If there’s one thing I learned during our enforced lockdown is that the pandemic has skewed my outlook on life and my expectations thwarted in their wake.
A long walk on Sunday morning with my husband, a Skype call with my Mum and Dad, appreciating the beauty of the garden in its glory and taking in the blueness of the sky is therapeutic and blissful.
Finding peace and simplicity is synonymous as sugar is in tea.
I yearn for simplicity and reduce the impact technology has on my life to which I am a slave.
I want to make the most of now to simplify life, and I have made a great start.
I have been searching for an old 35mm analogue camera. Do you remember cameras that housed film?
My father had a Kodak, and I asked if he still had it stashed somewhere at home? Unsurprisingly, he had it stored safely in a box.
He showed me how to set it up, and now I am having a lot of fun taking pictures.
Waiting for the film to be developed and sent back is a bit laborious.
But it fills me with joy to receive the photos; a reminder of the day I took them, they are somehow more meaningful.
The camera serves as a reminder of a life that used to be easy compared to today’s standards. No technology to overwhelm and overstimulate the human mind.
If you’re in your twenties and thirties and reading this I probably sound like your Mum, but if, like me, you are in your fifties, you will ultimately get where I am coming from.
Simplicity helps us stay in the present and be mindful, and there’s been a lot of conversation about being in the present, mindfulness and meditation, particularly during the lockdowns.
I find it all rather tedious because I am a misfit. I can’t sit still for more than five minutes unless I’m on a beach sunning myself; it becomes all about the suntan and nothing else.
A life of simplicity is one I seek but not so easy to come by.
I google the search term simplicity, and I am confronted with a myriad of ideas; how to live a simple life, sort your wardrobe, live frugally, buy less and make use of what I already own.
Stripping away the non-essential and focusing time and energy on what is here and now.
The problem with that idea is I get stuck on the ‘dreadmill of life’, and to get off requires habit-changing stamina.
And this blog isn’t about telling YOU what to do or how to do it rather a reflection on my life questioning what needs to change to make me feel less stressed and more positive.
I admit I’ve been doing this a lot lately.
In the aftermath of the pandemic my eldest son successfully completed his four-year law degree course.
And I am amazed at how time has passed. It feels like yesterday we were driving him to Warwick for the start of his first year.
Time has vanished into obscurity with no hope of getting it back again.
I think I am melancholic at heart, an overthinker who has overthought.
Could life be better?
Should I do more with my life?
Have I missed out on anything?
Maybe I need a bucket list of things to do before I’m dead?
I put it to you that it is a conundrum that many women feel but cannot share for fear of sounding overly sentimental and sad.
But the truth is, when we reach menopause, this is one of many emotions we go through often alone.
From empty nest syndrome to changing jobs, moving house to ageing parents while coming to terms with the change wreaking havoc in our bodies.
Simplicity is finding the beauty in less and taking in what is around us
something I’ve been enjoying.
But it takes time to shift that mindset from work mode to being in the present.
Three weeks ago, I had a meltdown in my office juggling too many balls, too many things to do a bit like forcing a size 5 foot into 31/2 size shoe; it does not fit.
I left with an almighty headache, disgruntled and anxious.
But something shifted.
I woke up the following morning feeling exhausted but different.
Life doesn’t have to be full-on 24/7, 7 days a week.
If a job isn’t finished the way I’d like it, nobody will die because of it.
And since that shift, life is more manageable; I am taking each day as it comes and not getting too fraught and anxious if a day slips by without great things achieved.
As for the camera?
Seeing life through a lens gives a better sense of perspective; life really is like a camera, focus on what is important, capture the good times, develop from the negative moments and if things don’t turn out how you expect them, then take another shot.
I’ll let you know how I get on with the simple life.