A few weekends ago I dropped my phone onto concrete and the screen smashed into tiny pieces. While it was broken I hardly used my phone. Every time I swiped or scrolled my thumb would catch on the pieces of jagged glass, and zigzagging lines broke everything I looked at up across the screen. Four days later I got it replaced. But, as happens when you get a new phone, I had to reload all my apps. And as I went to download the Instagram app I stopped, and asked myself the question … what if?
What if I didn’t download the app?
At the moment I'm reading Erin Loechner’s book ‘Chasing Slow’. Right at the beginning Erin shares one of my favourite quotes:
‘Listen, are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life? - Mary Oliver, “West Wind"
As I read this quote I stopped, and asked myself the question … was I?
Was I breathing just a little, and calling it a life?
I don’t know if it’s because I’m turning forty-five in a couple of months and feel like the years ahead of me could quickly slip away, but I’ve been asking myself a lot of questions lately. And these are just two of many.
So what has started me questioning everything?
I think it’s because I’ve been feeling tired. Not overwhelmed or overly busy, more a feeling of weariness.
Weary of feeling like I am constantly consuming other people’s lives, thoughts and opinions. And weary from not having enough space in my days to breathe more than just a little.
So over the past month I have taken a break from posting on social media and writing on my blog to ask myself the question … ‘how can I create space to allow me to breathe more’?
Because what I realized was that in the constant consuming of other people’s voices I had lost my own. I would sit down to write a blog post and have no idea what to say. The watching or reading of other people’s lives found me not being fully present in mine. And my mind felt like it was overflowing with other people’s thoughts and opinions, rather than my own.
I also realized I was prioritising the work I did for others ahead of my own writing, study and hobbies. I knew those I was doing the work for didn't expect me to prioritise it, but I was. Even when I tried putting my work first I found it hard to concentrate, as there was always a niggling voice in the back of my head that I had this Feature Story or that blog post to edit.
All of this was making my mind feel cluttered again. And I realised that even if our lives feel slow and balanced, it doesn’t mean our minds are experiencing the same thing.
And this is what Quietly Living Life is all about. The essence of what I write about comes down to how to free our mind of clutter. How to create space so you can do more than breathe just a little and call it a life.
And so over the past month this is what I have been doing. Quietly creating space to allow me to breathe more than just a little.
Do you need to do the same?
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