
We need to get this whole world to slow down. Moments come and go before we even have a chance to register them. Life is running at break neck speed and we are all doing our best to keep up. Well, down with that kind of thing I say! Time to reset the body clocks and bring the pace down. I know work still needs to be done, lists still need to be made, but life also needs to be lived. I look at my kids and realise how short this life is and how fast the years go by. My eldest is now twenty and yet I still remember him as a little tike, cradled in my arms. Where the fuck did those years go???!
I made a change recently. Moved to a new job in a manically busy new restaurant in the middle of town (56 Central … if you have not been then you have not lived!). Sounds cracked, but this bustling restaurant is the most relaxed place I have ever worked. Don’t get me wrong, everyone works very, very hard. We are flat out all the time, but this place has got the balance right. The captain of the ship is all about mindset. Encourages us to be happy, to pay compliments, to give high fives, to take a moment out if we are feeling stressed. This is a place where it is acceptable to laugh, to dance, to enjoy. I have never worked in such an amazing environment, with people who get shit done and smile at the same time. So while, the distance I have to travel is longer, and my weekends are gone, I wouldn’t change it for the world.
The only one you are racing against is yourself so find your pace people, find your rhythm and follow it. Take a step back, appreciate what you have, and just slow down. I have 2000 words to write today, but I’m not stressed about it. I’m gonna take the next hour before school ends and get some done. Then I’ll take some time later to do the same. And when I cross the finish line later today, I’ll sleep, content in the knowledge that today I slowed down, and today was good.