Monthly Musing – March 2019 – Twenty minutes
It’s not quite 9am and I’m sitting on the bedroom floor in a patch of sunlight knitting a sock. There are probably half a dozen things I could be doing instead – sorting out laundry, walking the dog, re-stringing the washing line (a job I’ve been avoiding for months), vacuuming – but instead, I am feeling the sun warm on my face and the yarn sliding through my fingers as I make each stitch. This – sitting down and taking a moment – is something that I promised myself that I was going to do more of this year, and so far, I am managing to keep my promise. It’s not always easy, in the hustle and bustle of the day, to make myself stop and sit down (without or without a cup of tea) but it’s becoming less of a battle with myself the more that I do it.
I don’t manage to do it every day, and I don’t beat myself up about that, just stopping when I remember, or when I feel like it. There’s no particular time of day that’s better; today it’s a moment in the morning sunshine, another day it might be as the light is fading, or some time in the afternoon before small daughter gets home from school because we’ve got rushing about things to do and I could do with recharging my batteries. Twenty minutes seems to be my optimum time; any less and my tea is too hot to drink, any more and I start to feel jittery that there are jobs to be done and I’m not doing them. Sometimes, I spend those twenty minutes with a book, or knitting, or just sitting with my eyes shut, re-connecting with my senses (this is a lovely thing to do if you’ve never tried it before: you go through each of your senses one by one, noticing what you can see, feel, hear, smell and taste before allowing all of your senses to work together again) and occasionally even drifting off for a short “power nap”, waking up feeling refreshed and ready to go again.
I used to feel that it was a waste of time, that I could be doing something more productive and that my day would be ruined if I stopped for even a short while instead of pushing myself to get to the end of the never-ending to-do list. Now, I realise that twenty minutes is such a short time in the scheme of things – it’s the time spent waiting for a bus, or scrolling through images on your phone, or hanging on the line in a telephone call centre queue – and it’s OK for me to spend that same amount of time doing something that looks after me. It’s OK to stop and rest, to have a drink (how often do we get to the end of the day and realise we’ve not drunk enough?), to collect my thoughts and to appreciate what I have around me. And twenty minutes later, when I’m back on my feet and back into the jobs, it’s a nicer version of me that’s doing them, and that can only be a good thing!