Monthly Musing – July 2020 – Better with a friend!

It’s 6am on Monday morning (I know, far too early!) and I am wrapped up in my meditation blanket, listening to the rain outside the window whilst I focus on my breathing. Across the room, my husband is also meditating – we are together, but not together as we each take a few quiet moments before the day starts.

I know this might sound a bit “out there” for some – even the idea of meditation can cause very different reactions! – but we both get something immensely positive from our morning stillness and, best of all, doing it together makes it much more likely that we will do it at all.

I’ve never really got the whole “gym buddy” thing; the idea of a partner who shouts encouragement (or orders, depending on your preference) whilst you sweat away on a piece of equipment. I think that’s probably because I’ve never been a big fan of the gym – I’d much rather be walking outside or, even better, sitting at home knitting and preferably with a cup of tea and a shortbread biscuit. It all felt a bit too regimental for me, I didn’t like the idea of the pressure (I’ve never been very good at being told what to do) and if I am honest, I’m probably a bit lazy when it comes to that kind of exercise!

However, during lockdown a friend and I agreed that we would use our time to start getting into a decluttering routine. It was something that we had both talked about for a while and it made sense for us to do it together, especially given the circumstances when neither of us were going out and there really was no excuse not to get started! We agreed there would be no pressure, no barked orders, just gentle encouragement and, it turns out, a desire not to let the other down. It’s been a good reason to stay in touch with daily text updates of where we’re up to and we have celebrated every week that we have made improvements to our homes. (We’re into our 18th week of lockdown now, can you believe it?!) I have finally understood the purpose of having an accountability partner, and I have been amazed and delighted at what a difference it has made to me actually getting something done.

So when my husband said that he’d like to start meditating again after a long absence, it was easy to say that I would do it with him. Not quite so easy to get up at 6am, although I know that it will be far harder once the Winter comes, but knowing the benefits (we first learnt to meditate a long time ago although we haven’t stuck at it all that time) makes it easier to resist hitting the alarm snooze button and having five more minutes … several times.

This experience has changed my view on accountability partners, and I am definitely a fan. It’s always nicer to do something with a friend than alone, and that includes the things you would rather ignore and hope went away (it doesn’t work with decluttering, trust me!). I still probably won’t change my mind about taking on a gym buddy though – although I might reconsider if there are shortbread biscuits involved!

Two cleaning cloths on a granite worktop; one green, one yellow. A bottle of cleaning spray with the brand name Koh written on the bottle, and an orange mug containing tea

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16 Responses

  1. Susan Rayner says:

    A wonderful article!! Inspirational! Thank you!

  2. selina says:

    how weird, great post but i went looking for more to read, it stopped abruptly i thought.
    i'm one of those lazy ones too, not overly keen on gyms anymore, used to do body building before arthritis. these days a nice walk will do me. mmm, a buddy, sounds like a good idea.
    loved the post (even though i thought there was more lol)
    thanx for sharing

  3. Ruan Peat says:

    I am with you on gym buddies, but my friend and I go to a splash dance class when all is fine and have been meeting up for walks and chat through this lockdown, doing it with someone is better than trying alone, you dont want to let them down, rather than have to do it.
    Thank you for your musings! feeling not alone has been the best.

    • Winwick Mum says:

      I'm glad you've been able to catch up with your friend, I think it's been very tough going for those who have had to isolate alone xx

  4. Lynne says:

    My husband and I (that sounds very regal!) have been meditating together daily for forty years. I’m sure I would never have kept it up if it wasn’t for the fact we meditate together.

    • Winwick Mum says:

      Wow! That's definitely something to aspire to – we've managed a couple of months or so in the past before something has got in the way, but we're back on it now! 🙂 xx

  5. Geraldine says:

    Great post, I have been going to my quiet space for years now and I find that knitting leads to meditating without realising you are doing it! My latest knitting projects have temporarily veered away from socks to knitting Fairisle/Nordic hats (so satisfying when completed) 😀

    • Winwick Mum says:

      It definitely does – your busy mind is so interested in what your hands are doing that it doesn't take long before it's occupied and you can be quiet! Fair Isle is very satisfying, I love colourwork! xx

  6. luluknitts says:

    Nothing like a good meditation (particularly whilst eating a shortbread biscuit but let's not go there….) I keep saying I'll get up 30 mins earlier (I already get up at 6) and do some basic stretching/yoga/pilates bits and bobs, but that morning hasn't actually happened yet. Still, I live in hope. Take care. Stay safe. xxx

    • Winwick Mum says:

      Ha ha, I haven't tried eating shortbread and meditating but maybe that needs to be on the list! 🙂 xx

  7. Pollyt says:

    Friends are fabulous for helping you be accountable and also for laughing and still loving you when you don't manage to do whatever you were doing. I love a bit of stillness in my day, I'm not nearly regular enough with it but there's definitely something special about doing that with others! I belong to a Quaker meeting and in Lockdown we've been meeting via zoom, it sounds odd zooming other people so you can all sit in quiet for a hour but it's so lovely!!!

    • Winwick Mum says:

      It's all about the connection, isn't it, as much as being quiet so I can see how your meetings would work. Isn't it wonderful that you are still able to do that during lockdown?! xx

  8. Unknown says:

    Nice article! Thank you for sharing.

  9. Mrs Tiggywinkle says:

    I've never heard the phrase "accountability partner" before but I think it's really good, both the idea and the title. I'm happy to go to the gym by myself but I could really do with some support with a few other things, I can see exactly how that would work. Thanks Christine. x

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