thinking about time

Leaves

Time is more valuable than money. I think if more people believed this, actually believed it, the world could be a very different place.

Time is everything. Life moves so fast and if you don’t stop to look around every once in a while, you might miss it – absolute hero Ferris Bueller’s words, not mine.

Time is such an asset. I can’t get my head around how anyone in the entire world could ever dare utter the sentence: “I’m bored”. My dad once said “only boring people get bored” and I love that statement more and more as each day passes. There are so many things that I want to cram into my limited time on earth. Places I want to see, movies I want to watch, books I want to read, just things I want to sit and ponder for hours on end. Things I want to try, experiment with, learn about. How can you EVER be bored?! Ridiculous.

Anyway, the other week I was reflecting on this apparent lack of time and wrote down a list of stuff I wish I had more time to do:

  • Long walks (in new places, old places, anywhere)
  • Watch old movies that have been on my list to see for over a decade
  • More meditation
  • More yoga
  • Reading, much more reading – I’d love to read a book a week
  • Sitting aimlessly in a cafe for an entire day reading magazines and drinking coffee with no regard whatsoever for things I have to do or should be doing
  • Growing stuff from scratch (planting my own flowers, fruit and veg)
  • Long baths (I do quite well at this one, actually)
  • Explore new and old music
  • Walk around more galleries and museums
  • Making things, painting, drawing, arts & crafts, recycling furniture, making my own jewellery, crafting courses and workshops
  • Join a book / creative writing club
  • Learn another language (properly)
  • Write a piece of creative writing that’s longer than ten sentences – it’s not a co-incidence that I feel so busy and my poetry is always so short. I started a short story…….

So, I can’t finish that last sentence because it’s embarrassing. I had started to write a story a few months ago and I’ve just navigated away from this blog to go and look at the ‘Last Modified’ date on the file and it’s the 1st November 2016.

Vile.

I’d better get on with that then.

If I had a pound for every time I said “where is the day / week / month year going?!” I’d be doing all of the above things right now from my luxury mansion where I lie awake all night, un-employed, sipping cocktails and loving life.

I also know that time most certainly moves faster when you try to do too much. I’m very aware of this and have always been adamant that I have a fairly empty diary with some good chunks of time allocated to myself, to doing nothing. I spent my early twenties being one of those people who, “like, literally I haven’t got a single weekend free for 9 months”. It was fun, but exhausting, and I’ve grown out of wanting to cram shit in or run myself into the ground.

I’m 30 next year and this blog was actually begun today with the mission of me wanting to write down 30 things I must actually get around to doing, but it appears I have gone off track.

I must get around to that list.

But first: music, food, bath.

the inevitable

Candle

I rarely get flu or colds.

When I do, it’s someone sending me a signal to slow down. I think in the busy-ness of 2017, it means this for most people actually.

It’s been a crazy Summer for me and like many of the other animals in the world, August is a time for rest and regeneration. It’s getting cold and dark and it’s time to retreat and relax.

Last week I had two back-to-back days off work. For those of us self-employed (or even employed, of course) who find it difficult to switch off from work, that means spending this time not checking the odd email or completing the odd task, or even thinking about the stuff we have to do. Well, it all catches up with you sooner or later. What this slight slowing down has resulted in today is the inevitable arrival of flu. Fuck you, flu.

I am aching, but with this slow-moving head and these sticky eyes, I can still type, and reflect.

This time of year for me is always about re-birth and new beginnings. As I said, Autumn is a time for rest. A time to re-energise, enjoy home comforts and reflect on the changing season.

When September arrives, things inside me come alive and I look forward to using the end of October to think about what I want to do with the next 12 months. I can’t wait for Samhain (Halloween) as it marks a new year to many – for witches and earth worshippers it’s all about finding new life at a time of decay, finding a new light to guide us as we enter the darker and colder months.

New intentions can get us through the darkness and eventually raring to go and ready when the light returns next Spring. I’ve set myself some goals that I want to focus on for the next 12 months and sure I will share these at some point.

In the meantime, if you do need some inspiration for today, I can’t rave enough about Netflix’s documentary The Minimalists, two guys who encourage us to stop and think about what we have around us, and why. Again, it’s the perfect time of year to get this kind of refreshing advice in your head to help guide you into making decisions in this changing period.

I’m sure I had more worthwhile and informative things to tell you about but my bed is calling. Today I am going to work from comfort, light candles (at one end only) and spend my evening baking banana bread and making a pot of curry.

