London is a busy place.
It’s full of people, full of events, full of tourist attractions. Whether you’re a born and bred Londoner, or move to the capital for work, family, or a whole host of other reasons, there are so many people calling this place home.
Since August, I’ve been one of them.
I moved here for work, a week before starting my new job, and to say the few months since then have been a whirlwind would be an understatement.
I can count on one hand the number of days I’ve had totally free, to do nothing at all.
Don’t get me wrong, the things I’ve been doing have been my choice, and I’ve loved it, but sometimes I’m left wishing I had a bit more time to do nothing.
What’s so silly about that thought is that it’s totally in my control. I don’t HAVE to book so many theatre trips, or arrange so many meals out, or catch up with three different people in a week. But there’s something about the pace of this city that makes you feel like if you don’t do things NOW then when on earth will you?
I’ve always been a fairly impatient person, and if I’m going to do something I want to know the where, when and how immediately, but there’s something about the energy of this city which has made those impulses in me even stronger.
And the thing is, there’s so much going on here, you could easily fill every evening and weekend and not have explored half of the things you could have. There’s costs of course, as well. You can’t afford to do everything, frustrating as that can be. Particularly when you’re in such an expensive city (it’s been a slight shock to the system for this northerner to adjust to!)
I had been warned by people I know who already worked in the city that there’s an expectation of ‘busyness’. That when they’d be asked what they were doing at the weekend, or that evening an answer of ‘nothing’ would draw funny looks. And it’s true! You feel like you SHOULD answer with some incredibly cultural/virtuous/exciting answer.
Have we forgotten how to be quiet? How to be still?
Even when we’re at home we’re switched on to so many devices, and through so many social channels.
How often do you just switch off, and take time to just be you?
It’s something I’m consciously trying to do much more of. I love being busy, but I’m someone who really relishes and NEEDS quiet, alone time.
So now, content in the knowledge I’ve got lots of lovely and exciting things planned into my diary over the next few months… I’m off to read my book.