26 April 2021

Slow Living After Lockdown


Last April, I think almost exactly a year ago today, I sat down and wrote something small about slow living. This was the first time I'd acknowledged or opened up about my lifestyle choice in the midst of lockdown 1.0, sharing why slowing down worked for me.


Like most of us, since last April my entire life has shifted now. You might be enjoying a much slower pace of life and never going back, or you might realise that actually, you miss being busy. For me, my life before the pandemic was alright. I just wasn't going anywhere. I was happy living within a relatively small bubble, confined within strict boundaries I'd set myself, enjoying days to myself mostly. Until Autumn, I suppose, where for about six months my life fell apart and I felt sad whenever I was alone.


Today my life is more cheerful again. In more ways than one life feels entirely different, yet normal. It's nice.


April last year was warmer than imagined and, the novelty of lockdown was still in full swing. I was working three days at max per week comfortably in care, enjoying my first Spring in a new home with a garden bigger than ever imagined and, an inflatable sun lounger I spent many hours basking on. Nothing was happening therefore in my opinion at the time, life was treating me well. 


One year on again and now, I feel like a mature adult for the first time. Is that weird to write? There's been a lot of growth (between September until February)...immense pain too, that ultimately I was completely unprepared to handle. But, it led me to where I am today. Still standing. I believe in fate, usually being the type of person that thinks certain events were maybe supposed to happen for us to develop, but honestly I don't think that about my past year. It's hard to. It was rough, you know. I've written about it a lot on here, on Instagram and sometimes on Twitter too. None of it needed to happen. It was just bad luck. Heartbreakingly shit stuff. I'm still holding a grudge.  


I had reached a point where I wasn't living slowly. I had just stopped. Letting life wash me under. I was confused about everything. Trudging through an endless spiral of disaster. Then, the new year arrived and gradually, almost overnight in fact, my world started to pick up. The bad news stopped coming in so swiftly and, I was able to enjoy being a little busier.


Months later I'm settled in a new job, where I feel valued, where my boundaries are respected and my wellbeing is important. I swore I'd forever left behind office life when I said goodbye to the misery of being a full-time receptionist years earlier. But, here I am. I even enjoy it. Maybe because it's different and still new, maybe because it was meant for me? I believe in the latter this time around. I'm not working five days a week either. I'm still able to live most of my days freely within the white four walls I adore so much, the garden that never stops giving, amongst the nicest of cul-de-sacs, with the quietest of neighbours. You should also know that whilst I don't have an inflatable sun lounger any longer, I've upgraded significantly to a 10ft inflatable swimming pool. Living my best life. 


Busy will still never be my goal. I certainly don't define my success in terms of salary either or how many hours I spend behind my work laptop. More than anything it's just nice to feel ambitious again. In 2020 I'd lost that entirely. I'd tried to find it through various avenues and considered branching out with my writing, ultimately allowing imposter syndrome to win. I didn't know what I wanted, everything seemed out of reach, so I stopped trying and started spending my days procrastinating.


In this moment, I now know what ambition feels like again however. I'm comfortable with my lifestyle and don't find myself longing for more. I'm appreciating what I have I suppose and, concluding that balancing stability, routine and tranquillity is important to me. Last year I mistook the purpose of slow living somehow, often relying on it as an excuse not to grow. This year I've found my pace again. Sailing forward always, never just sitting still. Simply enjoying dipping my toes back into water. 


Life is beginning to feel warmer again. Not every moment of free time is perfect, but mostly I find myself laughing again. Smiling again. The opportunity for change fell in my lap somehow, and I generally feel less sorry for myself recently. Payday is on the horizon. I'm much more open-minded in many aspects of my life these days and have loosened up. My relationships across the board are thriving more than ever before. I value every aspect of my life in new ways and will never take for granted the loyalty of those who care about me. I know who my friends are, I know what's important to me, I finally know how and why I want to spend my time on this earth. 

 



4 comments

  1. This is a fantastic post, thank you :) I think that slow living will be many peoples' reality after lockdown x

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  2. Congratulations on the positive shifts that you are experiencing now. While no one looks forward to our lows, I often find that I come out of them a stronger, more capable person and in doing so, I find the path that I was supposed to be travelling. In the past, I had a pretty rough go with a job that was demanding and toxic and it was really wearing me down. When I moved out of that chapter of my life (and that career entirely) it felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. There is something magical about finding a job that you enjoy, isn't there? Congrats again!

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  3. I'm so glad life is feeling more positive for you now. It's certainly been a tricky year for a lot of us. Slow living is something I'm thinking more and more about lately. I don't live slowly. At all. In fact I'm probably the opposite but I know I need to start making extra changes in my life to maintain that positive life x

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  4. I'm so glad you've reached this positive point. As tough as it's been, I think that this lockdown has really helped a lot of people grow and figure some stuff out. I do like to be busy, but I'm definitely not rushing out to be overly social either right now. Still appreciating the option of things being slower x

    Sophie
    www.glowsteady.co.uk

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