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Sunday, 28 April 2013


the house i currently live in i bought off an old lady whose parents bought it newly built in 1924. when i moved in it had no kitchen to speak of, no central heating, needed a complete rewire and redecoration throughout. i discovered what i wanted for the house and what i needed for it were two very different things. with help from friends, family and work colleagues six months after i bought it i was able to move in with all the big work done. 

during the renovations i had lots of ideas and thoughts some of which got put into practice, some of which still reside on a wish list in my mind, money and time notwithstanding. at that point in my life i was very bad at asking for help, i was only slightly better at asking for and taking on board peoples advice and opinions. where i found that easier was when i didn't know much about the subject, like for example electrical wiring. i spent time with my electrician and worked out what would remain electric and what would convert to gas, talking about the distribution of power in the house to enable me to keep warm, feed and wash myself should one or other item go down. 

today in my bathroom cleaning my teeth whilst waiting for the shower to heat up the lights went off. looking up i noticed the red light of the shower was also out. knowing the wiring set up in my house, i know that if one thing goes it trips a switch to isolate it, i left the bathroom to investigate. no lights in the hall, the washing machine had stopped mid cycle, the heating was off and the alarm box was bleeping. checking my electric cupboard i found no numbers on the display of the digital meter. i had no electricity. a call to the electric board informed me someone would be with me within the next four hours. 

wondering how i was going to get clean, i remembered my boiler is gas fired; there was no hot water due to the supply to the boiler being electric. it struck me i was yet to have my first cup of tea of the day; no electric, no kettle. my hob is gas i thought i will boil a pan of water, the ignition is electric it didn't fire. i found the matches and finally was able to boil water to make a hot drink. i looked around my house at all the things that rely on electricity; no tv, no radio, no computer, no wifi, no heat, no hot water on tap. as i looked around my eyes fell on a pile of magazines bought during the previous weekend away with the girls, to much talking happened for much reading of them, i'll read them i thought and after i'm through with those i will read my book in time for book club. 

waiting for the pan to boil i realised i wasn't annoyed at the circumstances i found myself in. it's sunday. sunday is the day i now slow down, i sleep late, i take my time, i read, i write, i pray, i reflect on the week been and the week to come, my pace of life on this day has become the turtle to the hare of the week. i like it that way. it benefits me this way. sure flicking the tv on and perhaps watching a film was on my radar at that point in time but i hoped i could do it later after the engineer had been. it struck me how different my attitude is to slowing down and stopping now. if this had happened last year i would have been a bear with a sore head. forced to stay in one place, waiting for something to be fixed, something that was slowing me down and holding me back from doing what i wanted to do and getting to the places i wanted to be. in short i would have been my own worst enemy. instead it became a challenge to do something that i take for granted every day; flick the switch of a kettle to make a cup of tea or pull the cord of a shower to get clean. the engineer arrived after an hour and a half of waiting, the fuse to my meter had blown, he replaced it and power was restored. both he and i were thankful it was a short and easy job.

slowing down has enabled me to look around. taking twenty four hours at a slower pace each week has invigorated me. i know it sounds strange to say it but i realised i was just keeping going for the sake of keeping going, filling my time to the brim because it was the norm and the expected thing to do. pulling back and actually taking time to consider what it is i am doing with such zeal has lent perspective. it has enabled me to not move in quite so many directions at once and focus my thoughts on the next step for each direction i want to take rather than winging it in all of them. 

i would never have imagined something so simple would make such a difference. i highly recommend you try it.


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