Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Appreciation and taking time out: No curry tonight


I'll admit something. I don't have a recipe today. I'm not trying to be a perfectionist. I devoured the delicious potato and lentil yellow curry with cardamom jasmine rice I made earlier. Warming, laden with garlic and ginger and nutty brown lentils, it's exactly what my soul needed today. I didn't take photos of it. I didn't take down the recipe as I went along.
There's something to be learnt from this. Take things as they come. Rest. Take time. Let things sit. Warming your soul sometimes means warming your body up, even if that's with a warming curry.

When I was busy in the sunshine, racing on my bike from one outdoor cinema to another, I had a limited amount of time to rest and be on my own. When I finally found the time, it was precious. For some reason, I've found that when the pace of each day slows down and there is suddenly so much more alone time, I dread it. The ringing in my ears filled with sounds of silence. That type of emptiness unnerves me. What I realized today, though, is by doing this daily writing and daily recipe challenge, I am making time for myself. My health and my peace of mind is becoming more and more relaxed as a result. Each day, I look forward to my own time more now and enjoy time in company so much more. There is an appreciation there.

Today was about appreciating the small things and removing the need to control, to perfect. With depression can come a sense of 'not good enough'. You are good enough. Just as you are. Make time for you. Make time to rest. Make time to be good to yourself rather than listening to the voice of the harsh critic inside your head, meddling with your emotions and creative ideas. Today was about releasing that judging negativity and keeping something for myself. I'll make that curry recipe again for sure and I'll happily take photographs and lovingly arrange them in a blog post. Just not today. Today I rest. Today, I'm taking time for myself and for you. Today, I'm aware and calm and letting the week of blogs continue of their own accord.

It feels like days when I go for a surf and I don't want to achieve anything. Catching the best wave, improving my pop up, paddling faster, harder, better. None of this is relevant on those days. The only thing that is important to me is being out there, in the water, sitting on my board and staring out to sea. Watching surfers catch waves and yelling out "whoop" as they curve along the beautiful body of water. Feeling the wind whip around or the stillness of a late evening surf. Scooping water in the cup of my hands and splashing it over my head and face, as if I'm blessing myself with the sea. Trickling my fingertips through the soupy water either side of me. Feeling the give and pull of the sets as they bob me through the dappled liquid. Letting waves come and go, thoughts come and go. Experiencing it all. Appreciating it all. To me, that is not a wasted surf or a show of a lack of talent. It is not a wasted evening or a lack of adequate fitness or drive or dedication. Sometimes, it is the best thing I could possibly do for myself and my craft. This blog post is the same.

Take the time to appreciate the little things. Rest. Keep something for yourself.

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