I’ve been thinking a lot about time lately. I think it’s in part because I just read a book called Where Reasons End by Yiyun Lee in which she has a meandering conversation about time with her 16-year-old son who recently died by suicide. My son liked talking about time, about multiple universes, and physics and losing the beat of his own life.
But also because exploring time is something I’ve always been drawn to. More, perhaps, as it relates to the rhythms of our lives. Or never having “enough” time. The interplay of melatonin and cortisol to help us sleep and wake, our ultradian rhythm and how it influences how we move through each day, our monthly cycle, seasonal shifts, the cycles of a human life, the ebb and flow of grief and creativity and introspection and being in the world.
I am in a season of making space and holding space and living in liminal space. Just a little bit outside of normal time. Life, I think, is less linear more circular.
I don’t often wish to go back in time but there’ve been seasons where I wished I could slow it down. I have needed more time.
One of my practices this year more than ever is slow everything- slow grieving, slow business, slow writing (including a book I’m writing but also mail – I ordered some stationery from Etsy), slow, slow, slow so my spirit and body and mind have time and space to regain equilibrium.
This makes me chuckle a little – it might give the impression that I’ve ever moved other than slowly. I limp and trip over my own feet and sometimes I think I’m walking fairly briskly and folks with full heads of silver hair gracefully bypass me.
So my body has always moved to the rhythm of slow but my mind does not like to sleep. Anxiety spins and whirls around me and a deep sense of personal responsibility bounces around in my belly and brain telling me I can only breathe a little bit, this much rest but not more, freedom feels good but do not dare tip too far.
I am looking forward in time too, thinking about when I get my first book into the wild (an important personal victory as it represents a choice to keep living fully), that I would like to take some time off completely. Maybe a few months or so just to putter and rest and read and go for walks. I recognize that slowing down is a privilege.
I build rest into my day and week and year as well (something I only learned out of necessity but now practice joyfully) but I have a sense that I need to give myself a chunk of time off of outside the home commitment or engagement, something I’ve never had since 10 years old when I started working.
I don’t think I ever gave myself time to be a kid.
At 10 years old I started babysitting. At 12 and 13 I worked full-time in the summer as a babysitter. At 14, once it became legal I started working in shops. At 17 I left home and often struggled to make ends meet. From university into motherhood and volunteering and homeschooling and losing people I love, and building a business (all privilege), I wrestled my way through my life. Never enough. I couldn’t quite keep up – I didn’t yet know that I didn’t have to.
I was allowed to go slow. To honour my wiring, to tell the truth about what I needed. I am allowed to go deep and listen and breathe and to love the full truth of how and where I am.
Slow. Imperfect. On purpose.
Here for a mere moment in time.
NOW WHAT? The bird photo is courtesy of M. Sedestrom Guthrie (you can follow her at @m.sedestrom on IG). Most Monday mornings I send out my HOPE MAP, an invitation to you to pause + consider. If you’re curious, you can sign up below (I’d love to welcome you there). ↡↡↡