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The joy of picking up old things

Because most of my life has been lived to the rhythm of an academic calendar, September is usually all about new things for me (mostly new courses and stationery). However, this year it seems to be about rediscovering and reconnecting with things from the past, picking up things that I had put down and lost touch with along the way. It really got me thinking about how often we focus on the ‘next thing’ and pushing ourselves forward, looking for something new to make things better. While this can be helpful in moving us towards our goals and the life we want, it can also mean that we get caught up in reaching for something we don’t have and we stop noticing the value of what is already within our grasp.

The past few years have been unlike any others I have experienced (both personally and globally) and I have had to make changes to lots of areas of my life. Some of these have been of my choosing, but many have not. There have been times when the changes came so quickly that it felt like I didn’t have a chance to catch my breath and think about what was happening, but there have also been moments when I could find a chance to stop and breathe. I knew coming into this year that I had to start finding more of those moments, to choose to stop and breathe, which is why it became this year’s word. I have had varying success with the intention I set at the beginning of the year, but over the summer, circumstances seemed to conspire to help me do this. More by luck than design, I ended up with a two week break at the end of August, which meant I had much more space breathe than my usual in the usual week I take off.

The extra week off allowed me time to properly rest, which in turn meant I could do some of the self-care I had been neglecting, including getting back into the yoga studio and making some proper nutritious meals, both things helped me to feel more energised, which in turn made it easier to continue doing the things that are most helpful for me. The result is that I came back to a very busy work scheduled feeling refreshed and able to continue with these positive changes, all because I had taken time to breathe, to think about what I really needed and to remember that I already knew the answer. I just needed to find the space to pick up the things that I had let fall behind.

Are there any things you have let go of that could help you where you are now?

A weeping willow tress next to a lake. Text reads 'Which old things could help you now?'

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