Saturday morning, Oslo. Snow is pouring down outside and our fireplace is packed with wood and burning its ass off to warm up the place. This weekend we made plans to NOT have any plans at all. We even stocked up on food so we don’t even have to pop to the store. It kinda feels like we’re in a cabin on a mountain. My plans for the day include reading a book, playing board games, taking a bath maybe, having dinner and watching a movie.
I’m mostly writing because I’m surprised with how simple it was to lock the world outside and feel like I’m on vacation even for a short while. It’s easy, cosy and free and yet we hardly ever do it. Everyday life is fast paced and even if we don’t have plans for the weekend, we try to go somewhere, do something, meet people.
Which is great, don’t get me wrong. I’m all for experiencing the world and connecting with people, it enriches life and feeds our brains with new impulses and imagery. I do however think there’s something really vital we gain from turning the switch off entirely every now and then.
First off all, we learn to be more in contact with ourselves. It’s so easy to forget about ourselves between work, exercising, taking care of our children, meeting up with family and friends and filling the time gaps watching youtube videos or listening to audio books and podcasts. I remember during a busy period while I was at work I looked at my legs and thought “Wow! Look! I’m still me!” Our minds are so busy every day that our self-awareness takes an early vacation trip to Tijuana and waits for us there drinking cocktails until we decide to join it.
Essentially turning the world off for a while and doing things that are more meditational like reading a book or even wall gazing (an amazing activity that’s recommended to experienced loners or introverts) allows us to focus, gather our thoughts and recharge our batteries.
Being able to stay with ourselves for a while sends us also an important message, which is: I am good enough to be my own company. Everyone loves hanging around people who are fun or being the centre of attention but how often do we use our own recourses to entertain our own selves? This is easier to do if you are already in contact with your creative aspect and extremely difficult- in the beginning at least- for the rest of us. It is however a ticket to genuine happiness, sense of security and self-confidence. Being able to create happiness and offer it to ourselves is something no one can ever take from us even when life gets difficult.
The same applies to being our own thoughts processors. It is very much ok to give yourself the time to process events, thoughts or demands from the world entirely on your own and completely unaffected by others. Our decision making and even our opinions are formed not only by standards set by our family environment many years ago, but also by the standard setting of today’s world and I see only positive things coming out of filtering all this out sometimes.
I think that this could lead to us becoming be more genuine and have more meaningful relationships eventually. As a good girl syndrome sufferer, when I’m asked to commit to something on the spot, I wish an answer like “please leave your message after the beep and I’ll get back to you as soon as I’ve thought this through” would be acceptable. If only!
We can’t slow down our lives and we can definitely not slow down the world around us but we can take breaks from it more often without becoming cave gazing hermits or moving to India and doing yoga 24/7. You should try it!