It's been a little while... since I wrote. Time flies huh? Mostly when you're having fun. It's so true. When we're immersed in something we want to do, time seems to go fast, when we're doing something that we'd rather not... time seems to go on forever! I thought I explore something fascinating - how to slow down time!
Earlier this year, I enjoyed a brilliant 4 weeks - with my mum. She visited me from England. Hasn't been here for 8 years - and to be honest, may never get here again. Now THAT is what you call precious time.
I'm so lucky to have been able to drop everything I was doing and just enjoy that time with her. We had no set plans, she was happy to just be here and take each day as it came, appreciating simple things like looking at the ocean! That's when I gradually learned to slow down time. It's funny, often when you're on a trip and you don't want it to end, time seems to get faster and faster. This time, I learned a way to slow it down!.
Above you'll see mum sitting on a bench at the beach in Mooloolaba. We did that a lot. Not being so steady on her legs, she preferred to just sit and take things in. We'd sit for a while and when it was 'time to go' I thought to myself... is it really? Instead of rushing off to the next spot I reminded myself that there was no agenda... and we sat for a while longer. It's amazing where you can find the time when you really want to. What would normally have been a 10-minute sit on the bench turned into a 3-hour sit - and it went slowly and I enjoyed every minute. We sat there just chatting, having a sandwich, a cuppa tea, talking to the people that came and went... passing the time calmly, happily. I let go. Of the need to be anywhere, do anything, achieve anything.
Here are some simple tips I used to help me slow down time
1. Plan some agenda-free days. If you have a lot to do, then you start the day with the day already done. Of course some days you will have a full schedule and that's fine, but so often people feel the need to fill their schedule just to feel like they are achieving something.
2. Be mindful. This is probably the biggest most important thing I could say for anyone to do in everyday life. How can we truly enjoy our time if we are constantly thinking of something we should be doing or somewhere we should be. Soak up the moment, take in every second, enjoy it for what it is, because it will never be exactly the same again.
3. Accept. It can be hard to slow down after being busy. Getting feelings of impatience can creep in and steal the moment. If it helps, break the time into slots that you can work with. Maybe an hour, just accept that you will give that hour to someone, or something and let go of everything else and just enjoy that time 100% completely.
4. Practice patience. Let go of the need for everything you want to happen right now. Listen to others' point of view and try living at their slightly slower pace for the day.
5. Be generous with your time. As we get older, we realise that time is the most precious commodity we have, so choose to spend it with the people you care about or doing things you value. That gift of time is priceless.
Time has always been a bit of a fascination for me. Some time ago, I began to question how I was spending my time. It's so easy to get swept along with a tide of distractions, doubts and duties and days turn into weeks, into months, years and eventually decades, with still the same distractions, doubts, duties and self-made deadlines. So I made the decision to own my time, choose my actions and create my life. It's still a work in progress, but now I spend my time developing something that is real and meaningful.
And if you do nothing else... ask yourself this one important question... 'How do I want to spend my time today?