As cars impatiently queued up behind me on country lanes, I was always struck by how fast and reckless the driving was in this country. My palms would be a little bit sweaty and I’d demand silence in the car as I paid close attention to what I was doing. It only lasted a few days so that by the time my jet lag had eased, I’d be zooming through the country lanes like the best of them. This wasn’t some strange foreign land, it was in my home land: England!
It’s all relative
I was living in Melbourne at the time and every year when I came home to visit, the difference in driving speeds would take my breath away. And then when I’d land back in Melbourne I’d drive around like a loon for a few days until I adjusted back. It cost me at least 6 points on my licence in Australia! In Melbourne, the speed limits are much slower and the chances of being busted MUCH higher. As a result everyone tends to drive slower.
Post lockdown feels the same
I have a similar feeling of dizzying speed when I contemplate the next few months. Suddenly my diary is filling with people wanting to "do" things. Appointments. Opportunities. Fun plans. And it’s great. It really is. I’m so excited for life pulsing forward again. But at the same time I feel like I’m suffering from "life speed jet lag".
Can we stay in the slow lane?
I have that same feeling now of wanting to crawl in the slow lane and let the fast cars pass me by. I also sense the tinge of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) as I hear people beginning to talk about the coming months. That shows up as tension between my shoulders and clenching of my hands into a gentle fist when I’m not paying attention. Sometimes it’s even a gnawing anxiety in my tummy with no specific cause.
It wasn’t all bad
Maybe you’re like many of us who have enjoyed the slowing down that the pandemic forced on us. For all the grief, the loss and the frustration there was also a sense of taking a deep breath and finding more balance. Like we pulled off the motorway and had a chance to notice the delightful twists and turns of the country lanes. Noticing the birds singing in the hedgerows and the gently rhythms of a simpler life. It’s only natural that we might feel anxious about returning to the relentless pace of the fast lane
Do we have to speed up?
There’s a saying that says sometimes you have to slow down to go faster. Maybe that’s the big lesson of this pandemic. That all of us can achieve more and be more in our lives if we slow the heck down and notice where we’re going. Otherwise how can we know that we’re even on the right road?
So how can we navigate this in between time?
I spent some time trying to think of the best advice I could come up with but it all boils down to one thing. It’s not unique to this time but it’s even more resonant. It’s been said many times and in many ways. Choose your own lane.
You are in the driving seat
It’s tempting to feel like we don’t have a choice in our life. There are often lots of things we don’t get to decide and situations we most certainly wouldn’t pick. But the essential truth is still this: You get to decide which lane you’re in, what speed you drive and where you want to go. So the questions to ask yourself could be:
What parts of lockdown life worked for me that I’d like to keep? -Maybe you discovered how much walking calms your mind -Perhaps you enjoyed being less "busy"
What did i miss that I realised is really important to me? - Are there people in your life who you appreciate more now? - Are there activities and events that you can’t wait to return to?
What is now non negotiable for my self care? - did you discover new ways to find balance and be kind to yourself? - Is working from home something you want to keep?
What parts of my pre-pandemic life do I want to let go? - are there people who you realise don’t make you feel good? - is the old routine of always being busy not welcome anymore?
Create some space now to answer those questions
"I was able to reach the stillness within me and find both space and clarity for the first time in ages. It has helped me ‘shed’ a lot of unhelpful thinking patterns" - 21 Day Programme Feedback
If you’d like a simple way to create the space to answer questions about how you’re really thinking and feeling, you might be interested in my 21 Day Be. Programme. It’s designed to be super manageable in your busy life with bite sized daily video content abs practices. You can find out more here
"I have noticed I’m finding out the real me underneath the sense of overwhelm I’d previously been feeling" - 21 Day Programme feedback