Photo: Lewis David Membery

 

keeping your eye on something steady

Beccy

When it’s a full moon I am awake through the night.

I struggle to get to sleep and am woken every half hour or so – by the piercing bright light, but more so by an energy that shakes me from my slumber. Everything is electric. Everything is on fire. Everything is amplified.

I love new moons – they are my favourite time of the month. For me, new moons are about calm, happiness and new beginnings – they invite us to make change and feel excited about what the future might hold. But full moons, for me, they are about about something much more complicated.

Full moons are about keeping your eye on something steady, keeping your energy on something good – whatever rocks you, you’ll feel it ten times stronger than normal. If you feel low, you’ll feel really fucking low. Don’t do or say anything in a hurry – emotions are higher than normal and these emotions within you cannot always be trusted.

When we lose balance, when we lose focus, the power of a full moon can bring us to our fucking knees, drag us to depths that we had so easily forgotten. But, no matter what, even though the full moon drives us wild, she reminds us that the cycle continues and we will all always rise again after falling. 🌙

Meditation and repetitive, uplifting music can help me get my body and mind back into a natural rhythm. That, and coffee.

Photo by Lewis David Membery. 

one day everything will just dry up

Dried Flowers Web

I am not a hoarder, quite the opposite.

I get completely overwhelmed by stuff, which is why I get anxious around Christmas and birthdays. I wander around busy shopping centres and whilst you’re Instagramming your pumpkin spiced latte, I’m over in the corner thinking about the lifecycle of all this shit around us that we will never take with us. Yeah, I’m a hoot.

If something doesn’t have a purpose or sentimental value, I won’t keep it. If I haven’t worn an item of clothing for a year, I will give it away. If you don’t use it, and you can’t take it with you, why keep it for so long? That’s why I collect tattoos, I suppose – they are the only things that will be with me ’till dust.

Our house is very clean and minimalistic. The spare bedroom, however, which was supposed to be turned into just that – a spare bedroom, has in fact become a home for those few sentimental things that I really do want around forever. Prints, painting, crystals, stuff I’ve made, precious gifts. There’s a 2m x 2m space where I can hoard and that is OK. Any bigger, and I freak out.

One of the things I can’t bring myself to ever get rid of is flowers. They are the most beautiful gift to receive but days later, they end their lifespan at the bottom of your bin, sharing a graveyard with teabags and the crusts of your bread. No, no, that’s just not good enough.

I’ve been hanging and drying flowers for about 2 years and I love adding to the collection that dangles in my windowsill. Flowers are just way more interesting and beautiful when dead. They find something that they didn’t have when they were alive.

Anyway, as well as hanging dead shit throughout my house this week, yesterday I took an actual day off. Me and my friend treated ourselves to a spa day, something I haven’t done in years. It was exactly how I thought it would be – completely peaceful and invigoratingly reflective.

This particular spa was a phone-free zone. Lying there on my heated bed, I turned to her: “apart from being asleep, and my recent camping holiday, this is genuinely the first time in my life in years, where I have gone longer than a few hours without looking at my phone.”

Seven hours, two cups of jasmine tea, and an Indian head massage later, and I was still pondering how fucking depressing that statement was. Working in social media marketing means that I look solidly at a screen for around 9 hours a day, and then probably on-and-off for the rest of my waking ‘free time’, when I am blogging, checking personal emails, watching TV, whatever else. It felt nostalgic to be looking at something other than technology for an entire day.

Now, I’m not going to throw out my television and go and live in the wilderness (tempting) but this has been an ongoing theme in a lot of my writing, blogging, poetry and diary entries in the last few years. Real, tech-free life is calling me. Kind of why I’m finding these rambling blogs, and sporadic spa-like ‘time-outs’ so reflective. Why I’m hanging dead flowers and thinking about what that means for hours on end.

Together, over the course of those seven hours, my friend and I made some pretty good life reflections – we talked endlessly about where we are now, where we want to be in the future, the things we struggle with, the things we enjoy. You don’t need a therapist when you have friends who can listen to you for a whole day straight and actually listen to everything you have to say (that’s the important bit).

Having recently lost someone close in her family, my friend had the life is just far too short concept in the fore-front of her mind yesterday. It’s always in the front of mine, and right now it’s allowing us both to make some life-changing decisions. Decisions that start with ah, fuck it and could end with something pretty fucking special.

