Life has been full on lately. I won’t bore you with the detail of all that’s going on; mainly because I’m fairly sure you’ve got the equivalent rampaging through your life at the moment.
All of us are busy, right?
Busy. It’s a word that I hate. I’ve felt quite challenged over the last few years to scale things back a bit so that I don’t let this feeling of being ‘too busy’ take over my life. I’ve subsequently made some changes that have had a very positive impact.
What I’ve realised recently however, is that sometimes ‘busy’ isn’t actually about having a calendar that is too full. Busy can be having too much floating around in your head, a mental state that makes you feel busy even if you’re actually not. It’s a feeling of overwhelm that catches you unawares.
When your mind is too full
A couple of weeks ago, I was in London at the clinic which has been helping me learn to manage my Scoliosis. There was a lot going on at home and I felt pretty anxious about leaving home for 5 days with so many unanswered questions. I guess the best way to describe the feeling, was ‘preoccupied’.
Every day I trekked up to London on the train – Wokingham to Paddington, then the underground to the east side of town. In total, it took me two hours there and two hours back. How anyone does that journey every day of the week, I do not know.
I quickly fell into the rhythm of all the other commuters (only I was wearing gym gear and trainers, they were wearing a suit) – head phones in, laptop open, head down.
For a while this routine worked, the music in my ears distracted me from my thoughts and the work was getting done so I had less to catch up on at the weekend. I could see why everyone else just kept their heads down, not making eye contact, on a mission to be as productive as possible.
Then one evening, as I was walking back to the tube station, I decided to look up instead of down and this is what I saw…
The next evening I decided to do the same.
Start to Look Up
And here’s the thing…it completely changed my mindset. I realised just how much beauty there is around, even in the midst of a bustling, intense, busy city, where the people have their heads down and everyone is intent on avoiding eye contact.
Forget the billboards (although they’re not unattractive either), look at the buildings! There really is beauty all around if you’re only willing to look up long enough to notice.
I don’t know about you but I can easily get ‘bogged down’ in my circumstances – head down, focussed on the matter in hand. I think we would all do well to look up a little more often.
I’ve been trying to incorporate it into my everyday life and it’s made such a difference. What say you?