I am not good at pausing, have a long history of over-doing it and then collapsing or retreating into my shell of shyness and unsociability.
Recognising the signs, and with a garden to immerse myself in, I have turned to a more earth-based means of pausing from the turmoil of technological life in order to heal and regroup.
Today, chatting in the garden with a friend, sun streaming down, clean washing waving on the line, buds burgeoning, herbs beginning to release small pockets of scent, I felt something lift from me. Something I wasn’t even aware of consciously and, thus, hesitate to name with any accuracy. The closest I can come is ‘guilt-based toil’.
Relaxing in my own garden, a space taking shape all around me, I can see that I have pushed myself into so much since I have been here that it is in danger of becoming counter-productive. All positive, but too much all at once. I gently remind myself that I am still fragile; the wounds of marital breakdown still fresh and raw; the weariness of the move and adapting to a very different life still battling it out with my natural enthusiasm for life. Pacing myself is crucial. Pausing to dig the earth, to smell the flowers, to read, to listen unhurriedly to music, to lie back in an outdoor chair and just dream; all these things are just as vital to my recovery as are the teaching, the socialising, the drama, the live music, the making of new friends.
I pause, in the buttery glow and wind-blown warmth of early April afternoon sun. I pause, knowing that nothing is so urgent that it needs to break my reverie. I pause, sensing that these gaps between activity are soothing for the soul and as necessary to me as more outgoing phases. I pause, without guilt, haste or need for it to be any other way.