On Thursday night, I met a good friend for dinner at Ottolenghi’s Nopi restaurant in central London. We manage to see each other only every 2-3 months these days, often popping dates into our calendars a month in advance or longer. It’s a sign of how busy we’ve all become – or perhaps just how exhausted.
I came back from the States last week after two weeks abroad – the first an intense week of conference sessions and evening events in Boston, the second a relaxing week at home in New York with family, tons of front porch time and bubble baths.
While I was in Boston I had a bit of a wake up call after an ambulance journey and a few hours in the hospital following what turned out to have been an anxiety attack (or a series of them). It’s something I dealt with back in 2010 when I spent 10 months taking Citalopram before I managed to ween myself off it it when I moved to Colombia. Village life is, apparently better for my mental health than city life. I’ve managed to control it without pills in all the years since.
And because taking those pills was amongst the worst experiences of my life, I’ve decided to re-vamp the workaholic lifestyle I’ve fallen back into over the last few years. I’m sure a lot of you will nod along when I mention my insane schedule and unfathomabble to do list. Most of it is pressure I constantly put on myself to get ahead, be “successful” and so I’m always doing “something productive” rather than actually appreciating where I am in my life at the time and taking a moment out of it all to enjoy life a bit more in the process.
I love to blog, but I’m going to cut back for a while. Blogging 2-3 times a day during my 9-5 and then 3 times a week on Little Observationist is a bit much. At times, I’ve written 18 posts a week. That’s burnout in the making. So I’ve set a new schedule for myself on here: I’ll post every Wednesday. If there are four Wednesdays in a month, you might see one interview, one food related post and two posts about London or my travels or whatever I’m up to at the time. I’m cutting out the monthly instagramable moments posts (follow me on instagram instead!) and the Friday links, but I’ll probably do a monthly link round up instead since I do like to share all the cool stuff I stumble upon. If I do take on any sponsored content, I’ll post these on Wednesdays or Fridays and they will be on top of my regular content.
I’ll generally be cutting back on a lot of things. I’ve been eating super healthy food for the last few weeks, running or going for long walks every day, drinking tons more water and making time to do things I love like reading, enjoying my new adult colouring book (really! – try it...) and experimenting with new recipes. I’ve signed myself up for a massage and booked into a 6-week yoga course.
Im trying to focus more on what this blog is all about – appreciating the little things in life and making time for them.
During dinner at Nopi, our phones stayed tucked away, not on top of the table. I didn’t bring a camera or take a single photo of my beautifully presented food. Not even the blackberry and basil sorbet – the first dessert I’ve had in a while. And it felt great to give my full attention to him rather than thinking of a blog post in the making.
It will be a challenge, but here’s to becoming free of being so overwhelmingly, constantly busy and really truly taking time to appreciate life and devour the little moments in a more mindful way.
shohailJune 15, 2015 at 11:35 am
Nicely written anecdotes of our sad busy urban working life.
littleobservationistJune 16, 2015 at 3:10 pm
Thanks Sohail. So true, no?
Art FarmJune 15, 2015 at 5:49 pm
I’m sorry to hear about the trip to the hospital! My husband has suffered from anxiety and panic attacks and he was once on Citalopram too. It’s not fun at all. Take care of yourself and enjoy slowing down! I slowed down majorly this year and although at times I feel like I should be doing something, I also realize that this is probably a rarity in life and I should enjoy this moment. xo, Katie
littleobservationistJune 16, 2015 at 3:10 pm
Thanks Katie, Seems like more people than you would expect have gone through something anxiety related and have been placed on pills. Hope your husband has it all under control now! I think we should all slow down a bit. Life goes too fast! 🙂
JessJune 17, 2015 at 8:03 am
This is totally something that I needed to read. I hope slowing down works for you, and good of you to share your plans with the rest of us. I’m definitely feeling inspired by your post.
littleobservationistJune 17, 2015 at 8:49 am
Thanks Jess. I’m glad you’re feeling inspired. Lovely blog, by the way.
Diana MieczanJune 23, 2015 at 12:59 pm
Oh boy, I am so sorry about your hospital visit. I totally know what you mean, my schedule is usually pretty over-flowing as well. Over the years I learnt to take time off when needed and just ‘be’. It’s hard (and truly impossible) to keep up and for real, we don’t need to. I am a huge believer of doing as much or as little as we want to, as long as it actually makes up happy. If we do too much, we get overwhelmed and we stop enjoying everything all together. Ah, wish I could take you out for a cup of coffee this morning and just have a chat. Kisses, sweetie.