Because life is about more than just scrolling aimlessly through Instagram and other social media.
Zhivago top | Cotton On Body bralette | Sabo Skirt shorts | Forever New shoes | Vintage shoes
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The last few months have seen a reshuffle in where I spend my time, expend my energy and my priorities lay. I have managed to find more hours to knuckle down and pump out my work (when I am not away in the wilderness of course!) and more time to spend on myself; and I have found that what I choose to care about has changed.
Stepping back and allowing myself to rediscover the things I love, and reinvesting time back in to those things has been a complete breath of fresh air. Pulling myself away from things that weren’t fulfilling me, and the vortex that is social media has helped me to reconnect with life. I feel like this mind set is glaringly obvious in the content that I am putting out there too; or maybe that is just because I am aware of my situation.
For the last 6 or so months, ‘living’ has been at the top of my priority list.
This idea of time has become really important to me. Time is finite, but the list of things I want to enjoy and to be able to say that I have done is not. I resent the thought of getting to my 40s and 50s and realising I spent the best years of my life tearing my hair out over a job that didn’t fulfil me; or that all the things I should have done while I was younger are now much more difficult to do. I hate getting to the end of a day and realising that I did nothing for myself. I don’t want to realise that I didn’t live my life doing things that make me happy.
For the last few months, I have actively worked to ensure that this doesn’t happen. I have been allowing myself the time to live.
In this sense, ‘living’ doesn’t necessarily mean that I am jumping out of a plane and seeking adrenaline rushes every other day. It means that I am simply allocating time to switch off, be present in the moment (that means no social media or screens) and to do the things that I want to be doing. I have realised how good it is to disassociate with social media, and focus my mind on other things. Over the last few months, I have been allocating the time I might have once spent aimlessly scrolling through Instagram to do these few things…
Sure, I sound like a grandma but I really don’t care. Ever since I can remember, I was doing crosswords with my grandad. He would answer most of the questions, but I would always come in handy when the pop culture questions needed answering. We would sit there at the dinner table together and fill in square after square.
My ongoing love of crosswords is partly nostalgia, and partly due to my obsessions with learning and words. I love nothing more than sitting down, taking a break and pouring over a crossword; it is far more fulfilling to me than staring idly at a screen and typing vague 4-word comments to people. Even though it is using brain power, it is an oddly calming past time. I love testing myself and exercising my linguistic ability; plus, I always learn a new thing or two while I am at it.
Sitting down and getting to know my housemates
When you don’t live with your partner, there is this really fun game of musical houses that you play. If you are anything like I was in my last relationship, then it would just be you playing the game of musical houses every week.
Being so transient for so long meant that the time I did actually get at home was spent unpacking, washing, cleaning and catching up on the things I had to get done at my own house. Yes, it was incredibly tiring.
Even though I am finding myself putting in longer hours on my work commitments, I am also allocating time to hanging out with my housemates. Sitting down and sharing a glass of wine to defrag after a long day is something I had been missing since my time living with Quinn the Canadian unicorn (5 years ago now!). Having a great conversation and a tonne of belly laughs beats staring at a screen any day!
Spending time away/outdoors
You may have noticed how much time I am spending at the beach, park and river this summer. Being outdoors is where I feel most at home, so whenever I have the chance to get out in to the sunshine, I will. Often the only time I will pick up my phone is to video and take photos of my surrounds, leaving them to upload at a later stage when I am back at home at my desk. I prefer to be present when I am taking in the outdoors, not chatting to people on Facebook messenger or replying to emails.
Travelling has always been high on my priority list, but I have seen myself put a concerted effort in to short getaways of late. When you only have yourself to worry about, it is easier to make the decision to pack up and spend a few days somewhere other than home. The ability to work remotely helps a lot too. I have also become more content in forgoing certain events to spend some down time with family back home. Hanging out in Bunbury with mum or dad absolutely takes precedence over a movie premiere.
Actually, anything takes precedence over a movie premiere if I am honest. I have never been a big fan of blockbuster movies; I think it is because I am allergic to bullshit, fake and make believe. The one thing I will sit down and make the time to watch is a damn good documentary or docu-series. I like to learn, and Hollywood doesn’t allow me that privilege – SBS and the likes do.
Lately, I have found myself packing up my work by no later than 8.30 or 9.00pm, and settling in to watch something before bed. It helps me remove myself from the world of work, and winds me down before nodding off. Because they require more thought than an action film, I can’t be on social media or working on something at the same time.
Some of the more amazing things I have watched recently are ‘I Am Heath Ledger’ (I was on the plane and fought back tears the whole time. I couldn’t even drink my wine I was that choked up), and a fabulous documentary about trans children. I won’t even start on all the incredible crime series that I have been watching…
I touched on my decision to begin journalling again here. Spending 30 minutes at the end of each day to document the things that have happened, what I am grateful for and what I have learned has become one of my rituals that I most look forward to.
Once upon a time journalling used to be something I would do to help ease the pain, hurt and confusion that I was going through. This time around, it is more about being mindful, wanting to remember all the great things that have happened this year, and being more productive with my time. Plus, a journal doesn’t emit blue light, so it is the perfect thing to pick up right before bed time instead of your phone!