It’s worth a try, I think. One day, it’s all just going to dry up, and we’ll both just be dangling in the windowsill.

just being here and breathing

Rebecca R

The other week, writer (and Skin Deep boss man) Mr Siôn Smith wrote a blog about imagining the future.

Being self-employed, therefore not (really) attending job interviews, appraisals and whatever else, means that some of us never get the chance to ponder that question: where do you see yourself in 12 months time?

Imagine, believe, receive.

Here goes.

I wake at 9am. It’s warm outside and golden autumn leaves have landed on the skylight above my head. Lavender is still fast-asleep. Only six months old and sleeping through the night, waking when I do. She’s a delight. 

I pop my head into the nursery and tickle her nose. Her eyelids flicker. The smell of burnt grass drifts in through the window from the farm across the road. 

After an hour-long bath, soaking in scented crystals reading my magazines, it’s time for the day to begin. I’m performing some poems at an event tonight and I need to prepare. I also need to dedicate some time today to getting things ready for the next few weeks…

We’re off in the VW again. Around France, Spain, Italy – maybe a few more places… we’re just going to see where the wind takes us and I’ll be writing and blogging a lot along the way. Simon is self-employed now too, meaning we can take off for an adventure whenever we want. With a well-behaved baby that loves being on the road and a cosy (low-cost) home to look forward to coming back to, our spur of the moment trips are always completely stress-free. Petrol, food, fresh air, music, nappies, and a pen – the essentials are all we need.

To repeat the words of Mr S, none of this seems totally dumb. Apart from the van and – oh yeah – the new living human being that I’ve magically created, it’s not too far off being what my life is like now. In theory, a freelance writer should be able to write from anywhere in the world, but it doesn’t always end up that way. Things get in the way. Life, etc.

I also think I am pretty crap at aiming for the big things these days. I mean, I’m always looking for a new lesson and challenge around every corner, that’s true, but I also really find pleasure in the smallest things. The things that most people probably don’t think of when someone asks them to describe their future ambitions.

Interviewer: “So, where do you want to be in 12 months.”
Me: “Well, ideally, still just… alive, really. Healthy. With the same people I love around me – them alive and healthy, too. Um – also having a nice, morning bubble bath?”

Sometimes just being here and breathing is enough for me.

 

On a final note, this week I can’t stop listening to: L.A. Witch.

This music makes me want to delete the above blog and write: “in 12 months, I just want to be more cool. Thanks.”

Photo by Lewis David Membery.

bursting to come out

This is my new blog. Hello.

I’ve been writing poetry since I was old enough to hold a pen and blogging for three years. I also work in digital marketing which means that the process of writing for me is actually two different things.

As a poet I write to escape, to look closer at the world and dissect as much of this existence as I can. I can’t explain in this blog post what being alive means to me, but as soon as I take away the structure of sentences, take away any rules at all, I feel I can see things around me that others can’t, or don’t. There are things bubbling away underneath the surface that make my heart beat and send shivers down my spine.

Because I also work in marketing, and have for most of my adult life, writing also means – what I am starting to do now right now… I’m forming a story, I’m starting new paragraphs, I’m making sure that I make sense, I’m writing for an audience, you, the reader.

I run another blog, I write articles for other magazines and websites, I devise marketing copy for organisations and their digital platforms. This Autumn, I started writing poetry for the first time in years and quickly realised that there are creative words and ideas inside me bursting to come out, like a virus escapes the body. I want to blog and not give a shit about: SEO, image sizes, structure, posting on Instagram at the right time of the day, who the fuck is reading what I have to say and what the fuck they think.

All of that stuff is important in today’s world, so much so, that it has become my full-time job, a job for which I am truly blessed to have and would not change for the world. But the time has come for me to let loose.

This blog has no theme. One day I might write about witchcraft, and the next, long walks, arts and crafts, photography, travel, or whatever takes my fancy. As bloggers, people, we change and grow every single day. There are so many new things to explore in this world, and I become more wide-eyed with each moment that passes. I want to taste it all. I cannot be categorised. This is not about the followers, the readers (sorry), the brand collaborations, a consistent filter, a social strategy or any best practices. The photo at the top of this blog does not match the content. This is not neat. This is not seamless. This is the inside of my messy head.

This has not been edited. I shan’t be adding tags to this, or hyperlinks, or keywords.  I have written this from start to finish and I shall click publish any second. I shall take each day at a time, and see what else inside me is bursting to come out.

Photo by my very talented friend Lewis David Membery (follow him on Instagram @LewisDavidMembery).