Last year I met a friend at a conference. I hadn’t seen her for some years. We both do similar work. We always make plans to meet. Frustratingly our paths never cross when we are visiting the same town but we keep in touch frequently. Much younger than me and someone who makes time to go to the gym, she had a massive heart attack earlier this year. With a pacemaker, she has a new lease on life but it has thrown a curved ball on her lifestyle. It was a wake up call, for her and me.
I’ve become used to what my children refer to as my “gypsy” lifestyle. I’ve learned to cope by using some strategies that I find work for me. I am never rushed for the airport. In every town I request the same room at the hotel, so it is familiar. When I’m given a serviced apartment, I always do the dishes. It grounds me. My packing is neatly organised in travel packs. There’s less chance I’ll lose something this way. Travel is not a stressor for me. It comes from a certain philosophy.
Those in the fast lane, for example, jockeys, marathon runners, even sprinters, etc respond to a different rhythm. They call it pace. They become attuned to it. They have to, if they want to win. They know you can’t go too fast, too early. Nor leave the last dash, too late. Yes, they know the rhythm. It comes from practice and the desire to win.
I’m home for nearly a week over the Easter break before travel starts again in earnest. Shifting gears is now easier. I create a different pace when I’m home. I savour every moment. I still wake early. There’s no such thing as sleeping in, for me. I wake and wait, coffee in hand, for dawn. It always arrives in style. I make time to wander in the garden. The Willie Wagtail is always great company.The cape gooseberry bush has one or two lanterns at the moment. I’m not sure if it is the right time for it to fruit. My mother used to make the best gooseberry jam. The taste of fresh fruit is an indelible memory, so I eye it with anticipation.The last of the autumn roses have found a space to peek through the fence. Although autumn is soon claiming them …there’s still some summer left in leaves.I’ve come to learn, when there are no roses, leaves and raindrops will do.And, who knew that plain old snail, lived under a gilded roof.
I know these things now because I make time to learn them in those still moments. The concept of frantic is no longer part of my vocabulary or lifestyle. Yes, like the jockeys and marathon runners, it took practice to get here. And, I did.
My children, too, are learning this philosophy. They make sure they spend quality time with their partners and also value their alone time, too. They know life is not all about money. Success is doing what you love to do.
Until next time
a dawn bird